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British Columbia

Outdoor Discovery on Vancouver Island With Your Grandchild

Program No. 2677RJ
Kayak, canoe, zipline, rock climb and camp your way through the wooded forests of Vancouver Island with your grandchild, learning all kinds of new skills along the way.

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We want your Road Scholar learning adventure to be something to look forward to—not worry about. Learn more

Protecting the Environment

We offset a portion of the emissions created by your travel. Learn more

Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
Age 9 - 14
ROOMING OPTION PRICING
The figures below indicate the rooming options available.
DATES
Jul 21 - Jul 27, 2024
Per Adult
2,249
Per Child
1,499
Select
Jul 21 - Jul 27, 2024
2,249
/ Adult
1,499
/ Child
2,249
/ Adult
1,499
/ Child
2,949
/ Adult
1,499
/ Child
Select Date
Filling Fast!
Jul 27 - Aug 2, 2024
Per Adult
2,249
Per Child
1,499
Select
Jul 27 - Aug 2, 2024
2,249
/ Adult
1,499
/ Child
2,249
/ Adult
1,499
/ Child
2,949
/ Adult
1,499
/ Child
Limited Space
Aug 5 - Aug 11, 2024
Per Adult
2,249
Per Child
1,499
Select
Aug 5 - Aug 11, 2024
2,249
/ Adult
1,499
/ Child
2,249
/ Adult
1,499
/ Child
2,949
/ Adult
1,499
/ Child
Select Date

At a Glance

Bring your junior explorers on an active adventure in the mossy forests of Vancouver Island. Together you’ll learn new skills as you play kayak soccer, navigate with a compass and head out on an overnight canoe trip. Climb a rock bluff, rappel from a cliff, swing like Tarzan on a zip line and learn about teamwork on a log and cable ropes course suspended high above the ground. Swim on the sandy beach, tell campfire stories and learn all about the plants and animals of Vancouver Island on a nature walk with an expert. This fresh air adventure will bring you closer together — and closer to nature!
Activity Level
Outdoor: Spirited
Walking up to two miles per day; some uneven terrain.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Learn survival techniques, camping basics, outdoor cooking, orienteering and wilderness etiquette throughout the week, including during a camping trip (optional) to Rainbow Island.
  • Climb a rock bluff, rappel from a cliff, swing from a zip line and navigate a ropes course under expert supervision and with a harness.
  • Explore a sphagnum bog, home of the carnivorous sundew plant, and spend time on the water kayaking and canoeing.

