The Strathcona Circle Philosophy
Strathcona’s mission is: To teach the wonder, spirit and worth of people and the natural world through outdoor pursuits. In addition we strive to be good stewards to the environment.
Exciting goals to have, but not easy ones. We achieve them with a core set of values called The Strathcona Circle: More with Less; Stewardship; Challenge by Choice; Living on the Edge; Generosity of Spirit; Happy Warrior.
These six principles govern everything that happens at Strathcona Park Lodge, from the food we serve to the people we employ, our environmental ethos to our teaching style. We live them every day and teach them as part of all our programs, often by example. Here’s how.
More with Less – Minimizing one’s impact on the planet through one’s choices
Strathcona is a self contained community of more than 20 buildings, 50 or more staff and hundreds of guests. The entire operation is powered by a micro-hydro system, which means we’re highly sensitive to energy conservation. We also treat our own water and heat some of it with passive solar technology.
Stewardship – Caring for one’s local environment and teaching others to care too
When a logging company planned to cut old growth trees in a pristine valley Strathcona helped organize a land swap, even though it meant more logging in their viewscape. The Lodge and its employees have been instrumental in keeping Strathcona Provincial Park protected and wild.
Challenge by Choice -Providing the opportunity for individuals to choose to take appropriate risks in a safe environment where success is guaranteed.
While the zip lines at Strathcona appear dangerous, the cables, pulleys and caribiners are strong enough to hold a car. That doesn’t make that first step off the platform any easier for a lot of people. Whether someone leaps, balks or just puts on a harness, as long as they tried it’s considered a success.
Living on the Edge – Being open to new experiences, new ideas and people’s differences.
Hand in hand with Challenge by Choice, Living on the Edge means trying. It’s being brave and climbing into a kayak for the first time. It’s doing your best on the high ropes course. And most importantly it’s leaving stereotypes and preconceptions behind.
Generosity of Spirit – Thinking of others with kindness and charity, giving others the benefit of the doubt, treating people with respect.
No matter the task you’ll see people chipping in at the Lodge. Whether it’s stoking the sauna so others can sweat or picking up that piece of litter and putting it in the garbage, it’s all about thinking of others as much as oneself.
Happy Warrior – Going at tasks (including the mundane or daunting) with gusto, being a positive contributor to a team and always pitching in.
The rain is pouring down and camp is still a long way off, yet the entire group is singing at the top of their lungs. That’s a happy warrior. We’re never surprised when we hear about groups of all ages and backgrounds overcoming hardship with a smile, a laugh and a song.