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Nantyr Shores environmental program recognized at national conferenceMay 18, 2017 Category: NewsBack to News Page

​Sixteen students are travelling to Nova Scotia this week in recognition of the Enviroventure program at Nantyr Shores Secondary School. The program is being featured at the Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication (EECOM) conference at Acadia University. The group is the only class in Canada invited to attend this prestigious event.

 “This is a unique program that takes students out of the classroom and provides them with experiences that they wouldn’t get anywhere else,” says Mark Gaynik, coordinator and lead teacher of the Enviroventure program. “From leadership skills, to team work and pushing through challenges, the students complete the program having gained confidence, problem solving skills and newfound friendships with their peers.”

Developed for Grade 11 and 12 students and open to schools across Simcoe County, the four-credit program includes courses such as environment management, nutrition and health and fitness leadership. Each course consists of various field trips, lessons and assignments taking place in the outdoors. Activities have included hiking, canoeing, maple syrup production and learning about sustainable agriculture, meal and trip planning and climate change. The students already have two more trips planned; Algonquin Park and White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire.

The program has been life changing for many students, who carry their experiences and new strengths with them after high school.

 “For me, I can honestly say that it changed my life. Looking back to Grade 12, I was unsure of who I was in this world, and I can now see how Enviro set me on a path for success,” says Enviroventure alumnus, Mark Westerink. “Enviro helps students learn to overcome challenges, both personally and in a group. It builds character and problem solving skills I don't think could be learned elsewhere."

Support for the students to attend the conference was provided by local organizations such as the Barrie and Innisfil Rotary Clubs and The Faris Team.

Mark Gaynik, coordinator, Enviroventure program