This glossary of words will help you to understand the way we think at Sea to Sky. Select an alphabetical grouping and enjoy a different kind of meaning.
A B C
D E F
G H I
J K L M
N O P
Q R S
T U V
W X Y Z
- the natural outgrowth of wonder and wisdom. Talk + Action = Success, Talk – Action is demoralizing.
- A response to change that goes with the flow. Resisting change often makes you a victim of change.
- someone who understands the connection between advertising and over-consumption. An adbuster is not easily fooled by ads in magazines/newspapers or on T.V. and billboards. Knows difference between needs & wants.
- A gift of Nature. Creates an 'ocean' that envelopes Earth Island. It is 78% Nitrogen, 21% oxygen and .035% carbon dioxide (and climbing). Our ocean of air provides protection from meteorites, deadly UV rays and the frigid, lethal emptiness of space. You and I take an average of 20,000 gulps of air per day. As deep air animals we don't live on the surface of Earth Island, we live in it.
- Air eaters
- living things that eat carbon dioxide and give off oxygen (e.g. plants) or vice versa (e.g. animals)
- Baby Boomer
- the human population 'bomb' of exponential growth that leads to the exponential consumption of Nature. At 3 babies per second, 93 million new humans each year are added to Earth Island – all of whom need water, food, clothing and shelter to live… all of this at the expense of the habitat of other living things and our life support system.
- a condition of harmony or equilibrium.
- Big Outside
- the natural world. The largest classroom on Earth.
- Big Picture
- seeing things whole and interconnected.
- something that cycles. Composed of material that biodegraders (soil microorganisms) like to munch. Tip: biodegradable shampoo must be used where biodegraders are common. In other words, don't rinse in lakes or ocean but over soil where the shampoo will get 'eaten'.
- Earth Island's varied and magnificent living 'cargo'. We humans ride piggy back on Earth Island along with 10 million other species. The biodiversity, air, water, rock and energy are Nature's Gifts.
- Biodiversity Busters
- Those things we do that weaken the Web of Life, damage our life support system and compromise the lives of other living creatures. Examples are overconsumption of stuff, excessive energy use, high levels of meat in our diet, etc.
- a unique place on Earth with its own blend of soil, plants, animals, landforms, climate and other distinct natural characteristics. Eg. The Pacific Northwest or 'Cascadia'
- the "living skin" of Earth. We know of only one. Include rocks, air & water and you have an ECOSPHERE.
- Biosphere 2
- a failed attempt to recreate Biosphere 1 (Earth Island) in southern Arizona. A glass structure covering a hectare of land that was built to mimic life's complexity. Sample rainforest, coral reefs, grassland, ocean all included. Kept 8 people alive for 17 months at which point air quality plummeted and the 'biospherians' were forced out. A successful experiment that served as an expensive reminder that there is only one biosphere and that the intelligent thing would be to look after it.
- Black Jack
- A 'horseshoes' like game played outside between two pylons using used bike tires.
- Buy Nothing Day
- a day when you don't buy anything thereby reducing your ecological footprint. Often produces a dance of joy.
- a commitment to do something that will stretch you that will bring you and others benefit.
- Circles of Care
- concentric circles spreading care and concern outward from oneself to others and beyond to the natural world.
- a simple way to make soil. It needs air, water and the right 'food' to work.
- a group of people and/or other living things helping each other be strong.
- Community Service
- the rent we pay for living
- Connection Inspection
- examining the links or relationships which exist between things.
- using nature's energy and materials to provide for our needs and wants.
- that which earns one the Blue Orb. Time spent in the natural world solar-powered away from human machines.
- being yourself and not showing off …. in other words the ultimate challenge. A culture that keeps hyping people to over consume is not cool. People who fall for the hype are not cool because they are trying to be somebody they're not.
- far more comprehensive than 'price'. Factors in everything that was used or lost in
producing a product or service.
- the power to let go of the familiar. 'Island Time', 'Nightwatchers', a 'Food Waste Free Zone' and 'Less is More' all require courage.
- a significant stage in one's life
- a repeating, circular motion or pattern. (eg. birth, life, death, birth, life, death, birth…) The building blocks of life — atoms and molecules (specks) are materials that move in cycles powered by the sun. Nature's answer to a planet with finite resources.
- Dance of Joy
- an irrepressible, contagious expression of good feeling. Body moves in weird and wacky ways. This spontaneous outburst can happen anywhere, anytime to anyone.
- Door of Decision
- a doorway that opens into the future. Decisions made at its threshold shape 'tomorrow'.
- Dewdrop Inn
- a cabin at Outdoor School full of things from the natural world.
