Raincoast Field School - Spring 2016 (Tofino)

Raincoast Education Society has now been collaborating with Wickaninnish Community School for 2 years to deliver outdoor, experiential programs for Tofino's youth. This year was packed with adventures and included monthly outdoor excursions for each of the 9 classes at the elementary school. This school year also featured additional Field School programs like kayaking to Meares Island, surfing with new friends from Ukee, visiting students in Ahousaht, and overnight camping trips! We can't wait to see what the 2016-17 school year has in store for these kids!

- Ariane Batic
Raincoast Field School Coordinator for Tofino

Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (June 8-9)
Mr. Grigg's grade 4/5 class

What an amazing overnight camping trip! Students learned about forestry by transitioning from old growth to second growth to a clear cut forest, then learned all about the riparian zone and its importance for salmon habitat. Afterward students checked smolt traps to identify different salmon species, and collaborated to plant trees and clear out alder. In the evening students headed to camp to set up tents and ended the day by fire-roasting their dinner and hearing stories around the campfire with Gisele Martin. The second day was packed with beach exploring and beach games. Thank you Central Westcoast Forest Society for showing these kids some restoration tips, and to Green Point Campground in Pacific Rim National Park for hosting us!

Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (June 6)
Ms. Andujo's K/1 class

Students had an amazing day on Echachis! They learned how to smoke salmon over the fire, went on some seaweed discovering missions, ventured around the island and had a salmon feast for lunch! Thank you Joe Martin for the salmon smoking, and to Gisele Martin for showing the students around the island and sharing a ton of knowledge.

Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (June 3)
Mr. Clarke and Ms. Michaud's grade 2/3 class

Students headed to Tonquin Beach for a day of teambuilding activities. They guided their blind folded classmates to meet our local trees, and played trust games on the beach and in the forest, like catching their falling classmates from high stumps! Nice team work grade 2/3s!

Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (May 31 to June 2)
Ms. Hovi's grade 3/4 class

Ms. Hovi's class just got back from an epic camping trip! Students explored the intertidal, sang around the fire with Gisele Martin, learned about animal tracking from our local wildlife specialist, Todd Windle, made face masks with clay from the earth, roasted their own dinner over a campfire, did some quiet mindful listening at the beach, played beach games and forest games, and learned some great adaptive lessons when we got a full-on Tofino downpour! Thanks to Green Point Campground in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve for hosting us, and to all the parents who geared up their kids for this fun-filled Raincoast Field School trip!

Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (May 27)
Ms. Morris's grade 5/6 class

Students spent a great day on the water while testing their paddleboarding abilites. They headed out to the kelp forest to discover the mysteries of the subtidal, then learned about the structure of the kelp forest and its importance to the animals that live in the dynamic habitat. Thank you Tofino Paddle Surf for taking the students out to explore!



Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (May 24)
Ms. Burrow's grade 1/2 class
Before boarding the wildlife watching boat, students learned all about interactions between different local wildlife with some predator-prey games, and got to hear an amazing story from Gisele Martin about the many interactions between wolves, deer and ravens. Then it was onto the Stellar Sea for some wildlife sighting missions! Thanks Jamie's Whaling Station for showing all these young naturalists all the exciting animals along our shores.

Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (May 20)
Ms. Hovi's grade 3/4 class

Students spent a morning prepping for their upcoming camping trip! They worked together to bake some delicious berry muffins (while practicing their fractions!) and made some tasty spaghetti sauce that will be devoured for their dinner at camp.

Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (May 18)
Ms. Renard's kindergarten class

Students headed to Meares Island Big Tree trail for a day of learning how to navigate trails! Students got to learn from Gisele Martin about the relationship between crows and cougars, as well as barnacle homes. Students also had an awesome reflection period on the most important lesson of the day: Wanachis-Hilth-huu-is, the source of our water. Students traced our town's water... coming from a pipe which leads to Meares Island and the rainforest that they were standing in that very moment!

Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (May 17)
Ms. Morris's grade 5/6 class

Students headed out for yet another beautiful day on Echachis! They got to learn some of the many wonders of the area from Gisele Martin, including whale bone uses, the history of villages and the benefits of nettles. Students also got on board a good discussion on plant care & traditional responsibility

Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (May 12)
Ms. Andujo’s K/1 class

So many whales in the sea! Thanks to the guides at Ocean Outfitters, students got to see tons of grey whales, a sea lion haul out and several different bird species. One whale even breached in between our two boats – lucky!


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (May 10th, May 11)
Ms. Burrow’s grade 1/2 class, Ms. Renard’s kindergarten class

Students went on a road trip to Ukee for a day of intertidaling! After a morning scoping out seaweed, snails and sea glass at Big Beach, students headed over to the Aquarium to get up close and personal with species they are less familiar with, and then got to watch an octopus gobble down its crab lunch! Thanks Ukee Aquarium for having us!


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (May 6)
Ms. Seibel’s grade 1/2 class

Part two of back-to-back island exploring brought students to a shady salmon forest this time! Students landed on Meares Island and got to explore the muddy intertidal habitat, then learned all about cedar trees, while gaining a first hand experience of how humongous they can grow while learning about the importance of salmon in the rainforest ecosystem.


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (May 5)
Ms. Seibel’s grade 1/2 class

What an amazing day this was! Led by Gisele, students went out to Echachis for a sunny day filled with discovering ancient whale bones, exploring the coastal rainforest, splashing in crystal clear sea water and hearing tons of amazing stories! Thank you, Gisele, for sharing all your amazing experiences with these students – they loved it!


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (May 4)
Ms. Hansen’s grade 6/7 class

Students kayaked at hyper-speed over to Meares Island Big Tree trail, learning about mudflats, kelp and sea star ecology enroute. Once on the island students learned about the history of the trail, and of logging in our area from Gisele Martin. Thanks Paddle West for taking us out, and thanks Ms. Hansen’s class for showing off all your teamwork skills!


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (May 3)
Ms. Hansen’s grade 6/7 class (Tofino) and Ms. Kinvig’s grade 6/7 class (Ukee)

The oldest students in Ucluelet and Tofino elementary schools got together for a jam-packed surf day! Thanks to the guidance from awesome instructors at Pacific Surf School students got to spend the morning in the ocean together, and then have lunch over a beach bonfire. Some students made new friends over a game of ankle tag – and now they can’t wait until grade 8 (high school) to hang out again!


Raincoast Field School, Spring Sessions (April 29)
Ms. Michaud and Mr. Clarke’s grade 2/3 class

Students experimented with stand up paddle boards, showed off their boogie boarding skills and even tested out their surf abilities all while exploring the kelp forest. After some well-earned lunch, students learned neat things about the rainforest during a caterpillar learning chain, and topped off the day with some bull kelp jump rope contests! Thanks to Tofino Paddle Surf for showing these guys some good paddling tricks!