What do I do when COLT is over?
Twice a year Strathcona Park Lodge and Outdoor Education Center accepts a number of COLT graduates to participate in a three to five week teaching practicum at no charge. There is no pay involved, but room and board is provided. Practicum is a great opportunity to put to use your newfound skills, develop group leadership and facilitation skills and gain valuable work experience in the outdoor industry.
Strathcona Park Lodge is host to over five thousand people each year: with school groups in the spring and fall, families and WYLD Expeditions during the summer. We are Canada’s oldest and most continuously running outdoor education center. As a national leader in the outdoor industry we are a great place to start your journey as an outdoor instructor or guide.
Practicum start and end dates vary from year to and will be announced during your COLT semester. Applications are accepted by the Chief Instructor of Education, in our Program department, upon successful completion of COLT.
What is Practicum?
Practicum is a 3-5 week experiential programs where you work alongside numerous experienced and skilled SPL Instructors, usually in the format of shadowing in order to gain knowledge on our various activities, instructional techniques, group facilitation and development. You will learn many new games, leadership techniques and may be involved in skill workshops and staff training days. As practicum progresses you may become more involved in instruction, and may even end up in the role of a co-Instructor, or if hired, an Instructor.
How hard is it to get into the Practicum?
Applications are available from the Chief Instructor of Education in Program department, and may be submitted at the end of your COLT semester. From here, they will be reviewed and invitations will be given out based on number of spots available. All Practicum students must successfully complete a Criminal Record Check.
Can I fail the Practicum?
There is no “pass” or “fail”. Practicum is a learning opportunity and regular feedback will be provided by the instructors you work with, as well as from the Chief Instructor of Education. A final evaluation will be written and provided to you upon completion of Practicum. By this point, you will have a pretty good idea – and so will we – whether working with people, especially kids, is something you want to do. At the end of it all, you may be offered a position as an instructor at our outdoor education center.
Does the Practicum provide me with any certification?
No, but it looks great on your resume! If you do become a SPL Instructor you will have plenty of opportunities to upgrade your skills and certifications.
What if I can only do a part of it because of other commitments?
Often arrangements can be made to accommodate prior commitments or unexpected emergencies. If you have adequate experience in the field, you may not need to participate in the full Practicum before being eligible for instructional work.
What if I am not a graduate of the COLT program – can I still apply for Practicum?
No- this program is only available to COLT graduates.