Frequently Asked Questions at Camp Squeah in Hope BC

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find a comprehensive list of questions and answers regarding all aspects of Camp Squeah’s Outdoor Education program.

If you have any other questions, please contact us (toll free in BC) at 1-800-380-2267 or 1-604-869-5353 or email info@squeah.com.

General FAQs

Where is Squeah located?

Address:
#4-27915 Trans-Canada Hwy
Hope, BC V0X 1L3

Approximate Distances:
16 km north of Hope, BC
70 km east of Chilliwack, BC
170 km east of Vancouver, BC

Directions:
When traveling from the Lower Mainland:
Travel east towards Hope on the Trans-Canada Highway (Hwy 1).
Exit #170 at Hope to remain on Hwy 1.
Continue 16 kms past Hope. Watch for our sign 1 km beyond the Dogwood Truck Stop.

Anticipate:
2 hour drive from Vancouver
1 hour drive from Abbotsford
15 minute drive from Hope

When traveling south-west on the Trans-Canada Highway:
Camp Squeah is located 8 km beyond Yale.

Visit our Location page to view map.

What are the benefits of Outdoor Education?

An outdoor education experience is an excellent choice for students for a number of reasons.

  1. We believe exposure to the natural environment helps students become comfortable in a natural setting, helps them find joy and excitement in exploring the diversity of the environment around them, assists in a child’s development, reduces stress and boredom and increases a child’s love of the outdoors, physical fitness and creativity.
  2. We believe participating in a unique community in a setting like camp amongst a caring summer staff and other students helps to produce in children a respect for others, a healthy sense of belonging within a loving group, an understanding of the uniqueness of themselves as individuals always within the context of a community and a willingness to contribute positively to the well-being of the community.
  3. We believe spending time in a safe and caring environment gives students, particularly those who live in highly urbanized environments, freedom to run and play without the concern of the unknown or the fear of people they don’t know.
  4. We believe that participating in an outdoor education experience away from the home can help children develop a healthy sense of independence and interdependence.
  5. We believe that exposure to young adults who genuinely love and care for students fosters a sense of what a positive role model is, an example of quality character they want to emulate and have themselves and inspires them to connect with others who have these qualities.
  6. At Camp Squeah our faith compels us to love others in every way possible and with every bit of available energy we’ve been given. This joy and peace and love flow from our relationship/s and therefore everything we do is in loving interest to you, your students and your group – everything from our safety standards, our customer service, our cleanliness, our diligence in ensuring adherence to policy, our choice of activities, how we train our staff, how we care for the environment, our use and service of food, our consumption footprint, how we facilitate activities, the list goes on ….

We share with students and teachers how outdoor education can provide a space for children to discover themselves in a safe and loving environment and that this helps them become confident, mature and fun loving people.

Obviously, we are biased. WE LOVE OUTDOOR EDUCATION! But don’t just take our word for it. Talk to another school or teacher who has attended Camp Squeah. Let them share with you the value we so strongly believe in. For more professional research on the affects of camp upon Canadian children, consider reading the published study carried out by the University of Waterloo called the Canadian Summer Camp Research Project. Also, a book with some weighty evidence of the effects of the urban environment in contrast with the natural environment on people is called ‘Last Child in the Woods’ by Richard Louv. http://richardlouv.com/books/last-child/. There are numerous research papers done considering the effects of both urban/screen/social media environments as well as the effects of the natural environment on children.

What does Squeah mean and how do you pronounce it?

Camp Squeah, in the local Salish dialect, alludes to ‘Place of Refuge’. We recognize that life is busy, full of significant activities and events. We also realize that there are appropriate times to withdraw from the pace of life.

Squeah is pronounced like ‘Skwee-ah’!

Who owns/operates Camp Squeah?

Camp Squeah is owned and operated by a Christian Church denomination called the Mennonite Church British Columbia. We are the only camp currently owned and operated in BC by this denomination. Camp Squeah’s full time staff (8 of us) work as a well knit team lead by an Executive Director who is answerable to a board of directors who in turn are accountable to the constituents that make up the Mennonite Church BC.

Is Camp Squeah affiliated with any organization?

Yes! Camp Squeah is an accredited member of the British Columbia Camping Association. The BCCA sets common safety practice standards that are adhered to by many camps to improve and value the safety of children in all camp programming. Because we are BCCA members we are de facto members of the Canadian Camping Association.

Due to our governing church’s denomination, we have association with the Mennonite Camping Association as well.

Camp Squeah is also a member of the Fellowship of Christian Camps or FCC. This organization exists to support and encourage Christian camping through the province of British Columbia.

These organizations have websites you can visit to learn more about them: BCCA   FCC  CCA  MCA

Is Squeah open all year round for outdoor education retreats?

Camp Squeah is open for approximately 10 months of the year (most of the school year), September to June, for any kind of group rental booking. In the summer Camp Squeah operates their own summer camp programs and does not have the capacity to receive rental groups in those months. The exceptions include a week or 2 over the Christmas break and often the last week of school in June. Otherwise, we would love to consider you and your class/school for an outdoor education retreat. Fall, Winter or Spring.

Can I come for a tour before our retreat?

Yes, we would love to receive you for a tour, consider coming yourself as an organizing teacher or bring a colleague(s) to see our camp with your own eyes. We think it’s of great value for a teacher to consider first hand our facility and our staff and what we are like on the ground. A tour can help put your mind at ease in meeting us and seeing the facility and activities that your students will be utilizing.

To book a tour simply call our office 604 869 5353 and ask about a time and date that would work well. Tim Larson (our Outdoor Education Coordinator) or other staff will be on hand to answer your questions and walk you around.

What are the benefits of a Fall/Spring/Winter OE retreat?

There are great benefits to doing an outdoor education retreat at any time of the year but there may also be unique benefits within your school calendar.

Many elementary (and some secondary) schools choose to do a year end or school end (grade 5, 6 or 7) retreat for celebratory reasons in the spring. These are great times for teachers to give their students a memorable experience much removed from the classroom to have some fun and connect in a different way and to receive experiences that are great fun.

Many secondary (and some elementary) schools choose to do a retreat at the beginning of the school year in the Fall months of September or October as a chance to begin leadership training and development for the school year ahead. Also, we’ve had some elementary teachers who, after coming in the spring and witnessing first hand the type of positive change within their class(es) relationally between their students, have decided that it would be great to have this benefit at the beginning of the school year to help break down barriers and improve relations within their class.

Winter retreats are also an option and though the weather is cooler, can still be a great fun time! If timed right, Squeah can be quilted in snow and students can have a blast in the winter wonderland it can sometimes be in the mountains. Some activities are still available in the winter and we’ve always got hot chocolate and fresh coffee and a roaring fire to keep you cozy and warm!

What level of supervision does camp Squeah require for students?

The teachers/adult leaders of an outdoor education retreat are, at all times, the primary care givers and responsible for their students for the duration of the retreat. Because of this, and depending on how manageable your students are (what behavioural concerns there may be), we ask that teachers provide adequate supervision to properly care for and manage your students.

For instance, Squeah does not set requirements for overnight supervision, though the school may have standards for this already. Some schools intentionally have adults in cabins with the students for supervision. Some schools will house teachers in cabins next to cabins with students and some teachers sleep in cabins a little more removed, but still within ear shot and a short walking distance from their students. It really may just depend on the teacher/school preference and the manageability of your students.

We do ask that teachers provide at least 1 adult chaperone per activity group who are rotating through activities during their retreat. This adult may be active in participating or not but should be on hand to assist our activity facilitators in managing the behaviour of their students. It’s always great to have chaperones who are actively connecting with the students! Some schools choose to utilize high school students to help manage elementary students in activity rotations. This can be an opportunity for teenage students to have the opportunity to lead and prove their reliability, though if they prove ineffective or are a cause for concern to activity facilitation, Squeah will ask for more mature chaperones to assist.