General Notes

Program is for grandchildren ages 9-14. Due to the nature of this program, listening devices will be unavailable.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Bachelor Brothers' Bed and Breakfast
by Bill Richardson
Lake Woebegone goes British Columbian in this humorous slip of a novel about an unconventional Vancouver B&B, which features twin bookworm brothers, a talking parrot and a motley crew of hotel guests.
Must-See Birds of the Pacific Northwest
by Sarah Swanson
A practical, "blissfully unscientific" guide to the feathered friends of the Pacific Northwest. The 85 birds common to Oregon and Washington are profiled with color photographs and explanatory text that tells readers where to see and how to find each animal. Ideal for a long weekend birding trip!
Touching Spirit Bear
by Ben Mikaelsen
This young adult novel follows Cole, an abused and abusive teen, who chooses banishment to an Alaskan island over incarceration. But for Cole to reform, it takes an encounter with the white Spirit Bear of First Nation legends.
Following the Last Wild Wolves
by Ian McAllister
McAllister shares his experiences and inferences from studying two undisturbed wolf packs after 20 years of observing them while living on the coast of British Columbia. Check out McAllister's collection of photographs as well (CND288).
Great Bear Wild
by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (Introduction), Ian McAllister
A colorful photographic journey through the Great Bear Rainforest that follows the coast from Vancouver Island to southern Alaska; McAllister captures the spectacular landscapes and wildlife, including wolves, whales and bears.
British Columbia Seashore Life
by Pocket Naturalist
A fold-up, laminated card featuring color drawings and short descriptions of common marine plants, echinoderms, mollusks, crustaceans, nearshore fish, birds and mammals of British Columbia.
The Raven Steals the Light
by Robert Bringhurst, Bill Reid (Illustrator), Claude Levi-Strauss (Introduction)
A classic collection of 10 Haida myths and legends with accompanying black and white etchings by Vancouver artist Bill Reid. These stories capture the storytelling traditions of the Haida.
There's an Owl in the Shower
by Jean Craighead George
In this novel for ages 8-12, Newbery Award-winning author and illustrator Jean Craighead George tells the story of how one unusual spotted owl makes his way into the home -- and hearts -- of a family of loggers in the Pacific Northwest.
A Traveller's History of Canada
by Robert Bothwell
A readable and admirably concise march through Canadian history from prehistory to today, including a timeline.
Hatchet
by Gary Paulsen
In the first of Paulsen's wilderness adventure novels, 13-year-old Brian must fend for himself after his plane crashes in the Canadian woods.
Vancouver Birds: An Introduction to Familiar Species
by James Kavanagh
This pocket-sized reference for the bird enthusiast includes illustrations of over 120 species and a map of local birdwatching hotspots.
The Last Great Sea, A Voyage Through the Human and Natural History of the North Pacific Ocean
by Terry Glavin, Carl Safina (Introduction)
A wide-ranging conservation history of British Columbia and the North Pacific Ocean. Glavin lives in the Gulf Islands, where he writes frequently about fisheries and environmental issues facing the region.
Myths and Legends of the Pacific Northwest
by Katharine Berry Judson
Presented here with 52 photographs, these traditional stories, first collected in 1910, reveal myths and traditions of creation, alongside noted geographical features of the territory.
Vancouver Map
by Berndtson & Berndtson
A laminated, folded map of Vancouver, British Columbia at a scale of 1:15,000.
Vancouver Island Map
by ITMB
A colorful paper travel map of the island, at a scale of 1:250,000.
National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Pacific Northwest
by Peter Alden
A compact photographic guide to the wildflowers, trees, mosses, butterflies, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals of the Pacific Northwest.
The Island Within
by Richard Nelson
A beautifully written tribute to the Pacific Northwest. Drawn from the author's journals, this is an account of the natural and cultural history of an island in the waters of Haida Strait, with emphasis on the relationship between people and the land.
Moon Vancouver and Victoria, Including Whistler and Vancouver Island
by Andrew Hempstead
A no-nonsense practical guide in the Moon series, jam-packed not only with travel necessities (hotels, restaurants, sights), but also with a good overview of history, flora and fauna and geology.
The West Beyond the West, A History of British Columbia
by Jean Barman
A fascinating history of the Canadian province from the 18th century to the mid-1990s. The author weaves portraits of major personalities and events into a readable overview of the cultural and social influences that have shaped the region.
I Heard the Owl Call My Name
by Margaret Craven
In this brief novel, a young vicar comes to live with the Kwakiutl Indians of the town of Kingcome in the Pacific Northwest. Written for teens but worthwhile for adults.
Grass Beyond the Mountains, Discovering the Last Great Cattle Frontier on the North American Continent
by Richard Hobson
Hobson's classic memoir of his cross-country trek and pioneering days as a rancher in British Columbia's undiscovered remote north.
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7 days
6 nights
17 meals
6 B 5 L 6 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Campbell River, BC
D
Strathcona Park Lodge

Activity note: Lodge check-in from 4:00 p.m. Strathcona Park Lodge is on a hill where trails and paths are gravel and dirt.

Afternoon: After you check in and have your room assignment, join us at the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff, get any updated information, and confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please locate your Group Leader and let them know you have arrived. There will be some time to unpack, unwind, relax, and informally meet fellow Road Scholars in the chalet building.

Dinner: At the lodge.

Evening: Orientation. Welcome to Strathcona Park Lodge and Outdoor Education Centre, where we are committed to helping children and adults of all ages appreciate the wilderness and learn more about themselves and others. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. This is a Road Scholar Grandparent program. Grandparents are responsible for their grandchildren at all times. If/when separate age group activities are conducted concurrently, program staff will supervise. Minors are never to be left unsupervised. Educational content will be provided by our knowledge outdoor instructors. Meals at Strathcona are hearty and nutritious and reflect our commitment to a healthy lifestyle. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/current conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Strathcona is a center for outdoor adventure and experiential education. Activities are selected to challenge, inspire, encourage creativity and reflection while having fun. Next, we will have a presentation on the history of Strathcona and the area, then explore the lodge. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Outdoor Adventures, Canoeing, Swimming
Campbell River, BC
B,L,D
Strathcona Park Lodge

Activity note: Getting in/out of canoes; paddling. Walking up to 2 miles throughout the day; uneven, steep terrain. All equipment provided for canoeing.

Breakfast: At the lodge.

Morning: We’ll take part in fun activities for grandchildren and grandparents to promote group development, trust, problem-solving initiatives, and challenges. We’ll also introduce the “Challenge by Choice” philosophy.

Lunch: At the lodge.

Afternoon: We’ll walk to the lake and learn about canoe and paddle strokes as well as safety and comfort in the water.

Dinner: At the lodge.

