Learn, earn, and paddle the stern this summer

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Sixteen youth from across the Columbia Basin have the opportunity to navigate the complex social, economic and natural history of the mighty Columbia River as they paddle its waters this summer. 

Students in Wildsight’s Columbia River Field School canoe through key sections of the Canadian side of the Columbia River, camp on its riverbanks, and learn in an immersive environment through the 15-day course, all while earning credit through a partnership with School District 8 (SD8), transferable to other school districts in the basin too.

“Not only is this learning in and of itself meaningful, but we’re happy to be working in partnership with School District 8 to offer four credits on course completion,” says Monica Nissen, Wildsight Education Director. “These credits emphasize the deep curriculum connections found in the field course, and further enriches the experience for youth engaged in the program.”

Field school participants meet with a diverse group of guest speakers including government officials, Indigenous knowledge holders, scientists, artists, and adventurers. They earn Lakewater Level 1 and Canoe Tripping Paddler certifications, and learn important outdoor skills like reading maps, packing, cooking, setting up camp and leave no trace practices. But most importantly, students gain an appreciation for this watershed and the intricate role we all play in its protection.

“Every single day, it was a big adventure, being in nature and seeing beautiful places around me,” reflects 2022 participant Marie Chevalot. “Columbia River Field School definitely helped me develop a greater connection to a sense of community and a relationship with nature in this region, and it has helped me find interest in learning more about international treaties, and conservation.”

This year’s CRFS runs July 9–23. Application deadline is May 22; apply today! For more information, visit the Columbia River Field School home page.

The Columbia River Field School is an extraordinary learning experience for youth ages 15-18. Over 15 days, you can paddle the Columbia River, sleep under starry skies, have fun, make friends, engage in the stories of this river, and learn about yourself along the way.Learn more