For youth who have completed grades 9-10, this program emphasizes leadership, initiative, communication and the group care skills necessary to be a strong leader in a camp setting or elsewhere. Our Leadership Development program is a six-week program divided between two three-week (19 days) Camps, although, each experience will have benefit to participants on its own. We suggest two programs for campers to get the most out of the program and for those who want to volunteer or work with us in the future. This program is suited to those who want to learn more about themselves, working with kids and/or wilderness travel.

Participants spend most of their time in their group on a nine-day backcountry expedition to one of our locations below. They also work directly with groups of young campers to practice first-hand their teaching and group care skills. While on their expedition, Thunderbird counsellors and guides lead the campers as they take turns being “leader of the day” and work together to navigate, practice Leave No Trace camping, food preparation and site cleanliness. There is a service component to each program as well.

LD Kayak Program

Groups travel in a mix of single and double kayaks, and participants learn on-the-water navigation and leadership skills. Each day, campers can expect to paddle approximately 4-5 hours, with some longer days of up to 7 hours on the water. Campers work together, and take turns leading aspects of the trip, including water travel, set up and functioning of the campsite, cooking and clean-up.

Clayoquot Sound – July 2019

LD Kayak Clayoquat Sound campers spend their time paddling in Clayoquot Sound. They will camp mainly on the large sandy beaches that make Clayoquot Sound famous but also spend some nights in rough wilderness camps. There is a reason Clayoquot sound is considered one of the most beautiful paddling destinations on our coast.

Broughton Archipelago – August 2019

Participants travel to the spectacular wilderness of the Broughton Archipelago Provincial Park. This area is home to wildlife including seabirds, bears and the highest diversity of marine mammals in coastal Canadian waters, including the endangered Northern Resident Killer Whales.

LD Hike Program

Groups hike together and travel distances of 7-15 kilometers a day. Both trips take 9 days to complete the trail they travel along leaving plenty of time for breaks and at least one rest day for recovery and skill building. They work through challenges together and build solutions to those challenges. The LD Hikers will learn the functioning of the campsite, cooking and clean-up.

LD West Coast Trail – July 2019

Campers hike the world famous West Coast Trail on the rugged outer coast of Vancouver Island. Parks Canada has put together a short video introduction to the trail, titled the “Hike of a Lifetime”. The West Coast Trail is an experience for a lifetime.

LD Hike North Coast Trail – August 2019

The North Coast Trail is a more remote version of the West Coast Trail, a shorter trail but more rough. Campers get to see Cape Scott and the stunning large beaches along the North Coast of Vancouver Island on this lesser traveled trail.


Information in this booklet is updated every year, and all of the information is vital for your camper(s) to have a successful experience. Please read carefully even if you have been to camp before! Life at camp is different from the routines and patterns of home. Taking the time to talk with your camper(s) about their upcoming experience is an important step in preparing. Setting a positive tone and clarifying expectations can really help your child make the adjustment. In doing this, your child will take the most out of their Camp Thunderbird opportunity.

Leadership Development Family Information Booklet – 2019

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