Tag Archives: 1975

Flash Back Fridays


July 8, 1975

Strathcona Park Outdoor Education Centre begins its summer teaching program with the first of its whitewater kayak and canoe courses. The Whitewater and West Coast Survival Adventure courses are overbooked, while some vacancies still exist for Basic Wilderness, Wilderness Leadership and West Coast Native Lifestyles.

The groups in residence during the last two weeks of June illustrate the varied nature of Strathcona’s appeal to school groups. A special needs class from Powell River spent one week working on life sports and survival skills. A grade 10 leadership class came to Strathcona all the way from Kamloops MacArthur Park School. Barbara Hargreaves and Ken Purvis designed and ran a program that required only a minimum Lodge staff, while it provided direct challenges in the form of whitewater canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing to the students.

A special two-day anthropology and fishing expedition to Quadra Island was lead by Jim Boulding, the Lodge’s director, and Mike Robinson, the staff anthropologist.

Kitsilano High School sent recent grade twelve graduates to participate in a High School Leadership workshop for ten days in June. Jeff King- ston, the Strathcona mountaineer, led this group on a major climb of a local peak – Mount Thelwood. ‘Alpine to Ocean’ ecological studies were conducted on the climb with the assistance of staff biologist Bob Sutherland

Also in and around the Lodge during June were students from Powell River who have received an ‘Opportunities for Youth’ grant to run a day camp for local youngsters. These teachers-to-be were taught small boat handling, first aid, survival skills, and introductory biology of the coast rainforest.

A small group of outdoor education students participated in a moderately strenuous program called “Senior Citizens Experience” during the last two weeks in June. The program was specially designed to accommodate a wide range of interests and included lake canoeing, whitewater canoe observation from a riverbank, photography, trips to the Gold River waterfront and bog ecology studies.

Flash Back Fridays


We had been active in teaching in the public school system after graduating from both PE and Education at UBC. We had become aware of a Wilderness Leadership Course that was available. If teachers were prepared to use some of their “summer holiday,” districts would subsidize the costs of the three week course. We were excited to hear we had been accepted.. We had no preconceived ideas of the site, the instructors, the region, the food, or the overall philosophy behind becoming a wilderness leader of young people.

We were introduced to our instructors, Geoff Evans and Ray Preece, the 12 other members taking the course, and the managers of the Lodge, Myrna and Jim Boulding.

Bruce crossing a river

Bruce crossing a river

Ray and Geoff had both emigrated from England where Geoff had excelled in kayaking and Ray as an outstanding sailor and general outdoorsmen. Both had worked for Outward Bound. Jim and Myrna had had other instructors but these two seemed to have a real chemistry. There was immediate respect for their personal backgrounds and what they brought to program at Strathcona. Read more

Flash Back Fridays


By Moira Farrow, The Vancouver Sun, May 16, 1975

If Jim and Myrna Boulding were out to make money, the last thing they’d be doing is running an outdoor education centre. But that‘s what they have chosen to do so last year they made a profit of $2500 for twelve months of work.

“And it was the first time that we were not in the red” Mrs. Boulding laughed.

Timbers being hewn for use at the Lodge

Timbers being hewn for use at the Lodge

Money has no priority in the Bouldings personal scale of values, but ironically, they spend a lot of time worrying about the lack of it. It’s not possible to give outdoor education to thousands of children and adults every year without cash to pay the bills. “At last we’re still in the ball game and that is where we want to be” Boulding said. “We built the buildings ourselves – we like building  buildings’ said the 43-year-old Boulding who shrugged off the massive construction project as though it were of only minor interest.

The couple has turned their place into an outdoor education centre, where their hearts had always been. They have opened their doors at minimum prices to thousands of young people and even a few senior citizens. Read more