Our Approach

The Language of Sea to Sky

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.

Action
the natural outgrowth of wonder and wisdom. Talk + Action = Success, Talk – Action is demoralizing.
Adaptation
A response to change that goes with the flow. Resisting change often makes you a victim of change.
Adbuster
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.
Air
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.
Balance
a condition of harmony or equilibrium.
Big Outside
the natural world. The largest classroom on Earth.
Big Picture
seeing things whole and interconnected.
Biodegradable
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'.
Biodiversity
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.
Bioregion
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'
Biosphere
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
Buy Nothing Day
a day when you don't buy anything thereby reducing your ecological footprint. Often produces a dance of joy.
Challenge
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.
Compost
a simple way to make soil. It needs air, water and the right 'food' to work.
Community
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.
Consumption
using nature's energy and materials to provide for our needs and wants.
Contact
that which earns one the Blue Orb. Time spent in the natural world solar-powered away from human machines.
Cool
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.
Cost
far more comprehensive than 'price'. Factors in everything that was used or lost in producing a product or service.
Courage
the power to let go of the familiar. 'Island Time', 'Nightwatchers', a 'Food Waste Free Zone' and 'Less is More' all require courage.
Crossroads
a significant stage in one's life
Cycle
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.

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Dance of Joy
starfish dancing
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.
Earthling
A living thing from Earth Island.
Ecodude
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.
Ecology
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!
Ecosphere
the biosphere plus non-living parts (air, water, & rock).
Ecospherotron
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.
Education
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.
Environment
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.
Ethics
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
Failure Free Zone
a supportive community where you are encouraged to stretch yourself and take a risk.
Fear
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.
Flow
a one-way movement as in the sun's energy flow down a "munch-line" or foodchain.
Freedom
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.

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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.
Garbage
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
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.
Gooseology
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.
GREENSTAR!
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.
Habit
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.
Henway
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
H4
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.
Intertidal
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.
Islander
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.

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Journal
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.
Knowledge
Awareness of facts not to be confused with wisdom. Harder to get than information.
Koowee!
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!
K.Y.O.T.O.
Keeping Your Options Tomorrow, Open . A first step in acknowledging we have to act now.
Laws
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 = order
Leadership
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.
Lifesavers
Lifesavers
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: www.natures.pfs.gold
Limits
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 and Asia.
Materials
building blocks of life (air, water, and soil specks or molecules). Our body is 100% recycled material.
Maungariki
"Little Mountain" in Maori (NZ) language. Provides great view of Sea to Sky's Keats campus.
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 Island'.
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.
Munchies
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.

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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
dandelion
Air, Water, Soil, Fire and Life. Major components of the Compass Wheel.
Needs
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 Freedom.
Nightwatcher
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)
NTC
No Trace Contact. Travelling and living outdoors so as not to harm the natural world or disturb others.
Olga
a russian cosmonaut, turned 'Webweaver' with a PhD from Moscow University. Has successfully Run the Rainbow.
Orbit
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' rules.
Overshoot
when something grows beyond the ability of its home to support it. Leads to 'crash'.
Passenger
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.
Photon
smallest measurable unit of the sun's energy. Source of Green Power and the name given to the yellow balls of
Pod
the name given to a family unit. (eg. a pod of orcas) Strands, Clans, Crews, Teams are others.
Po-e-tree
tree at Outdoor School where creative writing is encouraged.
P.O.T.S.
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 nothing.
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.

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R's (Gimme 5!)
arbutus bark
Rethink, Respect, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Risk
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.
Schoolasaurus
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 qualities.
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.
Skywatcher
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
Soil
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.
Solarville
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.
S.O.S.
Save Our Species will go a long way to saving ourselves. A wake up call for the human species.
Speck
the tiniest amt. of a material (an atom or molecule). Specks love to trek. 3 kinds: AIR, WATER and MINERAL. Landfills are speck prisons.
Stewardship
protecting or caring for the natural world.
Success
bringing out the best in yourself and others. Has nothing to do with the amount of money you have.
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.
Sustainability
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 last.

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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)
Trailblazer
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.
T.E.A.M
Together Everyone Achieves More
The 5 R's
Rethink, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle (in order of importance)
Traps and Leaders
TV Free Zone
a high speed game that profiles the NINE NASTIES that keep you from exercising leadership (traps) and the 'forces' that makes it possible (leaders).
Tubehead
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
Voyageur
someone who likes to explore by solar powered canoe.
VAKS
The Values, Attitudes, Knowledge and Skills of the 'educated' person. Assumes Ecoliteracy as essential learning for all people who live in the 21st century.

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Water
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.
Webweaver
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 human survival.
Wilderness
a place where you might get eaten.
W.I.S.E.R.
dream catcher
The five Facts of Life (Gimme 5!) learned and acted on by a Webweaver.
Whatever
you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now. Thank you Goethe.
Whoa-nellie
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.
Yes
a beautiful word that transforms lives. Expresses a commitment to the power of the positive. Accessible to all.
Y.E.S.
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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