Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Clinton Beckford


Education, Integrated Curriculum Programs, Outdoor Adventure Education, Outdoor Education, Spirituality, Wilderness




Canadian outdoor adventure education (Canadian OAE) is a unique teaching method that can create affordances for beneficial outcomes for its participants. In Ontario high schools, Canadian OAE is typically found in Integrated Curriculum Programs with an environmental focus. While there are over 100 of these programs in Ontario school-based opportunities for Canadian OAE have been rare in Windsor-Essex over the last 25 years. However, a Windsor-Essex Christian private high school now offers experiences in Canadian OAE. The purpose of this case study is to describe the influence of a Grade 11 program on its students. Using an online questionnaire and photo elicitation, data was collected from four participants who had previously (within 3-5 years) participated in an eight-day canoe trip in Algonquin Provincial Park as part of the program. A narrative of the course and wilderness canoe trip was constructed, and five themes emerged: comfort zone, challenge, spiritual learning, spiritual experiences, and outcomes/learning. While some wilderness spiritual experiences followed the Spiritual Experience Process Funnel, others occurred because of interpersonal, intrapersonal, and physical challenge. For outcomes and affordances, most reported outcomes aligned with the existing outdoor adventure education categories of interpersonal and intrapersonal outcomes. However, a third Spiritual Learning category was added for learning about a higher power through the experiences of the trip. Directions for further research include conducting a longitudinal study on the changes of perceptions of the trip over time and further study on the impacts of Canadian OAE on environmental and spiritual behaviors and attitudes.