Yukon & Vancouver Island Outdoor Leadership Canoe Expedition
Welcome to a three-week customized and guided teen leadership program visiting some of the most beautiful and inspiring places BC and the Yukon has to offer!
Adventure on a 350km Yukon River Canoe Paddle Journey, including biking and paddle boarding tours on a Galiano Island and Victoria, BC, and visits to Whitehorse, Fort Selkirk and Dawson city in the Yukon! Gain outdoor leadership training, acquire Climate Change perspective and live in the rugged wilderness on this 21 day Canoe expedition exploring the wild and pristine natural wonders of Canada’s provinces of British Columbia, and the Yukon!
Embark on an adventure of a lifetime! Experience Canada’s West Coast and Northern Western Territory through a 21 day Ocean & River Canoe Expedition in BC and the Yukon! Travel the Gulf Islands, spy countless wildlife, witness and engage with immense wilderness, experience the ocean and the Yukon River! Challenge yourself while canoeing the Yukon River, pan for gold in the Klondike prospectors, and acquire Indigenous Perspectives and Teachings from local First Nations Communities in both provinces. Visit Vancouver Island, Galiano Island and Victoria BC, as well as Yukon’s frontier capital city of Whitehorse and the historic town of Dawson City. Become self-aware, self-propelled, confident, driven, and self-reliant under the supervision and tutelage of climate instructors and expert wilderness guides. Explore western Canada’s backcountry, travel lightly, and acquire backcountry and wilderness certifications while studying Climate Change and achieving outdoor leadership skills!
Why Choose This Program
- Earn outdoor leadership certificates (i.e. Duke of Edinburg, Paddle Canada Certificate)
- Possibility of working with your school in obtaining a secondary school Climate Change Credit!
- Immerse in innovative climate change education and awareness projects
- Visit paddling on the Yukon River, YT
- Bike tour and paddle board the shorelines of Galiano Island, BC
- Bike tour of Victoria, BC’s capital city
- Whitehorse, the Yukon’s capital city, and the Klondike’s Dawson City!
- Participate in wilderness STEM projects such as raft building & “shelter engineering”
- Opportunity for BC & Yukon wildlife viewing – orcas, seals, sea lions, eagles, moose and more!
- Build connections with peers and indigenous cultures
- Experience the “Midnight Sun”!
- Visit natural Hot Springs; make your own wilderness sauna!
- Classic Camp activities like Archery and Fire Building
- Gourmet Wilderness Meals
- Enjoy a Wellness retreat by disconnecting from the screen and reconnecting with Nature!
What Is Included
- Return airfare (Vancouver – Whitehorse)
- Group expedition gear
- Eco-swag (t-shirt, water bottle and more)
- All ground and ferry transportation
- Climate Change course curriculum, certifications and educational instruction
- Outdoor leadership certifications and instruction
- Accommodation, outdoor expedition gear & paddle gear
- Breakfast, lunch & dinner, as per the itinerary
- All Entrances / fees / guided hikes, talks and tours, as per the Itinerary
- Bike rental tours on Galiano Island & Victoria, BC
- Paddle boarding on Galiano Island, BC
- All transfers to and from included sites
What Is Not Included
- Anything not listed in the “included” section or in the itinerary below
- Travel Medical Insurance (with Covid-19 clause)
- Return airfare or transportation to Vancouver (if required)
- Deposit: $200.00.00 due by February 1, 2021. Balance due April 1, 2021.
- Email [email protected] to receive registration instructions.
- Covid-19 Cancellation Terms: In the event a participant has to cancel the trip for any reason, a credit for future use will be given. If the trip is cancelled due to Covid-19, Ontario Provincial lockdowns, or other measures under the State of Emergency then a credit for future use will be given. All requests for cancellation must be submitted in writing to Georgia Hardy Tours Inc.
