Sparrow Youth Leadership Course

Rooted in Indigenous ways of knowing and leading forward with adventure based learning.

Youth aged 13-18 years of age are welcome to enrol in Sparrow Advanced Leaders.

World Bound Youth Leadership Camp

Fireside’s Sparrow Leadership courses are a 2019 pilot project bringing Indigenous together to participate in a unique outdoor leadership and cultural training course. Sparrow incorporates STEM learning, environmental education, outdoor adventure, leadership training, cultural and experiential based learning to helping our students become even more self propelled.

Sparrow Sisters (June 29-July 19, 2019) welcomes young Indigenous women to develop their leadership skills and enjoy the beautiful B.C. wilderness, including stops in Hope, Galiano Island, Gambier Island, the Sunshine Coast and in Vancouver at UBC. Please note the Sparrow Sisters course is fully booked at this time but we are accepting names for our waiting list.

Sparrow Advanced Leaders (July 21-August 17, 2019) is accepting co-ed youth leadership candidates seeking an experience within the awe-inspiring nature and traditional territories of both British Columbia and the Yukon Territory. Sparrow Advanced Leaders will bring both Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth together to approach leadership from an Indigenous lens. Youth will visit and stay at UBC in Vancouver (Musqueam Nation), paddle the shorelines of the Sunshine Coast (Sechelt Nation), Whitehorse and Dawson City. The Leaders will also put their new outdoor and cultural awareness skills to the test as they canoe up the Yukon River, developing teamwork, endurance and a love for our beautiful environment. Register for Sparrow Leaders now to start your adventure!

Sparrow Sisters and Sparrow Advanced Leaders participate, learn and grow from unique strength-based pillars influencing and informing their outdoor and cultural based leadership experience:

  • Sparrow’s Indigenous Roots (developing positive personal identity, family, culture and language, traditional knowledge).
  • Land and Water (expedition base, exploration, outdoor skills).
  • Environmental Education (knowledge and practices focused addressing climate change, sustainable travel and relevance to Indigenous ways of knowing)
  • Leading and Developing (leadership skills, family and social systems, visioning and decision making).
  • Giving and Sharing (wellness practices, solo experience, journaling, paddle making, carving and mentoring circle).
  • Education and Employment (fostering new skills and relationships, participants are supported with connecting with post secondary education and direct employment opportunities).
  • STEM (land-based and classroom learning on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics with our partner UBC Geering Up)

Our experiences take participants through some of the best locations in British Columbia and Yukon. We are small group (10 to 14 youth) focused and mobile (visiting various locations around BC) supported by Indigenous and non-Indigenous female instructors.

Sparrow Program Details

Date: July 21 to August 17, 2019.
Ages: 15 to 18 (Co-ed)

Rate: $4,399.00 CDN plus 5% tax

Deposit: $350.00 (required to secure registration).

Includes: Pre-camp assessment and contact, 24/7 supervision, instruction and support, food, accommodation, group camping gear, camping fees and transportation while on trip including return flight between Vancouver and Whitehorse. Does not include flights to Vancouver and some optional activities.

Locations: University of British Columbia,Vancouver, Sunshine Coast, Whitehorse, Dawson City

Partners: UBC Geering Up, Vernon School District, SOS Children’s Village British Columbia and School District 42 Cedar Roots

It's a Life-Changing Experience

Sparrow is a journey and experience in preparing young Indigenous women to become even more self-propelled, self-directed and self-aware of exercising and expressing their potential.

Sparrow Leaders Advanced Course Highlights:

  • Travel between BC and Yukon (flight included)
  • Canoeing and outdoor wilderness skill training as the group travels down the Yukon River and explores Sechelt Inlet (specifically ocean and river paddling, campsite selection, overview of equipment, hiking, orienteering, shelter & fire building, risk management, meal planning and risk management)
  • Participating in a safe environment for sharing, giving, growing and learning
  • Creating positive personal identity and utilizing strength-based learning approaches
  • Leadership, life and social training and support by Indigenous and Non-Indigenous instructors
  • Youth on the land and water while taking time away from home/community to foster new skills and insights with developing their leadership potential
  • STEM activites with principles to be applied in the wilderness
  • Cultural Connections and Teachings:
    • Coast Salish and Fort Selkirk people (Yukon and BC)
    • 7 Sacred Teachings
    • Understanding the various medicine wheels (across the country)
    • Traditional land and waters of British Columbia and the Yukon.
    • Acknowledgements and welcoming protocols
    • Smudging & cedar brushing
    • Paddle carving
    • Songs and stories including stories about the Sparrow(s)
    • Making individual medicine pouches and rattle makers
    • Martin Brokenleg's Circle of Courage Model
    • First People's Principles of Learning
    • Solo (supportive 48 hour solo experience for youth to reflect and connect)
  • Submit a “We Matter” video for end of the trip
  • Much more

“When you know who you are;
when your mission is clear and you
burn with the inner fire of unbreakable will;
no cold can touch your heart;
no deluge can dampen your purpose.
You know that you are alive.”