We expect teachers to adequately supervise their students at meals as well, and any other group activity, to reduce the risk of damage to camp property and to themselves. Camp Squeah staff do not sit with your class, usually, during meals, but let the teachers take care of dining hall supervision as our staff are quite busy serving food or preparing for upcoming activity facilitation.

What should students bring to wear to an Outdoor Education trip?

Students should be adequately prepared for any weather situation. Given that outdoor education retreats happen in months that are typically wet and can be cool at any given time, they should come prepared for such inclemency’s.

  1. Good hiking footwear/boots and rain coats and warm sweater/sweatshirts are great for colder rainy weather.
  2. An extra set of clothes is a good idea, just in case a set of clothes gets overly wet.
  3. Shorts, sunscreen and a hat are great for when the weather promises to be hot and sunny.
  4. Good running shoes are great for running around and are a must for our indoor climbing wall and low and high ropes courses. Camp Squeah discourages the use of sandals without heel straps as the vigorous outdoor play can lead to rolled ankles in such footwear. Sandals are also not recommended footwear for the climbing wall or ropes courses.
  5. Indoor shoes or slippers are welcome to be used inside the lodge or meeting space a group is using.

A ‘What to bring’ list is available on the home page and other pages of our website.

What type of schools does Camp Squeah offer Outdoor Education to?

Camp Squeah offers outdoor education programming to any school that wishes to book and run a retreat with us. We have served a vast array of public schools, private schools, catholic schools, Christian schools, home school programs, mini school & IB programs, band and choral trips, sports teams and other independent schools such as Waldorf and Montessori schools. Schools from Vancouver to Kamloops have taken part in outdoor education at Squeah.

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Activities, Program and Schedule Questions

What kind of activities does Camp Squeah offer?

Camp Squeah offers a wide range of activities for schools to choose from. Organizing teachers may wish to run their own program or utilize Squeah’s activities or do a mixture of them.

Some activities offered require a Squeah trained staff member to facilitate them (Climbing wall, Archery, High Ropes Course, etc.). Some activities could be, with a little instruction, be facilitated by the school themselves (Map Orienteering, Fire building, Hiking, etc.). Some OE groups wishing to cut costs may do this. There are also a variety of activities that Squeah offers by way of contracted facilitators. First Nations activities and sessions, Falconry, Watershed Science and Geology & Microscopy are a few of these options.

For a full list of activities visit our Activities page.

For a list of activities with associated costs, download our 2017 Outdoor Education Rate Sheet.

How does Squeah outdoor education staff facilitate activities?

With understanding – Our outdoor education staff team are hand picked young adults who care about children and want to listen to those with whom they are serving. We believe in helping you as teachers to create the best possible experience for your students.

With safety in mind – Camp Squeah’s staff follow both their own stringent safety policy as well as the British Columbia Camping Association’s accreditation standards for safety. We believe that to care for a person’s safety is to care for the person.

With respect – Our team work hard to create an environment of respect for our clientele. We believe every person is worth respecting and caring for. We operate our activities with a ‘challenge by choice’ philosophy. That is, we wish to lovingly and sensitively challenge each participant to try the activity and to excel and learn and grow, but not at the expense of their choice to be challenged. Every participant’s emotional well-being is ours to care for as well.

With joy – Our staff are people who find great joy in teaching and facilitating and serving you, the teachers and students and parents. We hope you find great benefit and good relationships at Camp Squeah and that the experience will be memorable and impactful for your students.

With intentionality – We desire to connect with students and to allow them the opportunity to try new things, be challenged physically, get excited about new friendships, find joy in community and, of course, eat 3 good meals a day! We in building positive relationships with your students, listening to them and caring for them both as a group and as unique individuals. We wish to engage them in what they’re doing, not just sharing and teaching.

How can I put a schedule together for my retreat?

Many schools and teachers choose different ways to consider putting together a schedule together for their time at Squeah. You may wish to do this yourself or you may wish to have us help you do so. Some things to keep in mind include:

  1. Flexibility in coordinating activities if your school is here alongside another school and both are wishing to do the same activities
  2. Meal times at Squeah (for catered retreats) we like to keep to relatively set times. Ideally 8:30am breakfast’s, 12:30pm lunches and 5:30pm dinners. Occasionally a school’s schedule may require slight changes to meal times to allow for certain activities. Also, multiple catered groups are catered at the same times for meals.
  3. Most of Squeah’s activities are facilitated well in an hour or 2 hours. Be sure to allow for enough time in your day(s) for your group’s rotations to get through these activities.
    1. Canoeing, High Ropes course sessions and GPS/Geocaching are all 2 hour long activities.
    2. Group Initiatives and Low Ropes Course are best utilized when we have more time to facilitate. 2 hours is excellent (depending on the age of the students). 1 hour is doable.
    3. Some contracted activities are longer than an hour (i.e.: Falconry [2 hours], Geology [1.5 hours], Watershed Science [2 hours with travel], Aquaponics [2 – 8 hours], etc.).
    4. Some activities can be longer or shorter depending on what you wish to accomplish: Buschcrafts (firebuilding and outdoor living skills), Hiking, Nature Lore are examples of such activities.
  4. We set an ideal number of students per activity at 12. White that number is ideal, smaller numbers can be facilitated too in groups. Group sizes of 14 – 16 are the upper range for some activities:
    1. Archery (14 max), Climbing (16 max or we’ll add more belayers to the wall), High Ropes Course (15 max or we’ll add more belayers to the course), Low Ropes Course (16 max), Canoeing (16 max as our bus for travel has 16 passenger seats only. Also we use 8 tandem canoes for instructing), Gardening & Canning (14 max), Nature Lore (16 max), GPS (15 max), Compass work (16 max), Woodburning (12 max), Falconry (10 max), Fantastic Fungus (12 max)
    2. Some activities can hold more students and still be facilitated: Hiking (most group sizes), Map orienteering, Bush crafts, Pottery (20 max, Group Initiatives, Overnighters up the mountain (60/per night max based on usable overnighter sites), Swimming (40 max per lifeguard), God Panning/Gold Rush History (36 max), Hope Mtn. Centre activities (25 max), Aquaponics (30 max), First Nations facilitators (limits vary depending on activity).
  5. Consider if you wish for every student to participate in every activity or if you’d like to split the experience for different students. For example, some schools come with multiple grades and wish for each grade to have some unique activity experiences.
  6. Check out of accommodation time is typically by 9:30am on your final day at Camp Squeah. That is having your gear packed up and out of cabins so we can clean and prepare for the next group. You are still welcome to stay on site for longer.
  7. Camp Squeah has an outdoor noise curfew of 10:30pm
What type of orientation does Squeah provide upon arrival?

When you arrive with your school we’ll connect about a time for your host to share a 5 – 10-minute orientation of the grounds, facilities, activities, boundaries, rules and expectations from Camp Squeah. This may happen shortly after you’ve arrived or after you and your students have settled into their accommodations as your schedule allows.

How does Camp Squeah schedule activities for multiple groups where they may be conflicting requests?

If you’re school is the first to book a retreat in a week or portion of a week, your school will have the first crack at activities and availability. Subsequent school bookings that may be alongside your school will be scheduled around your activity schedule.

We do work hard to provide the activities to groups they’ve requested when possible. Sometimes activities are not available. We appreciate your understanding in our attempts to provide what you’ve requested.

What off site activities are available near Camp Squeah?