Charges for cancellation will be as follows:
- Deposit: non-refundable
- Final Payment date + 1 day: 100% of the tour price is non-refundable
20 Nights, 21 Days
Day 1 – Vancouver BC International Airport – Galiano Island, BC
Arrive at the designated meeting place in Richmond/ Delta BC, near to Vancouver Airport AND Tsawassen Ferry Terminal. Once the group has gathered, jump on the ferry and depart Vancouver for Galiano Island, BC! As you pass through the Salish Sea marvel at the mountains and various islands, with possible whale & wildlife sightings while basking in the ocean breeze and evening sun as it dances upon the water! Once arrived to Galiano Island, transfer to Galiano HomePlace Base Camp (Millard Learning Centre) where you will spend the next 5 nights. HomePlace Galiano is comprised of 188 acres of secluded and serene forest with Oceanside access, padded tent sites with fairy lights hanging in the treetops above, onsite modern showers/washrooms and kitchen, edible gardens, sustainability learning center, and hiking trails! This beautiful site lies within the shared, asserted, and un-ceded traditional territories of Penelakut, Lamalcha, and Hwlitsum First Nations, as well as the shared, asserted, and ceded traditional territories of Tsawwassen First Nation and other Hul’qumi’num speaking peoples. Upon arrival, enjoy a Welcoming Ceremony, Land Acknowledgement and brief tour of the property. Dinner will be served onsite round a campfire while you get acquainted with the group. Move into your tent accommodation for overnight.
DAY 2 – Galliano Island
Wake up to the sounds of birds singing as water laps off the shore of Galiano Gulf Island! Look out across the ocean to the surrounding Gulf Islands – including famed Salt Spring and Mayne! Following breakfast there will be an introduction to the Galiano Island Association’s Conservancy Staff on location; engage in discussions about ecologically conscious concepts and receive an overview of the locally active conservation projects. Afterwards, there will be an ocean swim test for skill assessment and level assertion followed by a personal gear check. Instructors will hand out the World Bound Canada Course Booklet and Swag Bag of practical outdoor gear & souvenirs for use on the upcoming backcountry expedition! After lunch head out on the first of many floating classrooms for exhilarating paddle board lessons and team building exercises right on the water! During this lesson participants will be introduced to the 5 pillars of leadership training to be included and studied during the program. In the early evening enjoy a forest walk and campfire building lesson (including fire safety instruction) culminating with a beautiful campfire around which to get acquainted. Reflect on first impressions of the program, share stories and sing songs! This evening’s lesson will be on the subject of risk management and how to be safe and healthy while exploring in the wild! Enjoy a collective and hands on ‘wild gourmet cooking course’ including meal planning preparation, execution and safe storage overview for food safety while in the wilderness. Reap the benefits of your efforts together while enjoying the wilderness gourmet meal you have learned to prepare! Spend a second night at HomePlace Base Camp on Galliano Island.
Day 3 – Galliano Island
Awake to another day in paradise with ocean views and serene wilderness! The day will begin with a morning introductory lesson on Climate Change Education: introduction to course concepts, including exploratory group discussions on subjects such as the incredible history of the Penelakut, Lamalcha, and Hwlitsum First Nations and Tsawwassen First Nation and other Hul’qumi’num speaking peoples of the region. Indigenous history will be woven into the climate change education modules, exploring how their natural and cultural histories, observations, and ways of knowing are informative and integral to climate change solutions. Afterwards set off on an afternoon bike tour of Galiano Island! Follow the shoreline of this famous gulf island on route to a challenging ascent at Mount Galliano! Enjoy a picnic lunch at the summit! After an active and thrilling afternoon, return to HomePlace for supper and evening activity of free swim and paddle boarding! This evening enjoy a campfire and bring out the telescope to observe the clear night sky and learn about the constellations of the summer time. Tuck in to your comfortable and padded tents, drifting off to sleep to the sounds of the outdoors, ocean breezes, and lapping water!
