Canada is a land of astonishing beauty from the old world charm of Quebec to the rugged Rocky Mountains. Spanning six time zones and bordering three major oceans, it is the world’s second largest country. The combination of a rich volunteer network and outdoor lifestyle offers many opportunities to support others in large outdoor activity camps.
Placements are located throughout Canada, click here to view a map.
Is it for me?
If living in the wilderness, working in a team and inspiring young people sounds exciting, then camp life is for you! As an Outdoor Activities Instructor, you will work within stunning scenery assisting young people to learn and develop their outdoor skills.
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 (with CPR) to be obtained prior to arrival. A small amount of pocket money is paid for placements in Canada.
Accommodation & food
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, identify their learning needs and hear from returned volunteers.
- 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 travel straight to their placement camp for an onsite orientation.
- 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.
These costs are for Lattitude placements in Canada in 2014
Lattitude fees (exact costs):
|Lattitude Application Fee||$125|
|Lattitude Placement Fee||$3600|
You will also need to budget for the following (approx costs):
|Travel Insurance (7 months)||$1136|
|Return Airfare (ex Melbourne/Sydney)||$2350|
|Total cost (approximate)
Other costs associated with your time away may include obtaining a passport, purchasing any additional clothing required and arranging travel vaccinations.
The main opportunity for travel will be at the end of your placement. If based in the wilderness at an outdoor camp, you may be ready for the buzz of a big city afterwards and can take your pick from the multicultural and festival-packed cities of Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver or Quebec. But if the great outdoors is your priority, there is nowhere better to hike, bike, ski, kayak, whale watch and surf than this awe-inspiring country. Whatever kind of travel experience you would like, you will not be disappointed in Canada.
|Departs in 2014:||February|
|Duration:||Feb - 7 months|
|Jun - 3 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