From Caronport to Cape Breton: Join the Adventure!

When they created their winning video entry of the students dreaming about a Fortress of Louisbourg field trip, Mrs. Pylatuk’s grade 8 class had no idea how wild the adventure would be. From a behind-the-scenes tour of Air Canada’s Pearson airport facility, to sleeping in the barracks at the Fortress of Louisbourg and hiking the Skyline Trail, the class has just returned home after a 4-day whirlwind tour of Parks Canada places in Cape Breton as part of Canada’s Coolest School Trip.

After a very late arrival in Cape Breton, the students headed out to the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site for a full day of activities. In honour of the 150 French colonists who founded Louisbourg in 1713, 300 years ago, the Royal Canadian Mint unveiled two commemorative coins that morning and presented one Fine Silver Coin to each class member. In the afternoon, the local grade 8 class from George D. Lewis school arrived to show some Cape Breton hospitality to the Caronport class and participate in activities at the National Historic Site. Like in their contest video, the students had a chance to dress up in period clothing and experience life in the 18th century. That evening, the grade 8 class had a chance to eat fresh lobster, a local delicacy.

Following a fireworks presentation and a cannon firing demonstration, the class spent the night in the soldiers’ barracks at Louisbourg. Mrs. Pylatuk’s class was up bright and early for a morning in Eskasoni, the largest Mi’kmaq community in the world. They took a boat tour of the Bras d’Or Lakes and were introduced to the traditional way of life in the village. Lunch served up a taste of something different with traditional bread and moose meat burgers on the menu! Then it was back to the bus, for an afternoon of exploring the history of invention: Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site and his summer home, Beinn Bhreagh. The students were lucky enough to be able to meet Bell’s great-grandson while they were visiting! The night was spent in Baddeck, where Inverary Resort welcomed the class with more trip favorites: s’mores around a campfire and an indoor pool.

The last full day in Cape Breton kept things moving along quickly. A bus ride along the famous Cabot Trail brought the class to Cape Breton Highlands National Park and the Skyline Trail, where they were able to take in the spectacular view from the boardwalk, immersing them in nature's masterpiece where the mountains truly meet the sea. Is that a whale or a wave in the water? It was a bit too windy that day to tell. The wind didn’t stop some of the students from dipping their toes in the ocean, another first for many of them. A final stop at Cape Breton University let everyone catch their breath - and catch up on all the memories of the previous days - before heading back home with Air Canada.

You can read more details about the Caronport class’s adventure on the Canadian Geographic blog:
    •    Day One
    •    Day Two
    •    Day Three

Thanks once again to all of the Canada’s Coolest School Trip contest partners who helped create the memories on this once in a lifetime trip: Air Canada, Canadian Geographic Education, The Royal Canadian Mint, Ambassatours Gray Line, Cape Breton University, Cape Breton Partnership, Destination Cape Breton Association, Nova Scotia Tourism Agency, and Cape Breton Resorts.