Canada is the second largest nation in the world and host to sky high mountains, ancient glaciers, and impressive coastlines. Outdoor education is an important part of North American culture, and is often integrated into school holidays from a young age. Camps incorporate teamwork exercises and character building activities that are set amidst the natural beauty of this amazing country. With outdoor activity camp placements across the whole of Canada, the vast landscape is yours to explore!
Is it for me?
If you love the great outdoors, working with a committed team, and inspiring young people to do the same, Canada is the place for you! The Canadian wilderness is not short on awe inspiring beauty. Enjoy opportunities to become certified in a variety of outdoor activities through extensive training. With all that nature as your backdrop, you’ll be centre stage in assisting young people to develop their teamwork skills, outdoor abilities, and confidence as an Outdoor Activities Instructor!
Placements are located throughout Canada, click here to view a map.
Outdoor Activities placements are usually based in permanent camps run by the YMCA/YWCA that are situated in beautiful locations in the Canadian outdoors. Volunteer duties are quite varied, ranging from leading groups in activities such as kayaking, rock climbing, hiking, orienteering and fencing to life saving skills, first aid, counselling and general camp maintenance. Some camps cater specifically for disadvantaged youth, or for young people with mental or physical disabilities. The environment and activities are the same at these camps, but there is also an additional caring component to the role. Basic caring could range from one-on-one time with disadvantaged or disabled children to assisting with personal needs.
Some placements require a bronze medallion life saving certificate and a current first aid qualification to be obtained prior to arrival, or a medical clearance to work with young people with special needs. A small amount of pocket money is paid for placements in Canada.
Accommodation is provided by the camp and is usually shared with camp staff. In some camps accommodation is quite basic, but generally comprises a shared house, cabin or tepee. While some placements provide food, others set up a system of self-catering for volunteers.
Before you go:
- We find out more about each volunteer through an interview which helps us select the right people and after a second interview, we match them to a placement that’s right for them.
- Once selected, each volunteer is allocated a Coordinator in the Melbourne office who assists them with all preparations. They provide briefing materials, support with logistics such as flights and visas and are there to answer any questions.
- Everyone attends a briefing camp to meet other volunteers and Lattitude staff, to hear from returned volunteers and prepare for their placement ahead.
- Volunteers complete their own Learning and Development Plan which helps to identify goals and personal skills they would like to develop, and these areas of development are followed up throughout their time away.
- All volunteers sign our Code of Conduct to ensure that our expectations of each volunteer are agreed and clear from the outset.
When you're overseas:
- We have paid staff based in each country. Our Country Managers oversee the program and work with a team of Local Representatives who provide support in the local areas and develop close relationships with placement hosts.
- Upon arrival into Canada, volunteers attend an orientation in Vancouver and then travel on to their placement camp.
- Each volunteer is visited at their placement soon after arrival by an in-country staff member to check how things are and provide additional support if needed.
- We work with Embassies and High Commissions to ensure we can respond to any situation and provide 24/7 emergency support from Melbourne.
When you're back:
- We recognise that coming home can be difficult and provide one-to-one support, with onward referrals for further professional support if needed. Volunteers are invited to debriefing events and become part of our network of alumni.
- We undertake reviews against the learning needs identified before going overseas which may form part of a reference provided at the end. A letter can also be provided to use towards an application for Youth Allowance.
This is a guide of the costs involved for placements in Canada in 2018:
|Lattitude fees (exact costs)|
|Lattitude Application Fee||$150|
|Lattitude Placement Fee||$4300|
|Lattitude In-country Orientation||$280|
|Travel costs (approximate)|
|Travel Insurance (6 months)*||$1008|
|Return Airfare (ex Melbourne/Sydney)||$1950|
|Total cost (approximate)||$7780
* Travel insurance is quoted on an Allianz Standard Package with $250 excess
Other costs associated with your time away may include obtaining a passport, arranging travel vaccinations, purchasing any additional clothing and travel within the country.
Your opportunity to travel will be once your placement finishes. Having been based in the great outdoors you might be ready to head to some of Canada’s big cities. Vancouver in the West hosts some of Canada’s best food including fresh caught seafood and culturally diverse dishes. Toronto in the East is a microcosm of global culture, a true melting pot with over 140 languages spoken. A visit to Montreal, with its cafes and vibrant food markets will get you in a European frame of mind. Once you’re done with city life, head back to nature and see if you can spot some whales off the coast of British Columbia! Whatever kind of travel experience you would like, you will not be disappointed in Canada.
|Duration:||4 - 8 months|
> Outdoor Activities Instructor
Languages: English and French
Population: 34 million
Time Zone: Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) minus 13.5 - 18 hours (depending on location in Canada)
Climate: Canada is an expansive country that shares the southern latitude of Rome and extends up to the Arctic region, resulting in a varied climate and temperatures throughout
Currency: Canadian Dollar
“Camp Elphinstone in British Columbia is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. Beyond the grass is a row of majestic pine trees, and beyond the pine trees a gorgeous stretch of water and a mass of snow-capped mountains, both of which turn a fiery gold in the setting Canadian sun. The tap water is delicious, birds are chirping, insects are buzzing - it’s breathtaking!”
Mark Kenfield, Lattitude Outdoor Activities Instructor