Hands on Learning

At SPL we fit under the umbrella of outdoor adventure and experiential education. Activities are selected to challenge, encourage creativity, inspire reflection, and simply for the sake of fun. Lending themselves to be the perfect framework for teamwork, skill development, and adventure. 

Here, activities tend to fall under two categories, onsite adventures or offsite expeditions. SPL’s onsite activities can be delivered as stand alone blocks or integrated into the progression of longer programs.


We are all about the experience and creating an atmosphere where participants find the freedom to be themselves. Trust is a key ingredient to this recipe. Peers learn to support each other and create the foundations for a successful group dynamic. 

From our high ropes course where participants are required to navigate a series of challenges, to a fire lighting lesson with an outlined goal of boiling water, to a canoe camping trip where students learn that each member of the group plays an integral role in getting the group from one location to the next. These are all examples of how our activities foster teamwork. 

Skill Development

Participants learn both technical and leadership skills while at SPL. Instructors start with the basics and progress through the building blocks of each activity. Participants who are with us for more than a couple days or return year after year will have the opportunity to try out more advanced skills and settings. 

Depending on the program, skill development can range from learning to get in and out of a kayak to paddling down a rapid. Our goal is for participants to be able to transfer the skills they learned here back to their lives at home. 


The magic of adventure can be found through all SPL activities. We encourage our participants to embrace new expereinces, while recognizing that challenge lies on a continuum. Whether someone puts on a harness or helmet, makes it to the top of a climb or chooses to rappel, trying is considered a success. 

Our specialty programs take participants away from Strathcona Park Lodge. From sea kayaking on the west coast of Vancouver Island, to hiking through old growth forests in Stathcona Provincial Park, to white water paddling at one of our local rivers, our expeditions based trips link teamwork, skill development, and adventure. 


A colourful group of kayakers have gathered in the shallows after descending a waterfall... A black bear sow and her two cubs are fishing a little further upstream, and there are salmon leaping out of the churning rapids. The water is like molten gold reflecting end-of-summer sunshine and early autumn leaves. One girl finishes a mouthful of cookie and leans over to say to her instructor, "This was worth putting on the cold, damp wetsuit this morning!"

– Jennifer Van Hardenberg- St. Margaret's School