Day 4 – Galiano Island
The day begins with morning lessons delving deeper into Climate Change Education followed by Outdoor Leadership Lessons focusing on outdoor skills, activities, exploration and application: activities include ocean canoeing and paddling at Montague Harbour Provincial Park. After lunch, the full day of learning modules continues with afternoon sessions including a presentation led by the Galliano Conservancy Association (https://galianoconservancy.ca/): ‘Renewable Energy in Action’. Afterwards, immerse yourself in the surrounding forest and trails for an early evening medicine walk studying the flora and fauna of the local area! This evening, enjoy dinner Oceanside once again followed by an evening discussion about 21st-century leadership approaches through differing lenses, along with an in depth exploration of the concepts of Land & Governance. Tuck in for another night at Homeplace Galiano Base Camp.
Day 5: Victoria Capital City, University of Victoria, Vancouver Island
Rise and shine early for breakfast on site before preparing and packing a lunch for the day’s trip to Vancouver Island & Victoria, BC! Transfer to the ferry for your ocean ride through the Gulf Islands and Swartz Bay, arriving in British Columbia‘s Capital City of Victoria! Take the local Double Decker bus into the center to collect rented bikes and helmets for a tour of the capital city! Visit the University of Victoria where you will enjoy a private tour and interview with post-secondary students, engaging in team building challenges and group activities. This afternoon’s lesson Module will be Climate Change Education and Outdoor Leadership led by onsite professionals working in the Climate Change Sector. Afterwards, continue with your ‘Low Carbon Cycling Tour’ of the City of Victoria, BC; visit the Royal BC Museum & take a tour of Old Victoria, including a visit to the BC Legislative to meet local politicians! After an engaging and enlightening day, jump back on the evening ferry for the return to Galiano Island and HomePlace Base Camp. Dinner will be at Homeplace Galiano.
Optional Alternative: Overnight at the University of Victoria residences!
DAY 6 – Galiano Island (Solo Experiences)
This day will be spent completing the ‘Solo Experience’ required for completion of the course (training, safety supports and supervision included). The solo experience will be a day long experience that will take place on Galiano Island. The idea of the solo experience is to allow for an extended period of time to reflect, integrate, set goals, and simply be in nature, connecting to oneself and one’s surroundings. Students will be supervised the entire time by Staff Instructors. We believe that the solo is an integral experience for participants!
DAY 7 – Galiano Island
Today sleep in, meditate amid nature and its mesmerizing and musical sounds – or simply absorb the peace and relax before enjoying a midmorning brunch! Reflect on the first leg of your journey, your initial experiences as a group and the friendships you’ve forged who are now your trusted teammates! Think of all that you’ve shared, learned and discussed together before looking ahead to the next leg of your epic journey – a two week expedition up the Yukon River! Spend the rest of the day preparing for the following days’ expedition to the Yukon with planning and orientation, additional gear inspection, meal planning and river route review. There will be additional free time this afternoon for journaling and reflection. Soak up the last rays of the day, enjoy your last meal together at this location, and tuck in for your final night on Galiano Island, excited for the days ahead!
DAY 8 – Galiano Island – Vancouver YVR – Whitehorse YT
After breakfast board the ferry back to the mainland and transfer to Vancouver International Airport YVR for your flight to the Yukon’s capital city of Whitehorse! Arrive at Whitehorse this afternoon, and Transfer by private coach, courtesy of Vancouver Outdoor School to HomePlace Yukon, situated 40 minutes outside Whitehorse along the Yukon River! Tour the area and review the upcoming paddle itinerary. Enjoy dinner, prepared by the instructors, and taste some of Yukon’s wild edibles! There will be an evening lesson module: Intro to the Yukon Territory and River Paddling. Welcome to your first night under the Yukon’s immense skies, bathed in the midnight sun!
