(see availability for details)
January, March, April & September (Outdoor Camps)
May & June (Caring Camp)
January & August (Schools)
4 – 12 Months for Outdoor Camps
3 – 4 Months for Outdoor Caring Camps
10-11 Months for Schools
Gap Year Canada! Canada is a land of astonishing beauty from the old world charm of Quebec to the rugged Rocky Mountains. Spanning six time zones and bordering three major oceans, it is the world’s second largest country. The combination of a rich volunteer network and outdoor lifestyle offers many opportunities to help others on your gap year, either at outdoor camps, in schools or through a well-established local caring organisation. Start your working gap year in Canada today!
Outdoor Camp Assistant
Placements are usually based in permanent camps, situated in beautiful locations in the Canadian countryside. Volunteer duties are varied, ranging from leading groups in activities such as kayaking, rock climbing, hiking, orienteering and fencing to life saving skills, first aid, counselling and general camp maintenance. There are opportunities for those with relevant skills to coach campers in horse riding, drama and sailing.
As a volunteer you will also be responsible for caring for visitors to the camp, which may include support, supervision and personal care of more vulnerable residents. On average you will work around 40 hours per week, with core hours of 8.30am to 4.30pm. This is a challenging but worthwhile placement which in the past has led volunteers to form deep and long-lasting friendships.
Departure dates and duration vary a lot, as many of our host camps have differing season lengths, generally between 6-10 months. As we have many camps partnered to Lattitude, we work with you to establish how long you’d like to be in Canada for as part of your “matching” process.
Outdoor Camp Assistant at Caring Camps
Some outdoor camps Lattitude works with cater specifically for disadvantaged youths, or for young people with mental or physical disabilities. The environment and activities are the same at these camps to all other camps throughout Canada, but volunteer duties within these camps include an additional caring component.
Caring Camps tend to open May to August and require volunteers to have a panel medical (recognised by Canadian Officials) which can cost around $350USD, to submit with Visa.
School Assistants in Canada assist school staff with a number of duties which may include classroom teaching assistance, lab preparation, tutoring, playground supervision, games/sports coaching, outdoor education, field trips and excursions, music, art and drama, supervision in residence and administration work. The roles are varied and allow volunteers to get involved with many aspects of school life on their gap year in Canada.
Volunteers at this placement assist with middle and senior school classroom duties, and could also take part in extra-curricular activities such as sports coaching. You will also have the opportunity to take part in school camps and field trips, and would assist with discipline and pastoral care.
School placements in Canada require volunteers to have a panel medical (recognised by Canadian Officials) which can cost around £300, to submit with Visa.
Accommodation, food and allowance
Accommodation is provided by the host organisation, whether that is in the staff quarters, in a residential home, your own room in a school boarding house or shared accommodation in an outdoor camp. Many camps are situated in incredibly beautiful places beside lakes and in the woods.
Please note volunteers are responsible for their own food and accommodation during the long December – January break in the September – August Outdoor placement.
While some placements provide food, others set up a system of self-catering for volunteers.
All placements provide a weekly allowance of approximately CAN$100 (this differs from placement to placement).
If living close to nature, working in a team and inspiring young people sounds exciting, then camp life is for you! As an Outdoor Activities Instructor, you will work within stunning scenery assisting young people to learn and develop their outdoor skills, some of whom may have a disability. Enriching placements are also available in schools to befriend and mentor students at a crucial stage in their education. This is perfect for anyone thinking of going into a teaching career and want some international experience.
Need to know
- Pre departure briefing – all volunteers are invited to a group briefing prior to departure.
- On arrival – if available in-person, volunteers will take part in a Lattitude orientation in Vancouver with the rest of their cohort. Some volunteers at outdoor placements have onsite orientations run by their camp. These people will travel straight to their placement.
Free Time & Travel
In terms of evening and weekend activities, what you do will largely depend on where you are placed. Many of our outdoor education roles are placed in areas of spectacular beauty, and you will be able to take advantage of your surroundings in your free time.
If you are placed in the foothills of one of Canada’s many mountains, for example, you and your fellow volunteers could stretch your legs climbing to the top. Alternatively, if you are placed near a lake, you could try getting involved in water sports or take a dip during the summer months. If your host placement is in a more urban setting, you can spend your weekends exploring what the nearby town or city has to offer.
Most people have heard of Canada’s world-class skiing resorts, Niagara Falls and, of course, the iconic moose. But these highlights are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what Canada has to offer its visitors.
