What should a perfect community include? This was a question students were attempting to answer this week at school. Discussions and sharing about where they had or hadn’t spent their summer vacation prompted the question. It turned out that a couple of families had visited Tofino over the break. Well, that got the talk moving on…and they couldn’t get me to be quiet. (Let the students get a word in edgeways, OldPlaidcamper!) Anyway, one student shared that her family would love to move to Tofino. Other students asked what was so special about the place? What ought to be special about anywhere they might choose to live? Essentially, I was prompted to write this post after a lesson at school – don’t worry, there won’t be any homework, and I’ll never write a post inspired by a math lesson – I like math, but that’s not for here!
Students decided they’d love to live somewhere that had beautiful scenery. After a little research online, they agreed that Tofino has a wonderful location. In fact, a field trip to Vancouver Island was suggested. All that enthusiasm. I didn’t have the heart to talk about school budgets…
Students felt it was important to be able to connect with nature – see wildlife for real, not just on TV or in books. They were thrilled at the thought of seeing a bear in the wild. Many of the students in this class are new to Canada, with seventeen different home countries represented. Even though they live an hour from the Rockies, not all yet have the material resources to visit and spend time out there. Part of my work is to encourage them to embrace the outdoors in their adopted home.
The opportunity to be active was considered important. They felt that they would want to live somewhere where being active was part of where they were. Hiking wasn’t a popular notion, but going fishing, paddle boarding, kayaking, cycling and surfing definitely caught their interest.
Some map work soon taught the students where Tofino and Vancouver Island can be found. The thought of driving from Calgary wasn’t very welcome, but a flight, especially if the last leg was by floatplane? Well…
Becoming more thoughtful, students talked about what work they might be able to find, and the skills they’d need to learn. Some wanted to fish, and take others fishing for a living. Several thought that being a pilot would be great. Training to become a chef was suggested, as was owning a hotel. One wanted to work for the Parks Service, and look after the bears. Not one wanted to work in an office, or behind a desk. Fingers crossed they are lucky in life with that.
I’m not suggesting for one moment that Tofino offers everything that a person might require. Yet it was interesting to see through the eyes of our next generation, consider what they think is important in and around a community. They did talk about the need for friendly people, schools, a hospital, dentists, and shops and stores. Emergency services got a mention, but nothing about lawyers. You can find some or most of these almost anywhere.
To my mind, it was the outdoors and location that really fired up this group of young people. The need to be in a positive and healthy environment, and connected to nature. Here’s hoping they grow up that way. These were fun discussions, and they had me thinking about the West Coast – plus it provided a gratuitous excuse to trot out some more photos of Tofino from earlier in the summer here. That’s never a bad thing!
The perfect community? I’m not sure such a place exists, but I’m confident Tofino is pretty close to it, especially for the young, and young at heart!
There were two essentials that were missed, so I’ll add them here:
Thanks for reading. Please feel free to share a story or make a comment, and keep your guy ropes secure.
17 thoughts on “What should a perfect community include? (This is an excuse to show more pictures from Tofino – I’ll admit it!)”
Hello PlaidCamper – What a wonderful lesson for your students! I think that this is a lesson they will never forget.
Have a great week-end and week. I hope you have a great semester!
We’ve got off to a good start! Thanks for your comments, always appreciated – enjoy your weekend!
An important discussion to be had with schoolkids! You certainly approached the lesson in a meaningful way, so let’s not forget that a “perfect location” also should have a progressive school, or teachers who think along these lines. Great job, and yes… lawyers probably needn’t apply!
P.S., Plaid… Forgot to mention something… Yes, a good micro-brewery is essential!
It simply wouldn’t be a place worth living without one!
Thanks for your comments! I hope you’re having a great weekend.
I’ve found that there is difference between discussing & experiencing. What Tofino is cannot be really understood but only felt.
So what makes a place special?…………a reminder of where we came from……without all the distractions of this life we have.
If only I could persuade the school board to fund an experiential field trip to Tofino! Never mind…
It sure looks like Tofino have the essentials for a satisfying life! I bet you’re a great teacher, the kind of lesson you described was the kind of lesson I enjoyed the most in school. Lessons when you had to think about the big picture, discuss, and …..of course a field trip for those students sounds like something they really need!
Thanks for your kind comment! I would love a field trip to Tofino, but I doubt we’d have the funding. It is a beautiful place, and has much that makes it a great community.
I hope you’re having a pleasant weekend!
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you can use my blog as a venue for visiting Tofino?
Thanks, Wayne! So we did today – doing some work around Hatchet. Students hadn’t thought about what a single engined plane looks like, quick visit to your site, and now they know! (We checked out some of the aerial photos there as well – they were enthralled! ) So, thank you for all the help in class today.
If your school starts taking field trips to Vancouver Island, send me enrollment information!
How about you tag along, teach some Outdoor Ed? I think that would be about the best teaching job ever.
It sure would. Maybe we should start the OldPlaidCamper/SmoothingIt University. We’d make millions and have a blast doing it!
Millions? That’d be handy. After our recent move and the chunk the lawyers took, I’d settle for making a few hundred… Mrs PC teaches university, and I think her students are a little more attentive. Although if we can’t motivate students with outdoor ed, then there’s no hope.
Professor Smoothing and Professor PlaidCamper!
Sounds like the perfect lesson, pc. It’s so great to have someone at the front of the classroom who is experienced and content in embracing the wilderness, and who has stunning photos to share as well. I really enjoyed this post, and I’m sure the students really enjoyed the lesson too. They have so much to think about, and it’s wonderful to have someone encouraging them to think for themselves and be conscious and enthusiastic about their world. Inspiring post, pc. 😀
Thanks for the kind words! I do think that we have to help the next generation really appreciate the planet – and it starts with local. I’m so fortunate to teach new Canadians; their excitement for their new home and readiness to learn about it makes teaching so enjoyable. I probably have more fun than they do…
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