15 teens on school hiking trip found after night in wilderness

A group of local teenagers on a school hiking trip in Bruce Peninsula National Park have been found after they were separated from the main group and spent a night in the wilderness.
A Google map showing Bruce Peninsula National Park in relation to Waterloo Region. 15 teenagers from a local school are missing on a school hiking trip in the park. Inset: High Dump, the area of the park the OPP started their search in. (Google Maps)

A group of 15 teenagers on a school hiking trip from Saint David Catholic Secondary School in Waterloo who went missing Thursday evening on the rugged trails of the Bruce Peninsula have been found by police after a chilly night in the wilderness.

"They're all warm and fine," Waterloo Catholic District School Board spokesman John Shewchuk said Friday.

Ontario Provincial Police were searching for the group of teens, between 16 and 17 years of age, after they went missing from the main hiking group around 5 p.m. Thursday.

"Unfortunately half of the group through taking a wrong turn got separated from the rest of the group," said Shewchuk. "We'll be talking to the students on Monday to get information from them on how this happened and obviously take steps to avoid this happening again."

Cold temperatures on the Bruce Peninsula prompted concern over the missing teens, who were found around 5 a.m. on Friday morning near a cabin by the Bruce Trail.

An OPP Emergency Response Team searched the High Dump region of the Bruce Peninsula National Park and moved northwards.

Dave DeSantis, the superintendent of education for the Waterloo Catholic School Board, said the students properly followed safety procedures and found shelter.  

"They had the presence of mind to see a cabin and just waited there for help to arrive," said DeSantis. "They were very mature and we are very proud of them for the stance they took."