Press Releases


MONTREAL, JUNE 12, 2007- Twelve students from John Grant High School in Côte Saint-Luc, accompanied by four guides, will undertake a unique four day/three night pedagogical field trip June 14 to 17 heading down the Ottawa River on a Voyageur (Rabaska) canoe and following the routes travelled by fur traders, voyageurs, and natives many years ago.

The trip will begin in Hawksbury on Thursday and conclude at noon Sunday, June 17 in St. Anne de Bellevue. John Grant is an alternative special education vocational centre devoted to the needs of students with learning difficulties, offering a warm, supportive, multicultural environment and small class sizes.

School officials felt that a trip of this nature would be extremely beneficial to the students. Outdoor excursions or adventure is a form of engaging students with others s, with the natural world around them, the history and geography of a given area and most of all themselves. It provides an experiential way of learning, which is used quite frequently at John Grant where students do not generally have the opportunity to experience the outdoors in a structured, safe, and adventurous way.

John Grant is carrying out this trip as a part of a partnership with H20 adventures (; a Montreal based outdoor adventure company and school. Both John Grant and H20 are lucky to be in this partnership. H20 will be offering John Grant a guide, the gear, insurance and idea and the risk management systems to partake in this trip for no cost. In turn, John Grant will be offering H20 Adventures with excited students willing to partake in this new concept trip.

Beyond learning about themselves and their classmates, there will be some formal teaching points throughout the trip. Students have already visited the Montreal Fur Trade Museum which provided insight into the historical significance of the trip. The students were also taught about living (sleeping, cooking, eating etc.) in a wilderness setting.

The guides are Warren Zelman of H2O Adventures, John Grant teachers Karen Kleihaue and Nicholas Arsenault and former H20 staffer and outdoor professional Richard Joyner.

The Route

Here is the proposed schedule, as prepare by H20 Adventures:

Day 1, Thursday, June 14th: Driving, camping @ H20 Island

The group will leave some time in the afternoon and arrive at the H20 Island, approximately 1.5 hours from Montreal. They will spend the first afternoon preparing for the trip and spend the night at H20 Island.

Day 2, Friday, June 15th: Paddling (approx. 20km), Camping in Provincial Park

They will wake up on the island and begin their paddle downstream towards the first campsite. Depending on the timing and the lock schedule, they may have a short portage around a lock around lunchtime. They will spend the night camping in a provincial park on the river.

Day 3, Saturday, June 16th: Paddling to and camping on Ile de Carillon (approx. 18km)

From the provincial park they will continue the paddle downstream to Ile de Carillon. Hopefully they will arrive at the Island in good time and can take time to set up camp and run some leadership games and activities.

Day 4, Sunday, June 17th: Paddling to St. Anne's (approx. 25km), take-out, back to JGHS for pick up.

From Ile de Carillon they will paddle the final leg of their journey to St. Anne de Bellevue.

Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213