- Chief Seattle

Learn more about our past Indigenous leadership initiative - Windspeaker 2014-2016

It's a Life-Changing Experience



Regardless of a participant ’s level of comfort and outdoor skills, it is safer to travel in a group and it is much safer to have an experienced instructor supporting them. Our team always prioritizes planning, preparing, and most importantly, teaching participants how to be safe in the wilderness.


A well-nourished body makes a significant impact on a person’s experience in times of physical and/or mental exertion. Participants will learn how to pack and prepare healthy and holistic meals in our camp kitchens, suited for all diets.

Fitness Capacities

If you are concerned about yours or your child’s physical readiness to attend one of our Fireside camps/expeditions, please contact us directly. We modify our experiences based on the participants’ abilities and capacities. Relax and let us work together to make an informed and shared decision.

Climate Change

We do our best to understand the present and future impacts of climate change. We provide thoughtful discussions and rationale of why we all must do our best to minimize our carbon use including ways to reduce food waste, non-recyclable materials and more. We take public transit or walk as much as possible, and respect nature by reducing our ecological footprints.

Indigenous People

We acknowledge that we are visitors of the traditional lands of Indigenous People. We ask permission to visit and explore their lands while also inviting local First Nations to participate in our camps, share their knowledge and provide a space to collaborate. Fireside Adventures recognizes the unceded traditional lands of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.

Small Group Focused & Mobile

We purposely place restrictions on group size (minimum 8 and maximum 15) of participants as believe less means more for providing an enriched and meaningful experience for each participant. We are not defined by one permanent location as we are rooted in the belief that adventure and learning come from exploring the lands and water around us.

Place and Inquiry Based

All of our selected locations for our camps and expeditions are purposely chosen to provide a platform for inquiry and experiential learning, to learn through the natural world and its significance in relation to culture, geography, history, people and environment.

Social and Emotional Learning

We create a safe place so participants can develop and enhance their resiliency, independence and self-efficacy. We weave learning opportunities throughout our programs for participants to improve the skills necessary to manage and understand their emotions and their relationships.


We are inclusive of all genders, races, cultures, languages, shapes, sizes, colours, abilities and capacities. Those who arrive on the first day of the camp/expedition are important characters of the shared experienced that is to begin. It is a privilege to be the characters in each other's stories and experiences, not our right.


Toni - Sparrow leadership camp instructor

Toni -  Lead Sparrow Guide

I am proud Anishinaabekwe (Anishinaabe Woman) from Sagkeeng Manitoba and presently living as a guest on the beautiful Coast-Salish Territory in BC. Nimiigewechwindam (I’m feeling grateful). I joined Sparrow to share the importance of connecting our C.O.E.E (Cultural and Outdoor Experiential Education) with our Indigenous youth to develop their positive personal identity through strength based approaches ways of knowing and being.

For the past 15 years I have been a Child and Youth Care Worker and Outdoor Educator various settings such as schools, youth centres, places of care and outdoor recreation. During this time, I have seen how when you provide an opportunity for youth to connect with Ashkaakamigokwe (Mother Earth), youth tap into their personal resilience, strengths and gifts.  It is an honour to lead and be apart of your youth’s journey and witness their growth.

I value the Seven Sacred traditional teachings (love, respect, truth, honest, courage, humility and wisdom), passionate about canoeing and creating spaces for spiritual and personal growth and connection. Bimaadiziwin (good life) is something I will do my best to offer your son/daughter.

Lenaya is a Sparrow leadership camp guide

Lenaya - Sparrow Guide

I am a Nlaka’ paumx woman who works, lives, learns and plays within Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh territories. I joined Sparrow to help youth and young adults connect to their roots and potential by experiencing the benefits of outdoor education and Indigenous leadership training. As an Indigenous youth, I have personally experienced and developed from the benefits of strength based and experiential leadership courses like Sparrow.

For the past 7 years I have grown immensely from being a camper, intern and now staff with Fireside Adventures. Throughout all my life experiences, I have witnessed the positive impacts of children and youth rediscovering themselves as they develop a stronger sense of resiliency and positive personal identity when reconnecting with the land and accepting the support from others.

As Indigenous people, we are dynamic, resourceful, driven and much more. My "Indigenous Roots" are nurtured by my values of family, community building, personal development and following traditional teachings. I look forward to being your instructor and a positive character in your story this summer as you join Sparrow.

It's a Life-Changing Experience


Yukon Facts & What to Wear

The name “Yukon” originated from the Locheux native word "Yuk-un-ah," meaning "Great River," referring to the Yukon River that flows across the territory into Alaska.

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Tentative Trip Plan

DAY ONE (UBC, Vancouver)

Arrive, territorial welcoming and acknowledgement, move into UBC residence, evening activities and review personal gear.


Morning tour MOA, meet with Indigenous UBC students at longhouse, overview of Sparrow Initiative and team building activity (sailing lesson in English Bay) and evening tour of Vancouver.

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