Thank you for your commitment to providing your participants with an exceptional outdoor education experience. We know how much time and effort goes into planning the trip and we want to support you in making it as easy as possible. If you can’t find the information you’re looking for here then give us a call or send us an email.
Pricing is on a per participant basis that includes meals from dinner on your arrival day to lunch on your departure day, accommodation and instructional activities. One trip coordinator is free of charge and additional chaperones are charged for meals and accommodation. If you are a school please contact our School Program Director Adele Woodyard, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-286-3122 for current pricing for grades K-7, grades 8-12, French immersion, youth groups and summer youth programs.
Schools from all over Vancouver Island, the Vancouver area and destinations as far flung as Toronto, Saskatoon, Fort St. John and San Diego take part in our programs each year. We also work international groups, ESL programs and sports teams from the UK, Germany, Korea, Japan, China, the Philippines and more.
Travel times by car to Strathcona Park Lodge:
- Victoria – 3hrs 45 mins
- Nanaimo, Departure Bay Ferry – 2 hrs 15 mins
- Nanaimo, Duke Point Ferry – 2 hrs 35 mins
- Courtenay – 1 hr 20 mins
- Comox Airport – 1 hr 30 mins
Most schools and groups arrive here by bus. When travelling from Vancouver it is common to walk on the ferry and board a bus in Nanaimo. Please check the BC Ferries website for current schedule information and rates.
Bus: Transportation rates vary from company to company based on where their buses are based, the size and comfort level of the bus and your group size. It is recommended that you call a few companies to find the best value for your needs.
- Ambassador Shuttle Service www.ambassadorshuttleservice.ca or 250-339-5252 Toll Free 877-339-5252
- 287-TAXI: up to 20 passengers 250-287-8294
- Comox Coach & Shuttle Ltd. www.comoxcoach.ca or 250-898-8533 or 1-844-898-8533
- Destiny River Adventures: school bus charter 1-877-923-7238 or www.destinyriver.com
- Forest Coach Tours 1-888-248-4525
- Garden City Transportation: school bus charter 250-385-0699 or www.gardencitytransportation.com
- Smith Transportation 1-877-756-2544
- Wilson’s Transportation: 1-800-567-3288
Car: Take Highway 19 to Campbell River and the intersection of Hwy 19 and Hwy 19A (9km north of the Jubilee Parkway exit and airport turnoff). Turn left at the intersection with 19A and join the Gold River Highway (Hwy 28). Travel west on a winding road for 41 kilometres (about 40 minutes) to Strathcona Park Lodge.
Air: Central Mountain Air, Pacific Coastal Airlines and Air Canada all have regular scheduled flights from Vancouver to Campbell River. The Comox Airport, 40 minutes by car further south, is also serviced by WestJet with daily non-stop service from Calgary, Edmonton and connections across Canada.
Here’s what you can expect from your Strathcona Park Lodge experience.
A typical stay at Strathcona has many components from arrival to departure. There are meetings, debriefs, activities, free time, clean ups, meals and more. Every group at Strathcona will have a unique itinerary but they will all follow a general timeline.
Before coming to Strathcona Park Lodge many schools have an information session with both the students and parents. This is done to help prepare the kids, parents, teachers and chaperones in what is needed to get the full “Strath” experience. We have a couple of resources online to assist you in arriving better prepared. You can find the medical, waiver, consent forms and equipment lists by clicking HERE. As well, we have created videos to assist in what to bring which you can find by clicking HERE.
Students will play large group games with instructors while the teachers and chaperones meet with an SPL instructor and manager to go over goals and objectives. Students will then have a chance to move into their cottage before a fire drill brings them all back together. From here groups split off, meet their instructor for the week and begin their Strathcona experience with games and a tour of the property.
Phone and Internet for Adults
Wireless internet access is available for adults in our main office. The network name and password are available at the front desk and will be shared with you at our arrival briefing.There is no cell phone coverage here and students do not have phone or internet access. You will be contacted in the event of an emergency. Unplugging from technology is an important part of the Strathcona experience and we ask you to please not share access with youth participants.
Three meals a day are served buffet-style at the Whale Room. Food is fresh, local, nutritious and approachable. Juice is served at breakfast and water is available at other meals. Coffee and tea are available for teachers and chaperones, but is off limits to students. Students will be able to choose from a variety of salads, vegetables, carbohydrates and protein. We encourage them to try new things. Students clear their own plates separating scraps into burnables, compost and garbage. Each group takes a turn cleaning the Whale Room at some point during their stay.
When there a large number students on site there will be two sittings for each meal to ensure there is enough seating available. Groups are required to eat during their prescribed sitting. Instructors will go over mealtime etiquette with students on the first day.
Instructors lead all activities with their group and will set meeting times and meeting places – students are expected to be on time. During activities, the instructor is in charge of safety and discipline. Teachers and chaperones are expected to be a good role model and a helpful second. Students are encouraged to try, do their best and have fun. Activities can last from an hour to a couple of days.
Free time is built into every day at Strathcona. Students are free to play basketball, hang out with friends, read, nap, take a shower. Teachers and chaperones are responsible for students during free time.
The school sets curfews. Usually a staggered curfew works best: in your rooms, lights out, and quiet. Chaperones and teachers enforce curfews.
We have a store with souvenirs, snacks and treats next to the office. Many schools allow students to visit the store with their group once during their stay.
At the end of your stay each group’s instructor will debrief the experience with students. Instructors have their own style, but the purpose is to encourage reflection of what was learnt and accomplished.
Many schools opt for a party or get together on the last night. Some schools do skits, a campfire or a dance. Instructors can be involved.
On the final morning participants are expected to do a “No Trace” cleanup of their accommodation. This includes taking out the garbage, sweeping and doing a thorough search for left-behind items.
At some point on the last day teachers, chaperones, instructors and Strathcona supervisors will meet to review and debrief the schools stay at Strathcona. This is an opportunity to suggest improvements, ask questions and book your week for next year!
Instructors will entertain students until the buses arrive to take them home. Bags will be stored out of the way until the buses are ready.