- Double-headed Monster
- the force that increasingly adds stress to nature. The product of population (number of people) multiplied by per person consumption (amount of the planet's resources each person uses)
- Earth Island
- an oasis in space. The only living planet and 'website' in the known universe. Also known as the Blue Planet, Garden Planet, Sunship 3, Miracle Planet or Ocean (as opposed to Earth). Moving at 100,000 km/hr through space on a journey around the sun of over 875 million km.
- A living thing from Earth Island.
- someone who leads by deed; meets need with speed, plants 'seeds' and ignores the weeds. Also denies the greed so finds themselves freed. "BE THIS BREED. ENJOY. PROCEED!" Occasionally found carrying ID card. Known by their positive actions.
- the study of our home… Earth Island.
- Ecological Footprint
- the amount of Nature you 'consume' to live. Each lifestyle has its own eco footprint. Measured in hectares. The average Canadian eco footprint is 8 hectares. If every human lived like the average Canadian we'd need 5 earths!
- the biosphere plus non-living parts (air, water, & rock).
- a systems view of the world and how it works. Clearly shows that the human world cannot grow without compromising the life support system on which it depends. Convincing model for promoting development rather than growth.
- more is not better if it 'equips students to be more effective vandals of Earth Island' — thank you David Orr!
- Eighty/Twenty (80/20) World
- our world where 80% of the human population use 20% of the available resources and 20% of human population take 80% of the resources. These circumstances produce anger, frustration and hopelessness.
- Energy (or 'Fire')
- that which powers all life. Comes in solar or chemical form. Is the fuel that allows living things to live, move, grow and make things. A human being is a 100-150 watt machine… in terms of heat generated.
- the natural world (of which the human world is part) that sustains humans and all other life.
- Environmental Citizenship
- commitment to a "less is more" lifestyle and a desire to play a role in making this a better world.
- what you do when no one's looking. The world of right and wrong.
- Example Master
- a person who role models for others excellent habits that reduce their eco-footprint.
- Exponential Growth
- the increase in something (eg. C02, humans, deforestation, etc.) where the change from one unit of time to the next is double.The following numbers show this pattern of increase: 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024, 2048, 4096…
- Failure Free Zone
- a supportive community where you are encouraged to stretch yourself and take a risk.
- major culprit at keeping people from living up to their potential. Encourages us to 'play small' as Nelson Mendella would say. Also an acronym – Forgetting Everything's All Right
- Food for Thought
- the '9 Num-nums': 1. Slow Food 2. Eat Outside 3. Eat Organic 4. Eat less meat 5. Eat Foodwaste Free ('Take What You Need But Eat What You Take') 6. Eat less 7. Eat together 8. Eat 'Naked' food (food without packaging) 9. Feed the Earth - COMPOST!
- Food Waste Free Zone
- where one takes only the food that they need and they eat everything that they've taken.
- a one-way movement as in the sun's energy flow down a "munch-line" or foodchain.
- having options or choices. Not being under another's control.
- Funnel effect
- a major trend that is shaping our future. Created by two deadly converging trends: 1. The decreasing supply of life supporting goods and services and 2. The increasing demand of life supporting goods and services. Acting together these produce a funnel effect that reduces our options and thereby diminishes our room to maneuver.
- Gambier Island
- Largest island in Howe Sound. Hand shaped with finger inlets facing south. Northern neighbour of Keats.
- GAP time
- acronym for Go And Play, Go And Prepare or Go And Pee. Hang time at Sea to Sky.
- those things that cannot be repaired, reused or recycled. Canada's grossest national product. We lead the world with a daily production of 2.5 kgs per person per day.
- Garbology 101
- an 'experiential' activity that brings bipeds face to face with the realities around what we throw away. “That's not garbage!” and “I'm not touching that!” and “Gross!” are frequent expletives heard. Important lessons can be learned regarding smart shopping, ethics, elegance vs. slob-ishness, and the power of the choices we make. Core curriculum.
- Gifts of Nature
- Air, Water, Soil, Life and Fire (Energy). Everything we learn about the Gifts teaches us about ourselves. Together (Ecosphere) they keep the Blue Planet fit for life.
- Go Gear
- daypack worn at Outdoor School. Contains… full water bottle, mug, cloth napkin, bandana, logbook with 3 pencils/pens, hat, rainwear, lunch (day 1), whistle, water shoes, swimsuit, etc. Don't leave home without it. "Day or Night, far or near, always go with your gear."
- Goldilocks planets
- Venus, Earth and Mars. Venus is too hot, Mars is too cold and Earth is just right.
