Had you asked me four years ago would I become an outdoor pursuits enthusiast I wouldn't have hesitated to respond with a definite no. But four years later I stand corrected, as there is no air I would rather breathe than mountain air. Late May 2012 I set out on my first backpacking trip with the man who inspired my love for the outdoors and the many students who became a family to complete the Little Elbow loop in Kananaskis. It was here that my passion was born. Twenty-six days lived in the backcountry later I found myself completing my ninth backpacking trip on the Little Elbow trail, and as I hiked along the trail I reflected upon the last four years of my life and there is nothing I am more grateful for than being exposed to the beauty and overwhelming sense of peace nature beholds.
In Outdoor Ed, sometimes the best memories aren't the ones that paint pictures of huge snow capped mountains and clear rivers in people's minds. The best times aren't always the ones where you trumped over a large field of snow or made it to the head of the trail after having walked over 60 kilometres. Those are still great memories and great times, but often the memories that make you smile the most are the ones that were unexpected. The ones that were happy little surprises. Like eating cookie dough and watching the sun set behind the trees. Or playing cards with your friends in the tent you've called home for the past 4 days. Even sitting around the fire watching the flames flicker and trying to keep the smoke out of your eyes. Each one is different, but the one thing all these memories have in common is that they wouldn't have happened without Outdoor Ed.
Please feel free to leave a message or story from any past experiences that you may have had in the OED program!