Outstanding summer programs for teens since 1982
Header Item 1

The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Blinded by a Cool Breeze – Northwestern Odyssey

Our final days with the Northwestern Odyssey!

The Westcoast Blogger

Dear Northwestern Odyssey,

“Everybody’s gonna love today,” became our anthem as we boarded the bus, arriving at Lake Louise Banff. First, we split into groups of three, boarded canoes to experience this wonder of the world firsthand. After paddling along the serene waters, we climbed the mountain alongside, hiking to the peak, passing two expansive lakes during our voyage. A trickling stream greeted our group as we arrived at the peak, recharging at a teahouse located nearby. After dinner in the city, we warmed our aches in adjacent hot springs. Removing our hiking shoes from the day, we slipped into the soothing natural waters, calming our sore muscles from our active day. 

We awoke the next morning and ventured to the famous Columbia Ice Fields in Jasper. As we exited the picturesque Banff, Jasper greeted us with skyscraping mountains surrounding our path, snow still visible on several peaks. The environment transformed from rocky ledges and grassy valleys to pearly white landscapes of ice and hardened snow. We hopped on a shuttle, traveling up the hill to view this enormous glacier. Exiting our shuttle, we were blinded by a cool breeze and the glassy texture of the fields gleaming from the sun’s reflection. Immediately we revealed our camera’s lens, snapping photographs of the little glacier streams running alongside; we even tasted the freshly iced water, smacking our lips in response. Poses were struck throughout the glacier, as we captured each section of this ice-blanketed panorama.

On our drive back to the campground, we witnessed another environmental wonder: Peyto Lake. Stepping onto the lookout point, we understood its importance; the lake stretches into the shape of a dog’s head, the ears extending far beyond our view, easily trapped by our cameras.

The next day we left our campsite for Calgary, checking into Kananaskis Hall. We cleaned up for dinner and tackled a multitude of pasta and pizza at Eastside Mario’s to prepare for our evening event: Laser Tag. Our vests adorned, our nicknames created, our competitive spirit took over as we battled through a glowing maze, firing at each enemy during the first game. Molly, nicknamed Molibu, attained the top score of the day with 1053, fiddling with her game card, embracing her number one standing. The next game involved the green versus the red team. Our vests displayed our colors as we worked together to defeat the opposing team.

Calgary’s Olympic Park was our destination for the next day. In the morning, we proudly strapped ourselves in for Zorbing; two people occupied the inside of an inflated plastic ball as it rolled down a trench. Smiles became plastered on our faces as we exited this amazing attraction. After Zorbing, we were lead on a tour of the Olympic Park and it’s training facilities; we witnessed several ski jumps, two separate ice luging tracks, and we even got some pictures with the Cool Runnings Jamaican bobsled.

Our next voyage took us to St. Mary’s Glacier Park where our day started with a relaxing, yet educational ferry ride leading us to an incredible hike up to St. Mary’s falls. As we hiked down towards our boat, we even caught sight of a single deer hiding amongst the brush. The tall, verdant trees amongst the path disappeared as we headed towards the water, the Caribbean blue lake below shimmering as we boarded our vessel to head back to camp. Our two nights at the campground were dedicated to fun campsite games; three teams battled for the gold, silver and bronze medal. The games ranged from classic family feud to creating dances and songs. Laughter erupted from our campground as teams vied for first place, yet after the winner was announced, all competitors ended their night by gathering around the campfire, exchanging tales and jokes from the past two weeks.  

Have an excellent week and we will keep posted!