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Duke of Edinburgh Adventurous Journeys

Unforgettable Expeditions for Youth 14-18

Dates & Registration Details Below

Our Adventurous Journey Program is a life-changing canoe adventure for teens that not only satisfies but exceeds the requirements for the Duke of Edinburgh International Award. The Adventurous Journey as the name suggests, is about stepping out of the routines of the “every day” and into the heart of an unforgettable adventure.

Through their active participation in this program, the youth adventurers will complete both the Practice and Qualifying Journeys of their Duke of Edinburgh Award. In addition our adventures involve some preliminary Leadership workshops that occur online to help groups get adequately equipped to fully participate in this unique adventure together.  Groups will also have the opportunity to earn a Paddle Canada Camping Basics certification in recognition of their hard work as a value added element.

Recent updates to the Duke of Edinburgh International Award remind of the importance of Travellers being as autonomous as possible in the pursuit of their adventures.  This is where our expert guidance comes into play!

“On our Adventures, Youth are not just passive Passengers

They eventually become The Crew.

What sets us apart:

Most of the time we are working with intact special interest groups of (6-8 Travellers) or collections of families who wish to contract an experience for their sons or daughters. Our Adventurous Journeys are anywhere from 4-10 days long depending on the Level of the Award being sought and the desires of the participants as it relates to the scope of their Adventure!

Our Adventurous Journeys have participants travelling by canoe into the heart of the Ontario back-country, paddling on pristine wilderness lakes and living in close connection with the land. Youth travellers will have the amazing opportunity to be mentored by our professional wilderness specialists who each have spent thousands of nights in the back-country as Expedition Leaders and Educators.

As part of our value added programming, Travellers participate in Two, three hour  virtual workshops in advance of their experience as part of their Training Phase.  Don’t worry…. We specialize in making online learning engaging, interesting and fun!  We focus on the art of Leading others, map reading, wilderness skills, risk management, knots, weather, wildlife, group dynamics and much more.

This helps young people get a running start and to be far more prepared once they arrive to us for their adventures.  Students can practice some of their skills in advance which will help them earn an additional Paddle Canada certification if they can demonstrate their skills during their expedition together.

The Practice Journey:

The first 1-2 days of our experiences (depending on the Level of the Award) are considered the Practice Journey.  During this time our Guides will be actively instructing the group and equipping them with practical wilderness skills (ie: paddling a canoe, building a fire, preparing meals) and providing active mentorship, so they can learn safe practices for living and travelling in the back-country as well as  trusted systems to organize themselves.  The focus is to support them in acquiring skills that they can then reproduce during the subsequent stage of their expedition:  The Qualifying Journey.

The Qualifying Journey:

The remainder of the Expedition is designed for the Travellers to step up and assume responsibility for as much of the daily decision making as their Instructors feel they can manage.  This will certainly vary from group to group.  All the while, their Guides will act as an experienced safety net.

Groups will have the opportunity to reproduce the systems they have already been taught and will put their learning into action.  They will take the lead on navigating to their next campsite, gathering firewood, preparing their meals, organizing camp chores and making decisions together as emerging Leaders.

Their Instructors will follow along and provide space for safe and appropriate learning opportunities to unfold while remaining well positioned to intervene or provide guidance (as required) to ensure things stay safely “on track”.  Since we utilize the back-country areas of provincial parks, Instructors will stay at the same campsites to provide an inherent safety net for their experience through the night.

*To be clear:  The Practice Journey and Qualifying Journey will take place as one singular and continuous expedition with a shift to being more “student led” as the expedition unfolds.  This is definitely where the magic lies  and constitutes the ETHOS of this Award.


The Heart of the Adventure:

Travellers will learn how to light fires without using any matches, practice the fundamentals of navigation and learn how to cook and bake on an open fire. They will strengthen their communication skills, practice making important decisions and have the opportunity to work as part of a Team in a positive and supportive atmosphere.

At Leaders of the Day we specialize in helping people unearth their own unique talents and abilities and believe that you are never too young to start excavating your personal leadership potential.
Young people stride boldly away from this program with a profound sense of confidence, positive new friendships and incredible memories to last a lifetime.

Check out the video below to Learn a bit more about our Journey-based Experiences by Canoe!



Why Leaders of the Day?

