Youth Environmental Leadership Expeditions


Who is the Youth Environmental Leadership Expedition program for?

This is a program for youth who want to learn about environmental and conservation issues and who want to develop their leadership skills so that they can help to create a sustainable future for our planet and people. For youth, age 14-19, our program uses a unique approach to environmental education. We teach participants the tools of visual storytelling (photography and video) as a way to engage them in learning about environmental and conservation issues. No prior photography or video experience is needed. We'll teach participants National Geographic-style photography, video production, and help them to tell the story about an environmental or conservation issue that captivates them and then we help them to share their photos and video with the world. In this way, they become ambassadors for the environment.

Leadership and Communication are Essential Components of the Youth Environmental Leadership Expedition

Team building and leadership are also elements that are woven into our expedition. We believe that developing self-confidence and leadership skills are important elements of our personal and professional growth. Regardless of what career you choose, being an effective leader is a key component of success. Another key component of success is our ability to communicate. Communication happens in a variety of different ways. Our focus is on visual communication - through photography and video - but we also want to help participants learn presentation skills so that they can share their photos and videos with the world. 


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What's Included and What's Not

Our goal is to provide youth with a transformational learning experience and adventure of a lifetime. Once we all arrive at our accommodation at QUBS, we will embark on our expedition having fun, learning, and growing together. During the 11 days, all travel, most meals (3/day), accommodation, park entrance fees and event and activity fees are included in the cost of the program. We've specifically made this adventure very affordable. The cost for the 11 day program is $1995 CDN (no HST).

Specifically, here what's included:

  • All of your travel, accommodation and most meals during the 11 days of the program

  • Entrance fees to national or provincial parks and all of our adventure activities and excursions (e.g. canoeing, kayaking, etc)

  • Our incredible Education Program, including instructional workshops in photography, videography, communication and leadership as well as lectures, discussions, team building exercises and more!

  • Pre-expedition support to help you prepare for your incredible adventure

  • Pre-expedition educational materials which will be sent out via email

  • Biosphere Environmental Education t-shirt and notebook

  • Post-expedition support for presenting your 'story' and mini-documentary to audiences

Here's what's not included in the expedition cost:

  • Your travel to and from the Queen's University Biology Station (QUBS) in eastern Ontario; shuttle service to and from Ottawa can be arranged for a fee

  • Any travel or additional travel-related costs or activities you choose to undertake outside of the formal program dates

  • Any travel visas or documents needed to enter Canada if you are coming from another country and any fees associated with your passport

  • Your personal travel medical insurance (which is mandatory)

  • Spending money for snacks, souvenirs, or any additional activities

  • Personal gear, clothing etc. (we'll send you a list of clothing and things participants should bring)


All participants must be capable of undertaking physical activities with a moderate level of difficulty. This includes hiking on uneven ground, easy to moderate walking for up to 3 hours, sitting calmly in a small boat/canoe/kayak. You will have a medical form and liability waiver to complete as a requirement of participation. All personal information is kept confidential. It is mandatory that all participants purchase personal travel medical insurance prior to the start of the program if they are not covered by medical coverage from Ontario or their home province/territory within Canada. Proof of travel medical insurance is a requirement of final acceptance to the expedition.  Coverage must include a minimum of $100,000 U.S. Coverage for trip cancellation, lost luggage etc is at the discretion of the participants.

 Appropriate Behaviour

As a participants of YEAP 2018, it is expected that all participants will behave in a respectful way toward all participants, including Program Leaders and all staff associated with accommodation, travel and any aspect of expedition activities. Harsh and inappropriate language is not tolerated. Drugs (aside from personal medicines officially prescribed by a physician) and alcohol are not permitted on this expedition and there is a zero-tolerance policy. Violation of these policies could result in the participant being removed from the program and being sent home early at their own personal expense. There is no smoking during the 11 days of our program. Our programs operate under a philosophy of mutual respect and it is expected that all participants associated with the program will behave in a respectful manner at all times. Our goal is to provide an outstanding educational experience for participants and to help them develop strong leadership skills. This requires everyone's cooperation and participation in the spirit of adventure, learning, and growing.



We focus on place-based learning - taking students into the field so they can see with their own eyes, the wonder, beauty, and value of our earth's natural environments. Our goal is to inspire students to learn, through transformative educational experiences.

Learn More About Our Program


The best education comes through experience. This is why expeditions are a core component of our environmental education program. The physical challenges of outdoor adventure  also allow students to foster a sense of accomplishment and self-confidence.

The Biosphere Vision


What makes our educational programs different from others is that we use photography and videography as a core component of our teaching approach. Students learn the tools of 'environmental visual communication' so that they can inspire their peers to create positive environmental change.

The Power of Visual Storytelling ›