World-renowned Island outdoor education centre marks 60th anniversary

Strathcona Park Lodge book re-launch celebrates history of landmark wilderness centre

World-renowned Island outdoor education centre marks 60th anniversary

Strathcona Park Lodge and Outdoor Education Centre celebrates its 60th anniversary this year and part of the celebration is the re-launch of a history of the lodge.

Situated on Highway 28 halfway between Campbell River and Gold River, the ‘Lodge,’ as it is affectionately known, began as a cedar log building that floated across from one side of the lake to the other when Upper Campbell Lake was flooded during the 1958 construction of Strathcona Dam.

RELATED: Vancouver Island author tells the story of epic, treacherous maritime voyage

A year later, the building landed on the shore of property belonging to Wallace Baikie, that he then sold to his daughter Myrna and her husband Jim Boulding who intended to start a boy’s camp.

The camp idea was abandoned in favour of tourism, but by the early 1970s, the Bouldings had reprised their idea of training in the outdoors. Influenced by such notable conservationists as Roderick Haig-Brown and George Clutesi, they began the long journey of establishing what was to become a world-renowned outdoor education centre.

In time to celebrate the lodge’s 50th anniversary, Myrna wrote and produced a history of the lodge entitled Survival Strathcona Style, Off the Grid and On the Edge.

Now reprinted, with additional colour photos and a new cover, this account of the Bouldings’ pioneering efforts to establish their business in rugged central Vancouver Island while continuing to work as teachers and raise five children, is as entertaining as it is informative.

Interspersed with anecdotes and personal photos from friends, family and staff who passed through the portal of the lodge, and letters and articles that highlight the challenges of developing an unlikely enterprise that survived a multitude of challenges, the lodge story is as unique as its intrepid author and her late husband.

Truly ‘off the grid’ and ‘on the edge,’ the lodge is now operated by Myrna’s son Jamie and his wife Christine Clarke, and continues to spearhead environmental practices and operate as a green business in a splendid wilderness setting.

RELATED: Jason Momoa, Vancouver Island, co-star in new TV series ‘See’

Myrna and local historian Catherine Gilbert are hosting a pictorial presentation about the lodge and an opportunity to see the view the new book on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 1 – 3 p.m. at the Campbell River Museum, 470 Island Hwy, Campbell River.

Just Posted

Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
Two Nanaimo care-home residents have died during COVID-19 outbreak

Death reported Monday was the second related to Chartwell Malaspina outbreak, says Island Health

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Members of the BC RCMP Explosive Disposal Unit (EDU) were deployed to Drummond Park opposite of Fulford Habour on Saltspring Island after the discovery of a suspicious cylindrical-shaped device on Jan. 20. (Google/Screencap)
UPDATED: Bomb disposal unit still determining nature of suspicious device found on Salt Spring Island

Police say a resident discovered the device Wednesday morning in Drummond Park opposite BC Ferries terminal

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

The objectives of the Vancouver Island Down Syndrome Society include peer support for parents and caregivers, as well as developing support services, projects, educational and employment opportunities for people with Down Syndrome. Photo supplied.
Vancouver Island Down Syndrome Society offers support for families in the community

New non-profit seeking directors in cities across Vancouver Island

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

Rod Bitten of Union Bay won $500,000 in the Lotto Max draw on Jan. 15. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island electrician gets shocking surprise with $500K Extra win

Rod Bitten has been hard at work with home renovations, which is… Continue reading

The Rogers Creek Trail main trailhead is located on the Redford Extension in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Hiker rescued after cold few hours in the bush outside Port Alberni

Alberni Valley Rescue Squad said they receive frequent calls for people lost on this trail

A suspect has been arrested in connection with fires at Drinkwater Elementary (pictured) and École Mount Prevost. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Arson suspect arrested after fires at Cowichan Valley schools

Drinkwater Elementary and Mount Prevost schools hit within a week

The Victoria Fire Department extinguished a 15 foot tent fire in the 500-block of Ellice Street Jan. 19. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Victoria police investigating after 15-foot flames engulf tent

Flames damage nearby business in 500-block of Ellice Street

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Hecht Beach cabin in ashes. (Submitted)
Beloved secret cabin lost to fire on the North Island’s west coast

The trappers cabin was shared with locals, but kept mostly secret

Oyster River Fire Rescue members were called out to a suspicious fire in Black Creek. Two vehicles parked at a private residence were destroyed by fire. Photo courtesy Oyster River Fire Rescue
Suspicious fire destroys two vehicles at Vancouver Island residence

Oyster River Fire Rescue personnel were dispatched to a fire at a… Continue reading

Most Read