The power of Counsellors

February 01, 2019

“Co-counsellors, staff, campers, and anyone else involved with [Cheakamus Centre,] thank you for all that you have given me, I will never be the same.” - Grade 12 student

Counsellors are at the heart of Outdoor School programs at Cheakamus Centre.

Grade 10-12 high school students act as youth leaders and role models for visiting students. They are the leaders, mentors, mediators and parents-away-from-home. Counsellors can be some of the most influential people in a young person’s life. They lead afternoon and evening activities, assist teachers on field studies, and foster a strong connection with kids in their cabins. Counsellors get to share their hearts of gold with impressionable children who never forget them and are there to ensure the well-being of students, in addition to making their outdoor environmental experience as fun and rewarding as possible.

Confidence and leadership skills are built through training weekends and on-site mentoring by staff, alumni and experienced peers. Counsellors strengthen their communication and team-building skills as they help create a fun, inclusive environment for everyone. Along with a new counsellor name, many gain a sense of community, purpose, and deep connection to the natural world they are immersed in.

For many who visit Cheakamus Centre for the Outdoor School program, their counsellors are what they remember most, along with the baby goats and chicks! This legacy of youth leadership, from visiting students to counsellors to alumni, is a foundation of the Outdoor School program at Cheakamus.

The impact these leaders have on youth is tremendous.

Primary and Intermediate aged students observe how their counsellors interact with other students and staff members when things are going smoothly, and when times are tough. In a way, counsellors pave the way for the next generation - showing them how to serve well, work hard and play hard. Many counsellor volunteers leave their days counselling at Cheakamus Centre inspiring students to be counsellors one day.

Counsellors listen...

They serve...

They teach...

They problem solve on the spot...

They put in long days of hard work...


They are the heart of the positive experience’s students learn at Cheakamus Centre!

Check out our February ‘Faces’ which feature four amazing counsellor's who were deeply impacted by their time at Cheakamus Centre. Read their stories here.

Written by Cheakamus Centre staff: Communications and Marketing Manager Sepideh Tazzman,