Camp Squeah is situated in a beautiful part of British Columbia with a number of activities that are not too far away:

  1. Just up the road from Squeah is the small historic town of Yale. Once BC’s booming gold rush corridor sent all kinds of traffic through and to Yale. The historic church and museum are still there for tours.
  2. Fraser River Raft Expeditions is a great and respected rafting company. They are based in Yale and can do rafting trips with educational components for students. Including a tour of the Fraser River to Hill’s Bar, location of the Fraser River Gold Rush, how to gold pan, rafting through Hell’s gate and history of the area, etc.
  3. There are numerous trails of varying degrees of difficulty close to Squeah and the town of Hope that are great for a get out and get into the woods. Hope Lookout Trail, is a quick, steep climb with a great view over Hope and the valley’s around it. The HBC heritage trail is a revitalized trail from the days of the fur brigade traversing the Cascade mountains. The whole trail is a great historical walk (74kms) or you can do sections as you like. You can check out historic Alexandra bridge, Othello Tunnels or the Tikwalus trail as well.
  4. Hell’s Gate Airtram is 20 minutes north of Camp Squeah and is a great excursion for students to see the might Fraser pound through the canyon.
  5. During the Fall consider checking out sucker’s creek where fish are often found spawning and sometimes a Beaver dam will pop up!
  6. Manning Park is an enormous wealth of land and trails, as well as a ski hill and resort, that is great to take advantage of while in the area. Summer and fall hiking trails allow for different levels of difficulty. Alpine meadows and small lakes to swim in and skyline trails for gorgeous views.
  7. Tuckkwiowhum heritage village in Boston Bar, 30 minutes north of Squeah, boasts breathtaking views and surroundings, offering guests an opportunity to experience the Nlaka’pamux village lifestyle before the arrival of European culture.  They offer Guided Tours and cultural classes with drum making, salmon preparation, wild herb harvesting, leather working, jewellery making, traditional food harvesting & preparation and a full service Longhouse/Events Pavilion and an onsite Restaurant for catered events and groups. They also offer Teepee camping! They also have a Museum and Gift Shop with beautiful and authentic native art and clothing.
  8. You Grow Foods Aquaponics is one of our partners and contracted facilitators. They excel at sharing their love for healthy food and sustainable ways to grow it. They will do tours and sessions speaking to topics such as Urban Agriculture, Food security & politics, Food sustainability, Watersheds, the Nitrogen Cycle, etc.
What kind of pool does Squeah have? Does Squeah provide a lifeguard for the pool?

Squeah has a small outdoor pool for school groups to use. It is heated by solar panels as much as possible though we’ve also a propane boiler when needed. The solar panels are a great ‘green’ teaching tool as well.  The pool is only open during the warmer time of the year. Typically, mid-May until the end of September.

Camp Squeah works to hire a lifeguard every outdoor education season. Unfortunately, some seasons we are unable to hire a lifeguard. In this event, schools who are hoping to utilize the pool will be informed ahead of time and while Squeah will work to try and find a lifeguard, the school is also encouraged to provide an NLS certified lifeguard for their own pool time. Alternatively, the pool may be used ‘at your own risk’ with your and the students’ parent’s permission.

What are the supervision expectations during activities for my class/group?

We do ask that teachers provide at least 1 adult chaperone per activity group who are rotating through activities during their retreat. This adult may be active in participating or not but should be on hand to assist our activity facilitators in managing the behaviour of their students. The facilitators will work to facilitate well but we request that if groups are unruly or disrespectful, that the chaperone is providing discipline as needed.

It’s always great to have chaperones who are actively connecting with the students! Some schools choose to utilize high school students to help manage elementary students in activity rotations. This can be an opportunity for teenage students to have the opportunity to lead and prove their reliability, though if they prove ineffective or are a cause for concern to activity facilitation, Squeah will ask for more mature chaperones to assist.

What activity limitations are there in different seasons?

Our outdoor education seasons are busy in the spring and fall (end of April – end of June and September through October generally) but we are open to provide great outdoor education experiences all through the school year.

Some activities are not available in the winter time:

Swimming Pool – is shut down from October through to the middle of May due to cold weather and the cost of heating an outdoor pool.

Canoeing – is not available in months when the lake we use could possibly freeze. Usually from November through March.

Gardening/Canning – there is little to do with gardening in the winter and some winter’s we’re covered in a beautiful layer of snow. Gardening season begins in April and through the Fall

Fantastic Fungus – may be difficult to facilitate in the winter as it is not a time that mushrooms and other fungus are growing.

Squeah hires and provides outdoor education staff in seasons when schools tend to book. From November – April, because there are usually fewer schools coming, our staff pool is smaller so there may be limitations to what we’re able to facilitate because of a reduced number of staff.

When/how are Squeah activities cancelled due to weather?

Some activities are weather dependent:

High Ropes Course – may not be advisable or enjoyable if the weather is bitterly cold or soaking wet. If the weather poses any great health risk, we will suggest not running it.

Low Ropes Course – many elements in the Low Ropes Course area are dependent on conditions that would allow for their use. Too much snow or moisture may prevent their use or pose a safety risk we would avoid.

Bushcrafts – Fire building in the rain is possible but very difficult and can be discouraging to younger students. This activity may be reconsidered depending on the weather.

Nature Lore – This activity changes based on the weather. A nature lore walk in the winter is still possible but of course what a group will experience or see will be different from spring or fall. There are indoor activities that we also offer with Nature Lore.

Hiking – may not be advisable if there is too much snow on the trails. Some routes would be avoided in heavy rain.

GPS – in the rain is not advisable as we’d wish to prevent damage to the GPS units.

Can activities be programmed to allow for a graduation in experience from year to year?

Yes! Depending the number of students and the experiences you’d like them to have that would differ by age group/grade, we can help create a rotation for sets of students that would differ to meet these desires.

I’d like to facilitate some activities ourselves at Squeah, how can I go about doing this?

Simply talk with Tim Larson, Squeah’s outdoor education coordinator, about the activities that we allow the school to facilitate themselves. Things like hiking, bushcrafts, your own tailored nature activity, map orienteering, pottery, woodburning (with tools), overnighters on the mountain, etc., are all possible for the school to facilitate. Some direction like accessing supplies and knowing the trails/overnighter sites is required and a bit of training perhaps when you arrive.

If you have your own OE activity that you’d like to bring and facilitate, that’s great too! Some schools do their own team building or crafts. We’ve lots of outdoor space for team building and a craft room you can use for any craft idea you’d like. Just let us know how we can support you in what you would like to do.

Can we bring our own field/gym equipment to Camp Squeah?

Yes! Feel free to bring your own equipment to use. We have a number of hockey sticks, balls, pucks for hockey. We have some basketballs, soccer balls, volley balls, Frisbees, footballs, etc. But you are welcome to supplement with your own supplies.

Our only request is that you have your field equipment well labeled and check to be sure you have it before you leave. Many a ball has remained at Squeah from various retreats to be well used by children all through the year at camp :).

I’m not sure how comfortable I am bringing a retreat alongside another school. How does this work?

Camp Squeah’s facilities are large enough to host a few groups at the same time. Exclusive use is reserved for groups of 120 or more. Otherwise, barring any philosophical reasons two group should not be together on site, we do often host more than one school at a time.

Groups of 20 – 70 can easily be on site and accommodated between our cabins and our lodge rooms and tenting area. Groups that are wishing to be catered on the same dates will share the same dining space (though designated tables), meals and meal times. We ask teachers of schools to work together at these times to share some responsibility in helping us tidy the dining area.

Otherwise we work to provide a unique experience between the groups sharing our site together. Each school retreat is given it’s own appropriately sized meeting space and we facilitate activities separately and designate other areas on site (such as the gym and field and games room) so that each group has opportunities to use them.

We appreciate school organizers understanding in sharing the facilities when multiple groups are here at the same time.

Does Squeah provide campfire/singing program in the evening?

It is not a common request and we do not always have someone who is both capable and comfortable leading such programming in the evening. Most schools enjoy running their own campfire time and programming though on a rare occasion we’ve supported a group in this.

Does Squeah allow for First Nations facilitation on site?

Yes! Squeah is located in some rich are full of First Nations peoples and culture. We offer their services in facilitation of a variety of First Nations activities and sessions which are listed on our Activities page and Rate Sheet.

Camp Squeah has good relations with the First Nations in our area. If you would like to have a First Nation traditional welcome to the area, we can ask to have this arranged when you arrive.

What activities/program areas are included with the cost?