Evening: At leisure. You might like to go for a swim along the sandy beach, enjoy spending time with fellow Road Scholars, or just relax.

DAY
3
High Ropes, Zipline, Kayaking, Orienteering
Campbell River, BC
B,L,D
Strathcona Park Lodge

Activity note: Participating in high ropes and zipline activities. Walking up to 2 miles throughout the day; uneven, steep terrain.

Breakfast: At the lodge.

Morning: We’ll continue developing our skills together on the high ropes and zipline. These are powerful and challenging activities, built from logs, cables, and ropes suspended above ground up to a height of forty feet. Participants will be secured at all times with harnesses and wear helmets. Good communication and support is central in these activities.

Lunch: At the lodge.

Afternoon: Next, it’s kayak soccer, a unique way to get comfortable in the boats while having fun. Play soccer like never before!

Dinner: At the lodge.

Evening: Orienteering is navigating. We’ll learn master map and compass skills and map reading while navigating the Strathcona orienteering course.

DAY
4
Kayaking, Rock Climbing, Canoe Field Trip Prep
Campbell River, BC
B,L,D
Strathcona Park Lodge

Activity note: Engaging in kayaking activities. Walking up to 2 miles throughout the day; uneven, steep terrain.

Breakfast: At the lodge.

Morning: At the lodge lake, we’ll learn the basics of kayaking including forward, reverse, sweep strokes, and maybe some more games.

Lunch: At the lodge.

Afternoon: We will learn the basics of climbing and gain opportunities for personal growth and change. Instructors will start us off on the rock wall. We’ll then head up to one of our climbing bluffs. Climbing can be a significant mental challenge for many participants as it requires a great deal of trust in themselves. Success shows that perceived limitations are often self-imposed.

Dinner: At the lodge.

Evening: We’ll pack and prepare for our overnight canoe field trip tomorrow, focusing on food, gear, and personal/group items. Note: Camping out overnight is an elective choice. Those who prefer to return to the lodge to sleep tomorrow night are welcome to do so.

DAY
5
Nature Walk, Overnight Canoe Field Trip, Camping
Campbell River, BC
B,L,D
Strathcona Park Lodge

Activity note: Getting in/out of canoes; paddling about 5 miles approximately 6 hours throughout the day (approximately 3 hours each way). Walking up to 2 miles; uneven beach terrain. For camping outdoors, bring warm under-clothing, personal water bottles.

Breakfast: At the lodge.

Morning: We’ll set out on a nature walk to the Sundew Bog and learn about the flora and fauna of coastal British Columbia, especially the species unique to Vancouver Island. We’ll gain an increased appreciate for nature, environmental education, and play some games before returning to the lodge.

Lunch: At the lodge.

Afternoon: We will get into canoes and paddle to Rainbow Island for an overnight field trip that will provide an enjoyable wilderness experience with focus on group strength. It will also offer a great bonding experience for grandparents and kids. We’ll have expert instruction on minimum impact camping, natural history, navigation, outdoor cooking, and other skills. Experienced instructors will provide supervision of kids and adults who camp outside. Equipment will be provided by the lodge: sleeping bags (ensolite or Therm-a-rest); unbreakable cups, bowls, and spoons; water bottles; ziploc bags/garbage bags for waterproofing; water-resistant paddling jacket. Those who wish can bring their own gear.

Dinner: At overnight campsite, cooking over campfire.

Evening: We’ll take part in team-building activities and games. Note: Camping out overnight is an elective choice. Those who prefer to return to the lodge to sleep tomorrow are welcome to do so (paddling canoes or motorboat driven by staff).

DAY
6
Canoeing, Outdoor Activities
Campbell River, BC
B,L,D
Strathcona Park Lodge

Activity note: Those who chose to sleep at the lodge the night before will return to the campsite (paddling canoes or via motorboat driven by our staff). Walking up to 2 miles throughout the day; uneven, steep terrain.

Breakfast: At the campsite.

Morning: We will paddle our canoes back to the lodge, unpack, and enjoy hot showers.

Lunch: At the lodge.

Afternoon: We’ll set out to develop our wilderness skills and enjoy group games for both grandparents and kids. Challenges will include group problem solving while we play.

Dinner: At the lodge. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.

Evening: We’ll gather around a campfire (weather permitting) for closing ceremonies on the final evening with our grandkids/grandparents and new friends. Feel free to bring musical instruments, talents, stories, jokes, and games to share with everyone. Prepare for departure in the morning.

DAY
7
Program Concludes
Campbell River, BC
B

Activity note: Lodge check-out 10:00 a.m.

Breakfast: At the lodge. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.