If you have a grade nine or ten student, there is still time to apply to partake in this years Glacier Adventure Stewardship Program (GASP).
GASP is offered in partnership between the North Columbia Environmental Society (NCES), Parks Canada and the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre. This barrier-free program is open to youth currently enrolled in either grade nine or ten.
“The aim of the program is to entice ALL youth to become stewards of the land and discover the amazing places that surround us,” says Leslie Hogg, who is the coordinator of both the Stoke Youth and the GASP program. “Although we are surrounded by two national parks, the Columbia river and two mountain rages – it is surprising how few youth have experienced Revelstoke’s surrounding area.”
By being a past of GASP, youth have a chance to be involved in a free and inclusive environment among their peers where they participate in hiking, camping, and gaining backcountry skills.
What is truly remarkable is that there are no financial cost associated with the trips. “No experience or equipment necessary,” says Hogg. “We have packs, hikers, sleeping bags and access to cameras and all other items youth may require.”
“In return,” explains Hogg, “participants commit to participating in stewardship activities in our community. This includes volunteering with Parks Canada, the NCES, Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society, Bear Aware and more. During the trip, we have a professional photographer that helps youth slow down, take in the surroundings and capture the moment.”
“In previous years, we have always used the Wheeler Hut for two nights. However, after many requests from previous participants, we have booked one night at the Asulkan Hut and one at the Wheeler,” Hogg says of this years camp plans. “Participants wanted the opportunity to spend more time in the alpine learning about glaciers and exploring the terrain.”
For interested students, there is no previous experience necessary. If they have never camped or taken a picture, it doesn’t matter.
“The group of youth are so amazing and everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, together we always make a really amazing team and learn so much about each other and ourselves,” says Hogg.
Applications are available at RSS and we are excepting applications until Mid February.
“We’re in the middle of exams at the moment, so wanted to give a bit more time for those interested to apply,” she says. “For the past two years we have also welcomed youth from Golden. It has been a really amazing to see the friendships that have formed between youth from the two communities. Nothing brings people together better than an outdoor experience.”