Canoeing on Upper Campbell Lake.



From Youth

“This camp (Strathcona) had really taught me a lot about myself and who I can be.  I learned that it’s about putting your all into something and believing you can do it.  It isn’t really about being the first one to finish, or being the best at something because the only one you’re competing against is yourself.  If you go further than you ever dreamed possible or if you take one more step when you thought you couldn’t go anymore, that is what you truly should be proud of.”

Grade 8 student from McNair Secondary, Richmond, BC. September 2008.

“Our leaders got us to play a few quick games that first day, and over the course of the next five days we learned many more, like the “human knot” and others.  Each game was fun, but it was more than that.  Each game taught us who we are or where we stand or how we deal with tricky situations in terms of leadership.  With each game I gained more confidence to speak out, which is something I can hopefully continue improving over the course of my life. That’s what the annual grade 8 and 9 trip to Strathcona is about.  Learning about who you are without technology and becoming a leader.”

Grade 9 student from Southridge School, Surrey, BC. October 2010

“The first time I visited Strathcona was in Grade 6. I was attending with my Elementary School, James Whiteside, and it was my first ever time going to camp with a school group. Needless to say, I was nervous, and extremely unprepared. After Elementary School, I joined McNair Secondary’s Mini School program, which allowed me—and a class of 30 others—to return to your beautiful lodge. Now, looking back at my first day in Strathcona as a Grade 12 student, I was much more confident, and, well, less unprepared. However, everyone was very caring and accommodating as usual. This year’s trip to Strathcona was a bittersweet one for my mini school class and I. Every year after Strathcona, since grade 8 we have been required to write a Strathcona reflection, explaining what we learned, how we pushed ourselves, and the memories we will take away from the trip. These reflections are all viewed by a combination of both teachers and administration, however it recently occurred to me that no one at Strathcona has ever really witnessed the difference they are making on the students here.

Strath is the where we—as a mini school class of 30—properly met and bonded for the first time in grade 8. It was what kickstarted the amazing relationships between our mini school family, and what continued to bring us closer throughout the years. There was sun, and there was rain. Moments that make us smile, laugh, and moments that make us cringe at the thought of them. However, no matter how cold we got or how hungry we were, every trip—every little moment, whether it be forgetting to waterproof your bag and having all your clothes soaked, or finally getting back to the lodge and taking the most amazing (sometimes cold, but still good) shower— was worth it.

Strathcona has played a great role in this chapter of my life. I know there is no significant way of showing my appreciation, and that skills learned and memories gained are priceless, but I thought the best place to begin would be with a thank you. For giving me an amazing beginning to my time at high school, and an even better end.”

Grade 12 student, Matthew McNair Secondary School, Richmond, BC. November 2014.

From Teachers

Thank you so much for organizing such an amazing trip.  This year was by far one of the best and the students are still raving about their experience!  What a gift for these kids to end their elementary school years with a trip like this. Thank you to all of your staff who were gracious, professional and patient – as usual!

Janice St. Helene, Principal, Vancouver Talmud Torah. June 2012.

On behalf of the Thompson students and staff we just wanted to once again say thank you for providing such an amazing opportunity for our students.  Your staff, facility and activities are first class.  The students have memories to last them a lifetime. We also appreciated your assistance with our bus situation, making sure that the students and staff were safe and taken care of.  You definitely went above and beyond.  Thanks again for everything!

Derek Cherry, Principal, Thompson Elementary School, Richmond, BC.  April 2013.

We came out as a much stronger team! I will be using examples of perseverance, teamwork & goal setting back in the classroom.

Sarah Whiting, Teacher, K’ak’ot’lats’i School, Quatsino, BC.  May 2014.

Your organization runs an exceptional program and I only wish more children (and adults) would have the opportunity we have had.

Olinka Hrebicek, parent from Campus View Elementary, Victoria, BC.

Merci beaucoup d’avoir été nos animateurs au camp de Leadership. Les élèves et les profs ont adoré leurs expériences là.

Ceci était notre 3e année à un camp de Leadership mais notre expérience chez vous était la meilleure … à cause de vous. Vous avez offert les activités en français et nous avons beaucoup apprécié vos efforts.  Nous sommes le seul groupe de Leadership pour l’immersion française en Colombie-Britannique et on n’a nulle part aller avec nos élèves. Alors, votre service a beaucoup aidé notre cause.

Du côté personnel, j’ai trouvé que vous avez été de très bons modèles pour nos garçons et nos filles. De plus, vous avez créé un rapport avec nos jeunes et ils étaient en train de discuter de qui était le meilleur des animateurs  Merci d’avoir accepté nos changements. On ne voulait pas créer des problèmes, mais vous avez trouvé une manière de nous satisfaire.

Google Translate: Thank you very much for being our hosts at Camp Leadership. Students and teachers have loved their experiences there.

This was our third year in a Leadership Camp but our experience with you was the best … because of you. You offered activities in French and we appreciate your efforts. We are the only group of Leadership for French Immersion in British Columbia and has nowhere to go with our students. So, your service was very helpful our cause.

On the personal side, I found that you were very good role models for our boys and girls. In addition, you have created a rapport with our young people and they were debating who was the best animators. Thank you for accepting our changes. We did not want to create problems, but you found a way to accommodate us.

Sonya Woloshen, Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary, Surrey, BC. October 2014.

From Youth Group Leaders

Thank you for your kind and thoughtful consideration. Here at CYEA we loved the Strathcona component of our camp, it facilitated a lot of team bonding and good memories that would otherwise be difficult to create. We will definitely be back next year after such a positive experience and with such positive feedback from our participants and leaders.

Kara Zhang, Canadian Youth Elite Association. August 2014.