Our antiquated education system, designed for the control of large groups is failing our youth. This has become painfully evident to many of us in these recent times. The world is changing rapidly and yet the education model has altered little since the onset of the industrial revolution. Our youth are over programmed, over stimulated and yet underwhelmed in the boxes that they are tethered to for most of their developmental years.
Our community is a group of passionate parents and educators that want more from education than is currently being offered. We created the Blue Mountain Wild School to build something exceptional that would truly engage and inspire our children. We seek opportunities to immerse our children in experiences that evoke curiosity, challenge and passion for learning and discovery. We want our children to think critically, to think creatively and in an entrepreneurial mindset. We set out to create a program for students of all backgrounds that would foster a life long love for learning and for the natural world along with the skills and knowledge to thrive there. We believe that the greatest lessons are found in our natural classroom.
Blue Mountain Wild School is a a registered Private School with a simple mandate to reconnect our future leaders with the natural world and with themselves. We strive to create a new model of education that focuses on the whole student. We seek to create experiences and learning opportunities to ignite curiosity and passion for learning while developing confidence, resilience and courage in order to empower the changemakers. These are the leaders that will lead their peers and their community to make the world a better place.
What is a Wild School?
WILD stands for wilderness integrated leadership development. It is a philosophy born out of a core belief that the greatest learning is found in real life experiences. Wild Schools are focused on teaching the individual and to foster “the changemaker”. We focus on ‘re-wilding’ the students thinking, to be free and to formulate new ideas and creativity irrespective of normative and conformative educational standards. We integrate and go beyond provincial curriculum to develop a program that inspires and ignites curiosity and growth.
Our core program is focused on a four main educational streams and integrating core disciplines within that. We call it OE4: Ecological Education, Outdoor Education, Experiential Education and Leadership Education. We integrate these streams with the basic core competencies (e.g. Math, Writing, Science, etc.). By doing so our students are more engaged and more aware of the social and physical world around them. Our students retain more information, for longer periods, are more creative and dynamic thinkers and are passionate about learning.
The Wild School experience enables participants to step away from their everyday environment and immerses them in exciting outdoor adventures and learning opportunities where they will draw on their individual strengths and work as a team to strive for success.
Using wilderness skills development, opportunities for service and team building provides them with the ability to reconnect with themselves, with others and with nature. In a supportive environment, young people can transform their attitudes, behaviours and beliefs, coming away with a renewed sense of their own self-worth and potential.
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
- T.S. Elliot
We educate for leadership and sustainability through community and wilderness-integrated, entrepreneurial learning, in a natural environment.
Our philosophy draws heavily on the Norwegian concept of Friluftsliv – which literally means free air life. The essence of friluftsliv is hard to define. It is a concept that can be found among outdoor people all over the world. The concept of Friluftsliv is the concept of living free in the wild with a deep connection to the landscape and oneself. Friluftsliv is less focused on the activity in nature of itself and more focused on the connections that are established through that activity. This ability to be truly connected is a state of mind that needs training. This comes about through the experiences themselves but also through curating the experience that allows for the experience to be en-heightened and to be internalized, which in turn allows for growth and regeneration.
We’re developing strong, self-aware, confident and compassionate leaders.
This philosophy lends well to team building and skills development, which allows youth to become more comfortable in their natural world. This in turn gives them confidence and a deeper connection to themselves and their surroundings. This freedom of thinking, of self-awareness and passion for learning is a powerful recipe that will allow our leaders to live intentional and meaningful lives. We’re developing self-aware, confident and compassionate leaders affect great change in their life times.