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Flash Back Fridays

TOURISM BEGINNINGS 1961

I tell people that we stumbled into the tourist business. The local people referred to us as ‘just a couple of kids’. We had never really been tourists so knew very little about the business.

Mr. Bradbury with toddler Liz

Mr. Bradbury with toddler Liz

In 1961 Jim was commuting to town to teach and I was pregnant with Jamie. We had a British American oil can, (which was emptied periodically), with a toilet seat on top, in a small shed just outside the back door. I had a young man staying at the Lodge to help me with the place. It was easy to find American fishermen and explorers in B.C. in those days. They were usually in the most isolated spots, like where we were located. Believe it or not, a middle-aged man known as Senator Hollister stopped by and asked if he could stay with us. He did not mind our rustic outhouse. It turned out that he was probably one of the richest guests that we ever had. Apparently he owned 13 miles of California sea-coast. He was also our first tourist. How could we say no? We needed the money. I believe that Jim took him fishing. Read more

Flash Back Fridays

Flash Back Fridays

Front Cover

Inside

Back Cover

Flash Back Fridays

Flash Back Fridays

VANCOUVER ISLAND WILDERNESS RESORT SPECIALIZED IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS

By Ellen Steese, The Christian Science Monitor, June 1985 (selected passages below)

“I always wanted to be a circus acrobat,” the white bearded man says, hopping up onto the horizontal cable slung some three feet above the forest floor.

The rock-climbing class at Strathcona Park Lodge – a wilderness resort in the center of Vancouver Island – doesn’t start out by having much to do with rocks. In the beginning you find yourself wobbling stoutheartedly across swaying logs, the cable just mentioned, and an assortment of rope ladders and logs that are mercifully stationary but placed at a daunting height from the ground.

Fortunately, stout hearts are what we have here. I have joined up with a visiting group of hikers from the Appalachian Mountain Club, middle-aged and older but as spunky as they come. They’ve taken up rock climbing for the first time in their lives.

Jamie showing someone the ropes at the Lake Bluff.

Jamie showing someone the ropes at the Lake Bluff.

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Flash Back Fridays

KAREN SCHWALM 1981

Education has always been very important to me and it seems that you never stop learning. My educational background includes having obtained a B.Sc. in Chemistry from Michigan Technological University, followed by work on a M.Sc. in Chemistry at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, Alaska.

This kindled my love of the Arctic and polar climates.  After moving to BC I completed the Simon Fraser University PDP teacher education program in 1973, and taught Secondary School in Prince Rupert, BC. That’s when I first heard of the Apprenticeship in Wilderness Leadership at Strathcona. Determined to be a scientist, I worked as a Chemist doing geochemistry assay and heavy metal analysis. I obtained a chemist position for Arctic Laboratories in Inuvik, Northwest Territories. The north was fascinating; I wanted to get out in the field to collect the samples I was analyzing. Alas, I wasn’t allowed on any expeditions into the field, where polar bear monitors with guns watched as the samples were collected, because I didn’t have enough Outdoor Skills. My then boyfriend, Nils Vikander, the Cross Country Ski Coach for the NWT, suggested that we go to Strathcona Park Lodge Outdoor Education Centre to attend the Apprenticeship in Wilderness Leadership program to get the outdoor skills, which included

Karen (centre), with Patty Van Humbeck and her friend Diane Sanderson in the bog

Karen (centre), with Patty Van Humbeck and her friend Diane Sanderson in the bog

Survival Skills, that would enable me to work in the field. He had the summer off and wished to expand his outdoor set of skills and we could do it together. Perfect, the outdoors and science were coming together. Read more

Flash Back Fridays

BUNNY SHANNON AND CLARK MUNRO

jaques and bunny

jaques and bunny

Bunny and Clark met at the Lodge and have been together ever since. They live in Fanny Bay on Vancouver Island. Clark has an oyster lease and Bunny just retired after many years as a trustee with the Courtenay school board. When she was at the Lodge, Bunny was known for her inspired cooking. In Bunny’s own words: “One of my favourite memories as kitchen staff took place as soon as the school groups left the dining room and kitchen and headed off for the afternoon’s activities. We would turn on the music, usually Pied Piper or Peter Gabriel, and dance on the tables before we would begin the final clean-up.” Bunny was a caring, creative and talented character who spent a great deal of time and energy preparing food that was appetizing, appealing, nourishing, and even entertaining for the rest of the community. Along with her co-worker, Lucy Alderson, they collected some favourite recipes, many of which we still use.

Cream of Broccoli Soup the Way Bunny Makes It

  • 4 T butter
  • 2 cups chopped onion 2 stalk chopped celery 4 cloves garlic
  • Sauté together.
  • Add 1⁄2 cup flour, brown lightly.
  • Add 6 cups of milk gradually. Stirring constantly,
  • add:
  • 1 bay leaf
  • pinch of all spice
  • black pepper
  • tamari
  • Worcestershire sauce, to taste basil
  • Add 5 cups chopped, cooked broccoli. Simmer briefly and serve. Nourishes six.

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Flash Back Fridays

LIVING ON THE EDGE

By Doug Paterson and Susan Hellard

Living on the edge was a phrase we first heard at Strathcona in 1979. Nothing defined that phrase more for us than the times we spent at Escalante. Jim Boulding first introduced it to us when we were apart of a flotilla of small motor boats lead by the Fair Isle that ventured down Muchalat inlet to the wild and untamed West Coast of the Island. We still visit this incredible part of Vancouver Island annually with dear friends and other former employees of the Lodge, Clark Munroe and Bunny Shannon. Our spirits fly in such a place.

Living On The Edge Strathcoan style on the West Coast of Vancouver Island.

Living On The Edge Strathcoan style on the West Coast of Vancouver Island.

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Flash Back Fridays

LIVING ON THE EDGE

By Doug Paterson and Susan Hellard

Living on the edge was a phrase we first heard at Strathcona in 1979. Nothing defined that phrase more for us than the times we spent at Escalante. Jim Boulding first introduced it to us when we were apart of a flotilla of small motor boats lead by the Fair Isle that ventured down Muchalat inlet to the wild and untamed West Coast of the Island. We still visit this incredible part of Vancouver Island annually with dear friends and other former employees of the Lodge, Clark Munroe and Bunny Shannon. Our spirits fly in such a place.

On the edge not only defined where the mighty Pacific Ocean meets North America, but also our feelings and experiences of being surrounded by Read more

Flash Back Friday

BARRY CURRAN (ETTER) 1976

I was in the first ‘Apprenticeship’ program from May to September circa 1977. Prior to that, in August 1976, at the age of thirty, I had taken a three-week ‘Wilderness Leadership’ program. I already knew Jill Chudleigh from our cooperative house in Victoria. She was an intern at the Lodge when I was there. Fellow apprentices included: Betsy Gregg, Wendy Anthony, Alastair Hancock, and Greg Thomason. The program was so intense that we were pretty well joined at the hip.

Barry at the beach

Barry at the beach

I spent some time with Brian Creer during the next few years in various paddling venues and continued to take canoe courses. Eventually I become an instructor. I also hiked Phillip’s Ridge. As far as what I did, I helped out in a variety of areas but I wouldn’t have called it work; torture, maybe.

When I took the apprenticeship course; the fee was nominal, only $1000 for four months.

Here’s the big one for me. My Strathcona experience, along with a follow-up course at COBMS Keremeos, launched me into new occupational direction in the B.C. Corrections Branch, where I had previously been a youth probation officer. I shifted to the government-run outdoor camps for young offenders, a job Read more