Hello, my name is John, I am 23 years old and live on a dairy farm in Parksville on Vancouver Island. My family and I have always loved the outdoors, mainly I think from living on a farm and not in a city or town. We have always been big on hiking, camping and horseback riding in the interior and Vancouver Island.
This spring while looking for an educational holiday and something related to the outdoors for me to do, I came across the Chilcotin Holidays website and I made the choice to come to spend part of my summer in the Chilcotin doing the guide school and an internship. I had heard someone talking about how beautiful the Chilcotin was, a few years prior. Once I arrived here and even on the drive in I realized what they meant, the Chilcotin is one of the last few unspoiled gems the world has left.
On Vancouver Island I am used to going on multi day hikes where you don’t see any people for days on end, but the Chilcotin was something else entirely. We saw far more bears, deer, mountain goats, sheep and other wild animals than we saw people or signs of civilization. Actually we didn’t see any people at all. It was just us, the horses and bears alone in 5000 square km of mountains and meadows and streams… What a place. If you are ever in a similar situation as me and want to challenge yourself to an adventure, I highly recommend looking into going to Chilcotin Holidays. Among the pack trip and guide school, I was also given the opportunity to take a bushcraft course where we learned building a shelter, starting a fire, using a map and compass, tracking animals and harvesting food from the wild. We also learned cold horseshoeing, basic horse logging and wilderness guiding.
Some of my favorite experiences at the ranch were wildlife viewing and seeing 9 bears in 2 hours. I also liked the community aspect of life at the ranch were everyone had a role to play and contributes in unique ways to the lifestyle we have. Not only was this a holiday for me and a great experience but I also learned valuable skills in organization, cooking, ranch hand work and being part of a team by helping others to complete their tasks too.
After this summer I hope to implement the philosophy and skills I learned in my future life and career on the farm and will always appreciate the time I spent challenging and learning new and valuable skills at the Ranch.