For outdoor enthusiasts, Canada is a gift that keeps on giving, and you will have lots of opportunities to experience nature. Hikers can explore snow-capped mountains and even sample a stretch of the vast Appalachian Trial, while fans of water sports might choose to spend a day kayaking down the South Nahanni River. If winter sports are more your cup of tea, why not spend your free time during holidays snowboarding in Whistler or ice-skating on Ottawa’s Rideau Canal? Aside from these activities, Canada is renowned for having a calendar packed full of exciting festivals all year round.
From Okanagan’s ice wine festival in January and Regina’s powwow in March, to Montreal’s jazz fest in June and Toronto’s film festival in September, you’ll have lots of excuses to travel around Canada during your stay.
As a global organisation, we list our pricing in US dollars. To convert to your own currency, you can use xe.com
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lattitude has had to restructure, creating considerable cost savings for the organisation. One positive outcome of this is that we are able to pass on these savings to our volunteers, resulting in significantly reduced fees for departures from April 2021.
Lattitude Application Fee – $50 (USD)
The application fee covers the cost of processing applications and conducting interviews.
All applicants are guaranteed an interview. This fee is non-refundable.
Lattitude Placement Fee: $1900 (USD)
This fee is broken into three payments:
Once you have been interviewed and accepted into the programme, you will be required to pay a $500 USD deposit to secure your position. The deposit covers our costs for identifying, assessing and matching you to a suitable placement.
Under normal circumstances, this is a non-refundable deposit. However, due to the uncertain timeframe of COVID-19 travel restrictions etc, we have adopted a more flexible approach to ensure there is no financial risk to our volunteers proceeding with their Lattitude travel plans.
Your deposit will be refundable if: You have paid your deposit after 11 March 2020 (the date WHO declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic) and if nearing your scheduled departure, as a result of COVID 19, you are still unable to travel, or if, following government advice, your destination is deemed unsafe to do so.
If you are still unable to travel to your first-choice destination, we can work with you to look at alternative destinations at short notice. In the unprecedented scenario of no appropriate departures being available, we will look to reschedule, offer you the opportunity of deferring, or refunds will be made available.
Lattitude will refund deposit payments in the event that Lattitude needs to cancel a specific programme departure due to COVID 19 or if international/government COVID 19 advice is to avoid travel to that destination. Lattitude will always encourage volunteers to consider an alternative destination or to defer travel.
You will be required to pay an interim payment of $700 USD no more than 6 months before departure. This payment covers Lattitude costs involved in the pre-departure stage of your placement.
The remainder of the Lattitude fee of $700 USD will be due 60 days prior to your scheduled departure.
- In depth matching process to align your skills and interests with a placement that really suits you
- Assigned Volunteer Coordinator to help with all your pre-departure information, advice and guidance
- Links with returned volunteers
- Relevant DBS/police check fees
- Advice on obtaining a Visa
- Pre-departure information and briefing session
- Airport pickup on arrival
- Accommodation for the duration of stay in Canada (this may not be included during holidays)
- Food (or monetary allowance to cover the cost of food) provided by the host. This may not be included during holidays.
- Day to day support from your placement host and a member of staff as your mentor
- Weekly allowance (provided by your placement)
- 24/7 support from Lattitude, including in-country support from local reps and the Lattitude Country Manager
- Focus on your personal volunteer learning and development
- Returned Volunteer follow up and Debrief Event
- Opportunity to join the Lattitude Alumni Association
- Certificate of completion and references (on request)
- Cost of Panel Medical for School & Caring Camp roles
- International Flights
- Onward travel to placement (if applicable)
- Travel insurance
- In-country Orientation Fee (when delivered in-person)
- First Aid Course (for all Outdoor placements)
- Pocket Money for weekends/ holidays/post-placement travel
- Accommodation and food during holiday periods
Ecuadorian volunteers will also be responsible for a $400 USD supplementary fee to cover the specific support we offer volunteers and their families in Ecuador. $50 USD of this fee will be put into a scholarship fund for future Ecuadorian volunteers.
As a charity we always recommend our volunteers fundraise to help meet the costs involved in volunteering overseas. In many ways it is part of the whole experience. For more information and fundraising ideas please click here.
“Camp Elphinstone is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. Majestic pine trees, a gorgeous stretch of water and a mass of snow-capped mountains - it’s breathtaking!”Mark, Outdoor Activity Instructor