For the past 11 years, the Forest Stewardship Program (FSP) has enhanced youths’ lives in the remote communities of Haida Gwaii.  By rooting youth to their natural environment, the FSP creates an inspired relationship to place, fosters ecological integrity, highlights the importance of community, and enhances individual self‐confidence and self‐esteem thereby empowering youth to become stewards for their own lives and their unique island home.  The FSP is run in conjunction with School District 50, facilitating students’ participation during the school year.  Off-island registrations are welcome.

Camps Timeline:
4 one-week sessions in May-June
2 one-week sessions in September-October
* Specific dates for the camps are set in conjunction with SD 50 in the lead-up to camp sessions.

The FSP is first and foremost a hands‐on experience. As such, program delivery is founded on a number of experiential, action‐centered activities lead by an exceptional group of local outdoor educators in a safe, fun, and supportive manner. The list of activities is extensive and includes:

Insect identification
The Bryophyte Olympics
Plant life (identification, usage, plant‐animal connections)
Animal tracking
Owl calling
Wild food harvesting and preparation (e.g., in pit cooks)
Fire making (e.g., bow drill)
Shelter building
Orienteering/navigation/compass and map work
Weather interpretation
Knot tying
Tent setting
The Great Eco‐Challenge
Creek walking
Salmon‐forest ecology
Mountain climbing
Forestry practices and effects
Trail building
Group travel logistics and safety
Camping ethics (e.g., leave no trace)
Paddle making
Cedar harvesting
Carving and weaving
Charades and drama
Team‐building games
Forest ecology games
Fire circle sharing

DSCN0432.webFSP Instructors’ primary goal in program delivery is creating an environment in which students feel safe and supported. Only then are we able to learn and challenge ourselves. Indeed, some common feedback we have received from students are:

It was so FUN

I learned that I am capable of more than I thought

I made friends with people I never thought would be my friend

I learned how many interesting insects/plants there are on Haida Gwaii

I can live away from my Mom and Dad

You don’t need electronics to have a happy life

It is these changes in self‐awareness and perception that last a lifetime and help create a future generation that is capable of caring for and connecting to themselves and their world.