Annual Mini School Whistler Trip

This year’s trip to Whistler brought 147 kids together for two exhilarating days on the mountain. After a wonderful Olympic year, it was back to a our traditional two-day format, with an overnight component at the Easter Seals Camp in Squamish.

The sun and snow showed up, big time! So did the cold weather clothing and sleepy eyes. But that all changed when Thursday morning’s brisk air and the sun’s rays hit the faces of the kids and staff as they exited the busses. And this is what waited for them:

On a side note, take a look at this colourful array (Chandler Bradley) coming down the hill!

After a full day on the slopes, it was off to Camp Squamish. The kids were anxious for dinner, and a delectable hot meal was waiting: roasted chicken, potatoes, beans, salad, spinach pie for the vegetarians, and lemon tarts for dessert!
Post-dinner was where the fun really began. Thanks to some of the boys, music was provided in the Salish House and a huge campfire was started by Mr. Pattern. There was dancing and a campfire to keep us occupied before bedtime, but all that changed when the snow started to fall.

The snowflakes that materialized out of the sky were the size of tennis balls!   As Ms. Fuller said:

“Looking up at the sky last night felt like being underwater. The snowflakes were so big they looked like jellyfish!”

And what would a large group of teens do when snow with great packing-ability falls from the sky in huge quantities?  An epic snowball extravaganza!  Boys and girls from all grades were in on the action.  We, the Mini School Staff, call that “Vertical Integration.”  There was just so much snow and good natured fun!  One quotation that came from a grinning participant was:

“I got snow down my brother’s pants!”

However, there were a collection of others who wanted to extend their dessert menu.

For day two, it was back to the slopes.  Since the students were able to keep their rentals it was right out to another day of sun and snow without the equipment line-up.  The nice thing about having two days in a row is the students were able to build upon their previous day and improve their skills.  However, after a full-day prior, and a fun filled night, the legs are known to get a little wobbly…..

However in true Mini School spirit, we recognize that the best thing about this video is the ending, the fall.  One of the most important things about the Mini School experience is to offer our students opportunities to “push the envelope” and risk falling, because it is the learning to pick oneself up that is one of the most valuable lessons in life.

Whistler is simply an incredible place to tackle our mountains in the true Mini school way.


About bsoong

Vice Principal at Gladstone Secondary School in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Son, husband and father. Sports and movie fan.
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