Kayaks, Blowtorches, and Wilderness First Aid. Service Week at PC UWC!

Another post I wrote back in...October? 🤦🏻‍♀️

AND...THAT'S A WRAP!!! Our Project-based learning extravaganza has gone out with a bang, concluding a hectic, challenging, and productive service week!


Three weeks a year, PC UWC students pause from our regular classes to pursue non-academic projects of our own design.


For many, these are some of the most profound weeks during our time at Pearson. In the past, alum have built housing for the homeless or worked with street youths. Others have created and led workshops on racism or performed theatrical presentations in the city while others have crewed on sailing expeditions or volunteered at community organizations.



This year, 2020 has brought countless new challenges to the table and it was more important than ever that we made our service projects meaningful and long-lasting despite being unable to leave campus like we would have in previous years.


As a first year Expedition Kayaker, I felt a strong desire to contribute to the Pearson CAS program (Creativity, Activity, Service) in a way that would create a better experience for all Pearson students rather than just those already enrolled in waterfront CAS activities (kayaking, canoeing/outrigger, paddle sports). With the help of our waterfront activities coordinator, Travis, and reps from all three outdoor CASes (kayaking, paddle sports, and wilderness), we managed to identify a number of community needs in our department and pull together a really cool service week project to address them.


The first part of our project aimed to improve the conditions of Pearson College's waterfront equipment through the repair of kayaks and canoes for both CAS activities and weekend fitness programs. In the kayak shed, we recycled, cleaned, repaired, and organized old equipment 🧼🧽, took inventory of supplies 📋, replaced the skegs and bungee lines on our boats 🧰🧵, and installed a new sink and drying lines. Likewise, other members of the team did the same at Wilderness HQ.


The latter half of the week was dedicated to becoming certified in Wildness First Aid 🩹and CPR-C, serving as a prerequisite for future instructor/leadership opportunities including Sea Kayak Guiding! It just so happened that it was pouring rain ⛈ all week so we had a ton of fun making up crazy scenarios in the terrible weather, one of which involved me and two other paddlers going for a nice swim in the frigid rainy waters of Pedder Bay 🥶.


Overall, our project exceed my expectations! It was challenging to juggle three different outdoor CAS aspects at the same time but in the end, we made it work 😊. Advice for incoming first-years: you might hear that some projects definitely require more work than others. While this is true, service week is not a vacation. Trust me, You will NOT have the time or energy to catch up on school work. Finish what you need to do BEFORE any of the three CAS weeks! Your future self will thank you.


Ps. I'm looking forward to connecting with all incoming first-years!!! Feel free to shoot me a message if you need help with anything 😄


Until next time,




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