Areas and activities that are included in the cost of an outdoor education retreat include:

  1. One indoor meeting space for your group
  2. The Games Room (for catered groups only – the Edelweiss Hall for self-catered groups has a pool table and foosball table inside). The Games room has billiards, ping pong tables, air hockey, foosball tables & shuffleboard.
  3. A life-sized chess set outside
  4. Horseshoe pits and horseshoes
  5. Playground
  6. Tetherball play area
  7. Ga Ga Ball & ball
  8. Cage Ball & ball
  9. The covered gym (when other groups are not indoor rock climbing or using the gym) which is covered in a sport court floor and has hockey sticks, pucks, balls and nets for hockey. There are also basketballs and basketball nets and other field balls stored in the gym.
  10. The playing field (including use of field equipment – baseball equipment, soccer balls, volleyball, football, Frisbees, cones, Kub, Bocce set).
  11. 9 Square in the Air (a fun ‘King’s Court’ type game played by volleying a bouncy ball through a square of poles with 9 players)
  12. Our trails. Trail maps can be provided and students and teachers are welcome to hike and explore as they will.

The forested areas around camp. Some groups like to play wide games over the property and into the woods on either side.

Accommodation Questions

What accommodation options are there?

There are 3 accommodation options for students on a retreat at Camp Squeah.

  1. Our tenting area can accommodate 10 – 30 comfortably (though schools have stuffed in more than that!) and right next to this are firepits, a meeting space with a sink, fridge and cupboards for preparing your own self-catered meals. There’s a covered area outside with benches to eat as well. There are also bathrooms for boys and girls with 1 shower in each bathroom.
  2. Our cabins are the most commonly used accommodations. Cabins are single rooms with 8 single beds in them. There are 17 cabins so 136 beds. A few cabins (11) have a pull out to make one single bed a double. The cabins are heated, have light and a plug and trash can but are otherwise fairly rustic. They are serviced with a bathroom facility separate from the accommodations that has large toilet stall and shower areas separated for boys and girls.
  3. Our main lodge has, in it’s second floor, a dorm-style hallway with 7 rooms and 52 beds total. There are bathrooms and a shower room also within that hallway for usage. The meeting area for this accommodation is just at the end of the hallway and you don’t have to go outside to get to the meal room which is just below!
  4. Our Emory/Fraser Lodges are not designated for students and outdoor education retreats as they are more appropriate for families and adult retreats. However, if your group has an over abundance of adult chaperones or you have a special speaker or facilitator you’d like to put in these rooms, for a surcharge, if they’re available, this is possible. Also these rooms have our more up-to-date wheel chair friendly rooms for students in a wheelchair or other disability.
  5. It has not often been utilized but our overnighter sites could be used as a place for students to sleep whilst at camp. Overnighter sites are anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours walking distance away and most sleep about 8 comfortably under a tarp or in tents if a group chose to bring tents. Squeah can provide meals that suite eating up on the mountain as well.
What is the check out time for an OE retreat?

Typically school groups will be asked to pack up their gear and remove it from sleeping accommodations by 9:30am on the day of departure. Use of the meeting space is granted up until the school departs unless the meeting space also must be cleaned for use by an incoming group on the last day. Any check out time anomalies will be communicated by Squeah to allow a school retreat schedule to accommodate these needs.

Are the cabins heated?

Yes. The cabins are all heated and have a thermostat inside.

How many beds per cabin/Lodge room? Do they have mattresses?

Every student cabin (17 of them) have 8 single beds (bunk beds) within. Some cabins are slightly smaller or larger than others in terms of total area but most are roughly the same size.

Eleven of the Seventeen cabins have a ‘pull out’ bottom to increase the size of one bed on the bottom.

Every cabin bed has mattresses and we have extra mattresses for each of the pull out beds as well.

Six of the Lodge rooms have 8 beds (bunks) in them. One Lodge room has only 4 beds.

What size are the beds in the cabins? Lodge rooms?

The cabin beds are single sized beds. The Lodge bedroom beds are twin sized beds.

Our principal/priest/rabbi would like to visit for a night, where could they sleep?

A school is welcome to use a room they have booked already (cabin/lodge) to house a special or temporary visitor. If, on the other hand, it would be appropriate to give this person a more comfortable room than is provided already, our Emory and Fraser Lodge rooms (motel style) may be available for this purpose. A surcharge or charge would be applied for use of these rooms.

Are we expected to clean our cabins or meeting space prior to leaving?

Generally no. Unlike some camps, Squeah does not require students or school groups to do any cleaning prior to departure. It is appreciated if garbage is all in the garbage can provided and all your belongings have been removed. There are often a broom and dust pan in the cabins which students may use to keep the floor tidy.

If a school group is self-catered in our Edelweiss Hall, a detailed list of instructions on how to clean the hall and kitchen are provided for the use of those spaces. Cleaning supplies are also provided.

Any vandalism or excessive uncleanness may be accounted for as a charge towards the school using those accommodations.

Can we bring food into our cabins?

Camp Squeah requests that food is not kept in cabin accommodations. Food and wrappers tend to be left behind and if a room is left open or unattended, the wild creatures on site (mice, raccoons, squirrels, etc.) will take advantage of the opportunity to get in to feast as well. This would be a health risk.

There are fridges and freezers provided for both catered and self-catered groups to store their own food if they bring extra.

Is bedding/linen provided?

Bedding and linen are not provided for cabins, tents or lodge rooms. Students and school leaders are asked to bring their own bedding (either sleeping bag and pillow or sheets, blanket and pillow).

Booking Related Questions

Who do I contact to book an OE retreat at Squeah?

To book an outdoor education retreat, please contact Tim Larson, Squeah’s Outdoor Education Coordinator, at tim@squeah.com to discuss dates that will work for your retreat, quotes & invoices and possible program and scheduling opportunities. Once dates have been agreed upon, or if you’d like to receive the rental agreement and booking information immediately, e-mail or call Dave Wismath, our Administrative Assistant (dave@squeah.com), who can help you with this paperwork.

How do we go about booking our retreat?

Booking an outdoor education event is not complicated at Camp Squeah. These are a few helpful steps to consider when considering booking with Squeah:

  1. Give us a call or e-mail to inquire about our programming and availability and to request a quote. We’re happy to answer any questions you might have!
  2. If you liked to be considered for dates but need approval or unsure of booking just yet, we can ‘pencil’ you in for what you’d like and remind you later of your interest. Please do let us know your intentions so we can either book your retreat or offer the spot to other school groups.
  3. When you let us know you want to book we’ll send you all the booking information and the rental agreement which is comprehensive, giving you all you need to know about the booking process and what’s required. Also, we request 2 deposits to ‘ink’ your booking into the calendar.
  4. As the retreat time nears and you have time, connect with Tim Larson, Squeah’s OE Coordinator (tim@squeah.com), about your schedule and programming and how we might best help you accomplish your program goals for the time you’re here.
  5. At whatever time you’ve booked and up until 2 weeks prior to your retreat, we ask you to send in your dietary and allergy concerns to us so our kitchen can purchase and prepare food in keeping with what your group requires. Final numbers (or a good guess) are also asked for by this time.
  6. Please don’t be concerned about paying the final amount owing until the end of the retreat or after it’s all finished. We find that school bookings are subject to change quite often (some kids cancel last minute or get sick; program changes may happen during the retreat, etc.) and to account for true costs, we will invoice you after you have returned to your school. Alternatively you may bring a blank cheque from your school (if allowed) and can pay the final amount on the last day prior to your departure.
  7. If you’d like to re-book for the following year in the same calendar spot as you’ve just had, you can ask for these dates prior to your departure and given there are no conflicts, receive the booking information and may send a deposit in for the next years’ visit. We book no more than one calendar year in advance from the date you would like to have.
How does Squeah’s pricing/rates work?

