Student FAQ

What do we do there?

At the BCP you will get the chance to meet and hang out with a new group of creative and interesting students from all over Halton. You’ll study and learn about the natural environment, yourself, and others, using a combination of academic & hands-on teaching styles.  You’ll learn about environmental issues, team building, leadership theory, basic ecology, as well as drama, creative journals, nutrition, and communication skills.  We work hard to develop a close-knit community, and learn how to “live lightly” on the planet as we prepare to teach the Earthkeepers program to elementary kids.

What is Earthkeepers?

You may remember Earthkeepers from your grade 5 year.  Earthkeepers is a 2-day over-night, hands-on environmental program that teaches ecological systems in a fun and exciting way.  BCP leaders take on dramatic roles as they teach different activities that reveal secrets of how the planet works.  Your BCP group will teach about 5 Earthkeepers programs over 2 months of your semester.

Is the program part of real school?

Yes! Students taking part in BCP are enrolled through Gary Allan High School (Burlington). This is where students are registered and where records are held for the semester. Students applying to university or college will have their student records transferred electronically when they apply and transferred back to their home school if they return there following their BCP semester.

Are any of the credits compulsory?

Yes. All credits count toward the 30 credits required to graduate. Geography is a University/College credit and Interdisciplinary Studies is also a University credit.  Both can be counted as one of your 6 compulsory University or College courses. Phys Ed. counts as an additional Group 2 Compulsory credit. NBE 3U English is a compulsory Grade 11 English, this can be counted towards University or College courses. The EPS 3O English credit can count as an additional group 1 compulsory credit.  (Note: the EPS 3O English cannot replace your required academic or applied grade 11 English.) Students opting for the Specialist High Skills Major diploma option in the Environment sector have the option of taking the courses at the level that is appropriate for their chosen pathway (workplace, college, apprenticeship or university). For more information about our credit packages click here: What credits are offered at The Bronte Creek Project.

Where does the program take place?

The BCP site is found at Camp Sidrabene located at 5100 Appleby line. Sidrabene is a beautiful site below the Niagara Escarpment between highway 5 & Derry Road at  the headwaters of the Bronte Creek. (We are NOT located in the Bronte Creek Provincial Park)

How do I get there every day?

Bus transportation is provided by Halton Transportation. Bus stop locations will be placed at the student’s designated home school.  Student transportation information can be found at www.haltonbus.ca. Students can look up their stop information using their O.E.N. (Ontario Education Number).

Will this program cost money?

The 5-month BCP semester costs $575 (subject to change). This includes daily transportation to the site, delicious daily lunches, a 5-day wilderness adventure trip & a day of rock climbing.  This relatively nominal fee allows us to provide you with the high quality program people have come to expect.  A $100 deposit is due at the Parent & Student Information Night.  The remaining balance is due the first day of the semester.  A bursary application is available for those students in need of financial assistance. Bursary funding is limited and we cannot guarantee availability to all those who apply (available only to Halton students and may not be requested to cover personal transportation).

Will the BCP help me get into University or College, or help me get a good job?

Yes! Universities & Colleges are increasingly looking for people with practical leadership training; students who know how to learn; and who have experience working successfully in groups.  We have developed a well-known reputation and are nurturing strong connections with post-secondary schools.  We also have great links to camps, and companies hiring high school students with good people skills.

Will I lose touch with my home school?

That will depend on you.  For most schools, students are back on time to take part in extra-curricular activities.  What you gain is a very close relationship with a small group of people sharing a common goal.

Can I still be involved with my home school?

Most schools permit students who are taking part in a semester at the Bronte Creek Project to be involved in school clubs, teams and committees. It is a good idea to check with your home school to make sure that this is possible as schools make individual decisions with regard to student involvement.

How do I know what semester I’m in?

Your guidance department will place you in the BCP in the Fall or Spring semester, based on when your other required courses are offered in your home school.  You will be time-tabled into your school courses first, and then placed in  the BCP in the other semester that fits your schedule best. You can suggest a preferred semester, but it really depends on when your other credits are being offered, and what fits your time-table.

Will this program interfere with my part-time job?

Not to a great extent.  You will stay on site about 6 nights, but will know well enough ahead of time to schedule around your work.

Can I take a week off to go on a vacation with my family?

Not a good idea. This program is experiential, and much of it cannot be made up on your own. Other members of the group need to make up for your work when you’re away.  Let us know well ahead of any appointments or conflicts so we can cover your position.

Is there a place for smokers on site?

No. The BCP is a smoke free program.  Because we work with kids & have an environmental focus, smoking doesn’t fit here. We are environmental role models while on site.

Do we have to bring a lunch?

Not typically. However,once a week on Friday, students are asked to bring a lunch because of the activities happening on that particular day. Our lunches adhere to the Board’s nutritional guidelines and we encourage students to eat in a healthy nutritional way. Students tell us that lunches at BCP are one of the things they miss when they leave!

What if I don’t have a lot of outdoor camping experience?

No problem.  Part of your schooling involves teaching you all the important skills you will need to go on a 5-day Bruce Trail Hiking Trip or a spring canoe trip.  We will teach you everything from knot-tying, to camp stove use, to paddling strokes, and how to walk in snowshoes.  Every student is well prepared, both mentally and physically, before we venture out on any of our trips.

Well the BCP sounds good, but also pretty different from the way that I live.  What if I am not an environmentalist? I feel a little self-conscious.

The thing is, the BCP is not a training centre for tree-huggers (although we like tree-huggers too!). The BCP is a place for people who care about the fate of the planet, who like kids, who are willing to take a few risks, and who are excited to learn about themselves, their group, how this planet works, and how to play in it.  We welcome everybody who brings an open mind.  We know that being concerned about the environment doesn’t mean fitting into a stereotype.  There is a place for you here without judgment.

How do I get in touch with the staff?

If you have any further questions about what to expect for your Trailhead experience, check out our website at www.brontecreekproject.org

Email

[email protected]

Phone

Bronte Creek Project: Amy and Jessie at 905-331-3502 

Trailhead Program: Darryl and Courtney at 905-331-3500 

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Funding provided by the Halton District School Board, the Halton Learning Foundation and TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.

Halton District School Board Gary Allan High School

The Bronte Creek Project is a Gary Allan High School program in the Halton District School Board.