Choosing program type and season

Our Outdoor Education seasons run May-June and September each year, with the spring being the most popular season. Outdoor Education programs are targeted at children, youth, or adult groups looking to learn outdoor skills, work on teambuilding, and explore nature. Outdoor Education programs include meals, accommodation and staff to facilitate activities. Rental programs are for groups who want to do their own programming – we provide meals, accommodation and space, with the option to add on activities for part of the stay. For the spring season, we take bookings a year or more in advance.

Resources

Teacher/Group Organizer Information Booklet This booklet is updated each year, and thoroughly explains the Outdoor Education Programs.

Fee Schedule  For Outdoor Education and Rental programs

Booking Process

  • If you are interested in a spring visit, we suggest completing a booking request up to one year in advance (during May or June for a trip the following May or June), however, most of our clients submit a booking request in September or October for the following May or June.Note that in order to retain returning groups’ dates from year to year our booking deadline is November 1st.
  • Fill out the booking request form online. You will receive an automated email confirming your booking form has been received and that it is being processed.
  • If you are interested in a Fall visit, we recommend submitting a booking request in the previous spring: submit a request in May or June for a trip the following September.
  • We continue to accept booking requests up until shortly before the season starts, and if your group is flexible with dates, we can usually fit you in.
  • Booking requests are processed for returning groups after the November 1st deadline, after which bookings are prioritized on a “first-come-first-serve” basis, balanced with needs of participants. Cabin and activity choices are also prioritized as first-come-first-serve.
  • The Outdoor Education Program Manager will discuss your booking with you and help you tentatively reserve dates.
  • Once your dates are selected and agreed on, Registration Services will send you a Program Package.
  • Program Packages for trips in the Spring season are typically sent out in the fall prior, and for the Fall season they are sent out in the spring or summer prior.

Program Packages

Once you have dates agreed with the Program Manager, Registration Services will email you your Program Package, which includes the following:

  • Contract
  • Deposit Invoice
  • Guidelines and Expectations
  • Confirmation Sheets

What to do with each of these is explained in detail in the Teacher Information Booklet and the Program Package itself.

Group Organizer Checklist

Within 30 days of receiving your contract:

  • Return a signed copy of your contract and your insurance certificate by fax, email, or mail.
  • Pay your deposit by credit card (max. of $5000) or cheque.

By two months prior to your visit

  • Contact us if you have any changes in the number of participants you are bringing. This is your last chance to reduce by more than 10%, and after this date, we charge for 90% of the number on your contract.
  • Think about designating a fist aid person, vehicle and driver.
  • Discuss trip goals and behaviour with students.
  • Distribute gear list, health forms, and permission forms (school specific) to
    parents/guardians.
  • Arrange transportation needs.
  • Begin collecting all dietary and medical information.
  • Make sure you have enough chaperones for your program, taking into account your organization’s criminal record check requirement.

Some things to keep in mind when recruiting chaperones

  • We require a ratio of 1 adult per 9 students (include yourself and other teachers) for overnight groups and 1 adult per 14 students (or per activity group) for day groups. You will be charged for additional adults. Educational Assistants/chaperones accompanying special needs campers are complementary.
  • Chaperones are physically active; most people walk about 10km a day while at camp!
  • Chaperones whose activity group is kayaking are required to perform a wet-exit, which is when one exits at kayak by over-turning it and sliding out underwater.
  • Camp Thunderbird is a non-smoking site. There is no designated smoking area and those who smoke are asked to leave property (about 3km from main camp).
  • Chaperones are responsible for supervising between 8 and 14 students and supporting the Camp Thunderbird Instructors.

Two weeks prior to your visit

  • Complete the confirmation sheets you received with your contract and email it to tbirdoutdoored@vancouverislandy.com.
  • Begin to finalize your cabin and activity groups.
  • Ensure you have the permission forms and medical information that your organization requires.
  • Ensure you have a first aid kit and group first aid attendant organized.
  • Ensure you have an emergency vehicle booked that will stay at camp for the duration of your program.
  • Review trip goals and behaviour with students.
  • Review Guidelines and Expectations with chaperones.
  • Confirm transportation arrangements.

 

Ready to sign-up?

Submit a Booking Request