What does Trillium Lakelands District School Board offer for a structured outdoor education program?
The Trillium Lakelands District School Board Outdoor Education Resource Department assists teachers with the implementation of specific curriculum objectives. Students outdoor experiences are enriched with relevant, interesting, and rewarding hands-on programming. Experience in the out-of-doors provides students with an increased understanding of the beauty and complexity of nature providing a heightened awareness of the need to conserve its fragile nature.
The Yearley Outdoor Education Centre located near Huntsville is owned and operated by Trillium Lakelands District School Board. This site is the ideal location for students to experience the out-of-doors.
Who is the program for?
Each school year, Grade 6 students from schools across Trillium Lakelands District School Board travel to the Yearley Outdoor Education Centre for a two day / one night curriculum-based outdoor adventure. The Board pays for bussing and program costs. Food costs are the only expense to the teacher and students. Classes begin to arrive at the Yearley Outdoor Education Centre during the first week of September and continue until June.
What's the history of Yearley?
The Yearley Outdoor Education Centre was originally the Middleton homestead. It later became the home of the W. J. Yearley family and is now operated by Trillium Lakelands DSB. Mr. Yearley had always wanted his home to be used by children for educational pursuits. In his later years, he sold his property to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Trillium Lakelands DSB now leases approximately one acre with the buildings for student use.
Mr. Yearley owned a successful sewer and water construction company in Toronto. In 1961 he retired to the area. Using local labourers as well as men and equipment from the Yearley and Reed Construction Company of Toronto, he constructed 3 ponds and stocked them with trout. These ponds were completed during the mid 1960s and are now a part of a large tract of crown land adjacent to the Yearley Centre.
The former Huntsville Board of Education first used the facilities in the late 1960s for outdoor education. Later, the Muskoka Board of Education expanded this use until it became apparent that larger facilities were needed.
During the summer of 1981, three portable classroom buildings were moved to the site. Two of these were converted into girls' and boys' dormitories and the third into a kitchen dining area. The old garage, which is located next to the original house, has been converted into washrooms, complete with toilets, basins and showers.
The Yearley Outdoor Education Centre is now part of the Trillium Lakelands DSB and hosts approximately 2000 students per year.
Where is the centre?
The Yearley Outdoor Education Centre is located 28 km northwest of Huntsville, Ontario. See Directions or Map for more details.
Specific directions are as follows:
At Huntsville take Muskoka Road #3 Travel west on Muskoka Road # 3 for 15 km to the hamlet of Aspdin (Points to watch for – railroad tracks, flashing amber light at Domtar Road, Aspdin has a small white Community Church with a cemetery and a wrecking yard on the corner of Muskoka Road #3 and Yearley Road) at Aspdin turn right (north) onto Yearley Road ( Muskoka Road #31) and drive 13 km (15 minutes) (Points to watch for – this road feels long and remote – check odometer reading! Drive past Wolf Paw Road on left, past small lake, past Stisted Township Landfill Site Road on left, past Etwell Road on Right, past Cardwell Lake Road on left – you are almost there!) at T junction, turn right for 300 metres (white house on corner, YEarley Community Centre on left) Yearley Outdoor Education Centre is on the right side, turn into first driveway 2424 Yearley Road
Where do students sleep?
Students, teachers and volunteers sleep in heated dormitories. Each dorm sleeps 20 people in total. There is a boy's dorm and a girl's dorm. There will be at least one adult supervisor in each dorm. There are night-lights and emergency lighting in each dorm.
What do students need to bring?
The classroom teacher will have a personal clothing list for students. When packing to come to Yearley remember you want to stay warm and dry. Our bodies are healthier without junk food, candy and gum so remember to leave those items at home.
What happens if someone gets sick at Yearley?
If a student thinks they may recover quickly when they feel sick then they might be able to stay at the centre. If someone is really sick, his/her parents will be called and they will come to pick up the student. It is very important to be well rested and healthy before coming to Yearley. All Yearley staff have Canadian Red Cross Standard First Aid.
What happens if someone is homesick?
Students may call parents at their own expense and take to them. We request that you don't take advantage of the phone because it is only for emergency calls.
What food is offered while at Yearley?
Students and their teacher will discuss a menu at school.
What happens if someone has food allergies?
If a student is allergic to any food the class decides to eat, then it is very important to inform the teacher. The menu can be changed or a food substitute could be provided for the student.
Do students have to help at Yearley?
Yes, students must help with meal preparation and clean-up.
What will we be doing at Yearley?
Classroom teachers will have a schedule. Students will be very busy throughout their time at Yearley.
How much does it cost to go to Yearley?
The cost depends on how much your class spends on groceries. The total cost of the food is divided by the number of students going; then each student pays an equal amount.
Do parents need to drive students to Yearley?
No, students go to school as usual, then get on a bus to travel to Yearley.
May parents go to Yearley?
Yes, parents may come to Yearley as visitors at certain times or they may volunteer to come as helpers. There is a parent acknowledgement form they need to complete and return to the school.
What happens if it is raining?
Program continues as planned even if it is raining. Students need to bring and wear rain jackets if it is raining. There is a class set of raincoats, rain pants and boots at Yearley. A clothes dryer is also available.
What kind of equipment is at the Yearley Outdoor Education Centre?
It will depend on the programs and season of the year. During the winter months snowshoes, cross country skis and boots, toboggans, GTs, and crazy carpets are available. During the warmer months, a fleet of canoes, some paddles and personal floatation devices are available There are also rain coats, pants and rain boots, and bug jackets available. There will be adult supervision of all the equipment provided at Yearley. In the case of canoeing, a provincially certified instructor will be supervising.
Are there showers?
Yes, hot showers are available in each bathroom.
Is the water okay to drink?
The water at Yearley is very good to drink. The water is tested weekly and at there is an ultra violet system at each water source. Students are encouraged to bring a refillable water bottle.
Who can I contact for more information?