A shared history outside The timeline here highlights some of the influences that shaped outdoor education as we know it today in context of the institutional histories of SMS and Strathcona Park Lodge. It also underscores the perennial tension between society and the natural world, and acknowledges the indigenous peoples of Vancouver Island, on which the school and lodge are now located, now commonly grouped into three regions: Coast Salish, Nuu-chah-nulth, and Kwakwaka’wakw. IMAGES ABOVE (L to R): Tent at Beaver Lake Camp, 1925 | Buses lined up in front of campus for an outing, n.d. | Brownies, 1924 | Children at the beach, n.d. | Students at Strathcona Park Lodge, c. 1990 | All photos care of the SMS Archives | firstname.lastname@example.org
Time Immemorial: Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nations of the Nuu-chah-nulth inhabit traditional territories that later become home to Strathcona Park. 1774 & 1778: Spanish Navy and Captain James Cook encounter indigenous residents at Yuquot/Nootka Sound, establish footholds there.
1908: St. Margaret’s School is founded in Victoria. 1909: Girls show up at a Boy Scout rally in the UK and declare themselves Girl Scouts. 1910: Girl Guide Association is established under the leadership of Agnes Baden-Powell.
1843: City of Victoria is founded by the Hudson’s Bay Trading Company.
1903: Surveying begins to build a road to connect Goldstream and Cobble Hill.
1885: Last Spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway is driven by Donald S. Smith, the Lord Strathcona, philanthropist and railroad pioneer.
1911: Strathcona Park is established. Malahat Drive, a gravel road connecting Victoria to Duncan, is completed.
HISTORIC CONNECTIONS While outdoor education only found a formal home in St. Margaret’s co-curricular program in recent history, school records show a long tradition of outdoor pursuits at SMS, including a robust equestrian program for several decades, and that an appreciation of the natural world has been emphasized since the beginning. As well, the school has a couple of interesting historical connections to both Lord Strathcona, for whom Strathcona Park is named, and the Baden-Powells of the Boy Scout and Girl Guide movement. Prior to founding St. Margaret’s School, Edith and Isabel Fenwick had plans to emigrate together from England to Canada with an 14 The Experiential Learning Issue
1920: Kurt Hahn’s Salem Schule opens in Germany.
1941: First Outward Bound program is conducted in Wales. New chapters spanning the globe will follow.
1920s: First references to organized adventure outings appear in the SMS archives.
1953: HRH the Duke of Edinburgh becomes Patron to Outward Bound.
1923-24: Brownie and Girl Guide units are established at SMS, as well as an equestrian program.
1956: Duke of Edinburgh Award is established. 1959: Strathcona Park Lodge is founded by Jim and Myrna Boulding.
1920s: Much of Vancouver Island is as yet undeveloped, making travel for leisure and school field trips a rarity.
1953: Highway 19, known locally as the Island Highway connecting Nanaimo and Campbell River, is paved. 1955: Construction begins on the BC Power Commission dam that will lead to rising water levels in the waterways throughout Strathcona Park.
eye to educating and caring for other young emigrant girls. In 1907, Isabel and their mutual friend Margaret Barton—first head mistress of SMS—had already installed themselves in Victoria, but Edith was still looking for support for her own voyage. She wrote to Donald Smith, the Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal, who was high commissioner for Canada in England at the time, but unfortunately he was not immediately encouraging, despite having received glowing character references from Edith’s friend, Lady Frances Baden-Powell (sister-in-law to Robert BadenPowell). In the end, Edith went to work as a governess for the Baden-Powells for a year until she received a plea from her sister to join her in Victoria as a teacher to help with an increasing number of parents interested in education for their daughters.
Published on Feb 7, 2017
Spirit is a semiannual publication by St Margaret's School for girls. SMS provides empowering education for girls from Junior Kindergarten t...