I am currently working at a non-profit organization called Vanoutdoors Society. I serve as an editor and program coordinator, as well as an ESL teacher. Vanoutdoors society aims to get Chinese and Chinese Canadians involved in their communities and the outdoors. Working on the model of experiential education, Vanoutdoors educates outside of the classroom, encouraging participants to develop skills by getting out there and DOING!
I know that so much of the person I am today was not informed by the years I spent at UBC, but the time I spent travelling and being in the outdoors. Travel and being engaged in outdoor pursuits such as ski touring, trail running, and hiking gave me hands-on knowledge, adaptability, and allowed me to see and experience so many things that I never could in the confines of an academic classroom.
I found out the hard way that when travelling in India, as a little blonde girl, I had to walk down the street appearing as though I had the utmost confidence (even when I didn’t feel confident). When I walked through the streets looking lost, I had so many people harass me that I could hardly make it anywhere! I would never have acquired the confidence skills I have now without leaving Canada and immersing myself into another culture, a culture that sees women very differently. The confidence I built in India has helped me get jobs, apply for schools, and be a better leader. While I am incredibly grateful for the academic skills I acquired at UBC, I would not be half the person I was today had I spent all of my time in an academic setting.
I am coordinating lessons for moms, where we practice English, do outdoorsy things, and get involved in the community! This week we are taking a trip to Cleveland Dam where we will hike, practice our English, and visit the Capilano salmon hatchery and learn about the life cycle of salmon. This week, we will speak about the incredible importance of conservation, especially in terms of British Columbia’s salmon population.
Because we are going for a hike, we will also be needing a good, hearty trail snack! I created this recipe for our lesson this week, and we will be enjoying these cookies as we walk along the beautiful maple and fir lined paths of the Capilano river. I chose to add chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and pumpkin seeds into these cookies. Alternatively, you can add whatever you like!
Mom’s Club Trail Cookies!
3/4 cup softened butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups quick cooking oats (or regular whole oats)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (or more 😉 )
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1.) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside
2.) With an electric mixer, cream 3/4 cup softened butter with 1 cup of brown sugar. Add one egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until fluffy.
3.) Combine your dry ingredients. Combine 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup white flour, 2 cups oats, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and one teaspoon baking soda in a bowl.
4.) Pour your dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir with a spoon until combined. Add in chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and pumpkin seeds.
5.) Roll dough into small balls and flatten out with your hand. Place on cookie sheet and make sure the cookies have room to spread, because they will spread in the oven!
6.) Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes, until they appear cooked.
Enjoy! Happy trails!