The Canadian Outdoor Leadership Training program, COLT, is a dynamic semester designed to train high quality and well-rounded outdoor educators and guides.
Originally developed by Strathcona Park Lodge in 1977, the program is one of the most respected outdoor semesters in the world. Today, two three-month COLT programs run each year – a 100 day semester from May to August and a 93 day semester from August until November – covering land and water based activities in Vancouver Island and Squamish. COLT is accredited with the Private Career Training Institutions Agency of British Columbia, which means students are eligible for student loans.
The program is based at Strathcona Park Lodge, one of the first outdoor education centres in Canada and still a leader in the field, introducing more than 5,000 school aged students, families and travellers from around the world to the wilderness each year. In the 1970s it was hard to find qualified guides, so in 1977 Jim and Myrna Boulding, the Lodge founders, started the Apprenticeship Program (now known as the COLT) to train employees into the leaders they needed.
COLT is now recognized all over the world as one of the leading guide and instructor training programs and as a result students come to Strathcona every year to be taught by our skilled instructors. The reputation of COLT precedes graduates when they pursue jobs and further education and many COLT alumni are employed by guide bureaus, adventure travel companies and schools as wilderness guides, outdoor educators and outdoor leaders.