Specific Program Descriptions


In a controlled environment (meeting all OPHEA guidelines) students are taught safety and basic techniques to use a bow and arrow successfully. This activity  is paired with a lesson on the historical significance of lacrosse with a technique lesson and short game simulation.  All equipment is provided.  (Fall & Spring)

Art in the Wild

Using the forest as an artist’s studio, students investigate how the basic elements of design are found in the world around us. Using a variety of materials, which may include naturally found materials, digital cameras or watercolour paint, students will create artworks on site. Students will draw from their own experiences, imagination and the landscape of Albion Hills for inspiration.

The Biodiversity Debate

Students examine the structure and function of different levels of government in Canada and citizen interest groups and how they relate to each other. Students use research skills and critical thinking skills to extend their understanding of the rights of groups and individuals and the responsibilities of citizenship in Canada. Students also identify ways in which government and the responsibilities of citizenship directly affects their own lives, the health of the environment and our impact on climate change.

Biodiversity Hike

Because all living things are connected, maintaining diversity is critical to the health of the planet. Humans make choices that can have an impact on biodiversity.  Depending on the season, this hike could include a visit to the community farm, the apiary, as well as a stop by the stream.

Compass Orienteering

Students are instructed on how to use a compass to navigate and to read/follow given bearings without the use of a map. In groups, they are then challenged to use these skills to complete an orienteering course within the park.  

Cross Country Skiing

Learners are introduced to the history and equipment of cross country skiing before discovering the pleasure of this popular winter sport. Students will be instructed on the basics of cross-country skiing, before heading out to ski on the well maintained trails at Albion Hills. (WEATHER DEPENDENT- Winter) 



Students will investigate the biodiversity of flight in nature (flying insects, birds, mammals, plants) and how this adaptation assists in survival and growth.  Students will also learn or review the principles of flight through theory, visual and practice, using a variety of means. (eg. paper airplanes, rockets, frisbee, birds in flight, video, etc.)



Moving beyond basic map reading, learners are taught skills necessary to use a GPS unit and are then challenged to locate “waypoints” posted around the local area of the Centre. This activity requires students to work in small groups to navigate their assigned route.

Learning Skills Development and Team Building

Using problem solving, collaboration, and communication, learners are challenged to complete a series of  increasingly demanding tasks (e.g. trust exercises, speed challenges, low ropes challenge course).  An emphasis is placed on Learning Skills development, student leadership, and character education traits.

Maple Syrup

Learners will observe, discuss and contribute to the methods of maple syrup production through time, from the original Indigenous People’s system to present day practices. Students will have the opportunity to tap maple trees, hang sap collection buckets, and of course sample the finished product. (Offered Mid-February to April - Weather Dependent)

Mountain Biking

Our fleet of Trek Fat Bikes and CSA approved helmets are available for student use in this exciting program. Whether students have never ridden a bike or ride to school every day, basic safety and riding techniques are covered before a tour of the local trails. NO BIKING EXPERIENCE NECESSARY (Fall & Spring)


Nature Journaling

Students will explore the natural world that is all around us in this very unique program that combines art, math, and science. Students will learn the fundamentals of this lifelong activity with all materials supplied and the bonus of being able to take their work back to school with them. (Fall & Spring)

Nature Photography

In addition to digital camera basics, learners are introduced to the art of photography and incorporate the elements of design in their pictures with an emphasis on composing pictures with purpose. Photographs taken by students are shared with the teacher to be utilized in a variety of ways to support classroom learning.

Score Orienteering

Students are taught map reading skills and are then challenged to locate markers posted outside near the Centre without the use of a compass. This activity requires students to work in small groups to navigate their assigned route using only a map of the surrounding area. (Modifications can be made to include compass use if requested)

Sharing the Dish (Indigenous focus)

Using the Dish with One Spoon Wampum (land sharing agreement) as a reference point, students will focus on relationships, learning styles and Indigenous knowledges. Students will learn how Indigenous ways of living in nature that were developed long ago continue today, and how an understanding of Indigenous Knowledges can help us live in a more sustainable way. This program is delivered by non-Indigenous staff.

Stream Study

While exploring our stream, learners will discover that it is inhabited by a great variety of plant and animal species that are physically adapted to the aquatic environment in which they live. Using a dichotomous key, they will observe and classify the creatures they find while learning about the biodiversity that exists in the stream. (September to November and April to June, weather dependant)

Survival Skills

Each group experiences a survival simulation which provides an opportunity to discover ways in which to meet their basic needs of air, shelter, water and food. Students also explore methods for making fire and living off the land.

Trappers and Traders

Learners role-play either Indigenous groups or European fur traders and gather knowledge in order to obtain trade goods and to gain insight into the perspectives of the different groups of people. The activity culminates in the trading of the obtained goods in order for the Europeans to gain wealth or for the Indigenous peoples to make their daily lives easier. The history of the era is discussed to relate the importance of the Indigenous peoples in the fur trade and Canada’s development.

What's the Cost?

Using maps and orienteering skills, students follow “routes” to discover how far food and products travel to get to their homes as well as the impact they have on the environment.  

Wolf Prowl - Instincts for Survival

As an entire group, students take the place of various classes of living organisms in a simulation of the natural challenges faced within a forest ecosystem. Ecological principles such as food chains, food webs, biodiversity, and population survival, are simulated and discussed, in addition to how humans can impact the biodiversity of an ecosystem (e.g. conservation, polluting, poaching, disease)

Grade 7 Programs

Ecosystem Trail: Students will explore and discover biotic and abiotic elements that make up different ecosystems and habitats (e.g. field, forest, river) and make comparisons between ecosystems undergoing succession (natural vs. replanted forest).


Sense of Place Hike: After a brief map reading lesson/review, students hike the trails of Albion Hills to explore the history and geography of the region and the significance of the Oak Ridges Moraine. Students are introduced to the geographical inquiry themes of "location/place, environment, and region".


Survival Skills - Heat in the Environment (STEM): Each group experiences a survival simulation and practices meeting their basic needs of air, shelter, water and food. Fires and/or shelters will be created during the simulation. The importance of avoiding a survival situation is stressed through proper planning and prevention, and emphasis is placed on the "Heat in the Environment" strand studied in the Grade 7 curriculum.


Trappers and Traders - European Perspective: Learners participate in a role-playing activity re-enacting the relationship between the fur trappers and the fur traders.  Learners experienced the challenges of finding enough “furs” to trade for provisions and supplies to survive the winter season as a coureur de bois in the eighteenth century.  The history of the era was discussed to relate the importance of the First Nations people in the fur trade and Canada’s development.


Trappers and Traders Indigenous Perspective: Learners participate in a role-playing activity re-enacting the relationship between the Indigenous peoples and the fur traders.  Learners experienced the challenges of finding enough “furs” to trade for provisions and supplies to make life easier in the seventeenth century.  The history of the era was discussed to relate the importance of the First Nations people in the fur trade and Canada’s development.


Wildlife Hike - Grade 7:  Learners searched for wildlife and signs of their presence in the Albion Hills area. Different types of ecosystems were explored and strategies for survival were discussed. Learners also discovered how the abiotic and biotic components of those ecosystems interact with one another.


Wolf Prowl - Grade 7: Learners took on roles in an ecosystem and attempted to survive.  Learners were introduced to food webs and energy flow and the roles of primary and secondary consumers. The needs of populations and organisms in specific ecosystems and the factors that contribute to their survival were also explored.