War and the Canadian Experience in the Netherlands

A PD tour of the Kingdom of the Netherlands for Educators

Next offering to be determined

Want a preview? Check out the virtual tour from France in 2016 or the Netherlands in 2015! 

The War and the Canadian Experience group in Vlissingen in 2015. High School teachers, BEd, and MEd candidates are invited to apply for a study tour examining the Canadian battlefields and memorials of the Second World War in the Kingdom of the Netherlands (Date TBD).

Participants may register for academic credit at the Masters' or senior undergraduate level or obtain a non-credit certificate. Some bursaries, up to $2000 per person, are available. 

The program cost is $3000 and covers accommodation, travel, and instruction costs while in Europe. Current teachers and BEd and MEd students may qualify for a reduced cost. Fees for course credit, travel to and from Europe, the cost of some meals and incidentals are additional. Contact us if you'd like some recommendations for fundraising. 

Participants will be guided through both the Canadian role in the Liberation of the Netherlands and the unique experience of the Dutch under Nazi occupation. Several local guides have been engaged to provide the Dutch perspective on key subjects, especially the impact of combat operations on those being liberated and the willingness of the Dutch to collaborate with what was -- until late 1943 -- a fairly benign German occupation.

The tour starts in Rotterdam and travels counter-clockwise around the Netherlands, with short excursions into Belgium and Germany. It includes Canadian cemeteries in all three countries associated with the Liberation campaign, as well as the Holocaust transit camp at Westerbork. Days will be full; the experience will be amazing!

For questions about the tour or to learn how you can become a sponsor, please contact the Gregg Centre.

This tour is generously sponsored by John and Lucinda Flemer.

Dr. Marc Milner and Dr. Alan Sears will be tour guides.

The history

This study tour builds on the program begun in partnership with Historica (2005-2008) and later the Historica-Dominion Institute and Veterans' Affairs Canada and expands the program from France and Flanders to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, allowing teacher educators to consider a more broad view of Canada's involvement in the Second World War, as well as the final stages of the war in the Netherlands and Germany.

Between 2007-2014, the Gregg Centre and the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies (LCMSDS) partnered to deliver a unique opportunity for Canadian history and social studies teachers. Held annually in July, the tour brings high school teachers from across Canada to important historic sites including Ypres, Vimy Ridge, and Amiens from the Great War and the Second World War battlefields of Dieppe and Normandy.

Between 2012-2014 the tour in France and Flanders was supported generously by John and Pattie Cleghorn.

Many former participants have been inspired to organize study tours for their own students. Nearly all have reported that the program invigorated their teaching, exposing them to new ideas and methods that enhance relationships between school and community.

Practicing teachers, as well as BEd and MEd candidates, are invited to apply for the study tour and bursary. Participants may register for academic credit at the Master's level or senior undergraduate level or obtain a non-credit certificate. A limited number of $2000 bursaries and partial bursaries are available, thanks to private sponsorship.

Please contact us to become a sponsor of our national teachers' professional development programs both in Canada and overseas!

Purpose and goals

The War and the Canadian Experience Teachers' Professional Development tour in the Netherlands introduces educators to the history of Canada in the Second World War, as well as the final months of the war allowing us to consider the question of how wars end. The Second World War is used as a vehicle to foster critical thinking skills and "historical consciousness" in today's young people.

Participants will be exposed to the latest research and academic debate over Canada's wartime experience.

Past participants have said the tour was the best professional development experience they have ever had. See our virtual tour from the Netherlands in July 2015.

Brief itinerary

The itinerary from previous programs. Next offering to be determined. Contact us for more information.

Day 1 (July 9) - Meet and greet in hotel at 19h00.

Day 2 (July 10) - The Battle for Rotterdam: the 1940 campaign. Travel to Vlissingen 

Day 3 (July 11) - Vlissingen: The Scheldt Battle: Phase 1: The Breskens Pocket

Day 4 (July 12) - Vlissingen: The Scheldt Battle: Phase 3: the Causeway and Walcheren Island

Day 5 (July 13) - Depart Vlissingen for Nijmegen: The Scheldt Battle: Phase 2: South Beveland, Bergen Op Zoom cemetery visit

Day 6 (July 14) - Nijmegen: Operation Market Garden

Day 7 (July 15) - Nijmegen: The Rhineland Battles

Day 8 (July 16) - Nijmegen to Apeldoorn: Liberation of Apeldoorn en route

Day 9 (July 17) - The Occupation of the Netherlands: The Hidden Village, Amersfort Camp, Dutch National Cemetery

Day 10 (July 18) - Depart Apeldoorn for Groningen - Holten Cemetery and Westerborke Camp

Day 11 (July 19) - Groningen - the Battle for Groningen

Day 12 (July 20) - Depart Groningen for Amsterdam with a stop at the Enclosure dyke defences

Day 13 (July 21) - departure for Canada 

For further information, contact Dr. Marc Milner