- the art and science of goose study that provides relevant insights for humans regarding teamwork and leadership.
- Green Cross
- a symbol of helping others by conserving, preserving or restoring the natural world of which we are a part.
- Green Power
- Earth's amazing ability to change energy from the Sun into food for other living things. (Secret: green plants and 'photosynthesis'). Less than 20% of the surface of Earth Island has this capability.
- the natural steps schools can take towards creating students, parents and teachers that are fit for a planet with a biosphere. The four steps are embraced by the LESS Test and represent the key directions of this program. See LESS test.
- Grey/Green world
- a metaphor that contrasts two different worlds. One, known as the GREY world that doesn't work because it uses the TAKE-MAKE-WASTE or linear approach and the GREEN world that does work because it mimics Nature and is cyclical in design where garbage doesn't exist. Sea to Sky promotes Green world thinking and actions.
- something done regularly. A pattern of behaviour. A 'pile' of habits makes a lifestyle.
- Harmonious Disruptus
- the parts inside us that are opposite. Our positive energy (Harmonious) competes with our negative energy (Disruptus) and one or the other usually wins. Showing our POWER OF ONE and thereby shrinking our 'Disruptus' is the name of the game.
- a lovable character who'd show up with his green plastic 'school kit' ready to learn.
- Home Address
- eg. Island Name, Keats Island, Fir-Cedar-Hemlock Zone, Coast Mountains, Temperate
Rainforest, Pacific Northwest, Turtle Island, Earth Island, SUN, Milky Way Galaxy
- Head, Heart, Home and Hands. These are the ways we learn about the world and share our
greatness with others. Exercising these key parts of ourselves can lead to balance.
- the living world where ocean and island meet. Home to amazing creatures that often go
'crunch' (=death) when you walk on them. Therefore care and respect are the key words here.
NTC rules apply.
- a Sea to Sky teacher who uses the biggest classroom on Earth.
- Island Name
- a symbol of a plant, animal or natural thing (eg. sky, river, cloud) with which a student
can identify. A nickname with a natural meaning.
- Island Time
- an chance to let go of the familiar wired world of the Machine and go with the flow of
cloud, current, trees and sky.
- a tool for reflecting on what life dishes out. Web Pages, Logbook, Trip Notes and The Jot
are all examples of how you can "snatch trophies from the dark". Surfaces quickly when 'Quick
Draw!' is heard.
- Jedi Jousting
- A game of balance and cunning between two opponents. Standing 10-15' apart on used car
tires with an old piece of climbing rope between you the objective is to pull or 'push' your
opponent off their tire pedestal. Laws of Aikido useful here.
- Keats Island
- drowned mountain top in outer Howe Sound. Ice cream cone shaped. Home to 1 000's of
species. Southern neighbour of Gambier.
- Awareness of facts not to be confused with wisdom. Harder to get than information.
- call of the wild. A form of echolocation used at Outdoor School. Often begins with
biospherians in formation and finishes with a double ripper. Sounds like kooooooowweeeeeeeeeee!
- Keeping Your Options Tomorrow, Open . A first step in acknowledging we have to act now.
- are the rules that can't be broken. They govern how the Game of Life is played. L.A.W.S.
is an acronym for these four laws 1. Loss of order happens (entropy law) 2. Atoms are forever
(conservation of matter) 3. We consume order (and produce disorder) 4. Sunpower + plants =
- is being a positive difference now with a focus on the long view. Leaders develop the
ability (through practice) for seeing the relationship and connection among things and use
these insights in how they think and act. This potential is in all of us but exercising it
is a choice we make.
- Less is More
- a belief that by taking or using less we end up having more in return
- LESS test
- the four directions of the GREENSTAR! Program. Leave it, Eat it, Spare it, and Share it.
These four directions represent the pillars of sustainability – in other words, these are the
'bottom line' conditions for success on a living planet.
- the 17 services of Nature that together, create a life support system for humans and other
living things. To remember all 17 remember the acronym that reads like a URL:
- Boundaries that can guide and influence our actions. Laws that keep things in balance.
- Majority World
- the 80% of humanity that use 20% of the available resources. Much of Africa, South America
- building blocks of life (air, water, and soil specks or molecules). Our body is 100%
- "Little Mountain" in Maori (NZ) language. Provides great view of Sea to Sky's Keats
- Miracle Planet
- a planet where you can walk on its surface in only t-shirt and shorts. Basic air needs,
UV protection, temperature regulation and food production provided at no charge. See 'Earth
- Mountain of More
- A four sided mountain that provides schools a powerful, compelling symbol to be the best
they can be…within the limits of the natural world of which they are a part. Requires a
familiarity with the LESS test to climb. It's five challenge levels encourage a school to
consider the 'low hanging fruit' (the easiest actions) first on each of the four faces (L, E,
S, and S)
- Multiple Intelligences
- the eight ways we learn at Outdoor School.
