An Adventure In Education

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1 An Adventure In Education P.O. BOX 1246 LAKE COWICHAN B.C. CANADA V0R 2G0 TEL FAX Cowichan Lake OUTDOOR EDUCATION and CONFERENCE CENTRE

2 Let us help you put some adventure and hands on learning experience into your educational programs. On our field trips, your students can explore the old growth forests of the world famous Carmanah Valley and see some of the tallest trees in Canada. Experience a temperate rain forest that has double the biomass of a tropical rain forest. Go down to the sea and observe the myriad of life forms that abound in the tidal pools of Botanical Beach. Or come and meet the Ditidaht and Khowutzun people and learn about their traditional lifestyle, their arts and customs. And there s so much more. 1

3 At the Centre we offer a wide range of educational and recreational courses, from environmental sciences to resource management, First Nations studies and outdoor adventure programs. Our teachers include nature interpreters, marine biologists from the Marine Ecology Station, adventure travel guides, artists and scientific people from the Cowichan area and nearby universities and colleges. Individually prepared courses are developed from the following program areas: Environmental Sciences (marine biology, fisheries, forestry and astromony, ecology, birds, mammals and botany), Liberal Education (ropes courses, leadership and team building, art, music, drama, First Nations studies, and human history), and Outdoor Adventure (guided nature tours, bear/cougar safety, ecotourism and wilderness training, canoeing/kayaking, and hiking). All activities are purposefully adaptable to accommodate a range of needs, abilities and objectives. Visiting teachers and group leaders are involved in the program design process, selecting activities and creating program schedules together with the program staff to deliver a quality outdoor 2 learning and adventure experience.

4 Environmental Explorations and Studies Program The Environmental Explorations and Studies Program provides students with first hand learning experiences in the outdoors. Our field trips take students into temperate rain forests, mountains, wetlands and marine environments to explore, enjoy and learn about these eco-systems and the plant and animal life within. The instructors for this program are experienced teachers from many fields of study including education, environmental sciences, biology, humanities and the arts. Their enthusiasm and joy of learning is a great strength of our programming. As students share in their discoveries and new experiences they will take home important understandings of themselves and their environment. Teachers and students alike talk of field trips to old growth forests of the Carmanah Valley and the tide pools of Botanical Beach on the west coast as highlights of their visit to the Cowichan Lake 3 Education Centre.

5 Our program coordinator will work with you to develop a program that complements the interests of your group. A teacher s resource guide to the Environmental Explorations and Studies program is available upon request. Program costs include instruction, meals, snacks and accommodation. Personal equipment such as day pack, sleeping bags, rain gear, etc., are the responsibility of the student. Accompanying adults are expected to supervise at night and when they are not involved with scheduled activities. Transportation costs to the Centre and for field trips to Botanical Beach, Carmanah valley, Nitinaht Fish Hatchery, Vancouver Island Trout Hatchery and the Marine Ecology Centre are extra and exact figures will be discussed at time of booking. Transportation reductions may be available for some programs. Minimum group size is 20 but if your group is under the minimum we may be able to fit you in with another group. 4

6 Our Setting Our centre is located on the shores of Lake Cowichan. The 30 kilometre long lake is one of the largest freshwater bodies on Vancouver Island. Known among the First Nation people of the region as Kaatza or The Big Lake, it is a prime destination for those who enjoy water activities including swimming and boating as well as fishing. Cowichan the Khowutzun people s word for land warmed by the sun, is a region of abundant natural wildlife and rich human history in British Columbia. Visitors to the region will enjoy the spirit of adventure as they explore the West Coast temperate rain forests, mountains, wetlands and marine environments. The nearby Cowichan River Provincial Park offers an opportunity for hiking, fishing and rafting. Outdoor enthusiasts who want to bring their own equipment may also enjoy hiking, cycling, mountain biking, windsurfing, sailing, rowing, kayaking and canoeing. For others looking for a more relaxed atmosphere, there s always birding, sketching, painting, and of course, excellent nature and wildlife photography. 5

7 The Facility Nestled amidst 44 acres of Douglas fir forest with 1200 feet of secluded shoreline the Centre is a full service outdoor learning and conference facility. This field centre is strategically located at the West Coast gateway to the majestic landscape of Carmanah-Walbran Provincial Park and the new Juan de Fuca Marine Trail. It is also accessible to the spectacular rugged terrain of Clayoquot Sound s Pacific Rim National Park where hikers and backpackers undertake the challenge of the world-renowned West Coast Trail. The Centre is located 96 kilometres (60 miles) from Victoria or 90 minutes by road from the capital, and approximately the same distance from Nanaimo, in Central Vancouver Island, on Highway 18 just 28 kilometres west of Duncan. Transportation The Centre owned and operated by the Town of Lake Cowichan operates two buses that are available for rent by school groups and other organizations. 6

8 Accommodations The Centre offers rustic hostel-type facilities that can accommodate up to 100 visitors. It features a central lodge with a large fireplace and wholesome home-style cooking and mixed housing including two log cabins with 4 beds in each, a motel style unit that will sleep two people in each room with private bath, and a sectional dormitory with four bunks in each room and shared washrooms and showers. The Centre proudly boasts nine new semi-private rooms with washrooms. On-site recreational facilities include outdoor leisure apparatus as well as recreational areas for volleyball, soccer, badminton, horseshoes, swimming, boating and walking or jogging trails.space is available for enclosed workshops, three separate classrooms and meeting rooms equipped with whiteboards, flipcharts and audio-visual equipment such as TV, VCR, slide and overhead projectors. 7

9 The Staff The Centre staff includes an on-site general manager, an on-site program co-ordinator/ teacher who is a naturalist with environmental education qualifications, resource specialists, as well as grounds keeping, maintenance, security, transportation, housekeeping and food preparation staff, who all work as a team to ensure that each visitor has a rewarding experience. The staff is dedicated to helping visitors experience nature in a hands-on fashion, to develop an appreciation for the natural and cultural environment and to understand the need for wise management practices to retain these assets for the use of future generations. Our variety of specially designed programs is intended to work within your requirements and budget. One of our guiding principles is to offer exceptional value from both an educational and a budgetary perspective. We d be pleased to provide you with whatever information you require to make your decision, or better yet, why not come out and see for yourself firsthand. 8

10 Nanaimo NORTH TO NANAIMO Nanaimo Airport Yellow Point Where we are located Ladysmith Thetis Island HIG HWAY 1 Chemainus Vesuvius Youbou Cowichan Lake Outdoor Education & Conference Centre Youbou Honeymoon Bay Cowichan Lake Outdoor Education & Conference Centre Cowichan Lake Mesachie Lake North Cowichan Region Highway 18 Town of LAKE COWICHAN Duncan Crofton Maple Bay Genoa Bay Ganges Salt Spring Island Fulford Harbour Cowichan Lake Honeymoon Bay Mesachie Lake Town of Lake Cowichan Cobble Hill Shawnigan Lake Cowichan Bay SOUTH TO VICTORIA Mill Bay HIGHWAY 1 Swartz Bay Sidney Brentwood Bay The Centre is nestled on the shores of Cowichan Lake, just a kilometer or so west of the Town of Lake Cowichan. It is 96 kilometres from Victoria, approximately the same distance from Nanaimo and just 28 kilometres west of Duncan. River Jordan Shirley Otter Point Sooke Victoria 9

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