DAY 9 – HomePlace Yukon Base Camp – Downtown Whitehorse, YT
Enjoy a morning of various course exercises before packing up and departing for Whitehorse for a walking tour of downtown! This afternoon, enjoy lunch in town and a visit to the Yukon Hot Springs before returning to HomePlace, Yukon Base Camp. This early evening’s lesson modules will be Yukon River Paddling 2 & 3. Afterwards enjoy another evening of campfire and riverside relaxation. Spend Overnight at Yukon HomePlace Base Camp.
OPTIONAL EXPERIENCE: Luxuriate in the Yukon’s Natural Hot Springs in Whitehorse!
*If the Hot springs cannot be enjoyed: Enjoy guided supervised water skiing on the river, and apply your acquired backcountry STEM skills while building your own wilderness sauna!
Day 10 – Yukon River, HomePlace Yukon
Spend a full day practicing river paddling along the Yukon River, and review your river expedition itinerary. The afternoon‘s lesson modules will continue with outdoor skills training, risk management review, and preparations for pack up; leaving no trace behind while travelling sustainably and responsibly in the wilderness with awareness. Prepare for the next day’s departure to Fort Selkirk and paddling up the Yukon River! Enjoy anticipation of this upcoming historic and epic adventure and evening reflections while journal writing under the midnight sun!
Day 11 Fort Sellkirk
Break down camp and depart by coach early to Minto, Yukon Territory to set off paddling on the Yukon River to Fort Selkirk! Arrive at the historically significant Fort Selkirk and be welcomed by the good friends who manage the fort, Freda and Papa Don, for an introduction and tour! This evening over a roaring campfire enjoy lyrical hero Robert Service poems and reflection on the local area with your hospitable and welcoming hosts!
Day 12 to 14 Fort Selkirk Yukon – Indigenous Perspectives and Ways of Learning
These next days will be focused on the continuing Climate Change Education and Outdoor Leadership lesson modules while fully immersing in Indigenous Ways of Learning and Sharing with Fort Selkirk staff. Papa Don is a respected storyteller, healer and knowledge keeper! Be regaled by captivating stories and legends! Freda will share her knowledge of the river, her people and the creation of Fort Selkirk. Students will explore the importance of giving and sharing by participating in a community service project! Prepare for your individual Climate Expressive Art Installation Project which you will set upon the shoreline before departing this community.
Dear 15 to 19 – Yukon River Paddling
Paddle from Fort Selkirk to Dawson city along the Yukon River implementing your outdoor education course modules! The next four days will be spent completing your course and certifications. These days will include course evaluation, practicing paddling skills, leadership reflections, developing insights while completing your coursework booklet, and a visit to old gold miner’s cabins and panning for gold just as they did during the Klondike Rush! Paddle the river, setting camp at various river islands and shorelines. Upon arrival in Dawson city, transfer to HomePlace Dawson Base Camp and glory in your accomplishments achieved together throughout this wilderness adventure! Share in the collective group satisfaction of having arrived at your final location on the last leg of this epic journey!
Day 20 – Dawson City
Finally arriving at the end of your course, visit the historic town of Dawson, the Yukon’s previous capital, with a tour of this famed and founding city! Learn of the gold rush’s instigators who passed through these parts, laying the foundations of the Klondike Settlers movement! Enjoy a course completion celebration & ceremony! There will be a final course evaluation, course booklet submission, and a graduation banquet dinner & celebrations. Reflect on the transformative experience you have just embarked upon, discovering your new and improved selves! With self-reliance and self-propelling confidence brimming, set forth onto the next stages of your life wherever the next years may take you, forever remembering this incredible and unique experience, with lasting friendships and insights! Perhaps you will be inspired to initiate change and improvements in your own community, or continue your travels to new communities influencing climate change education and action, affecting a positive impact with your newly acquired world view!
Day 21 – Dawson City – Whitehorse – Vancouver
After a fun, engaging and inspirational expedition along the Yukon River, immersing in cultural and wilderness experiences while visiting two of our most vast, beautiful and untamed provinces; depart Dawson city (via Whitehorse) for Vancouver on your final leg of this journey. Arrive to Vancouver airport and say goodbye to your friends and paddling companions before returning home or catching a connecting flight. Thank you for joining us on a life-changing experience!
