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How the North Shore Rescue team helps train the next generation of wilderness leaders

Connecting passion for the outdoors with promising career paths

Capilano University offers the ideal program for outdoor adventurers aspiring to a career in ecotourism that marries students’ passion for nature with the practical skills needed to succeed.

Students in the two-year Outdoor Recreation Management diploma develop the skills necessary to excel in the outdoor recreation industry through challenging out trips, classroom-based theoretical knowledge and a paid co-op program.

“Our goal is to equip students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes that industry is looking for,” says Chris Ladner, convenor of the School of Outdoor Recreation Management at CapU.

“We tie in the practical skills with what businesses are looking for in employees.”

After completing a two-year diploma, students can also ladder their studies into completing a Bachelor of Tourism Management degree with an adventure tourism focus.

Now in its 50th year, the program has evolved to meet the current outdoor leadership needs. Ladner, who ran his own outdoor adventure company for over 27 years, has seen a recent increase in the demand for outdoor guides and adventures.

He has also observed CapU graduates fast-track into the upper levels of management in the tourism industry.

CapU’s Outdoor Recreation Management graduates find work worldwide in hospitality, experiential travel, and more.

Outdoor adventures always carry an element of risk. North Shore Rescue is a crucial partner, helping to educate CapU students in risk management and being conscientious outdoor people.

“We have quite a bit of emphasis on safety protocols, preparing for trips and being outdoors,” Ladner says.

“The North Shore Rescue folks are absolutely amazing.”

Their services are critical, especially lately, Ladner says, as more and more people take to the backcountry.

By helping educate CapU students, North Shore Rescue ensures the next generation of wilderness leaders are prepared for anything.

The School of Outdoor Recreation Management is holding a virtual information session for anyone interested on Feb. 10, 2022, at 6:30 p.m. Register online to access the session.

To learn more about CapU's Outdoor Recreation Management program visit

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