|The WEA Advantage
|What sets us apart, the quick overview
|What makes our program
|Our program types & activities
|How to get to Vancouver Island & Camp Barnard
|How are pricing works
|Fundraising, Subsidized Programs & Financial Assistance
|Available for all our school programs
|Food & Safety
|Our food & how we keep kids safe
|About customizing programs
"The program provided by Western Educational Adventures was organized, engaging and so much fun. The students connected well with the instructors and thoroughly enjoyed the program."
Outdoor Education Coordinator
We believe that school outdoor programming should be convenient, accessible, safe, fun and staffed by the best people in the industry.
Please note that our school programs are completely customizable. If you would like to see alternative or additional curriculum items/activities in one of our programs, please let us know.
Though our programs are “super fun” and exciting, they are educational in nature. While students are having a great time, they will learn important outdoor, academic and personal skills that will follow them into adulthood!
Handled by Western Educational Adventures staff – hence minimal teacher preparation, minimal teacher logistical planning required.
2 staff per 10 students on most programs
All programs address the three core competencies (thinking, communications and personal/social skills) as well as addressing program specific curriculum items.
We offer programs that are significantly less cost than the competition. Program costs vary from program to program and depend on activities chosen, specific customizations required, etc.
We also offer school bus charters in Victoria and on Vancouver Island, click here for more info!
Program summaries listing what each student accomplished (canoe basics, kayak basics, etc.) can be provided for each program if requested. Detailed, personalized student report cards are available upon request for any of our programs that are longer than 3 days in duration. The summaries and report cards rate students from satisfactory to excellent based on participation, attitude and skill.
When it comes to complex issues we cover both the pros and cons, the why behind the situation. Controversial topics are introduced using the facts, which allows the students to formulate their own opinions.
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 partial, full and multi-day programs, some of which can be run on school grounds. Program activities include things like team-building, archery, fire-building, shelter-building, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, forest ecology (the animal game), hiking & more.
Our programs are educational in nature, they are not service based. We believe that students must be involved in as many aspects of program operations as possible in order to maximize their independance and general learning experience. For example, instead of our staff doing all of the food prep on multi-day programs, we offer students the opportunity to help cook.
Hiking • Winter Survival Skills • Survival Skills • Snowshoeing • Skiing • Archery • Climbing • Fire-building • Shelter-building • Canoeing • Kayaking • Cooking • Swimming • Swimming Lessons • Nature • Forest Games • Teambuilding • Leadership • Orienteering • Geocaching • Navigation • Expedition • Marine
Our partial and full day school programs can be run on or near school property or at more distant venues depending upon the individual school’s preference. Components of our day and partial day programs are also incorporated into our multi-day programs.
Our multi-day programs run off school property in various locations depedning on the activity.
Our expedition programs consist of 3 segments:
Students 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 students 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 students 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 students and the group increases.
The final program segement, cleaning-up and debriefing, is when students truly learn what it means to finish something. students are responsible for cleaning, packing and storing the gear, as well as dealing with the remaining food, trip waste, etc. Finally, and most importantly, students are lead through a debrief and reflect on their experience both individually and as part of the group.
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 students 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 students.
We may charge extra for pickup and drop off services depending on the method of transportation used for the majority of the group.
We understand that sometimes getting somewhere as a school may not be that easy and not often possible in winter conditions! That's why in some circumstances, we are able to transport school groups as part of the program. We have a 15-passenger van and a mini bus fully equipped for winter travel.
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.
We feel it is essential that all kids have outdoor education in their lives. Therefore, we work with our budget as well as local business to offer financial assistance. It is possible to subsidize an entire class program.
While it is important to offer financial assistance, we feel there is value in kids learning to budget and raise money of their own. This helps to create appreciation and ownership for the students’ experience. However, we understand that teachers already work long hours each week and the process of organizing a fundraising campaign can be daunting or impossible. Therefore, we offer a fundraising service that is fully facilitated by our company. The entire process is handled by us; from teaching the kids about the fundraising program to collecting funds to paying for the Western Adventures program!
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 students 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.
"WEA 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 students 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."
The programs listed on our school programs page are just examples of some of the programming we can offer. We can custom build almost any kind of program for almost any length of time and almost any location. To learn more, Click Here. We also offer school bus charters in Victoria and on Vancouver Island, click here for more info!
Want to learn more about our programs, have questions or want to stay up-to-date?