Canoeing on the ocean on the way to the mouth of Burman River.

Frequently Asked Questions

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1. Why do schools come to Strathcona?

Students, teachers and chaperones come to Strathcona to challenge themselves in a range of outdoor activities and adventures. Along the way they bond, share and learn together in ways that could never happen in a traditional classroom. They return home enriched and empowered with a new sense of their surroundings and appreciation for their colleagues.

Typically, schools visit Strathcona Park Lodge in the spring and fall for three to five days (programs vary). Some are multi-sport and are based out of the Lodge, while other programs are focused on specific activities, like rock climbing, sea kayaking and backpacking, and are mostly camping based.


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2. When do your programs run?

Strathcona Park Lodge operates youth programs year round from our base on Upper Campbell Lake and our Alpine Chalet at Mount Washington Alpine Resort. Here’s what you can expect at different times of the year:

March through June, September and October – A good time to reward students and an opportunity to end the school year with a bang. Typical spring weather means showers, sun and mild temperatures. Best of Adventure, ocean and lake paddling, whitewater, rock climbing and some mountain hiking programs.

July and August – Outdoor and active WYLD summer camps for ages 13 and up. Sea kayaking, hiking, canoeing and more. The weather is typically warm and dry. The hiking at the Mount Washington chalet is amazing with lots of wildflowers.

November through March – Abundant snow in the Vancouver Island mountains allows for teaching winter skills, snowshoeing and more from our Mount Washington chalet. This is a quiet time to visit Strathcona Lodge.


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3. Can I visit Strathcona before our class visit?

Teachers and trip organizers are welcome to visit Strathcona prior to their class trip.  Observing our programs in action, seeing the facilities and speaking with our Program Director will assist you in making your decision to bring your students, planning the trip and setting group objectives. Please contact us to arrange a visit.


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4. Do you only offer Monday to Friday programs?

No. Programs can run over weekends or include a weekend day. One, two, or three day programs provide students with team building opportunities and are an excellent introduction to the outdoors.


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5. Do you offer programs in French?

Strathcona Park Lodge is well known for its quality French Immersion programs and they are our fastest growing type of school program.  Bilingual instructors will enhance students’ French language skills while teaching outdoor pursuits. We endeavour to conduct all activities in French but we may use English at times to make sure safety instructions are clearly understood. Having chaperones who understand French is a tremendous asset for helping students think and speak in French.  


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6. I’m looking for a camp to host our group. Do you work with other organizations and groups?

Yes, we are pleased to work with other youth organizations to support their programs. Community groups, Scouts and Guides, international exchange programs, sports teams and others come here to provide their participants with a unique experience that compliments their own goals. Please contact the Program Director to find out how we can customize our program specifically for your group.


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7. My son/daughter is arriving late or leaving early from their school trip. How do you recommend they travel?

Please talk to your child’s teacher/trip leader about your travel plans. Often they can help with arrangements and ensure your child is able to meet up with their group. Some schools bring a private vehicle and can help with picking up or dropping off students in Campbell River.

If they are old enough to travel on their own we recommend they take the Island Link Bus from downtown Victoria or Departure Bay, Nanaimo to the Tyee Plaza stop in Campbell River. A taxi can be pre arranged to meet them at Tyee Plaza and bring them to Strathcona Park Lodge. We recommend Campbell River’s 287-Taxi for travel to/from downtown Campbell River or the airport.


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8. How far in advance do I need to book a school group or summer program?

Many of our schools come every year so contact us early for the best chances of securing dates for your program. Planning a year in advance is recommended, especially for large groups and French programs.  It’s never too late to ask if we have space and we’ll do our best to accommodate last minute requests.


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9. Is there internet or phone service available for youth participants?

Taking time for youth to unplug from technology is one of the most common benefits we hear from teachers and parents. We do not have internet access for youth while they are here and telephone use is limited to the coin operated payphone.

 

With up to 180 students each week we are not able to pass along non urgent messages. In case of an emergency at home parents can leave a message for students by calling our main office at 250-286-3122 and asking to speak with the program director.


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10. Do you offer winter programs?

Yes.  For a more intimate Strathcona experience at either our main site or at our Alpine Chalet at Mount Washington, plan a winter retreat facilitated by our experienced guides. In addition to being able to offer many of our programs during the winter months, snowshoeing, winter camping and survival programs are popular for groups of all ages.


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