Squeah’s Outdoor Education rates are as follows:

  1. Day rates are $5/day/person. Additional per meal costs would be by meals requested and are broken down by student age
  2. Overnight accommodation rates are PER DAY rates, not per night. So when considering the cost for your outdoor education retreat, a 1 night stay would be multiplying the accommodation rate listed in the rate sheet by 2 (for 2 days). This gives you the cost for accommodation and meals (if you are considering a catered retreat). This rate includes ANY and ALL meals you may wish to have on the days you are here. You may arrive for breakfast, eat all day, stay overnight and leave after an evening snack on the next day and the price would be the same!
  3. Renting our propane BBQ’s is by the hour and cost depends on the BBQ you wish to use.
  4. Activities are by the hour for instruction and most activities have a session fee associated to account for use of equipment or materials. Session fees, as a rule, are only applied for 1 session (1 unique group of students) doing an activity continuously. For each new group of students rotating through an activity, a session fee is charged.
  5. Please note that if you would love to come to Squeah but are concerned your budget will not allow for the cost, communicate this to us and we will do what we can to help to stay within your budget and allow for your students to have a great Outdoor Education experience! We think every child should have this opportunity. And as many opportunities as possible!
What amount does Squeah require for a deposit(s) for a retreat?

Booking deposits (for overnight groups) include a first deposit of $500.00 and also a second deposit that is approximately 1/3rd of the groups quoted accommodation/meal cost (not including activities).

How far ahead can we book a retreat?

Squeah allows for groups to officially book (fill out rental agreement and make deposits) for retreats up to 1 calendar year in advance. If you would LOVE to book your school for a retreat for June 6th 2018, we ask you to communicate with us June 6th 2017 to receive the booking information and to determine the vacancy for those dates. If you are concerned about forgetting to book when you want, we can pencil in your request and remind you on the date you wish to book as well.

It’s not uncommon for the organizing teacher to ask for dates a year in advance on their last day of their current retreat. It’s ideal given it’s on the organizing teachers mind and if they are keen already, we can look at the calendar right at camp.

How small or large a group can we bring to Squeah?

Squeah is a group booking facility only. Groups as small as 10 and as large as 200 may be booked on our site. Our catered dining capacity maximum is 200 persons. Our accommodation for OE groups is close to 200 (with a few nicer rooms for some adults, or tenting sites if appropriate).

In the event we have to cancel, what is Squeah’s cancellation policy for Outdoor Education retreats?

Deposits paid to camp Squeah are non-refundable as it can be difficult filling a calendar spot when one is vacated. To allow for some flexibility, depending on the situation or circumstance, deposits have been used, by permission, to be put forward to a retreat the following school year. We understand that circumstances sometimes are out of an organizing teacher or school’s proverbial hands (i.e.: teacher’s strike, etc.) and ultimately, we would like the school to have the opportunity to bring a group to camp.

Is there GST charged for a retreat?

No, GST is not charged for a an outdoor education retreat at Squeah.

When & how does Squeah prefer to settle final payment for a trip already done?

When a school is wishing to pay the final invoice for a retreat, we request that this is not done until the very end of the retreat or after the retreat has finished. Given that it’s common for students to come or cancel last minute and changes to programming can happen often, we do not require the final payment before or when you first arrive to Camp Squeah.

Either bring a blank cheque or we will happily invoice you for the true costs of the retreat that has happened on the closing day or after you have returned to your school.

Is there financial aid available?

Currently Squeah does not have financial aid available for outdoor education. There are some government grants we know are available (i.e.: http://hctfeducation.ca/go-grants/apply-for-grants) and Squeah has pitched for funding to support public schools in outdoor education as well (http://learningproject.cst.org/ideas/1483). We’re actively trying to help schools find ways to make funding available or assist public schools with the means to provide outdoor education experiences without money being the prohibitive factor.

It’s our goal to have funds available for schools and parents to send their children to camp for outdoor education retreats without financial limitations.

Do groups stay at Squeah simultaneously? How does that impact our retreat?

Yes, it’s quite common for more than one school to be booked simultaneously. If school groups are no bigger than 100 then it is possible for us to host more than one group at once.

In the event of multiple bookings, we do our best to provide the unique needs for each group to enjoy the site and their experience. Multiple catered groups will share the same meal times and meals (though we will meet each schools’ particular dietary needs) but each school group will have their own activity schedule and meeting space.

There are facilities that are provided for any school on site while here so sharing is expected and encouraged between groups who are scheduled at the same time for things like our gym, field, fire pits, field equipment, the games room, etc..

Schools who book first into a calendar spot will have first crack at available activities. School groups who book after in the same calendar spot will have activity schedules, for the most part, worked around the original school booking. We do try to meet the requests of each group but some activities are in high demand and may not be available when they are requested in this regard.

Otherwise, we feel groups staying on site tend to be positive and respectful in their interaction (which would be expected among teachers) and we encourage this behaviour as well with your groups.

Does Squeah require a waiver form of any kind?

No, Squeah does not require or ask for a waiver form for liability purposes for an outdoor education retreat.

Can we bring multiple trips to Squeah in a school year?

Certainly! Perhaps more than one class would like to come to Squeah, or you’d like to bring your entire grade or perhaps even your entire school! Depending on the numbers Squeah is happy to try and meet your outdoor education goals. We have split retreats in a week or weeks to allow for an entire grade from a large school spend time with us.

Our school does a rotating trip every _____ years. Can we book those years in advance?

If your school is in the habit of rotating through different camps in different years for a varied OE retreat experience, and you’d like Squeah to be in on your rotation, we’d certainly like to be a part of your schedule.

The tricky part is booking years in advance as we only allow for booking up to one calendar year in advance. Also, Squeah gives “first right of refusal” to groups who have come repeatedly and consistently over the years.

The best thing to do is inform us of your intentions and desire to have Squeah a place in your rotation. We can note this in our calendar. A calendar year away from the proposed retreat coming we will connect with your school about what dates may work for your retreat should you wish to book. It’s just not guaranteed that a school on a multi year OE trip rotation will have the same dates in the school year as previously had. But we will do what we can to provide you with room to be with us!

How does Squeah respect a school’s desire to book annually for many years?

We love repeat customers! It’s great to work with a school and teachers over many years. Building trust and relationships is a key core value for us at Camp Squeah and we hope to continue to do so.

For teachers/schools who love to book annually, we give them “first right of refusal” to dates they were just here for (a calendar year ahead) with the stipulation that, if the dates are in high demand, we need to know quickly whether they’ll book a retreat or not.

I’ve moved schools and would love to bring a retreat from my new school. How should I go about doing this?

Give us a call or e-mail and let us know of your intention. If you feel you’d love to continue bringing a group to Squeah from a new school you moved to, let us know and we’re keen to help you achieve your goal. Tim Larson, Squeah’s OE coordinator, is happy to travel to your school to connect with the teachers and/or parents who may have good questions about Squeah and what retreat may look like. We have a few other resources to help parents and colleagues feel at ease as well.

At what point does an OE retreat have exclusive use of Squeah’s site?

Camp Squeah offers exclusive use of our facilities and site to groups who are 120 or more in total number. If your group is that size or larger it is unlikely we’d have another group here alongside you.

If your group size and use of the facility is such that we feel another group rental could still be alongside you (in different accommodations not used for OE retreats) then we will communicate with you this suggestion.

We do not want to compromise your goals for your retreat and at the same time want to be good stewards of the camp in offering it’s use to those who wish to be here.

Health, Conservation & Safety Related Questions

How far from a hospital is Camp Squeah?

We are 17.6 km’s from Fraser Canyon Hospital right in Hope! It’s a 15 minute drive away.

What level of First Aid does Squeah require for our school trip?

Camp Squeah does not require a school booking to provide a first aid attendant. We do suggest that it’s a wise idea to provide one but we do not set the standard for what level of first aid you should bring.

Camp Squeah has, on staff, one or more people who are first aid certified for it’s own requirements.

Does Squeah provide First aid for school groups?

We would prefer that a school retreat would provide their own first aid attendant if they feel the need to have one. If, however, the retreat organizer is unable to acquire someone to do this, Squeah has been asked and has provided, on call and paid by the hour, a first aid attendant at their disposal. If we provide first aid and supplies are used, we charge the group for those supplies used as well.

In the event of an emergency, what will Squeah do to help us?

