Today was hardly a day when you would look outside through the clouds, mist and rain and think, “What a perfect day for the beach!” But this is Vancouver. Rain is what it does here. And . . . we had a much anticipated field trip with our big buddies from John Oliver’s Take a Hike program. So for Division 5, today was a day where we did think “Beach Day!”
The Take a Hike vans picked us up at recess and we drove out to UBC to head down many sets of stairs to reach the beach! When we were at the bottom, one of my students said,”Something here is making my leg shake. It won’t stop and I’m not doing it. Really.” His big buddy explained to him about muscle exertion! We certainly got our daily physical activity today!
The Take a Hike staff brought along buckets and the rain did not curtail our big plans for scouring the beach for treasure. Boots, raincoats and buckets! We were set.
Not only did we find treasures on the beach but we were lucky enough to spot seals out in the ocean and various sea birds flying overhead or landing together on the water. Logs were the perfect look out spots.
With nobody else on the beach, we had huge expanses of sand to do some writing in. Little buddies and big buddies wrote each other’s names.
We found shells, pieces of driftwood, crab legs and even a bracelet!
It was certainly very wet! But who needs sun? There was sand for sinking in, puddles to splash in, and rocks to scramble over!
And the smiles persisted. These girls found a coconut. So how did that end up on the beach? Was it left at a picnic? Did it travel across the ocean? We wonder!
When it was time to go, we had a lot of stairs to climb back up. Everyone was wet and cold. But the energy was positive. A few of us needed some distraction. Walk ten steps and do a wiggle. Stretch breaks. Ask your buddy to carry your bucket. Whatever worked. We all got up those stairs in record time. And because we still got to hang out with our buddies, everyone was happy!
After close to three hours in the rain, we headed back to the vans to drive back to school.
Some moments I wish I had captured on film? The Take a Hike student wringing out the socks of a little seven year old who had splashed a little too enthusiastically near the ocean. The Senior student who by the top of the steps had numerous buckets and a back pack or two in tow and still managed to hold the hand of a Grade 2 boy who was shivering. The big buddies who told me “This kid is the best!” about ten times. The boys who stood on the rocks and pointed out airplanes, possible seals and interesting birds on the ocean and the little buddies who stood beside them and asked over and over, “Where?” “That?” “Really?”.
We had water from our drenched hats and hoods down to our soggy socks. It was cold. And it didn’t stop raining until we were on route to the vans. But what did I hear on the way out the door today?
“When do we get to see those guys again?”