Media Release – April 20, 2022
Take a Hike Foundation is pleased to announce the opening of our newest location in partnership with the Sooke School District. Take a Hike’s unique adventure and mental health program will open at the Westshore Colwood campus and will serve the communities of Colwood, Langford, Highlands, Metchosin, in addition to Sooke and west to Port Renfrew.
Take a Hike’s new partnership with Sooke School District will join our network of existing Take a Hike programs on Vancouver Island which include communities in Nanaimo, Cowichan Valley, and Saanich.
Take a Hike empowers youth who experience vulnerability to change the trajectory of their lives with a full-time mental health and emotional well-being program embedded in an alternate education classroom. Take a Hike engages youth with intentional, continuous clinical counselling, outdoor experiential learning, and community. In Take a Hike, youth build strong relationships and gain the skills and resilience they need to graduate high school and achieve success however they define it.
In the Take a Hike program, 3 out of 4 youth reported improved:
- Feelings of belonging and safety in Take a Hike
- Satisfaction with life and feelings of hope
- Closeness with their peers and a good friend to talk to
- Gains in mental health and well-being – even with the on-going pandemic
“Mental health and substance use are tied to our general social, economic, and physical well-being. Without good physical health, a safe place to live, good food to eat, and people who love and care about us, it is hard to remain mentally healthy in the long term. Similarly, it is difficult to do well at school or work, and have strong bonds with our friends and family, when we are struggling with our mental health or substance use challenges. Take a Hike understands this and is elated to partner with the Sooke School District to provide our life-changing program to youth on Vancouver Island who could benefit the most.” – Gordon Matchett, Take a Hike CEO
“We’re excited to partner with Take a Hike Foundation due to the impact this outdoor experiential program can have in providing adventure learning, leadership opportunities, and clinical support for at-promise students in our communities,” said Jim Lamond, District Principal of Pathways & Choice at the Sooke School District. “Data analysis shows that Take a Hike has had a tremendous impact for many youth in communities throughout our province by using engaging experiential learning as a platform and a multidisciplinary curriculum to support a pathway to graduation. Considering the success of our current outdoor programs such as Nature K & Outdoor Education in Sooke District Schools is having and our proximity to land and water, the opportunities this partnership will provide will undoubtedly impact the lives of the students and families we serve.” – Jim Lamond, District Principal, Pathways & Choice.
About Take a Hike Foundation
Take a Hike empowers youth who experience vulnerability to change the trajectory of their lives with a full-time mental health and emotional well-being program embedded in an alternate education classroom. Take a Hike engages youth with intentional, continuous clinical counselling, outdoor experiential learning, and community. Our public school district partners provide high quality education, and together, we empower youth with the skills and resilience they need to graduate high school, build healthy relationships, and achieve success – however they define it. Take a Hike Foundation is a registered Canadian charity currently serving the Lower Mainland, West Kootenays and Vancouver Island.