In the event of a medical or other emergency, we will act quickly to assist your group as required or requested. The health and safety of your students and staff is our top priority. We may assist you with first aid, communication for emergency services and other ways to provide immediate care in such an event. We can assist with helping to manage and support your group whilst in the midst of dealing with an emergency.

Should we bring a vehicle to camp for emergencies?

It’s always a good idea to have a separate vehicle (car, van or truck might be sufficient), apart from the bus transporting you, to be able to transport a student or staff who may need medical help or in an emergency or for other reasons. Camp Squeah has vehicles for camp use and will obviously assist in an emergency if required, but we do not guarantee that we will have a vehicle on site to get you to the hospital or medical clinic. Alternatively, the ambulance service is quick and we are not far from the hospital.

I have sensitive material/equipment I’m concerned about during our trip; does Squeah provide keys for their rooms?

In general Camp Squeah does not give out keys for accommodation rooms on site. We are a private facility far from urban centres and we are aware of who is on site at all times. We seek to create trust and care between both our staff and your group and also between other groups that may be on site.

In the event that you have sensitive material/equipment that you feel is just better kept under lock and key, we can provide a key for your room/cabin.

Does Squeah have emergency procedures or policy?

Yes, we do have emergency procedures. We utilize these for our own programming that we offer in our summer camps. If a school retreat would like to know our procedures and adopt them for their own group, connect with Tim Larson, Squeah’s Outdoor Education Coordinator either prior to your trip or when you arrive to see what will work best for you.

What does Squeah do to be 'green' and conserve energy and protect the environment?

Camp Squeah and its staff and board care a great deal about the health of our environment and engage in conservation on site in a few different ways. Here’s some of the things we do to work towards saving energy and helping our environment.

  1. Our Food Services Team are always thinking of new ways to help reduce waste and help the environment. We compost what food scraps we can. Some of this compost feeds a pig at a local farm down the road. Some is put in our Squeah garden which is then used to teach students about gardening! We choose to use spoons for stirring tea and coffee to cut down on waste. We do not use throw away plates or cutlery. We choose tea and coffee that is fair trade and grown with community and conservation in mind.
  2. We recycle our paper, plastic, cardboard, glass and metal whenever possible.
  3. We use and utilize a garden on site for our kitchen and for educational purposes.
  4. Our pool is primarily heated with large ‘solar’ panels that pipe the water through heat conductive material to keep the pool at a good temperature, rather than using propane.
  5. We encourage our guests to keep their doors shut and lights off when not in their rooms to cut down on electricity and propane usage as well.
  6. We choose clothing companies that have conservation and good ethics as policies for our apparel.
  7. For every tree we must cut down (either for development or because the tree has died) we plant another to replace it.
  8. We teach and share with students and guests the inherent value of the environment and our connection to it and to respect it as much as possible.
  9. We repurpose old lost and found towels into cleaning rags.

Squeah Services Related Questions

Who hosts our group? What services do they provide?

Most often Tim Larson, Squeah’s OE Coordinator, will be your host while you’re on site. Your host is someone to whom you can ask questions, receive help for details during your day and communicate with throughout your retreat should you have anything you need or want to share. Occasionally another staff member may be assigned to host your group, like our Assistant Program Director, Dustin Siemens.

A host is a great person to share info like changes in programming requests, any needs or medical concerns, reporting of any facility damage and feedback about any of our services.

Is there cell service at camp Squeah?

Yes there is! Only very recently, Rogers customers have started receiving service in our area. And 4 years ago there was no service for cellular customers. Now we’re on the grid! We cannot confirm that all cellular customers will have service all the time or at any position on the camp grounds but Telus, Bell, Rogers and perhaps other providers have service.

Is there internet service at camp Squeah?

Camp Squeah does not provide internet service to guest groups as a rule. We’re in the boonies so have limited bandwidth and it’s reserved primarily for business use only. Special requests (that require only limited bandwidth) may be requested if needed.

Could a wheel chair bound student participate at Camp Squeah?

Yes! Squeah does have some facilities that are wheel chair friendly and we have worked to accommodate students who were wheel chair bound, attempting to give them as much activity facilitation as possible. If you have a student who is wheel chair bound and are considering having them a part of your OE retreat, give us a call so we can consider how best to accommodate them so they have an great experience.

We need multiple meeting spaces for our trip. Is this possible? How many does Squeah have?

Squeah has a number of meeting spaces on site that we offer to groups for use. Included in the cost of a rental retreat is the use of 1 meeting space that would suite your group’s size. If you group is here alongside other groups, there may be limitations to the availability of other meetings spaces. If your group is 120 or more, it’s likely you’re here exclusively and could utilize meeting spaces we have available. If your group is smaller in size and need/want another meeting space, a one-time charge for the use of that/those room(s) is applied.

We have 6 meeting spaces of various sizes and a few others that can be turned into meeting spaces if needed as well.

Does Squeah provide transportation to and from camp?

Unfortunately, we do not have the means to provide transportation to and from Squeah for our summer camp programs. We do provide a limited transportation option between Hope and Squeah for our Spring Break Day camps.

We do encourage families who come to camp to get to know one another and consider car pooling. Our long term initiative to have a train called ‘Squeah Rail’ from Vancouver to camp is a pipe dream we’ve long envisioned.

When can our group use the Games room/Gym during our retreat?

The Games room and Gym are two commonly used spaces that are open for use most of the time of your trip.

  1. The Games room is a large open loft room in the upper floor of the main lodge.
  2. The Games room is available to any catered groups on site during their stay.
  3. Because it is directly above the main lodge rooms, it’s use is subject to the people sleeping below them.
  4. The Games room has 2 foosball tables, an air hockey table, 2 ping pong tables (with balls and paddles), 2 billiards tables (though we are currently replacing one) and a shuffleboard table.
  5. The Games room is a great space for free time play or may be incorporated into a schools activity rotation and is a great space for a rainy time activity.
  6. It is expected that schools will properly supervise this room when in use.
  7. Use of the room with multiple groups on site is subject to working out convenient times for the space to be shared between those groups.

The gymnasium is a great spot to play ‘outside’ but in a covered area. Great for a group’s outdoor play needs on rainy days, or as an alternative option for coordinated games, the Gym can be used for a great many things.

  1. The Gym has a sport court floor, baskeball equipment and hockey equipment (nets, balls, pucks and sticks) for play. There may also be soccer balls and volleyballs and other equipment available to use in the gym.
  2. The Gym has a bleacher section for spectators as well.
  3. We ask that the Gym not be used past 10:00pm at night if there are guests staying in the Emory/Fraser lodges beside it as sound travels a little too well from the Gym to these rooms.
  4. We expect the Gym and its equipment to be appropriately supervised during free play use by the school.
  5. If Squeah staff are engaged in facilitating climbing in the Gym (where our indoor climbing facility is), please do not use the Gym for activities until another time is available.
  6. Use of the Gym with multiple groups on site is subject to working out convenient times for the space to be shared between those groups.
Where can I buy Squeah apparel?

Squeah’s apparel can be purchased in the dining hall area in the main Squeah lodge. Please do not try on apparel in this area without a Squeah staff member and a time to offer the apparel to you or your group. Camp Squeah can take cash, cheque or credit card for purchases of merchandise. Some items that can be purchased at the apparel location are: t-shirts, other clothing specialty items (hats, hoodies, etc.), Squeah photo memory book, water bottles, lanyards, soap/toothbrushes/toothpaste if you need it for your stay.

Does Squeah have a Tuck Shop/Candy shop we can use?

Squeah has a little shop we call the canteen that’s close to the pool. Items available for sale there include chocolate bars, pop, chips and maybe some smaller candy items. Also ice cream treats like freezies, ice cream sandwiches and popsicles may also be available. If you’d like to have this open at some time during your stay for the students or your staff to purchase items, just let us know and we’ll schedule it in.

Are there laundry services we can use at Camp Squeah?

Squeah does not offer laundry services as part of your stay at Squeah but in the event of an emergency our washers or dryers certainly could be of service.

