Vancouver Outdoor School

COVID-19 Guidelines

Our full-day Field School follows the Outdoor Council of Canada’s School Age COVID-19 principles and best practices in keeping teachers, learners and us safe and engaged while exploring the outdoors. Our field school is designed to promote physical distancing while learning 100% outside in the sun, rain, and snow. Students work, discover, and play in nearby parks, schoolyards, forests, hiking trails, and beaches. Our learning experiences support and promote a base for social-emotional well-being in collaboration with the schools and teachers who we support.

How Vancouver Outdoor School is keeping youth safe:

1. Small Groups – Our Field School program works with a 1:6 ratio of instructor to participant. With a maximum of 12 participants, 2 program staff, and our amazing driver, we will create a bubble of no more than 15.

2. Cleanliness and Safety – We place a huge emphasis on individual and group hygiene, minimizing contact with people outside our group and are mindful of everyone’s health. Participants will be taught proper hygiene protocol upon commencement of Field School. All of our instructors have wilderness first aid which gives them a strong foundation in managing medical situations if they occur.

3. Skilled Instructors – Our Field School instructors are educated and qualified. Not only are they certified in wilderness first aid, but they also have tons of experience working with youth in the outdoors. We have high expectations for our instructors, and they must meet those standards at all times during the program.

4. Fresh Air Keeps Everyone Healthy – We have always stood by our belief that youth should be outside and breathing in as much fresh air as every day as possible. Our bodies need it! Now with Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice to go outside, we have all the more reason to get out there.

5. Mobility – Our experiences have youth constantly on the move from hiking, paddling, biking and exploring. This allows us the freedom to explore new places, while also staying outside and away from large crowds.

Our Guidelines:

● Participants must answer a health questionnaire before starting the session each day. Should a youth display symptoms of COVID-19 before camp, they will not be permitted to join our group until the required isolation period is complete.

● Social distancing will be enforced as much as possible.

● Campers are required to bring their own personal protective equipment (gloves, mask, hand sanitizer), and use this equipment when the instructor deems appropriate.

● Personal belongings (backpacks, lunch boxes, utensils, etc) need to be cleaned every day and will not be shared amongst the group.

● Group equipment will be sanitized daily by staff members, and throughout the day if needed.

● Staff will check in with participants before, during, and after session every day to check in on their emotional and physical state.

● Should a learner display COVID-19 symptoms during the session, they will need to be picked up immediately, and will be asked to no longer attend until the required isolation period is complete.

● Should an instructor display COVID-19 symptoms during the session, they will be asked to stay home and an assistant instructor will take over for the remainder of the programming.

● Large gatherings will be avoided.

● Public modes of transportation will be avoided wherever possible. Participants will be picked up and dropped off with our van each day.

● Instructors will keep parents in the loop on what is happening during the session, and if a situation should arise contact tracing will be thorough.


Day Program Guidelines:

To ensure the most up-to-date COVID-19 health and safety practices, we follow the 2021 BCOS LOA Guidelines

We also follow the BC Centre for Disease Control’s COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for Child Care Settings.

Overnight Trip Guidelines:

For our limited overnight programs, we follow the 2021 BCOS Backcountry Guidelines