This past week I had the pleasure of travelling to New Denver, BC to teach and work with the young students that make up the Lucerne School Outdoor Education Program.

Lucerne Secondary School is located in New Denver, BC and boasts a very robust Outdoor Education Program to its students. With students ranging from the ages of 16-18, it gives them a great opportunity to learn and grow a great knowledge base in outdoor education before they finish their high school careers. Covering topics such as mapping and compass work, canoeing, chainsaw certification, how to plan excursions it allows the students to continue and grow their expertise and hopefully spark a strong interest to continue a career in Outdoor Recreation after they graduate.

This visit saw me working with the students to cover all topics trail related with an in-depth classroom portion. Trail design principles, essential elements as well as a formalized approach to take when engaging land managers were all discussed in detail. With all of the formalized trail projects occurring in the area, many of which I have been a part of, it gave us some great topics to cover that are all relevant to the current trail work taking place. Once I threw all the information at them that I could in-class, it was time to hit the field to allow the students to put what they learned to the test.

The original plan was to head up to a great local trail, Butter to have the students look at and work on a potential extension to the experience, but given the tight timeframe a closer option was discussed in an area of forest that had recently been fire smarted. Upon arrival to the field site, we were blown away at the potential for trails and a diverse experience, all the while accessible to town via trail that could be created. This allowed for the perfect backdrop to split the students up into smaller groups and have them design small portions of trail while the other group learned detailed GPS techniques and would GPS the trails designed before rotating to allow for everyone to learn the same skills.

What began as a quick workshop quickly morphed into what can happen when that hidden gem of land is found and you want to create a destination for trails. I wouldn’t be surprised to see and hear of the students moving forward to try to formalize their work in the zone of Crown land used in the field portion and it would seem that it will be a formalized project moving forward. I would like to thank the Lucerne School Outdoor Program, North Slocan Trails Society, Mike, Gary and all of the fantastic students that took part for their fantastic hospitality and great work over the course of the workshop. I am excited to see how this partnership grows and am looking forward to hearing of all the great things the students move on to in outdoor recreation!


-Justin Truelove

To see photos from my trip to New Denver click here!