Think of Strathcona Park Lodge as a giant outdoor playground. We’ve got canoes & kayaks, rock climbing cliffs, low and high ropes courses, zip lines, tree climbing, a massive lake, hiking trails, mountain bikes, a beach, a sauna and more. Spread across the property are a collection of buildings and cottages where you’ll eat, sleep and learn. This is living on the edge and off the grid. We don’t have cell coverage and rooms don’t have phones, TV or Internet. We create our own power from water and we heat that water with sunlight. Our drinking water is treated with UV lights. Yeah it’s different but we think you’ll love it here.
What to bring
What to bring depends a bit on what program you’re doing. Click Forms and Downloads to find detailed clothing and equipment lists for every program. Regardless of your specific program, you’ll want warm clothes, a waterproof jacket and pants, a warm sleeping bag, a toothbrush, headlamp or flashlight, running shoes or hiking boots and a big backpack to carry it all in. Don’t bring valuables if you don’t need them as your rooms aren’t locked. We do have a safe in the office for games or phones brought on the bus. If you want to take pictures we recommend bringing a simple camera instead of a phone.
What you will do
You get to try a little bit of almost everything – canoeing, hiking, rock climbing or tree climb, zip line, kayaking, high ropes and orienteering. Most programs include an overnight camping trip where you get to campout with friends, cook over a fire and embrace the great outdoors.
On these programs you’ll immerse yourself in an activity like rock climbing, canoeing, sea kayaking, whitewater paddling backpacking or mountain biking. Specialty programs usually include two or three nights camping and are lead by two SPL instructors. Ask your teacher for your school’s trip options. Keep in mind that no matter what program you’re on this is not a guided trip. You’ll be expected to participate and contribute in all activities.
Who will teach you
Our instructors and leaders are a lot of fun and highly skilled. You’ll meet your instructor shortly after arriving at the Lodge, he/she will be your guide for your entire stay. They’ll show you around, guide you through the activities and keep you safe. By the end of the week they’ll probably be your friend. They all know first aid and CPR, are trained and certified in a bunch of different activities, are full of information and they work hard to make sure your visit is fun and safe. If you’re curious to find out more about the instructors head on over to our Youtube page and check out some of the past and current staff.
What you eat
The food is served buffet-style in our dining room we call the Whale Room because of the whale bones hanging on the wall. The Whale Room has plenty of seating inside and outside overlooking Upper Campbell Lake and picturesque mountains. The menu is always changing, but follows a pattern. For breakfast there’s fruit, yogurt, granola, oatmeal, toast and then a main dish like scrambled eggs, pancakes or French toast. At lunch and dinner there are always a couple of salads, some veggies, a carbohydrate (rice, pasta), fresh bread and usually meat or fish. Our kitchen is allergy aware and accommodating to special diets. There are no peanuts in the Whale Room or kitchen and there are always options for vegetarians and vegans as well as gluten and dairy-free alternatives.
Where you Sleep
Students stay in our guest cottages and chalet rooms that are comfortably set up hostel-style. They all have the things you’d expect, like indoor plumbing, electricity and heat (either propane, electric or wood stove), and we provide a fitted sheet and pillow for each bed – you just bring a sleeping bag and towel. Most rooms have their own washroom. Each room is unique and can sleep anywhere from 2 – 7 people. In hostel setup we plan on two people per queen bed (remember, you’re in your own sleeping bag) and also have bunkbeds, trundles and thick foamies. We assign the cabins to each school and it is up to the head teacher to assign rooms. Just like at home, keep your room neat. Before you leave, you and your roommates will be responsible for tidying your room, washroom and common areas.
Duke of Edinburgh
If you are going for the Duke of Edinburgh Award our programs can help you achieve the Adventurous Journey component. Our school Adventure and Specialty programs may qualify for the Bronze or Silver award and we have WYLD Summer Camps to meet all levels, including a special Gold Award trip. To make sure your school trip qualifies for the Bronze or Silver Award you must speak to your teacher and ask them to request a qualifying trip. There is not enough time while you are here to cover all the content needed for the Preliminary Training so you we’ve created a Duke of Ed workbook and worksheets for each level. You must bring the completed worksheet and your record book with you so our instructor can sign it for you. It is your responsibility to make sure you bring the completed worksheet and your record book with you. More info about our Duke of Edinburgh resources and trips are found here. Forms and Downloads