Strathcona Park Lodge’s core business is creating customized outdoor education programs for groups at our Vancouver Island base. From half day to multi-day programs for groups of two to 200, we have the expertise, infrastructure and staff to accommodate just about any group. We’ve worked with army cadets, scout troops, tour operators, English Second Language programs (ESL), international groups, outfitters, roaming summer camps, sports teams and more.
Many groups stay at Strathcona Park Lodge for an all inclusive program that includes activities, instruction, meals and accommodation. Others utilize us for our expertise, equipment or guiding. We can outfit a canoe trip or lead a group to a summit, ensure a rock climbing experience is safe and fun and build teamwork skills on the high ropes course. Whatever your needs we can help. Take a look through this site and give us a call with your ideas, 250-286-3122.
Why come to Strathcona?
Bring your group closer together through shared challenges and experiences. Many outdoor activities require trust and cooperation to succeed as a group and with our experienced instructors leading the way groups of individuals will become a solid team through games, activities and challenges. Plus, spending time together in a new environment breaks down barriers and builds new bonds.
Reward your group with an active holiday that contributes life skills like leadership, confidence and self reliance. During our outdoor education programs groups have a great time learning new activities, hanging out and just having fun. No one forgets their Strathcona Park Lodge experience.
Send your group home with experiences they wouldn’t find anywhere else. Getting to the top of a rock climb, completing the high ropes course, zip lining through the trees, climbing a mountain, swimming in the lake. These are extraordinary experiences that will not be forgotten, yet are easily accomplished at Strathcona Park Lodge.
The Lodge is easily reached by bus or car on paved highways. And once you’re here, you’re done. Booking a group experience with us is one stop shopping including meals, accommodation, excellent instruction, equipment and activities. On the Lodge’s 160 acre lakefront property are rock climbing bluffs, hiking trails, dozens of boats, three bays, a high and low ropes course, zip lines, two restaurants, a store and much more.
Customized programming is what we do. With our diverse location, talented instructors and unique infrastructure the educational possibilities at Strathcona are almost limitless. We strive to create programs to meet the goals, needs and abilities of each group. Length of stay, types of activities, skills taught and more can be customized. Give us a call and we’ll help build an ideal experience for your teachers and students.
While each group’s experience is unique, our most popular programs can be broken down into two themes: Adventure Programs
, sampling many different activities from Strathcona Park Lodge; and Specialty Programs , focusing on one or two activities.
Programs and Activities
There are plenty of activities to fill any length stay at Strathcona Park Lodge. In fact, one of the hardest decisions is figuring out what not to do during your time here.
Programs are broken up between on-property activities and expeditions. Many of our programs on site and expedition type programs are described below. These just scratch the surface of what we can do at Strathcona, so if you have specific requests let us know and we’ll do our best to accommodate you. Contact the Program Manger, 250-286-3122 or firstname.lastname@example.org, for a full list of options.
All your worries and thoughts will evaporate the moment you grip the rock on one of our three climbing bluffs. Every muscle, nerve and tendon will focus on getting you to the top of the cliff face. Fear will be pushed to a far corner knowing your guide will catch any slip or fall with the top rope. And when you get to the top stop and enjoy the view across Upper Campbell Lake before stepping off the cliff on rappel. The climbs are mostly easy or moderate, suitable for beginner to intermediate climbers. Climbers must be at least 8 years old.
Hidden in a stand of towering old growth trees is Strathcona’s high ropes course, a series of challenges strung 15 to 30 feet off the ground. Leap across a gap, walk a narrow wire, unlock the mind and body puzzle of the spider, all while safely tethered to an overhead line. Designed to challenge everyone, no experience is necessary to enjoy the course, but participants do have to be 48 inches tall and/or 10 years old.
Act like Tarzan: Fly through the trees. We have three zip lines or flying foxes on the property. Each is slightly different, taking advantage of the geography and trees, but they all include a long ride whizzing through the forest safely attached to a wire. Scream, hang upside down or just feel the wind, it’s an exhilarating experience no one should miss. We’ve had 80 year olds and six year olds love the zip line. Physically it’s one of the easiest and funnest activities on the property. But it can also be mentally intimidating. Letting go and giving it a try is the highlight for many visitors to Strathcona Park Lodge.
Ever wonder what it’s like 50 feet up in a tree? This is your chance to find out. Giant staples have been pinned into the bark of huge Douglas fir trees (they don’t hurt the tree). Using the staples as a ladder you’ll climb up the tree with a rope and harness to keep you safe. The birds eye view from the top is one of a kind.
Low ropes course
Test your balance and team work skills on this collection of games and challenges. With a wood chip floor the Low Ropes Course encourages trying. Our instructors have a large repertoire of activities that will challenge any group.
In 50 years of living here we’ve had plenty of time to find the best spots nearby: a fascinating bog, incredible viewpoints and challenging climbs. Knock them off one at a time or string all the trails together and you’ve got a fantastic, varied and scenic day hike.
Lake canoeing and kayaking
We have a fleet of dozens of kayaks and canoes of all sizes and shapes. Learn strokes and gain confidence in our protected bays and then set off for an hour or several days down the lake. Destinations include nearby island and distant lake chains.
The essential skills of navigation are not well known, but are easy to learn. Groups can learn how to read a topographic map, navigate to points on a map, run an orienteering course and locate themselves on Earth in one lesson with our experienced instructors. Advanced courses can cover compass navigation and triangulation.
Build a fire with your hands, construct a warm shelter, make rope from cedar bark, walk in the dark. Many of our instructors are trained and interested in wilderness survival skills and they’re happy to share their expertise.
Multi Day Programs
These are multi-day programs that expose students to one or two activities. Nights are usually spent camping.
Combined Canoe and Hike
The best of water and land. After paddling across the lake in a canoe the group will hike into the Island Mountains past abundant wildlife and mature forest. A night is usually spent in the mountains before returning to the Lodge by canoe.
Destinations vary depending on the group’s experience, age, time of year and trail conditions. A gentle introduction to backpacking can be found nearby at Roger’s Ridge or leaving right from the Lodge to Camp 1. Both one night trips feature exceptional views with minimal effort.
In Strathcona Provincial Park more strenuous hikes take students into the true wilderness on excellent trails. Paths lead through old growth forests to alpine tundra and glacier fed lakes. The Elk River Trail and Bedwell Trail are two popular examples.
For strong and determined groups a Vancouver Island summit is within reach. King’s Peak, Mount Myra and Mount McBride can all be climbed on a three day backpacking trip.
Upper Campbell and Buttle Lakes provide over 40 kilometers of safe freshwater paddling with campsites every few kilometers. Groups have a variety of destination options surrounded by old-growth forests, hiking trails, rivers and creeks.
Ocean Paddling in the protected waters and exposed coast of Nootka Sound will take groups to sandy beaches and pristine forests where they may view eagles, bears, seals, whales and other marine life in their natural habitat. You may also visit Friendly Cove, where Captain Cook first landed, to view First Nation artifacts.