Skip to main content
North Vancouver School District
the natural place to learn©
Outdoor School Counsellor Leadership Program

at Cheakamus Centre


Cheakamus Centre

Established in 1969, Cheakamus Centre is an overnight field school and environmental studies facility located on 165 ha of ecological reserve in Paradise Valley. The centre, formerly known as the North Vancouver Outdoor School, is owned by the North Vancouver School District and offers a wide variety of environmental and indigenous cultural programs to children and adults. The flagship Outdoor School program includes field studies, youth leadership, outdoor recreation, and other direct experiences in nature intended to instill in young learners a sense of respect and appreciation for the natural world.

Outdoor School Counsellor Leadership Program

The Counsellor Leadership Program is a long-standing school district volunteer experience that is an integral part of the Outdoor School program at Cheakamus Centre. The program is designed to develop students' leadership and interpersonal skills while fostering a deeper understanding of outdoor and environmental learning.

As leadership counsellors, students will work with elementary students and guide them in field studies and activities focusing on wildlife habitat, forest and stream ecology, and a variety of recreational pursuits.

Counsellors also are responsible for leading games, assisting with meals and snacks, and providing overnight support for students staying in cabins. The supervision, guidance and mentorship provided by the counsellors is an essential part of the Outdoor School program experience and is often a highlight for the younger students.

This volunteer program is open to students in grades 10-12 and requires a commitment to attend a weekend training workshop along with a minimum 1 week counselling experience between October and May. Details regarding the process to apply for the Counsellor Leadership Program are indicated below:

  • Submit Counsellor Training Workshop application form available through your school counselling department (in September) or on the Cheakamus Centre website.
  • Successfully complete weekend training workshop offered in September, November or February.
  • Sign up for Outdoor School Counselling weeks through your school counsellor.

There is a fee of $115 for the Counsellor Training Workshop. This fee covers meals, accommodation, transportation, and instructional materials for the workshop (Friday evening to Sunday afternoon). Partial bursaries are available supported through the Outdoor School Alumni group.

For more information about the Outdoor School Counsellor Leadership Program, go to

Click here to view the Outdoor School Counsellor Leadership Program flyer.