Building community and sharing smiles

Caia Wilson (left) and Brooke Peart take a break while on their Middleton Mountain hike during the recent field trip hosted by Vernon Christian School Grade 11 students for VCS preschoolers. - photo submitted
Caia Wilson (left) and Brooke Peart take a break while on their Middleton Mountain hike during the recent field trip hosted by Vernon Christian School Grade 11 students for VCS preschoolers.
— image credit: photo submitted

With the luxury of having two campuses in such close proximity, Vernon Christian School students have an opportunity to grow community unlike most other schools.

The elementary campus is home to preschool to Grade six students and the secondary campus is comprised of a middle and secondary program — Grades 7 to 12. Being so close provides unique and accessible learning experiences for VCS students.

“Our students love the cross-campus experiences, whether it’s the reading buddies program, sporting events or simply to sing Christmas carols together,” said Matt Driediger, secondary campus principal. “By the time the younger students are ready to make the transition they are comfortable with the secondary campus and the older students; it’s a winning situation for students and staff.”

Recently the Grade 11 PE students had the chance to play host on a field trip with one of the VCS preschool classes. The students went up to Middleton Mountain for a hike, lunch and treasure hunt. At first the students in both classes were a bit shy, unsure how to interact but by the end of the trip the connections made were strong and friendships were forged. It was a time of laughter, smiles and creating life-long memories.

“You know when the idea came up I wasn’t so sure what it was going to be like. But I had so much fun. We all did — I can’t remember the last time I smiled that much. It was a great way to spend a morning,” said Grade 11 student Taryn Douma. “It reminded me of my early years at VCS, the excitement of hanging with the older students — our school has been such a fun, safe place to grow up in.

Student Gabby Edblad said unstable weather meant the planned treasure hunt had to be revised at the last minute.

“Our PE teacher, Mr. Jason Reedyk, conveniently dropped a treasure map in an obvious location where it would be found,” she said. “We spent a bit of time looking around and trying to help the kids figure out the clues. You should have seen the preschoolers’ faces when they each opened their treasure box. Inside was their picture reminding them that their Heavenly Father sees them each as precious treasure — it was a real delight to experience such pure joy.”

Corinne Remple, VCS marketing and communications coordinator, said the school’s VCS secondary students have natural opportunities to serve and explore potential career paths because of the close proximity of the two campuses.

“These experiences include teacher assistance placements, working in the library, leading in recreation activities and special events,” she said.

VCS prepares students for leadership and service within a Christian learning community. To find out more about registration or program information, call 250-545-7345, ext 8, or visit


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