We expect all guest to come with clothing suitable for the weather that may happen and to have adequate amounts for the length of stay.

What services cost extra at Squeah?

There are a few things that are added costs if you’d like to have use of them during your stay:

  1. Extra meeting spaces: if you would like use of more than the allotted meeting space assigned to your group, and there are available meeting spaces that suit, this may be requested.
  2. Use of our large or smaller propane BBQ’s or propane stove top. Use of these are a per hour rate to account for use of propane. We have one VERY large BBQ in a covered shelter equipped with running water and food preparation surfaces. We also have 2 smaller portable BBQ’s that can be rented as such and moved to your location.
  3. Use of our mounted projector & sound system are available upon request. These are great for showing movies on the big screen in the main lodge or playing music for program or using mic’s and other sound equipment if you need it. We also have 1 portable projector that can be rented for use in another meeting space.
  4. If you want Squeah to provide first aid service on call, this also would be charged, by the hour, for your stay. Any first aid supplies we might use from our stock would be charged if used.
  5. Use of our overnighter equipment can be rented if required for use on our overnighter sites. Items such as tents, ground tarps, overhead tarps, pots & pans, cups & spoons, stoves, matches, etc. may be rented.

Squeah Seasonal & Full time Staff Related Questions

What type of training do Squeah's outdoor education staff receive?

Squeah’s outdoor education and kitchen staff receive training prior to their season of service and on site training as they work. Most of our seasonal staff are young adults between the ages of 18 and 30. Many come back for multiple seasons to enjoy the community and beauty of Camp Squeah and because they enjoy serving you there!

Our training in outdoor education includes facilitation and safety training in activities, food safe conduct and protocol, health and safety standards and understanding how to work well with different ages of students in different settings.

We'd love to have a former Squeah OE staff member serve us again. Do they return from year to year?

We’re always glad when you feel especially well cared for by our staff. Sometimes schools will remember these individuals and hope to be served by them again. Chances are you’ll get this opportunity if you return with your school annually as many of our staff do return for multiple years. Though many staff also come to work at Squeah for just a season or two as a stepping stone to something else. We cannot guarantee any particular staff member from year to year but we appreciate your acknowledgement of their good work :).

I'm interested in working with Squeah's seasonal team, how can I go about applying?

If seasonal staff is something that fits your time of life and you’re interested in working in outdoor education, you can apply online here: http://squeah.com/camps/guide/leadership/seasonal-staff/

How many staff are at Squeah full time? Part time? Seasonally?

Camp Squeah currently employs 7 year-round full time staff, 2 year-round part time staff, between 12 and 18 seasonal staff spring and fall respectively, a number of on-call workers through the year and anywhere from 70 – 100 summer staff volunteers. Learn more about our staff teams here: http://squeah.com/camps/guide/leadership/

Food, Menu & Kitchen Related Questions

Does Squeah provide food for people with health and dietary restrictions?

The Camp Squeah kitchen has years of experience with catering to people with food allergies. Typically we have a designated staff prepare the food allergy-related foods on separate cooking utensils to avoid cross-contamination. Each year we get more experience under our belt as people come to camp with multiple allergies. We can easily deal with lactose/dairy-free, gluten-free (and Celiac), peanut allergies (our kitchen and dining hall are as peanut-free as we can make them), egg-free, etc. If you have students with multiple food allergies, please have your student’s parent contact the Food Services Manager (604-869-5353, x.103 or foodservices@squeah.com) so we can create a meal plan for their stay with us. In some cases we may ask them to bring their own specialty products to bridge some gaps in our menu plan.

What catering options are there?

Camp Squeah has a few different catering options available for school groups:

  1. Camp Squeah can cater groups or multiple groups that are a total of at least 40 persons together. If your school or class is smaller than 40, consider inviting another class or school to join you for a trip that would make up this amount. Otherwise we’d try to book your small group alongside others to be able to cater for you. Squeah catered options come with the choice of cabins or lodge rooms.
  2. You may self-cater with our Edelweiss Hall and kitchen. The Edelweiss Hall and it’s adjoining kitchen can comfortably hold up to 40 people and the kitchen and dining area is supplied with items for that number. Some few schools have squished a few more people in there but we recommend around 40 max. Edelweiss Hall groups stay in cabins typically.
  3. You may self-cater in our tenting area and our Outtrip Inn building. This is the more rustic version. You’d have available 2 sinks with a tap for cleaning, dish soap and cloths, a large fridge, some cupboard space and a meeting space that can hold 10- 20 comfortably. There’s a covered area with picnic tables just outside the meeting room for eating at as well. You’d have use of a few fire pits and could rent our propane BBQ’s and/or 3 burner stove if wanted as well. The Outtrip Inn self-cater option can have accommodation options of tents or cabins. The Outtrip Inn also has 2 small bathrooms each with a shower that can service 10 – 20 maximum well.
Can we receive the menu Squeah would provide?

Sure thing! Just connect with Reid (foodservices@squeah.com), our Food Services Manager, and as they prepare your menu, they can share it with you.

What does Camp Sqeuah have in place to ensure food safety in their kitchen?

Our kitchen and dining hall is as peanut-free as we can make it. We do not use peanuts or peanut-related products, neither do we use nuts in our food preparation. The “nuttiest” we get is sunflower seeds. In the case of a camper being anaphylactic with other foods, we have a designated staff prepare the food allergy-related foods on separate cooking utensils to avoid cross-contamination. Our Food Services Manager would be happy to talk to you about any concerns you may have (604-869-5353, x.103 or foodservices@squeah.com.

The full-time Food Services Manager and the Head Chef both have Level 2 FoodSafe. They directly supervise our kitchen crews. Our seasonal Sous Chefs are required to have Level 1 FoodSafe certification. Our Kitchen Staff are all required to have on site training from our FoodSafe certified cooks.  In addition, we have a very good proactive relationship with our Fraser Health EHO (food inspector). Our inspection results can be found online at http://www.healthspace.ca/fha/food. In the upper left side of the page, type in “Camp Squeah” in the search box, then click on Camp Squeah Kitchen.

What meal times does Squeah require for a catered retreat?

If we’re catering for you, the kitchen has some suggestions for meal times that work well for our staffing needs. Typical meal times we schedule for are 8:30 breakfasts, 12:30 lunches and 5:30 suppers and we put an evening snack out around 8:00pm for you to eat when you like.

Some flexibility can be had to allow for a busy activity schedule but any greater change than a half hour on either end may require a surcharge to account for longer kitchen staffing hours. Just connect with us to see what would be best for your program and food scheduling needs.

If you are booking a retreat alongside other catered groups, your meal times will be set by the other group’s schedule.

We have a student needing to bring their own food. Is there fridge/storage space for this?

Yes, we do have a fridge in the dining area that groups may use to store extra food required for a student or other person in your group. Please just be sure to label any packages or containers for use in this fridge.

If you have a larger amount of items needing to be refrigerated, just connect with Reid, our Food Services Manager, and we’ll see if we can squeeze it into our walk-in cooler in our kitchen too.

The Edelweiss Hall has a fridge and freezer in it for you to store food items you bring as well – if you’re coming for a self-catered retreat.

When is the latest we can give dietary information to Squeah?

For catered retreats, because we need to purchase your food and prepare your meal plan, we ask you to send us a good estimate of number’s of attendants and all their dietary information 3 weeks before arriving. Last minute adjustments are a part of life and we can do that but getting the bulk of the information in earlier is needed.

Please inform your students and teachers that this includes personal dietary choices like Vegans or Vegetarians. If we do not know that someone is Vegan or Vegetarian prior to their arrival, it may be difficult or not possible to serve them adequate food (though we often have a lot of choice in our meals). Guests are not permitted to ‘choose’ to become a vegetarian or vegan when they arrive. We cannot provide food for last minute changes as such.

What is the dining experience like during a meal?

It’s a lot of fun! We 3 rows of tables that fit 8 people comfortably (sometimes 10 or 12 for younger students). If there are multiple groups, we’ll label sets of tables so you know where to sit your groups respectively.

