June 12th, 2024

Students return from Canada’s Coolest School Trip

By Peggy Revell on June 21, 2018.

Tyla Opp and Kylie Stennick at Parliament Famous Five Statues, during an all-expenses paid trip to Ontario, which 35 Grade 8 students won earlier this year as part ofÊParks Canadas annual ÒCanadas Coolest School TripÓ contest.--SUBMITTED PHOTO


“Canada’s Coolest School Trip” has lived up to its name, with great memories and new experiences for Grade 8 students from the Dr. Roy Wilson Learning Centre.

For many of the students, the all-expenses paid trip to Ontario was their first time travelling, and travelling outside Alberta, explained student Gage Smith.

“They were really excited about that.”

The 35 students won the trip after submitting a photo essay on their fire prevention efforts submitted to Parks Canada’s annual “Canada’s Coolest School Trip” contest.

The trip was a whirlwind seven days in early June. After arriving in Ontario, students met Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, then toured the Thousand Islands National Park, Rideau Canal National Historic Site, Fort Wellington National Historic Site, Laurier House National Historic Site and visited Parliament Hill.

“The highlight of the trip for me was kayaking. We got to kayak on the St. Lawrence River, in the Thousand Island Park,” said Smith.

Another highlight was sleeping in tents at this park, said fellow student Chloe Thomas. “Not a lot of students have had that opportunity before.”

“I really enjoyed Parliament Hill,” said Kennedy Fleming, due to the artifacts and “cool statues,” as well as the Bank of Canada museum.

The “whole trip” was Justin Perich’s favourite part. “Not a lot of kids get to experience all of that on a school trip.”

And the lessons they took from the trip extended beyond Canadian heritage and history.

“I learned that I’m on my phone too often,” said Fleming, as students had their phones taken away and were given only limited daily access.

They got used to it, and it made the trip even better because she wasn’t staring down at a screen the entire time.

“I think I just need to put my phone down and experience more things —like we did on the trip,” Perich agreed.

Smith said the experience of not having the technology has encouraged him to go outside and appreciate the natural beauty here at home as well.

Another highlight for Smith was the chance hang out with other Grade 8 students he hadn’t had the chance to get to know before.

“It was just a great experience and we got to connect with people we hadn’t gotten to at school,” said Thomas.

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