OPTIONAL POST-TRIP ADDITION: 3 or 4 Vancouver Tour Extension (Additional Price to be quoted individually) Stay at the local university residences under course instructor supervision, tour UBC and SFU, visit Stanley Park, North Vancouver, Burnaby and Vancouver’s city center.
OPTIONAL FAMILY TOUR: gather the family for a curated bespoke trip to BC & Vancouver. Reach out to GHT for trip ideas & pricing: Island, Cultural, and Fishing Tours, Hotel & Resort Accommodations … off the beaten path locations & much more!
Should COVID Regulations Persist: Victoria will be a day trip only, private ground transfers can be arranged where public services are used, (possible increase in Price – Private Coach Transfer To/From Ferry in Victoria, BC etc.). In depth visits to the cities of Dawson and Whitehorse, including Hot Springs may be removed, in which case participants will have alternate activities organized such as water skiing on the Yukon River, and using wilderness STEM Techniques to build their own natural sauna, and alternate activities will be arranged near to Dawson City. In all cases the Base Camp Locations and Basic Itinerary will remain the same, with Added COVID Protocols in Place to adhere to Regional Guidelines; this group would be a “bubble” unto itself, with all participants arriving to the group with negative PCR tests, taken within 72 Hours. Provincial Covid-19 regulations are fluid and rapidly subject to change. Participants must be ready to potentially experience itinerary changes at very short notice.
Available for Ages: 13 to 17 (Co-ed)
Participants will arrive with a negative PCR (Covid-19) TEST taken within 72 hours (at own expense)
Any Covid-19 expenses (foreseen or unforeseen) are not included in the trip price
A packing list will be provided
Students will sign a waiver
Students will arrive with personal belongings (from the packing list)
Students must be able to swim
Students must submit ANY/ALL medical and allergy information (food or otherwise) no later than 45 days prior to departure
Students must bring all necessary medication (ie. EPI Pen)
Note: Ground conditions, weather & group factors may lead to changes in the program by the guide(s). The goal is always to offer the best possible experience, but safety & wellbeing are always the priority and basis of all decisions made.
Fine Print: It is the responsibility of all participants to ensure that they have a valid passport and that no additional travel documents are necessary. Georgia Hardy Tours Inc. is not responsible for inadequate travel documents. Georgia Hardy Tours reserves the right to make changes in the itinerary when necessary for the convenience and safety of tour participants. Any extra cost in the unlikely event of itinerary changes must be borne by the individual participant.
Responsibility and Jurisdiction: Georgia Hardy Tours and their agents act only as agents for the passengers with respect to services supplied to passengers by others, including but not limited to transportation, hotel and restaurant services, on the express condition that they are not liable for any failure in such services, or injury, loss or damage, delay or inconvenience arising out of or in connection with any defect in any vehicle or any act, omission, accident or error in providing such transportation, hotel, restaurant or other services. There is no refund for unused portions of the tour. In case of an accident occurring during the land portion of any tour, the passenger must submit any claim therefore only to the competent judicial authorities of the jurisdiction where such accident occurred, to be determined exclusively in accordance with the laws of such jurisdiction. By accepting the coupons and tickets and utilizing the services, the passenger agrees that Georgia Hardy Tours nor any affiliated or subsidiary companies or representatives shall be liable for any loss, injury or damage to the passenger or belongings or otherwise in connection with any accommodations, transportation or other services or resulting directly from any occurrences beyond its control including breakdown in equipment, strikes, theft, delay or cancellation or changes in itinerary or schedules, etc. Georgia Hardy Tours and its agents reserve the right to refuse to accept or retain any person as a member of this tour. The right is reserved to withdraw any or all of the tour or portions thereof. All tour services including, but not limited to hotel accommodations, restaurants, guide services and transportation are furnished by independent contractors.