Leaders of the Day are on the cutting edge of Leadership Training in Canada. The experiential approach of our Adventurous Journey programming  helps  to promote the essential skills and character traits that young people need to successfully take on the challenges of today’s rapidly changing world. Our Directors are accomplished Educators and Trainers and are now taking leadership in the wilderness to the “next level”. 

What sets us apart from so many other experiences out there is most definitely the calibre of our Instructors and the opportunity for participants to earn a series of tangible skill-based certifications while enjoying an unforgettable adventure.

These certifications add value to their course experience, lend depth to young people’s portfolios and help to better position them for future success.  Leadership experience is a sought after commodity in the World today and helps to distinguish young people and operationalize their capacity for navigating their unique way forward.

Adventurous Journey Certifications

This Expeditionary program affords young people the opportunity to walk away with tangible, real-world experiences of Leadership. Having these types of certifications speaks volumes about their Leadership Skills and helps to set them apart from the other candidates in a stack of University applications, helping them to unlock important opportunities for the future. Here is what participants can earn through this program:

  1. Adventurous Journey – Duke of Edinburgh International Award  (Bronze, Silver or Gold)
  2. Camping Basics Certification  – Paddle Canada
  3. Leadership in Practice Certification – Leaders of the Day

A Note about EFFORT and CONDUCT:  Simply showing up to an Adventurous Journey does not guarantee successful completion and sign off by their Assessor.  Travellers must actively prepare, participate, contribute and share in the leadership of their unfolding adventure.  Respect for peers, process, Instructors and environment are essential behaviours that must be present throughout to demonstrate that they are in harmony with the Spirit of this Award.  We promise to do the same!

Moose shot from canoe

All-Inclusive Saves money

Our Adventurous Journeys often take place within the deep interior of world-renowned Algonquin Provincial Park. The only thing that participants must bring is their basic clothing as outlined by the Leaders of the Day Packing and Preparation list and a handful of other personal items. All other food, technical equipment and/or gear will be provided as part of the all-inclusive course fee.  By providing almost everything, it avoids all the “hidden costs” of investing in equipment that may (or may not) get used again.

Our aim is to offer the most impactful and robust Duke of Edinburgh experiences in the Province along with top tier experiences of Leadership programming.

To offer you the greatest values out there, Leaders of the Day also chooses to bundle some experiences to help youth get credit for the skills they are learning  and to help build their portfolios.  A list of the included certifications is outlined in one of the sections below.

Our Instructors

At Leaders of the Day, we hire talented Instructors with vast teaching experience and deep log books. They are not camp counsellors, they are seasoned Outdoor Professionals, Wilderness Guides and Educators with thousands of nights of experience. 

As such, they are experts at living, teaching and travelling in the wilderness – where we make our “classroom”.  At Leaders of the Day, program quality, safety and positive educational outcomes are our chief focus.  We also have a GREAT deal of FUN.

Our Instructors continually upgrade their training in the latest instructional, and risk management practices. With over 2 decades of professional experience in the Experiential Education Industry, we have led, designed and developed programs and training experiences on 3 continents. Leaders of the Day designs programs for clients around the world and as far north as the Arctic Circle.

Our Expeditions go into the field with a Team of Instructors and always includes at least one female facilitator as part of our crew.  As a safety precaution, all of our groups travel with a Satellite Telephone.

Click here to learn more about Tony Cox & the other members of our talented Team.


All-Inclusive Adventurous Journey Tuition:

$1,350 + HST  –   4 Day model

What’s Included:

Transportation to and from the Adventure is NOT included in the tuition fee.

Currently Available Dates:

July 17-21, 2023  – Algonquin Provincial Park

August 1-5, 2023  – Algonquin Provincial Park

Please Note:  We have begun to move away from “open enrolment” style programs which involve participants registering one at a time for an open group.  In the wake of Covid, we have noticed a reduced comfort on the part of many parents for groups to be comprised of strangers rather than intact social bubbles and for the time being we have shifted our focus accordingly.

This summer, preference will be given to intact groups of 6-8 Travellers who wish to exclusively book one of the expeditions listed above (and all its related spots) as a vehicle for their Adventurous Journey.

*We can sometimes arrange custom dates for groups that have particular timing needs. This depends upon Instructor availability and whether we can secure park permits for your chosen timings.  We welcome all inquiries!

Click here   if you have additional questions or wish to register for a program!   Bookings fill quickly!