The programs we offer at Strathcona Park Lodge & Outdoor Education Centre contain an element of risk that is inherent to outdoor activities. The safety of our participants and managing that risk is our first priority.
Nothing your students and children will do at Strathcona Park Lodge is more dangerous than just getting here. For example, we tend not to think of driving as dangerous because we do it all the time, but the truth is someone is far more likely to get hurt in a car than rock climbing, sea kayaking or climbing a mountain.
This is the difference between perceived risk (appears dangerous, but isn’t) and real risk (really is dangerous). At Strathcona we do as much as we can to reduce real risk as part of our safety and risk management planning. Instructors are highly trained, equipment is high quality, modern and maintained, and procedures are in place to ensure activities are geared to the participants age, maturity and ability.
Perceived risk on the other hand is part of what makes outdoor education so exciting and valuable. Many students approach an activity, such as rock climbing, with a notion that it is dangerous and hard. By explaining how the equipment works, the training the instructors have and then breaking climbing into simple steps, students are able to overcome their fears and succeed. The sense of accomplishment in the face of a huge obstacle, like a cliff face, is immense and carries over to every aspect many aspects of their lives.
Both types of risk are inherent in outdoor activities. They are important components to learning success in an outdoor environment. We believe that the benefits of taking part in one of our programs far outweighs the risks. So do many others.
More than 100,000 school aged children have been to Strathcona. Our greatest compliment is that many schools return year after year. They come back because we take safety seriously. Instructors enjoy an open and honest relationship with supervisors and managers. Issues and concerns are dealt with immediately. We have detailed risk management protocols and procedures that are reviewed and reevaluated regularly. Every three years the British Columbia Camping Association audits our safety practices. Our Executive Director and managers take part in risk management workshops and conferences to ensure Strathcona Park Lodge remains a leader in outdoor education safety.
Strathcona Park Lodge and its employees can’t manage all the risks on their own. A large responsibility rests on with the participants to share in the safety of themselves and others during all activities. That’s why as part of our safety and risk plan we ask every participant to sign a youth consent form. This is not a waiver, nor does it pretend to absolve us of any all responsibility for the safety of your child. It is an educational tool to inform parents, teachers and students of the types of activities, and risks and responsibilities involved with a Strathcona visit. By signing it, participants agree to share in the managing of risk with their instructor, Strathcona Park Lodge and their group.
If you have any questions or concerns about safety and risk management at Strathcona Park Lodge please call, 250-286-3122, or email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
We take safety seriously:
- All instructors hold a minimum 40 hour wilderness first aid & CPR certificate. Each instructor carries a group first aid kit during all activities.
- We have an onsite first aid room equipped with oxygen. Oxygen and first aid supplies are also located in the waterfront centre.
- Our executive director and one other staff member have 120 hour first aid training. Many instructors have an 80 hour course.
- The Campbell River hospital (with full emergency department), walk-in clinics and dentists are 40km away.
- Ambulance service provided by Campbell River or Gold River.
- The primary campsites are walkable to the road (although we approach by canoe and the students do not know you can walk out).
- All buildings are equipped with smoke detectors and we provide our own firefighting equipment. Staff are trained in the use of firefighting equipment.
- Instructors are responsible for the safety and supervision of student during activities and on the overnight trip. Chaperones are responsible for the supervision of students after program time.
- Each instructor and office phone is equipped with an emergency contact phone list.
- Student medical records are kept in the first aid room. In the event that a student is sent to the hospital or clinic we send a copy with them and retain the original.
- Our instructor field guide contains detailed information about search and rescue procedures. This includes conducting land and water searches for missing persons, clearing and marking helicopter landing zones and emergency contact protocol.
- We have a staff/camper communication policy to protect children. Any post-trip communication must be conducted through our office or public Facebook page so as to protect children from inappropriate correspondence and our staff from allegations of misconduct.
- We have motor boats and vehicles onsite in the event they are needed. All power boat operators possess the new Pleasure Craft Operator Card.
- Policies, procedures and training are in place for all activities we conduct (rock climbing, high ropes course, zip line, etc.)
- We are audited every three years for compliance with BC Camping Association guidelines.
- Our dining and kitchen facility are in compliance with provincial health and safety regulations.