|The Experience||What makes our program|
|The WEA Advantage||What sets us apart|
|Programs||Our summer program categories & custom options|
|Food & Safety||Our food & how we keep kids safe|
|Financial Assistance||Ever kid deserves a camp experience!|
|Getting Here||How to get to Vancouver Island & Camp Barnard|
|What to bring||A general list of basic outdoor items|
|Gear Rentals||Available for our expedition programs|
Our goal is to create life-altering learning experiences for every young person involved with our programs. Our company uses the natural world to facilitate the learning of both outdoor skills (how to tie knots, set up tents, etc.) and, more importantly, personal skills (independence, responsibility, leadership, problem solving and planning, etc.). Choosing to participate in one of our programs will be a life altering decision.
We currently offer week long day programs, 6 and 13-day overnight programs throughout the summer and three summer expedition programs for young people of various ages and genders - hiking, canoeing and sea kayaking. Each expedition program includes theme specific activities and a multiday trip of varying length.
Our programs are educational in nature, they are not service based. We believe that our participants must be involved in as many aspects of program operations as possible in order to maximize their learning experience. For example, instead of our staff doing all of the food prep, route planning, cooking, etc. for our expedition programs, our participants are actively engaged in the process step-by-step. Every participant is given a day where they become mock staff members and are responsible for leading the group. The goal is to develop participant confidence and impart the ability to go camping, kayaking, canoeing or hiking on their own as they grow older. What better way to learn outdoor skills than to actually do them, safely overseen by our expert staff.
We believe that youth programming should be safe, fun and staffed by the best people in the industry.
Our week long summer day camp programs allow participants to learn and/or refine specific outdoor skills such as canoeing, kayaking, hiking, archery, navagation, geocaching, fire building, camp cooking and swimming. Participates also join in running games, crafting and more - all under the guidance of our highly qualified staff. Specific activities will vary from week to week depending on the weather and venue / facility availability. Our optional Wednesday night overnight is great for youth trying a night away from home - or for parents wanting a little alone time during the week!
Our 6-day or 13-day long summer overnight camp programs takes having fun outdoors, making new friends as well as learning outdoor and lifeskills to the next level! While getting to do all the same activities as our day camp, participants get to experience much, much more. They get the opporunity to discover themselves while staying away from home for an exteneded period of time, stay in cabins and go on an overnight or 5-day hiking trip (depends on the legth of the program). Participants also get to help cook meals in small groups, one of their favourite activities that is only available on overnight programs.
Our expedition programs consist of 3 segments:
Participants do all of the preparation for the trip with guidance from our staff. This includes planning the trip route, determining what trip specific equipment and safety gear is necessary and figuring out how much food is needed for the trip, which includes dealing with food allergies, buying food, packing food, etc. Summer program participants are also taught skills they will need on-trip such as how to paddle (if on a canoe or kayak trip), on water safety, how to set-up a tent, pack bags, etc. The preparation segment of our outdoor programs typically takes up the first 1-4 days of a program.
Each of our programs includes an extended backcountry trip, either a kayak trip, canoe trip or multiday hike. The aim of the trip is to impart all of the skills necessary for participants to run a trip of their own at some point in the future, if they so choose. Western Educational Adventure’s staff initially take the active role in day to day operations, but as the trip progresses, staff involvement decreases as the skill level of the participants and the group increases.
The final program segement, cleaning-up and debriefing, is when participants truly learn what it means to finish something. Participants are responsible for cleaning, packing and storing the gear, as well as dealing with the remaining food, trip waste, etc. Finally, and most importantly, participants are lead through a debrief and reflect on their experience both individually and as part of the group.
Though our core programs are primarily for young people, we also offer custom outdoor programs to anyone who is interested, including families. For example, we are able to run single or multi day family West Coast sea kayaking trips, canoeing trips, hiking trips or combination hiking and canoeing or kayaking and hiking tirps that go far beyond available industry standard tours. Our customized kayaking, canoeing, hiking and mixed land and water programs are also a unique alternative for corporate groups, family reunions, etc.
