PRESS was instrumental in securing the funding and managing the building and development of the Powell Lake Outdoor Learning Centre (OLC), which opened in 2014. The agency continues to successfully pursue grants for youth internships and special projects at the Centre.
Located at the intersection of the Powell Forest Canoe Route and the Sunshine Coast Trail, the Outdoor Learning Center (OLC) is part of a regional network of amenities providing eco-tourism programs and services to the public. The Centre can host up to sixty-five people in six beautiful handcrafted cabins built from locally sourced timbers. The 2,000-square foot dining hall has a 70 person capacity, A/V components, accessible washrooms, showers and administrative spaces. Built for people of all abilities the site is fully wheel chair accessible.
The OLC provides a permanent home to outdoor education programs in the Powell River School District (SD47), as well as offering camps and other outdoor programs to a range of public and private client groups, including Naut’sa mawt Tribal Council. Three youth from each of Naut’sa mawt’s 11 member Nations (Halalt, Homalco, Klahoose, Malahat, Snaw‐naw‐as, Snuneymuxw, Stz’uminus, Tla’amin, Tsawwassen, Tsleil-Waututh, and T’Sou-ke), attend an annual Youth Leadership Gathering at the centre, with travel and fees being covered by the Council.
The Outdoor Learning Centre aims to position itself as a change maker and leader in the blending of Indigenous cultural knowledge and values with the adventure and personal growth focus of outdoor education programs. Not content with providing world-class adventure activities in a stunning, secluded lakeside facility, the OLC’s Director, Hugh Prichard, wants to create a cultural and economic resource where First Nations can gather to share cultural teachings from elders and knowledge holders: developing leadership skills; building community; engaging in story-telling, dancing and drumming; learning about traditional foods, plant medicines, and healing practices; taking part in a sweat lodge, and exploring traditional art forms such as carving and weaving.
Private rentals of the facility and program bookings are available from early March through late October or early November. If you have any questions about our site or programs, or how to get your group to the OLC, please contact the OLC Director Hugh Prichard at firstname.lastname@example.org