It's a feeling: Outtrips are academics

‍If there is a signature RLC experience, this is it.

By Graham Vogt, Assistant Head of School, Academics

It’s a feeling. My shoulders freed from the weight of the canoe. The heavy pack finally dropped. A kilometre of twisting trail at my back. A fresh, undisturbed lake before me. A welcoming stump or rock for a quiet, meditative sit. A gulp of clean drinking water. A handful of trail-mix. The long portage is mercifully over. I did it. I didn’t believe I could do it, but I did it.

The Outtrip, and even more specifically the portage, is an enduring symbol of learning at Rosseau Lake College. It places the very idea of challenge at the forefront of our shared experience, effectively framing and foreshadowing the school year ahead. A portage, of course, is not quite the same as the long research essay or impossibly hard Math problem. All three, however—the Outtrip, essay and Math problem—are epic journeys for our students, traveling the great distance from “I don’t think I can do this,” through the many twists, turns and setbacks, finally arriving at “oh my gosh, I actually did this.” Each of these journeys begin to predict the many journeys that lay ahead for our students, beyond RLC, in learning and in life.

This year, again and again, in the classroom, on the trails, water and ice, on the field, sports court and climbing wall, our students will be faced with brand new challenges. “Impossibly hard” challenges. The challenge will often be unfamiliar. The feeling that a student has in facing and embracing the challenge, however, will be utterly familiar. A student may, in those moments and the many to come in a lifetime, recall the Outtrip and the long portage.