Frequently Asked Questions

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Our Programs

We offer our Ocean Camp program to schools throughout Metro Vancouver. Our TideRider van will meet you and your students at the beach closest to your school.
Our Ocean Camp day can serve to up to 30 students.
Students learn about plastics and the problem of plastics in the ocean through several short activities and a 20-minute video. When they arrive for the Ocean Camp experience they will have a basic understanding of the issue.
The entire four-hour session will be spent outside—on the beach and on the water. Classes are divided into two groups: one group paddles while the other participates in the workshop. Students eat lunch in between sessions, then switch.
For the workshop portion, two large, 10’ x 20’ enclosed tents with space heaters will be set up to ensure participants are warm. Students learn more about the problem of plastics in our ocean and create a plan of action for reducing plastic use that they can implement at home, at school or more widely.

The paddling section encompasses basic stand-up paddling and safety skills. The focus will be on fun, on discovering the ocean from a paddleboard, and on spending time at the beach. Each board will have a mesh bag on it for collecting any garbage students find while paddling.
Students will also have time to explore the beach between sessions and will be asked to pick up any garbage they find – in a safe way.

All of the workshop leaders are certified Paddle Canada Stand Up Paddleboard instructors. This designation includes current Red Cross Standard First Aid certification.
Ocean Camp runs rain or shine. Your students will be warm and dry in their drysuits and neoprene boots. The workshop portion of the camp takes place in enclosed tents that are warmed with space heaters when needed. On cold days, students will eat their lunches inside the tents. On days where wind and waves create unsafe paddling conditions, our team will work with you to reschedule the program.
Participants will wear drysuits – these suits will keep your students completely dry with rubber cuffs around the ankles, wrists and neck. Participants should wear warm, comfortable clothing under the drysuits. Insulating materials like fleece, wool and Capilene are ideal. Examples of clothing that works well include: fleece jackets; sweat pants, yoga pants or tights; long underwear; hoodless sweatshirts; wool tops; and moisture-wicking long-sleeve shirts such as running or ski shirts.
Bring a change of clothes, a towel and lunch. We also recommend participants bring sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat.
Our Organization

We are a not-for-profit company offering school field trip programs for students in grades five to eight in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia aimed at teaching the about the problem of the pollution of the oceans by plastic waste.
We are connecting young people with the ocean and challenging them to think creatively about addressing the problem of plastic waste polluting the oceans. We are educating, inspiring and empowering them to think about how this problem impacts their lives and what they can do about it.
These young people are part of the generation that will inherit the challenge of curbing the pollution of our oceans, so it’s important to start forging a link between them and the marine environment. We do that by getting them onto the beach and into the water where they can experience through touch and sight what the issues are. If we can get them enthusiastic about nature – and the ocean in particular – we have a much better chance of them being good stewards of the environment.
In our first two months 670 young people participated in our Ocean CampTM program. Over five years that’s 12,000 children in British Columbia who will become passionate stewards of the ocean. If that happens, we’ve achieved our objective.
Right now, we’re self-funded, but we plan to approach funders to help us build out the program.
There’s no formal relationship, we just happen to have the same name.
We have a collaboration with the Fraser Streamkeepers. They have a campaign called the Watermark Project that calls for every Canadian to submit a story about what the water, including the ocean, means to them personally. We include information about the project for teachers whose classes come to our program. We also are working with Plastic Oceans Canada. Students watch a 20-minute version of their documentary film before coming to our program.
We are also very excited to be working with a group on Haida Gwaii to create a partnership that will engage youth from the mainland with youth from Haida Gwaii where their understanding of and commitment to sustainability and respect for nature go back 30,000 years.
There are a lot of groups making classroom presentations. We are not just telling students about the problem of ocean plastics; we’re getting them to the beach, onto the water and into the ocean. That personal and visceral connection inspires them to want to make a change. This is about taking youth into nature and creating a fun experience that builds relationships and encourages interest and involvement. We want students to learn to love the ocean because at the end of the day, we take care of what we love.
The Plastic Oceans video does a good job at showing some of the five gyres, the five big garbage patches in the world’s oceans. Also, we’ve designed our Ocean Camp so that students actually look for bits of plastic on the beaches and experience what’s happening first hand.
We are not opposed to using plastics, but we believe that so much plastic has already been manufactured that if we found viable ways to re-use, recycle and extend the lifecycle of what is now being discarded, we may not need to manufacture any more. The problem is not so much plastics themselves, but the damage caused by discarding them in the ocean and elsewhere. That’s what we need to resolve.
According to many leading scientists and researchers it’s certainly a serious threat, but it’s a threat than we can do something about, and that’s the purpose of our program, to raise awareness and encourage students to become ambassadors for ocean protection and the responsible use of plastics. If every individual and organization that used plastics did so responsibly and recycled their plastic waste we would go a long towards reversing the current trend. We all need to become conscious consumers and be aware of our actions and how they could damage the oceans.
We want them to say that it was a lot of fun and that they want to get out onto the ocean again. We want them to feel inspired to make different decisions about the things they buy, how they care for those thing, so that they last longer, and how they recycle or discard them when they are no longer need. We want them to have conversations with their families about their experience, and inspire their family members to make changes as well in their habits as consumers.