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Great American Get-Together in Banff

Program No. 22397RJ
Join fellow Road Scholars in the heart of the Canadian Rockies to learn about the geology, ecology and culture of Banff National Park, Lake Louise, Emerald Lake and more.

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At a Glance

Experience the very best of Road Scholar as you join lifelong learners from around the country for a week in Banff National Park — Canada’s oldest National Park. In the heart of the Rocky Mountains, enjoy field trips and insightful presentations that give you an up-close look into the geological history of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nature walks shed light on the ecology of Lake Louise, Yoho National Park, Emerald Lake and more. Be introduced to the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity by the Director of this world renowned institution, and get a taste of the arts scene during a private screening of the Banff Mountain Film Festival.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to two miles at a moderate pace, on mostly groomed trails or pavement.

What You'll Learn

  • Enjoy an exclusive screening and discussions with experts at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival.
  • Journey along the Columbia Icefields Parkway and learn more about geological history and glaciology, then stop at the famous Athabasca Glacier.
  • Visit the world-famous Lake Louise as you learn about the challenges the future holds for these gems of Canada’s wilderness.

General Notes

Max of 75 participants, divided into groups for activities.
Featured Expert
All trip experts
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Jennifer Royal
Jen Royal graduated with a bachelor’s in Canadian history from the Wilfred Laurier University and has over ten years of experience teaching, leading and interpreting history. She has worked at the Whyte Museum since 2014 in both the Education Department and the Archives and Library.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Brent MacDonald
Brent MacDonald View biography
Brent Macdonald has been a resident of the Canadian Rockies for almost 30 years. As a geology expert, he provides a wealth of knowledge about geography and geomorphology. Brent has had a diverse career as a freelance natural history interpreter, also working as a consultant for a geotechnical engineering company. He has shared his knowledge of geology and natural history as an interpreter and guest lecturer. Brent is also a certified mountain leader and ski instructor.
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Colleen Campbell View biography
Colleen is a Victoria, British Columbia native who has lived all over Canada and in many parts of the world. She holds three degrees in visual arts, has studied in the sciences and has worked as a wildlife field researcher, concentrating on coyotes and grizzly bears. She believes that studying wildlife means learning about all their interactions — plants and other animals — and about how and where they travel. Colleen was also full-time faculty at Mount Royal in Calgary for more than 30 years.
Profile Image of Andrea McPherson
Andrea McPherson View biography
Originally from Ontario, Andrea has settled into Calgary. Her love of travel has taken her around Canada and around the world. Andrea loves introducing visitors to the wonders of her home country of Canada and the vast range of experiences it has to offer. She is just as happy in the heart of a downtown metropolis as she is in the middle of the wild. From whale-watching to dog-sledding, from walks in downtown metropolises to the Rockies, Andreas has done it all.
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Susan Carr View biography
Susan Carr is a true nature lover. She studied geology in England — her home country — and expanded her knowledge of the Earth around her as she worked in the mining industry in both the U.K. and Western Canada. Susan moved to Canada over 30 years ago and loves exploring the mountains around her home in Calgary. Upon retirement, Susan began leading groups through the natural wonders of Heritage Park and discovered a love for sharing her knowledge of local history and nature with others.
Profile Image of Jennifer Royal
Jennifer Royal View biography
Jen Royal graduated with a bachelor’s in Canadian history from the Wilfred Laurier University and has over ten years of experience teaching, leading and interpreting history. She has worked at the Whyte Museum since 2014 in both the Education Department and the Archives and Library.
Profile Image of Jim Olver
Jim Olver View biography
Jim Olver is the director of guest services at Banff Centre for Creativity where he has worked for 34 years. Jim has a bachelor’s in geology and a master’s from the Ivey Business School. He spent the first 15 years of his Banff Centre career producing leadership seminars and workshops specializing in marketing and customer service. As campus historian, Jim enjoys recounting stories of Banff Centre history. Jim is very active exploring the Rocky Mountains and is an active curler – one of Canada’s iconic sports.
Profile Image of Ileana Nielsen
Ileana Nielsen View biography
Ileana was born and raised in the beautiful city of Montréal. She stayed in Montréal to attend McGill University where she studied nursing. Ileana’s career led her to Ottawa where she married and had two boys, and eventually led her family to Calgary where she currently lives. Ileana fit right into the outdoor lifestyle of the Canadian Rockies with her love of skiing, hiking and photography. Two years ago Ileana made the transition into the travel industry and loves introducing Canada to visitors.
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Routes Adventures Mobile Phone View biography
Please call the toll free line at 1-866-745-1690 during regular business hours or for non-urgent matters (Mon - Fri 8:30 - 4:30 EST). The mobile phone #1-613-331-5777 is for after hours and weekends for emergency use only. The phone is carried by a staff member.
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