Commonly referred to as the “Great White North” — Canada is the ultimate place to experience outdoor adventure. Offering dense forests, stunning coastlines, as well as lakes and rivers around every bend, it’s the perfect country to explore and participate in wilderness programs.
Choosing an Experiential Education Program
When you are hiking across mountain ranges or kayaking along Canada’s shoreline, you will see Mother Nature in all her glory. As you appreciate your surroundings, you will learn important lessons that help you grow and develop. Whether you would like to strengthen your leadership skills or network with like-minded individuals, there is an accredited outdoor education program for you.
Before we dive into some of the incredible programs offered in Canada, it’s important to understand what to look for. When you’re aware of factors such as accreditation, you will get more out of your experience. Some of the main areas you’ll want to consider, include:
- The environment — where the program is located will determine what type of experiences you have. Do you picture yourself deep in the Rocky Mountains or exploring fjords in Newfoundland? One option isn’t necessarily better than the other, it’s just that certain settings will lead to varying lessons and learning experiences.
- Objectives — choose activities that align with your core values and goals. What is it that you’d like to get out of your experience? Would you like to build on your teamwork experience? Perhaps you’d like to develop some inspiration for your future plans and goals? With so many great options, take the time to choose an opportunity that will be rewarding!
- Accreditation — When choosing a program, determine whether it has certified staff or program accreditation. This will ensure high quality standards, as well as staff that are professional and experienced.
Experiential Learning Program Focus: Canada
If you’re looking to experience all that Canada has to offer, the following programs have achieved AEE program accreditation and provide the perfect combination of nature, education and adventure.
Located in South River, Ontario, this AEE accredited program aims to change lives through adventure therapy. Using evidence-based practices, residential programs allow male at-risk youth to thrive and flourish. This environment is not only healing, but rewarding.
Guided by high-energy staff who love the outdoors, participants of Project D.A.R.E develop through education, adventure and responsibility. Operating since 1971, staff help youth experiencing family conflict, poor grades, depression or a wide range of other problem areas.
From canoeing trips to nights around the campfire, this is a unique learning environment that allows for growth and development. If you are currently interested in a beneficial placement, Wendigo Lake offers students an incredible opportunity. Taking part in wilderness expeditions, this is a great way to prepare for your future.
Found in Okotoks, Alberta, the Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School is known as the center for excellence in teaching, giving and alumni. Offering a wide range of programs, for students of all ages, those who graduate from the full International Baccalaureate Diploma Program achieve something remarkable.
Teaching students to live with a purpose, there are athletic opportunities, fine arts opportunities, outdoor education programs and so much more. Although each experience is unique, outdoor education is woven into just about every grade level. Students pursue wellness and become their personal best through learning and exploration.
Developing problem-solving skills and compassion, both students and staff continuously learn through practical, hands-on engagement. Based on the environment, strong relationships are built and students learn to foster life-long physical activity. Best of all, students are empowered to learn and exceed their own expectations.
Explore other AEE programs found in Canada
Being such a vast and beautiful country, some of the other Canadian programs to consider include, but are not limited to:
- Enviros— located in Calgary, Enviros is a community that is committed to improving family life in Alberta. Helping youth and families build critical skills, such as resilience and empathy, there are powerful opportunities that await for individuals of all backgrounds and needs.
- Me to We— located in Toronto, this volunteer trip will allow you to see the world through the eyes of individuals within the Free the Children community. Experiencing this community’s unique approach, you will be able to travel with a purpose. This can help you develop leadership skills, discover your passions and fuel your career aspirations!
- University of Guelph-Humber— located in Toronto, students have the opportunity to study abroad. Why not turn the world into your classroom? Whether you’re interested in Japan, Switzerland or Ecuador, the world is your oyster.
- The Adventure Group— located in Charlottetown, it is the mandate of the organization to work with young people and to explore the gifts each young person brings to the community in which they live. Selwyn House School — located in Westmount, this Quebec-based school offers a wide range of opportunities for boys. Whether students are interested in marine biodiversity or backcountry camping, there are trips and outings for every interest and learning style.
- Selwyn House School — located in Westmount, this Quebec-based school offers a wide range of opportunities for boys. Whether students are interested in marine biodiversity or backcountry camping, there are trips and outings for every interest and learning style.
- Pine River Institute— located in Dundas, this residential treatment center provides the perfect combination of experiential therapy and experiential education. Their program provides four phrases, all dedicated to one incredible journey. From exploring Algonquin Park to community service, this institute helps students heal and grow.
Learn more about experiential learning around the country and globe by visiting our programs page today.
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