Students in J.L. Crowe Secondary's Outdoor Ed program are tasked with caring for ducks as well as the school's community garden. Among other things

Students in J.L. Crowe Secondary's Outdoor Ed program are tasked with caring for ducks as well as the school's community garden. Among other things

Ducklings part of education in J.L. Crowe class

J.L. Crowe students in the Outdoor Ed program are tasked with caring for ducks as well as the school's community garden.

Caia Gagnon

Special to the Trail Times

 

The Outdoor Education Academy is the centre of attention at J.L. Crowe Secondary School since the second batch of ducklings arrived earlier this month.

This program, for grades 11 and 12, provides life-changing experiences for students through a variety of activities such as wilderness cooking, trip planning, and mountain navigation. The students also help out in the garden which consists of two greenhouses, one outside and one inside, and the community garden. A coop also houses the six new ducklings, which also teaches students about raising and caring for animals.

Teacher Colin Adamson decided it was time to get more ducklings before the end of the school year. He took the students on a field trip to the Quack Me Up! farm in Creston. The class acquired six new ducklings and saw cows, goats, pigs, and sheep in the everyday farm setting

“It’s a great educational connection piece to have. I don’t want to let that go,” said Adamson, who loves that the students are regularly engaging with the ducklings.

The entire program has been a school-wide project. Students have helped construct a coop, with a mural, for the ducklings, build planter boxes for the garden and maintain the plants throughout the year as well as harvesting everything for food classes and sharing the experience with the community.

Meanwhile, the Outdoor Ed students are enthusiastic and eager to care for the newest ducklings.

“It’s educational,” said Grade 11 student Sarah Grieve. “I think it’s great. I really like the whole garden and having the ducks. The whole idea is awesome.”

Another Outdoor Ed student, Aven Cosbey, enjoys learning about where her food comes from.

“(I’m from) a family of vegetarians, as a meat eater, I have to make an informed decision about eating meat.”

The students can’t wait to watch them grow and become a resource they can use to help the school.

Last week, the Foods portion of Outdoor Ed prepared a potluck lunch by harvesting last year’s ducks and shared with the school.

Most of the students were unaware that such a fate would await the ducks; however, the students from Outdoor Ed brought in the ducks for the hands-on sustainability of taking care and using the animals to learn about food sources.

Adamson explained that advertising that the ducklings are going to be harvested might put a bad spotlight on the class; however, if students asked, he would tell them.

“I’m not forcing people to watch me kill ducks. That would be sadistic to me, weird, and wrong.

“(They’re) not wild ducks, they’re domesticated ducks just like chickens,” he said, adding this is far better than thousands of chickens cared for by a machine, which is done at the industrial level.

The program invovling the ducklings helps the students understand how food sources work. He said using ducklings, which take 12 weeks to grow, offer a better educational tool than chickens, which grow in six weeks.

The Outdoor Ed class plans on harvesting these ducklings by June and getting new ones in September. Adamson said as the ducks grow, they overtake the community garden, which has prompted them to harvest the ducks before school ends.

Though this is educational for everyone at the school, a petition for saving the ducks is circulating online. The originator of the petition, who did not want to be identified, said the goal was to see the ducks sent to a farm rather than harvested.

Although the petition received a few groans from the Outdoor Ed students, Adamson was more than happy to address it.

“I was surprised that there has been more conversations and the best conversations because of this petition,” he said. “I think it’s been great.”

Caia Gagnon is a Grade 11 student on a work experience assignment at the Trail Times

 

Just Posted

Area A Director Ali Grieve (right), Village of Fruitvale Mayor Steve Morissette (front), and Village of Montrose Mayor Mike Walsh (left) held a congratulatory ceremony for Beaver Valley students who are part of the Class of 2021 graduates of J. L. Crowe Secondary at Beaver Creek Park on Thursday. Photo: Jim Bailey
Beaver Valley Grads of 2021

Beaver Valley mayors, RDKB Area A director celebrate their 2021 graduates with gift ceremony

Adrian Moyls is the Selkirk College Class of 2021 valedictorian and graduate of the School of Health and Human Services. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College valedictorian proves mettle in accomplishment

Adrian Moyls is a graduate of the School of Health and Human Services

Selkirk College has begun its search in earnest for a leader to replace president Angus Graeme who is set to retire from his position in May 2022. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College seeks community input for president search

Current president Angus Graeme retires next year

A report shows nine West Kootenay communities are have more low-income persons than the provincial average. File photo
Study casts new light on poverty in the West Kootenay

Nine communities in region have more low-income residents than provincial average

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The B.C. woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Most Read