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Coast Mountain Academy’s Leadership Expeditions for Academic Discovery has been a cornerstone of the school since its conception. Our situation in one of Canada’s outdoor recreation meccas affords us remarkable access to an incredible diversity of activities with which to create meaningful student experiences.

Widely praised by alumni as the most significant aspect of their formal education, LEAD activities and trips are designed to achieve the follow ends:

  • Unique and formative personal growth opportunities
  • Diverse and authentic leadership situations
  • Real-world environments for cross-curricular academics
    (e.g. hike to a glacier and use geometry to approximate its volume)
  • Experience of hardship, individual resilience, and the elation of success
  • Social development within CMA peer groups
  • Personal bonds with faculty that enhance classroom learning

Trips follow a scaffolded experience plan that sees destinations and activities grow “from local to global”, with the summative Senior trip being outside of North America. Activities over the course of six years at CMA include wilderness hiking and camping, sea kayaking, canoe tripping, ski touring, and potentially others.

Interdisciplinary Humanities

Coast Mountain Academy takes a ‘blended’ approach to the subjects traditionally labeled “English Language Arts” and “Social Studies”. At all grade levels these subjects areas are taught in a single course over the entire year. In a nutshell:

We are going to use English to learn about Politics, Philosophy, and Economics so that we can cultivate a full understanding of History using the Arts and Drama.

In practice this looks like Social Studies topics being driven by literature, media criticism, and expressive creativity.

For example, the award-winning novel Three Day Road by Canadian author Joseph Boyden is the story of two young men, indigenous Residential School survivors, who go to fight for Canada in the trenches of WWI. The book’s setting, characters, and events provide material and starting points for almost all of the learning outcomes in Grade 10 English and Socials.