Wellness and Outdoor Education

Most of us have heard about the many benefits of being outdoors and the impact it has on people, especially children and young adults. Many studies on this topic show that being outside builds confidence, promotes creativity, teaches responsibility, and provides different types of stimulation that are key to brain development and health. From a wellness perspective, there are direct links between spending time in nature and lower levels of stress, fatigue, and anxiety. 

We are fortunate here at SJK to have a campus that provides multiple opportunities for students to experience ‘outdoor wellness’. In the Lower School, teaching outside every day, I experience first hand the positive impacts that being in nature has on our students. Sometimes it is obvious in their expressions of enthusiasm and wonder. Often, at the end of our outdoor lessons, I ask students to describe how they felt about the activity or how being in nature made them feel. The most common responses are “happy”, “calm”, “energized”, “relaxed” or, as one student said “it just makes me feel good”. Seeing the joy on childrens’ faces when they explore in the outdoors, like at the beginning of this week with our first snowfall, shows us the tangible and positive impact nature has on their wellbeing. 

During this pandemic, the outdoors have become that safe refuge for children. It is a place where healthy practices can be followed while building meaningful and lasting connections.

SJK is excited to showcase the new low ropes course that was recently built and is the foundation for the school’s new Adventure Program. The SJK Adventure Program provides opportunities for all students at the school to learn and grow by presenting them with unique challenges. As a result of students participating in the SJK Adventure Program, they will develop leadership behaviours, learn to take positive risks and apply learning from the program to their daily lives.

St. John's Kilmarnock School

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