There be dragons at Eagle View Elementary School in Port Hardy – dragon boaters that is.
As part of the school’s outdoor education program a multi-grade Dragon Boat Program will be launched starting May 1. The students will be on the water 12 times until June 24.
According to Outdoor Education teacher Sean Barfoot, the program will include both a physical education and social studies component and will tie directly into a cultural program led by Harold Nelson.
“The Dragon Boat Program will also work towards developing a sense of teamwork and build relationships among our own learning community,” Barfoot said.
The skills required to move a dragon boat forward are similar to those needed to move forward successfully through life.
“There’s lots of metaphors,” said Barfoot.
“It’s all about connecting to real-life experiences and community initiatives and ways of embracing community sports,” he said.
The program will involve a series of dry land lessons that will focus on proper technique and sequence of paddling.
The students will also learn life vest fitting as well as canoe conduct and protocol and set up a two-student buddy system.
After being given a water safety orientation by the Coast Guard, students will have the opportunity to dem- onstrate their practical skills in the Millennium Dragon Boat.
The school plans to have up to six trips out in the boat this spring and six more are planned for
the fall, Barfoot said. The Dragon Boat Program is a partnership between the Tri Port Dragon Boat Society, Canadian Coast Guard, Port Hardy Secondary School, and the Eagle View Elementary Cultural and Outdoor Education programs.
“I should add that this program would not be possible with- out the contributions of Port Hardy Rotary which has donated 20 youth life jackets, Eagle View PAC and Coastal Mountain Fuels which has donated 20 sets of rain gear and the Tri Port Dragon Boat Society,” said Barfoot.