- livings things which consume the earth's limited resources and produce waste. Munchies
range in size from large to small based on how much of the Earth's resources they use.
- Natural Capitalism
- the economic system that believes it's cheaper to take care of something (eg. a roof, a
car, a planet) than to let it fall apart and try and fix it later.
- Nature's Gifts
- Air, Water, Soil, Fire and Life. Major components of the Compass Wheel.
- Not to be confused with wants. Our 5 basic needs (symbolized by the hand) are: Physical
(air, water, food, clothing, shelter), Fun, Power (the clean version), Love or belonging and
- someone who knows and enjoys the world of the night
- Nine Nasties
- the 9 'traps' that impede leadership (Couch Spud, Tubehead, Peer Pressure, Gotta Have It,
Meme, I can't, Later, Put Downs and Poser)
- No Trace Contact. Travelling and living outdoors so as not to harm the natural world or
- a russian cosmonaut, turned 'Webweaver' with a PhD from Moscow University. Has
successfully Run the Rainbow.
- one lap of the Sun. Takes 365.25 days. Each orbit represents almost 1 billion km. A 12
year old has completed 12 orbits and so has traveled around 12 billion km through space.
- One Can
- There is no GARBAGE DUMP (ie. landfill) on Keats Island. At Sea to Sky the garbage our
community produces cannot exceed the size of the silver bullet garbage can. Leave juice
boxes, junk food packaging and soft plastic that krinkles at home. Yes One Can!
- Outdoor School
- a place that boasts the largest classroom on Earth.
(Sea to Sky Outdoor School is 49 degrees, 23 minutes, 56 seconds north of the equator and 123
degrees, 28 minutes, 42 seconds west of the Prime Meridian.) It is where the 'Big Outside'
- when something grows beyond the ability of its home to support it. Leads to 'crash'.
- any living thing on planet Earth. (Earth is travelling through space at over 100,000 km/hr
so that anything 'stuck' there by gravity is a passenger). Earth has 6 billion human
passengers which represent one of perhaps 30 million species that hang out here.
- smallest measurable unit of the sun's energy. Source of Green Power and the name given to
the yellow balls of
- the name given to a family unit. (eg. a pod of orcas) Strands, Clans, Crews, Teams are
- tree at Outdoor School where creative writing is encouraged.
- Pause, Open ears, Tune-in, Sssshh! (Outdoor School's 'STOP' sign at Solarville.)
- Power of One
- the choice to lead by deed and be good company. An approach not always taken.
- Price Vs. Value
- On the dollar sign at Sea to Sky reads: We know the price of everything and the value of
- Protected Areas
- land and water regions that have not been significantly changed by human activity. Humans
come only as visitors. (eg. Nat. or Prov. Parks) A piece of the original Earth that is
allowed to age without human interference.
- R's (Gimme 5!)
- Rethink, Respect, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
- A key ingredient. Participation in the Game of Life requires that you 'risk it'.
Inevitably leads to the meaningful involvement with people and the world around you. Risk will
help you know yourself better.
- Salmon Rock
- The southwestern tip of Keats Island. Composed of the white bedrock known as granodiortie
which formed 10-15 kilometres below and then, over time was exposed at the surface due to
tectonic uplift and erosion. Home Island sits just off shore.
- Your school is like a giant creature. It consumes large amounts of energy, water and
materials that come from near and far. It produces enormous volumes of solid, liquid and
gaseous waster that have to go somewhere. This is the ecological footprint of your creature.
It's fitness, or how well it fits within the natural limits of earth is function of how much
it consumes and how much waste it produces. Giving your schoolasaurus a fitness checkup will
determine if a diet is in order.
- Sense of Place
- feeling at home in an area of wild Nature. Knowing its rhythms, moods, inhabitants and
- Sense of Wonder
- seeing the world around you with habitual awe. Often lost (but recoverable) with age.
Universal cure to boredom.
- Seven Secrets
- symbolized by the formula S = DEALC2. Lessons from Nature on how to live. To our earliest
ancestors they were facts, to many of us they are secrets. Why? Because we spend over 95% of
our lives indoors. The 7 Secrets are only revealed outside away from human things.
- Seven Senses
- sense of wonder, sense of place, sense of sight, sound, smell, sense of taste, touch.
Main channels to greater awareness.