We believe that a good experience starts with good nutrition. Proper diet and eating habits are lacking in today’s society - a result of readily available fast foods, processed foods and a lack of nutritional education. We strive to provide quality, simple, wholesome meals with limited processed ingredients – in addition to the occasional smores and limited other tasty treats. This is part of why we include our participants in all meal planning, purchasing and cooking on our expedition programs.
We are also very experienced in dealing with dietary restrictions and serious food allergies. Great care is taken to avoid serious participant food allergens whenever possible. Where this is not possible, we take great care to avoid cross contamination of ingredients.
"Landon guided an overnight trip for our family on the Juan de Fuca trail. Healthy eating is important to us. Landon helped our kids build an outdoor oven and they were soon baking an amazing dinner. It’s an incredible feeling knowing that you can look after yourself in the outdoors."
My 6yr old son had a wonderful time at WEA’s summer day camp! The staff are amazing and supportive, very responsive to camper needs and dynamics. The week’s activities include incredible diversity, flexibility, skill building and fun adventures ensuring the kids are engaged, learning outdoor education, building self confidence and physical/emotional strength. WEA staff were also great at accommodating my son’s dietary needs for the overnight camp, making our family comfortable and relaxed for his first night away. Can’t wait for camp next year!!
Western Educational Adventures takes safety seriously. Not only do we want our participants to have an exceptional time, but just as importantly, we want them to return home safe and sound. All of Western Educational Adventures staff are certified in high level first aid and have years of experience managing risk in the outdoors. You won’t find a more qualified staff team anywhere else!
"Our Daughter spent two weeks last Summer at Camp Barnard. She really enjoyed herself learning how to paddle in a canoe, make a campfire, and build a shelter. Landon is a great leader and his company makes it easy for kids to get out into the wilderness in a safe and inclusive environment."
We believe that everyone deserves the chance to experience and learn through the outdoors. Unfortunately not everyone has the means to afford our programs, which is why we offer a broad range of financial assistance options.
All our scheduled programs currently run at various locations on Vancouver Island. Program specific information including program start (drop off) and program end (pick up) locations is listed on each program page. We have many excellent transportation options and we are always willing to do whatever we can to get participants to our start locations.
You can drive directly to where our day camps, overnight camps, hiking, kayaking and canoeing programs start or take advantage of our company transportation.
For our expedition programs, we offer a pickup service from the major airport nearest to the starting location, either Victoria or Comox airports. Air Canada, Westjet and Pacific Coastal service both of these airports. Victoria also hosts other airlines such as Alaskan and Horizon
Upon request we can also pick-up from the nearest BC Ferries terminal.
Many of our individual program pages don’t specify exact pick-up and drop-off locations/times. This information will be provided during the registration process. We do this to ensure that we can tailor our exact times/locations to the needs of the individual participants.
We may charge extra for pickup and drop off services depending on the method of transportation used for the majority of the group.
Many of our programs operate out of Camp Barnard. The camp is located at 3202 Young Lake Rd, Sooke, BC V9Z 0J6 on Vancouver Island. Transportation services are almost always available to and from Camp Barnard from various locations in Greater Victoria. Not from Greater Victoria? Refer to the Vancouver Island instructions in the section above.
In general the participants are responsible for bringing their own items such as:
Each program has a specific packing list that is communicated during registration.
If you do not have some of the required items, Western Educational Adventures Inc. has various gear kits available for rental or purchase. These options will be made available to you during the registration process. We highly recommend renting our cleaned and sanitized gear, or purchasing our new gear, as it is chosen specially to address the needs and conditions encountered on each program. It also saves you the time and hassle of purchasing your own equipment.
Gear rentals are for overnight programs only. Furthermore, Western Educational Adventures does not offer personal clothing and footwear for sale or rental.