Enviros Wilderness School

A great place to find exactly what you're looking for.

Base Camp has been around since 1976 and originally was an open-custody facility for young men. In 2005 it transitioned into a 90-day voluntary addictions treatment program in partnership with the then "AADAC" (now a part of Alberta Health Services). Base Camp is open to male and female residents of Alberta between the ages of 12 and 17, with identified issues around drugs or alcohol. Approximately 40 young people and their families go through the program every year. Participants come from all over the province

-Jeff Couillard

Enviros Wilderness School Association is a charitable, non-profit community of people committed to enhancing the quality of family life in Alberta. We engage children, youth, adults and families in experiential-based opportunities to support them in learning and developing skills that foster independence.

To actualize the mission, Enviros strives to:
- Ensure children, youth, adults and families are safe and healthy
- Assist children, youth, adults and families to build on their strengths and successes
- Enable children, youth, adults and families to become increasingly independent
- Continuously improve on outcomes

Enviros’ Residential and Community programs include a broad spectrum of services that provide support for the following:
- Addiction and Mental Health issues
- Emotional/Behavioural issues
- Community Connections and Community Reintegration
- Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)
- Developmental Issues
- Child/Youth/Adult Stabilization
- Family Support/Reunification
- Youth Justice Support

Enviros is also well-known for its Experiential Therapeutic Programming (Urban and Wilderness), which is incorporated into all aspects of programming.


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The Main Focus

Base Camp is designed to be a holistic treatment program, treating the whole person instead of focusing narrowly on addiction issues. From healthy eating and exercising to re-engaging in school and participating in group and individual counselling, the program is designed to provide a broad range of support for overall health and wellness, while being individually tailored to the unique needs of each client. Base Camp is very much a community, where staff and clients work together side by side on a journey of recovery. Each client works closely with a family therapist and a "keyworker" to create goals and strategies to deal with the specific concerns that each client might bring to treatment. A big part of the program is remaining connected to family at home, and working together to create an opportunity for lasting change to occur. Base Camp also relies heavily on the use of the outdoor environment and adventure activities like rock climbing, paddling, skiing, mountain biking and hiking.

-Jeff Couillard

The Full Experience

Base Camp is a Residential Treatment Program like none other. It is a beautiful facility, tucked in behind the mountains which oversee a lake. There is always fresh mountain air to breathe and breathtaking sights to take that breath away. During a typical weekday, there is lots to be done from chores, to groups, to school, and reflection and free times. To be straightforward there is very little time where you can be bored. There is always something to do. School days typically run Monday through Thursday and have two, one and a half hour periods. Quite short comparing to normal school days but a lot can be finished with the help of two fantastic Calgary Board of Education teachers. The best part is... school trips are planned every 2-4 weeks so always be ready for an adventure. When you are not attending school, there are treatment groups held by the wonderful staff, to help you voice your opinion on subjects which interest you, but also challenge you. There are many aspects to camp that are indescribable and have to be experienced to feel the full effect. Below you will find some pictures around camp such as solo spots and the mountains overlooking Base Camp.

How to Apply

Base Camp is accessed through Alberta Health Services, specifically through the Youth Addiction Services (YAS) program in Calgary. Young people can access outpatient counsellors in their community, who will make a referral to YAS for "Wilderness Residential Treatment" (aka, Base Camp). All youth ages 12-17 who reside in the province of Alberta will qualify for this program.

Youth Addiction Services Calgary 403-297-4664

Youth Addiction Services Edmonton 780-422-7383

Services Provided by Youth Addiction Services (YAS)

Walk Ins are available Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 0830 - 1030 and you will be seen by a councillor within 15 minutes.

Youth Addictions Services Calgary can be reached from 830 - 1630 Monday - Friday for all of your needs.

YAS also provides Voluntary Detoxification and Stability Program which is a 10 day, 6 bed program for youth ages 12-17. This program focuses on safe withdrawal management and the establishment of healthy eating and sleeping patterns.

Parent Services Include

-Addiction Help Line 1-866-332-2322

-Prevention and Education Services

-Treatment Services

-Parent Support Group

-Parent Skill Shop

-Parent and Family Counselling