Wilderness North

BY EMMA-GRACE CALLAN-BENNINK, THEA RICHINSON, AND ANDREA GLEESON

One of our favourite traditions is Wilderness North, an annual highlight for grade 10’s at Camp Wanakita near Haliburton. The action-packed week features team building activities and experiences that not only help grade 10’s strengthen their old friendships, but also help them to create new ones. Grade 10 students share a cabin with grade 12 leaders who help them navigate the camp. Fantastic (often first-time) activities include swimming, canoeing, kayaking, low ropes, high ropes, hiking and archery. There is lots of delicious food, fun campfires and even a talent show on the final night. Most of the campers have such an incredible experience they hope to return as a leader in grade 12. Students all say that they cherish the time they spent creating memories with their friends while doing outdoor activities. The respect, bonding, and resilience everyone builds while there comes home with them and lives on both in and out of class, making the already warm and supportive environment of our school even better.

Here is what a leader and a student have to say about this year’s experience!

Wilderness North is such a unique program, and is something that makes MD so special. The outdoor experiences you take part in with the rest of your grade introduces teamwork, and creates long-lasting friendships. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to become a leader this year, and had an absolute blast at Wanakita. My favourite parts of the week were the leader-run bonfire, and the talent show. The bonfire is a very intimate event, in which the leaders can sing songs, play games, and or tell stories to the rest of the camp by the light of a roaring fire, under the star speckled sky. The talent show showcases hilarious skits, lots of lip syncing and sing alongs, as well as students with talents you may have never expected! It’s an unforgettable week, and is incomparable to any other program offered by a high school.  (J.J. Magee, grade 12 student leader)

Wilderness North is an annual field trip for grade 10’s at Camp Wanakita near Haliburton. The field trip features team building activities and experiences that not only help grade 10’s strengthen their old friendships but also help them to create new ones. Grade 10 students share a cabin with two or three grade 12 leaders who help them navigate the camp. Wilderness North includes activities such as swimming, canoeing, kayaking, low ropes, high ropes, hiking and archery. There is delicious food, campfires and even a talent show at the end of the trip. Many grade 10 students had such a fantastic time at Wilderness North that they expressed extreme enthusiasm towards becoming a leader in grade 12, so they could return to Wanakita once again. Students say that their favourite part of the trip would have to be the time they spent creating memories with their friends while doing outdoor activities. Grade 10’s learned a lot about outdoor skills, such as how to canoe, kayak and build a fire. Students say they definitely feel that they have grown closer with their old friends and made new friends because of Wilderness North. Milton District High School has had Wilderness North for fourteen years due to how much students love the trip; each year at Camp Wanakita is a success and Wilderness North 2017 was nothing less than a fantastic time for students. (Emma-Grace, grade ten student)

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