Our dining area is adjacent to the larger of our meeting spaces so there’s lots of room there for groups to go immediately after a meal to get organized.

We expect groups to arrive on time for meals so our food is served at the appropriate temperature and your schedule is not disrupted.

Our kitchen staff spend a few seconds prior to serving the meal to share what they’ve prepared for you.

We serve our food primarily cafeteria style – teachers and leaders are asked to dismiss their group by table to the serving windows (one window is always designated a dietary window). Our staff will serve you your food. We ask all groups to go through to receive food. Squeah staff will eat after our groups have received their food. Seconds are provided after everyone has received ‘firsts’.

Once seconds are made available, a ‘clean-up’ window is provided and directions for it’s use are shared at the first meal.

We ask all school groups to assist with clean up by clearing tables, wiping tables, stacking benches and sweeping the dining area and in this way contributing to the life of camp and doing something fun together.

Some schools take learning about food waste a high priority and have asked for extra buckets to show how much food may or may not be wasted and how we can reduce this waste. If you have some thoughts on how to teach students in the dining time, let us know your thoughts so we can assist you and help coordinate that with other groups who may be eating alongside you.

There is a microphone in the dining area you may use to gather attention and give instructions when needed.

There is coffee and tea and water always available in the dining area for you and your other leaders and students (water only we assume). Coffee and tea can be taken around the site outside with our plastic mugs by your adult supervisors.

We feel our food is one of our top programs we offer so want to do a good job of loving you and your students in this way!

In what ways does Squeah involve the school group during the dining experience?

We will encourage your group, by table, to clear and clean the dishes and table after they’ve finished their meal.

We ask that a few students per meal from your group sweep the dining area after each meal (this can be shared by groups who are sharing the dining space).

What is the food like at Squeah?

At Camp Squeah we try to serve healthy, child-friendly food. All of our meals have a vegetable and/or fruit option. And we try to use fresh ingredients as much as possible, minimizing processed foods. The more we do from scratch, the more control we have over what goes into our meals. Some examples of what we serve are homemade pizza, Mexican meals (nachos and build-your-own burritos and tacos), roast chicken with mashed potatoes & steamed vegetables, and pasta with a choice of cream, meat, and/or tomato sauces. If you would like a full menu for the retreat your student is attending, please contact the Food Services Manager (604-869-5353, x.103 or foodservices@squeah.com.

Our student has severe (anaphylactic) reactions to peanuts (or anything else). What does Squeah do to account for this need?

Our kitchen and dining hall is as peanut-free as we can make it. We do not use peanuts or peanut-related products, neither do we use nuts in our food preparation. The “nuttiest” we get is sunflower seeds. In the case of a camper being anaphylactic with other foods, we have a designated staff prepare the food allergy-related foods on separate cooking utensils to avoid cross-contamination. Our Food Services Manager would be happy to talk to you about any concerns you may have (604-869-5353, x.103 or foodservices@squeah.com.)

Miscellaneous Questions

What happens with lost and found at Squeah?

In general, we do our best to gather any lost and found items after your group has left, label them and hold them for a short time should someone call to claim them. The reality is that most lost and found items are not claimed and so will end up, by the end of the season, being sent to a Salvation Army or MCC organization.

If you think you’ve left something behind, just give us a call or e-mail describing in detail what it is and what it looks like, and we’ll try and find it and put it aside for you.

Camp Squeah does not pay for shipping any items from lost and found but sometimes we are traveling on business into the Fraser Valley and can drop items off for you.

If you leave school equipment here, and you’ve labeled it, we will put it aside to be claimed. If you don’t claim it, we’ll use it!

How can we learn more about Squeah's Outdoor Education programming?

You can view our website on outdoor education. You can call or e-mail Tim Larson, our outdoor education coordinator.

I have anxious parents wanting to know more about Squeah, how can Squeah help?

We can understand that for some parents, the idea of sending their children on a camping trip can be an anxious ordeal. If you have parents who would like more information, e-mail Tim Larson who would be happy to answer any questions you or the parent(s) may have. We have some material we can pass on that may also answer some basic questions as well. They are welcome to peruse through our outdoor education website and FAQ page too.

Alternatively, if you as a school feel it would be a benefit, Squeah has come to visit with a staff member in person to chat with parents and teachers to give clarity and peace to an upcoming outdoor education retreat. Ultimately we think it’s a great idea and if we can help you and your parents to see the value in the trip, we’d like to help.

Squeah is a Christian camp; do they pray at meals or perform other religious observances while we're there?

While Camp Squeah is a Christian camp and their staff are people of the Christian faith, we are completely respectful of each and every group who comes to Squeah. Our goal is to welcome you and your group with the kind of love and care that our faith compels us to share. But we do not proselytize our faith or expect or force any group to go through any religious observances or acts (prayer, for example) while you are here. We love to share our faith by sharing our love of children and people of all ages and providing a safe place for people to connect to God’s beautiful created world.

If your school is a Christian school and you would like to observe religious traditions while here, that’s great! We will join with you. Though if your Christian school group is here alongside a public or private non-faith based school, we would also ask you to respect each other and your particular actions when at Camp Squeah.

Can our bus park at Camp Squeah?

Most likely. Though it’s always great to ask BEFORE you arrive. We have a large parking area and an RV area that may serve to hold your bus while here but some groups come with many vehicles so it’s great to know ahead of time if this is something you need.

We have an adult coming with an RV, is this OK?

Possibly. We have a few RV hook up sites at the camp. We may charge the parent or your school trip for the cost of the use of the RV hook up and provided that the RV area is not being used or the space nearby (our Outtrip Inn self-catered rental area) isn’t too close to the RV, this may be possible.

What types of animals can you find at Camp Squeah?

All kinds! Though ‘finding’ them and knowing they’re out there are two different things. Animals that may be commonly seen at Squeah include squirrels, mule deer, raccoons, ravens and a whole host of other birds, depending on the season you’re here. Animals that are harder to find or see because of their nocturnal or crepuscular and migratory nature are bobcat, skunk, grouse, garter snakes, salamanders, frogs, mice, coyotes, hummingbirds and other migratory birds. At Klahater Lake, where we go canoeing, we’ve spotted kingfishers, blue herons, ducks & geese, dragonflies, small fish and osprey diving for those fish! If you walk down to Squeah’s property on the Fraser River you may be lucky to watch a sturgeon jumping!

While there are black bear and cougar also in our neck of the woods, we don’t seem them much and do out best to limit the possibility. We observe ‘bear aware’ training essentials and respect all that nature might have in store for us.

We've caused some damage/undo uncleanliness at Camp Squeah. How does Squeah handle this?

If you’ve reported any damage or exceptional uncleanliness or we’ve noticed this after your departure, we will bill you for the replacement of the equipment or facility item or for the extra time required to clean the camp facility. If you would like to make the reparations a learning opportunity for a student who may be responsible, we’d be happy to assist with that as well. Respect for all things and people are a high priority at Camp Squeah and we think this can be a great learning opportunity for children.

Does Squeah allow pets on site?

Camp Squeah has a no pet policy in place for guests. Please inform your other adult chaperones, prior to arrival, that Squeah does not receive pets on site or have facilities for them. There is a kennel not too far from Squeah wherein pets can be kept whilst your retreat is ongoing.

The only animals permitted are seeing eye dogs or other animals trained to assist individuals with disabilities. Please inform Camp Squeah of the need to bring along such a helping animal so we can also consider which facilities will best suite the housing needs for the person and animal.

Is Squeah a no smoking facility?

Yes. Squeah is a no smoking facility. Please ask any parents who are coming to refrain from smoking whilst on site. If you have students who smoke and would perhaps otherwise not come if they couldn’t smoke, feel free to communicate this unique issue so we can help the student also enjoy an outdoor education experience at Camp Squeah.

What is Squeah's alcohol policy?

Camp Squeah does not permit guests to have or use alcohol on the premises.