Enjoying the sunset in the mountains of Strathcona Provincial Park.

Our Goal


The program is ideal if you want to pursue a career in sea kayaking, mountaineering, river running, general wilderness guiding or any kind of outdoor and experiential education. Those looking for an unforgettable gap year, time-out or year-off opportunity that will leave them with life long skills in leadership, group management and personal understanding will find COLT valuable. And for those looking to improve their ocean, lake, river and mountain skills quickly and in a fun, instructive and supportive environment will also enjoy the program.

The semester is based around the idea of building leadership skills and confidence. Instructors and students practice the principle of ‘learn by doing’ as classes are almost exclusively in the field. Living in a group of peers throughout the semester, each student will lead and follow on a daily basis, while developing hard skills and, the crucial, soft skills needed to be a good leader. Regular group debriefs encourages growth and constructive learning opportunities. Wilderness stewardship is a focus throughout the program.

Skills learned

Hard skills:

  • no trace camping
  • wilderness first aid
  • navigation on land and water
  • sea kayaking
  • canoe tripping
  • whitewater canoeing and kayaking
  • rock climbing – sport and multi-pitch climbing
  • mountaineering
  • backpacking

Soft skills:

  • leadership
  • group dynamics
  • communications
  • teaching and mentoring
  • organization
  • logistic coordination

Mission Statement

Strathcona Park Lodge’s mission is to teach the wonder, spirit and worth of people and the natural world through outdoor pursuits.