Answers to our most frequently asked questions can be found below. Don’t hesitate to ask Jim Miller, COLT director, anything about the program,  jim@colt.bc.ca or 250-286-3122.


What is the application process and what’s the deadline?

We work on a first come/first served basis, meaning that we accept the first 10 qualified applicants that have sent in deposits. Once we reach 10, any further applicants get put on a waiting list or put on the next course. In the past, if we filled up, it was generally within six weeks of the start date. So it is a good idea to sign up at least six weeks in advance, but one can sign up anytime as long as we have an opening.

Class size

What size is a COLT class?

We have a maximum of 10 students per session and we use a ratio of 1 instructor to 5 students or 2 instructors per 10 students.

Financial assistance

How do I apply for student loans or government grants or training funds?

First you have to be accepted into the COLT program. In this case, send in your application without a deposit and let us know you are applying for a student loan, etc. We will then process your application and then send you a notice that you are accepted into the program subject to a deposit. This acceptance letter is sent with the loan application forms to be processed by the loan people with BC Student Loans.


Do I have to be an uber-athelete to attend COLT? I don’t have much outdoor experience, will this be a problem at COLT?

You don’t have to be an athlete to attend COLT, although the fitter a student is, the easier it is to learn and there is less chance of injury. We ask that all students be in good health and to arrive at COLT in reasonably good shape. The physically hard part of the course is not so much any one activity, but the day after day after day of constant effort. One often finds the mental strain of maintaining a high level of concentration harder than anything physical that we do. Because every activity is a new activity to at least some of the course students, we start out at the beginning with every activity. Thus it is fine with us if a student does not have experience in any of the skill components of the course. We expect students to learn quickly and get the basics as soon as possible, but we do not expect them to be anything but a beginner. Most students however, have at least a little experience in at least some of the course activities, as well as all students should have some previous hiking, camping and working within a group experience.

Foreign students

Do you accept foreign students?

Foreign students are encouraged to attend and we usually have one or two per group. We value the diversity and cultural exchange that we get with foreign students. A working command of the English language is a must however.

Can I take just part of COLT?

Well, yes and no. While we prefer that you take the full course, some of COLT is open to ‘outside’ students. For instance the First Aid course is open to anyone, and we have had students take just some of the paddling courses, most specifically the Canoe Instructor’s course and Sea Kayak Guide Exam. Keep in mind that the exams are all hard unless you have a lot of previous experience (or attend a COLT course) the chances of passing are not good.


Should I get traveler’s or cancellation insurance?

All students should have medical insurance- this is a must. Purchasing cancellation or trip interruption insurance is also a good idea in case you can’t finish the program because of an injury or illness. Read more about insurance in Apply Now and our cancellation policy.