For several years now, the Windermere Leadership Program has been an active group within the Vancouver Renfrew community. The program, originating from the ideology of Bill Jackson, is an established program at Windermere Secondary School in Vancouver that sees students develop their leadership skills and undergo outdoor trips to sometimes distant regions of British Columbia.
During the beginning of September 2011, some of the Windermere Leadership Graduates of 2012 were privileged enough to embark on a remarkable journey to the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia. After a nine-hour drive, nearing the Alberta border, the students, along with three adult sponsors, began a once in a lifetime journey into Yoho National Park, starting at the pristine Emerald Lake. There we gazed upon the magnificent reflections in the water while we carried our packs up the mountain and into an adventure of unknown proportions. Filled with laughs, blisters, and gorgeous weather, we backpacked for four days. Along the way, we passed by a UNESCO heritage site, the Burgess Shale, where we were privileged to have a guided tour of the world renowned fossil deposit location.
Our trip would not have been made possible if it were not for the generosity of Parks Canada, the Burgess Shale Foundation, and our wonderful guides, Rob and Kathy. As well, the students would also like to extend our thanks to our amazing adult sponsors, Vagner Castilho, Jeanette Inglis, and Hartley Rosen. We arrived at Yoho National Park unaware of the journey we were about to embark on and we continued to question whether or not we could even do it, but we finished our journey at Takakkaw Falls, changed, and eager to tackle the day to day habits we were once used to.