Counsellor FAQs

Please see below for Frequently Asked Questions

How do I become a counsellor?

Fill out an online application form. If your application is approved by your School Counsellor and Cheakamus Centre, you will be contacted about attending a training weekend.

I go to a high school outside of North Vancouver. Can I still become a counsellor?

Yes. While the property is owned by the North Vancouver School District and the majority of counsellors are North Vancouver students, you are able to apply from anywhere the Lower Mainland.

How do I book a counselling week?

After your training weekend, you will receive an email from our Administrative Coordinator outlining the steps to attend a counselling week. Please review the dates and details and reply to the email with two to three choices of weeks that work for your schedule.

Can I counsel with friends?

Yes. Many people come up to counsel with friends, though it is unlikely that you will be in the same cabin or field study. We try to group counsellors from different schools together, so you can make new friends and to help create a team atmosphere. We often limit the number of students from one school for this same reason. We’ve found that when large groups of friends come up together, it negatively impacts the team and other counsellors may feel excluded.

When are the training weekends held?

We have three training weekends throughout the year (usually late September, November, and February). The dates will be posted on the counsellor application form. The weekend training is from Friday evening (after school) until Sunday afternoon.

Do I get volunteer hours for counselling?

Yes! Dependent on the number of days you counsel and the programming involved, you can accrue anywhere from 35-67hrs per week. Please note - we generally do not give out volunteer hours if you only attend the volunteer training weekend.

I used to be a counsellor in high school. Now I'm in university. Can I still counsel at Outdoor School?

Yes! We rely on experienced alumni to counsel alongside our high school counsellors. If you haven’t counselled in a few years, we may request that you retrain. You will need to get a criminal record check done, we will let you know more details when you get in touch. Please email to express your interest in returning as an alumni counsellor.

Is transportation to and from Squamish included?

Yes! Cheakamus Centre will organize a bus to pick up yourself and your co-counsellors for both the training wekeend and any subsequent counselling weeks.

How many counsellors will be in attendance?

For the counsellor training weekend, we host up to 75 trainees. For each subsequent counselling week, you will be in a group of 14-16 counsellors. This group will be a mix of grades, genders, and schools.

I have some complex needs/access requirements - will I still be able to be a counsellor?

Yes - we strive to create an inclusive environment for all students interested in becoming counsellors. We can plan around mobility challenges/complex needs, and can accommodate other requirements such as ASL interpreters or other assistants on-site.

I have more questions that are not answered here!

Please email and we would be happy to answer it.

Hope to see you at Outdoor School!