Submitted by David Loewen–Mount Moresby Adventure Camp is a lakeside lodge on Mosquito Lake, Moresby Island. It sits beneath Mount Moresby, the highest mountain on the islands, just metres from the eastern shore of the lake. It’s approximately a one hour drive from Sandspit.
It was built in 2001 through the hard work of dedicated volunteers in Sandspit, grants, and donations from across the islands. The facility is operated by a non-profit organization in Sandspit. Due to various factors the facility has remained largely unused by organized groups, until this summer.
The camp has two longhouse style buildings. The main building has space for forty people, sleeping in bunks, and a second building for cooking and eating. The camp has great potential to attract large groups to the islands who otherwise have few options for accommodation. Through the summer of 2004, a group of local teachers, a group from Lakehead University in Ontario, Simon Fraser University, and the Junior Rangers have used it. Several local and off-island groups have expressed interest for retreats and courses in the coming months. Through August, the camp is being used for a twenty-eight day Wilderness Leadership and Ecotourism Training Course offered by Light Steps Living of Masset.
In early 2004, Jonathan Ebbs of Light Step Living approached the camp directors with a partnership proposal. He has years of experience leading outdoor education expeditions with Outward Bound and Rediscovery International. Unfortunately, every summer Jonathan has had to leave the islands to lead these expeditions. This year he decided to change that through securing funding, to run a Wilderness Leadership and Ecotourism Training Course on island – geared towards local youth between the ages of sixteen and twenty four.
On August 4, eight students, between fifteen and twenty-four, arrived at the camp to begin the twenty-eight day course.
This course is about introducing opportunities in all aspects of wilderness leadership and ecotourism. It’s also an introduction to connections through island ecosystems and economies. By the end, we hope to have established a broad foundation for the students, who can pursue any aspect that interests them – from wilderness guiding to land-use planning.
Over the twenty-eight days, students will spend sixteen days at and around the camp, and, the most exciting components for students and instructors – a twelve day kayak expedition around Louise Island.
The expedition is key for students to develop and use kayaking and leadership skills, say Glynn MacLeod, lead kayaking guide. It’s also great being out there to discuss all aspects of ecotourism, and continuing the discussion about connections.
The course has students spending the first twelve days with guest speakers from around the island, preparation for the trip, and discussions around ecotourism and connections. Students kayak for twelve days, then return for four days to wrap-up. Before leaving on the expedition, several guest speakers from across the islands, covering a broad range of topics, spoke with the students. Haida land values, land-use planning, medicinal plants, and yoga were some topics covered.
Students and instructors are extending an open invitation for anyone to attend a feast Sunday (August 29) at the camp. Transportation to and from Alliford Bay will be provided, with pickup from the 4:30 and 5:30 ferries. The feast will be an opportunity to see the facility, and hear first hand from students and instructors about the course and future courses.
Please phone David or Jonathan, 626-3494 to let us know you’re coming and to secure a ride. Admission is by donation.
Light Steps Living received funding for the course and Mt. Moresby Adventure Camp Manager through the South Moresby Forest Replacement Account and the Gwaii Trust