Tag Archives: Elder Hostel

Flash Back Fridays


By Arthur Mayse, October 1986

Strathcona Park Lodge, which sprawls along the rugged shoreline of Upper Campbell Lake, is much more than a holiday resort.

It is also a training center that specializes in such outdoor skills as canoeing, kayaking, mountaineering and wilderness survival.

All this, of course, didn’t happen overnight. The program, unique on this continent, was developed through years.

It was in its infancy, and the lodge itself smaller by most of its chalet-type frame units when Win and I first ventured to Strathcona over a gravel road that threatened to dump us into the lake at every turn and twist.

Posing at the famous Roosevelt Elk, the entrance to Strathcona Provincial Park.

Posing at the famous Roosevelt Elk, the entrance to Strathcona Provincial Park.

Big Jim Boulding, the former Campbell River school teacher who founded the lodge on a dream and shoestring, was still alive in those years. Even then, Jim Boulding worried about the future of Strathcona Park, a wild empire of mountain, lake and timbered slopes.

A mine had intruded. Other mining claims stakes before the park was established in 1911, threatened, and the loggers had an eye on Strathcona’s grand first- growth evergreens. The threat remains unresolved.

We remembered Strathcona Lodge kindly, and when Myrna Boulding asked us to come up for a week and teach memoir writing to an Elderhostel which was about to descend on her retreat, we were quick to accept.

Not that we had any idea what an Elderhostel was. Myrna explained.

“As I understand it,” she told us, “Elderhostel is an organization of seniors who stay in groups at one college or resort.. They’re strong on education and adventure.”

With that to go on, we scrambled a mini-course together and on the Sunday set out for Strathcona Park Lodge. Read more

Flash Back Fridays


After having had guests suggest on three different occasions that our property would be an ideal location to hold Elderhostel programs, I finally agreed to give it a try. Some of the staff almost quit because they didn’t like the idea the idea of working with people over sixty and they didn’t be them to fall on the rough ground on their watch. elderElderhostel programs were an imme- diate success. Seventy people enrolled one week, so we had to have seven groups. We had a rule that a maximum of ten students could participate in an outdoor activity, irrespective of the student’s age. One day I was sitting in Jim’s old office and a group of six Elderhostelers came to the door. I thought “this is it; they are here to tell me that this place is unsuitable for those older than sixty”. To my astonishment, they had come to ask me if they could try rock climbing. One older gentleman wanted to have his picture taken while climbing a rock face. Read more