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Program Information

What Makes Us Different From Other Outdoor Programs?

Vancouver Island is one of the most stunning, ecologically diverse places on earth. From lush forests to racing rivers to vast oceans and everything in between, the learning potential is immense! There are a number of equally amazing outdoor program options for children and youth island wide offering a variety of approaches and outcomes. Choosing the right program for your family is a personal and individual decision.

The most common question prospective families ask us is β€œis this a forest school?β€œ While we do incorporate much of the forest school ethos, our model is not based on the methodology of forest school.

As a certified National Geographic Educators, we use an approach that combines outdoor exploration with a Geo inquiry process that not only encourages students to be citizen scientists but also to become immersed in the biodiverse ecology in their area. This multifaceted approach helps create individuals that become effective global citizens.

With an introduction to field notes/nature journaling, nature specific activities and the collection and interpretation of data, our model aligns with many of the curriculum outcomes for Grades 1 to 5 in British Columbia.

Participants in our program will be exposed to a variety of practical, hands on skill building opportunities including:

  • Shelter building
  • Rope work
  • Outdoor safety
  • Plant identification and uses
  • Acceptable risk and consequences (positive and negative) of risk taking
  • Essential movement necessary for development on The Kinetic Scale
  • Nature journaling
  • Data collection and interpretation
  • Story mapping
  • Leadership, adaptability, self awareness
  • Collaborative communication
  • Deepened connection to and understanding of the natural world


Learn more about the staff at Under The Arch Outdoor. Click our photos for more information.


Saul hillis