- Skookum Sky
- In Coast Salish language, 'skookum' means big. A high bluff on Keats with a big view of
outer Howe Sound, Salish Sea, Vancouver Island and one of the most enchanting towns of bipedal
activity – Gibsons.
- a person who's tuned into weather and knows how to read the clouds. Frequents the
Stevenson Screen at Outdoor School and reports to the group. Often seen lying on their back
looking up doing cloud surveys.
- Slow Zone
- A place that frees you from the imprisoning effects of speed. Example: Keats and Gambier
'campus' of Sea to Sky
- a gift of Nature. Acronym for Source Of Incredible Life. Essential for healthy human
society. A small handful contains more microorganisms than the total human population of 6
Billion on Earth. Created by the two forces of life and the weathering of rock.
- Solar power
- A clean, inexpensive, renewable energy source that requires that you sip rather than gulp
your energy. A key ingredient in small footprint living.
- Solar powered
- anything that uses the closest star to our Earth (the Sun) for its energy to do things.
- a popular place at Outdoor School where we become solar powered. A food waste FREE ZONE.
Acknowledges that almost every food we eat was once alive. On average, a typical biped with
big brain will chew between 10,000-15,000 times a day here.
- Solitude Spot
- being alone or away from other people (solitude), silent, safe and still. The 4 S 's.
- Save Our Species will go a long way to saving ourselves. A wake up call for the human
- the tiniest amt. of a material (an atom or molecule). Specks love to trek. 3 kinds: AIR,
WATER and MINERAL. Landfills are speck prisons.
- protecting or caring for the natural world.
- bringing out the best in yourself and others. Has nothing to do with the amount of money
- Sunship 3
- third planet from the sun and the only known carrier of life. Not to be confused with
Sunship 2 (Venus) or Sunship 4 (Mars). See Earth Island or Miracle Planet.
- Survival Training
- acquiring the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes that will make it safe to live on a
planet with an ecosphere.
- LIVING equitably WITHIN NATURE'S MEANS. A way of living where we humans consume natural
resources no faster than nature produces them and where we produce waste in amounts that
nature can absorb… and biodiversity is not compromised. In short, a way of life that can
- Titanic 2
- an analogy that likens our modern, consumer driven techno-industrial society to a great
ship that is moving too fast and on a collision course with Nature (read iceberg)
- Someone who's blazed the five trails (W5) to Mt. Freedom and is ready to take on the Wired
World which, if not approached with care, can lead to a form of servitude and 'imprisonment'.
Trailblazers can sometimes be seen leaving Keats with Trailmarker and purple URP.
- Together Everyone Achieves More
- The 5 R's
- Rethink, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle (in order of importance)
- Traps and Leaders
- a high speed game that profiles the NINE NASTIES that keep you from exercising leadership
(traps) and the 'forces' that makes it possible (leaders).
- someone who watches too much T.V.
- T.V. Free Zone
- a place where there is no T.V. and it is not missed. Eg. Sea to Sky Outdoor School
- someone who likes to explore by solar powered canoe.
- The Values, Attitudes, Knowledge and Skills of the 'educated' person. Assumes Ecoliteracy
as essential learning for all people who live in the 21st century.
- the lubricant of life and one of Nature's great gifts. Also known as dihydrogen monoxide.
Makes up at least 60% of most living things. Covers 75% of Earth Island's surface. You and I
need 3-4 litres of clean water per day.
- someone who because they understand and appreciate the natural world shows leadership
(yellow orb) and lives 'lightly' (by consuming fewer resources and producing less waste)
- We Are What We Eat
- words that remind us of the source of the foods we eat. E.g. An egg is a hen's ovary.
- Wild country
- 'untamed' natural areas where there are no roads or other human artifacts. Any place that
can produce a wolf, a cougar or a grizz is a healthy, robust and wild landscape. Essential for
- a place where you might get eaten.
- The five Facts of Life (Gimme 5!) learned and acted on by a Webweaver.
- you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
Begin it now. Thank you Goethe.
- limits that increase our freedom. Often seen as red octagons deep in the forest.
- Wonder Box
- A long standing tradition in Solarville. Objects from the Big Outside are presented at
each meal and participants are given the chance to ponder their identity. First correct guess
is added to the Wild Child list and a new item is profiled.
- a beautiful word that transforms lives. Expresses a commitment to the power of the
positive. Accessible to all.
- an acronym that sums up the 3 core objectives of our programs: Yippee (fun). Education
(powerful learning). Safety.
- Z Generation
- individually known as a 'Gen Zedder'. People of all ages who have discovered the freedom
that comes from wanting less. They understand the concepts of interdependence and limits and
demonstrate this in how they live their lives.
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