K-12 Field Trips & Booking
We offer single day and overnight K-12 field trips. Instructional time during the day varies between 3-6.5 hours depending on the program you choose.
Single day programs are designed so you can take the ferry in the morning and return on the same day in the evening, regardless if you are coming from Vancouver (Tsawwassen) or Victoria (Swartz Bay).
Yes, we do it all the time! Our program activities are designed to be flexible to accommodate K-12 learning abilities.
You can fill out our Field Trip Request Form online or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-539-2424.
Booking dates are not confirmed until a 20% deposit is received for your trip. Please see our Payment & Cancellation Policies for more information.
We offer field-trips year-round, seven days a week except major holidays. A few of our programs are only offered in certain times of the year depending on seasonal cycles – eg. tide schedule, wildflower blooming etc. Please see specific program pages for more info.
Our busiest months are April – June and Sept-October. Please book these early if you would like to join us at these times of the year.
We do not have a public calendar, please contact us if you have specific dates in mind that you would like to book.
To cover our baseline costs, we must charge for a minimum of 12 participants. You can still come if you have less than 12 people, but we unfortunately cannot charge you for less.
Our maximum is typically 60 participants – however this may vary depending on the type of field trip you book and whether or not you require bus transportation.
Please contact us is your group falls out of this range and we will accommodate you if possible.
You have up to 3 days before your arrival on Galiano to change the number of individuals joining for the trip at no additional cost. Within 3 days of your arrival, the total number of participants will remain fixed and your final invoice will be issued for that total. (This means if you have less participants on the actual day of your field trip, you will still be charged for the final number that was determined at the 3 day prior mark.)
Please do not come with more participants than what was determined at the 3 day prior mark.
Yes, if the date is open and if we have more than two weeks’ notice.
In general, field trips start at $32 per student per day.
Costs will vary depending on your total number of program days, if you’re sleeping overnight at the Millard Learning Centre or if you require GCA bus transportation.
Costs that are not covered:
– Transportation to the ferry (eg. from your school – Tswasswassen terminal)
– Ferry fares
Learn more about field trip prices.
The deposit is 20% of your total trip cost. Once we receive your deposit, your program dates will be confirmed.
All field trip payments are fully refundable 2 weeks before your arrival date on Galiano. Within 2 weeks your deposit will be forfeited unless your cancellation is due to COVID-19. Learn more about our Payment & Cancellation Policies…
Up to 5 trip chaperones are free of charge. Additional chaperones will be charged the same rate as student participants.
We provide bursaries for students and classes in need of financial aid to reduce costs of on-Galiano travel, program and camping fees. Learn more and apply.
There are several organizations that provide travel-related funding:
• “HCTF Go Grant”. Application deadlines are September 1st and February 1st annually.
Learn more and apply
• “Daytrippers Children’s Charity”. Five application deadlines depending on your field trip dates.
Learn more and apply
Students travel for free between Swartz Bay and Galiano or at a reduced cost between Tsawwassen and Galiano. Check out the BC Ferries Fares website page to learn more.
We have an internal policy of 1 GCA staff member to 15 youth participants. The number of chaperones you bring for your trip will depend on what your school/organization’s policy is.
We can provide proof of insurance as well as first aid records and police/vulnerable sector checks for education staff and volunteers by request. Please contact us if you need us to fill out any additional paperwork for your field trip.
Students (and their guardian if they are under 18) need to sign Media Release and COVID-19 Acknowledgement forms.
One adult (18+) trip leader must sign the Millard Learning Centre Accommodations Rental Agreement if their group is camping overnight at the Millard Learning Centre.
These forms will be emailed to you by GCA education staff after you have confirmed your booking.
The Ferry: Getting to Galiano
Galiano (Sturdies Bay) is serviced by BC Ferries from Victoria (Swartz Bay) and Vancouver (Tsawwassen). There is NO service from the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal to Galiano.
If you are coming from Saltspring, Pender or Mayne Islands the Gulf Islands water taxi may be able to accommodate your travels.
If you are coming from Vancouver (Tsawwassen), YES ABSOLUTELY! Our ferries book up 100% even for walk-on passengers. We recommend that you book your ferry at least 3 weeks in advance of when you plan to arrive on Galiano.
Reserve your sailing online or call BC Ferries at 1-800-BC-FERRY (1-800-223-3779).
Ferries cannot be booked from Victoria (Swartz Bay). Please show up at least 1 hour early prior to your sailing to make sure you get on.
Your choice. Most K-12 school groups and youth organizations come as walk-on passengers and rent our bus once on Galiano (we meet you at the terminal).
If you are participating in an adult workshop or a post-secondary program that does not provide transportation you may want to bring your car, consider carpooling or try biking. There is no public transportation on Galiano Island.
Yes, see your terminal attendant for more information.
Please remove your bags from the BC Ferries luggage van on main vehicle deck before you get off on Galiano or your ferry transfer point. The luggage van does not drive onto the ferry dock, so your bags will continue to sail without you if you do not get them before leaving.
No. Participants are responsible for paying their own ferry fares.
Many ferries travel to multiple Gulf Islands. Please check if your route has a stop of transfer before you board and know what you need to do. Always check with the Chief Steward if you are unsure.
A TRANSFER means that you must disembark your first ferry and get on a second one in order to get to Galiano. Most transfers from Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen to Galiano (Sturdies Bay) occur on Mayne Island (Village Bay).
A STOP means that your ferry is stopping at another island but you do NOT need to get off.
There are a few restaurants, cafes and shops near the ferry and a nice beach to sit at and relax.
There is a public washroom at the end of the ferry dock.
Trip leaders for K-12 field trips and post-secondary programs will be asked if they would like to book the GCA bus during their booking process. Bus service fees will be added to their invoice accordingly.
No. Adult workshop participants are responsible for their own transportation.
Yes. We will meet you beside the info booth by the ferry terminal (about 100 meters from the end of the ferry dock).
The bus can seat up to 54 small children (age <12 with 3 to a seat) or 36 adults (2 to a seat). Please note that seating capacity may be reduced if you have a lot of gear with you.
Bus transportation costs $300 per round trip (ferry terminal – program location – ferry terminal) for K-12 field trips and custom post-secondary programs. Fees will be added to your invoice accordingly. Bursaries can cover bus transportation fees for K-12 classes/students in need of financial aid. Learn more about our Bursary Fund.
No. There are no buses, taxis, private ride shares (eg. Uber) or car rentals (eg. Evo/Modo car rentals etc.) on Galiano.
Luckily we have a school bus to service your transportation needs for K-12 field trips and more.
Most of our education program and volunteering locations are more than 5 km away from the ferry terminal. The Millard Learning Centre is 13km from the ferry terminal. It is not recommended to walk.
We have one gas station next to the ferry terminal (the Galiano Garage) that carries regular/premium gasoline and diesel. Fuel is very limited on the island (we are only serviced once a week and often only have Premium-grade gas). Please fill up before you arrive on Galiano.
Yes. There are two Level 2 EV-stations at the Millard Learning Centre and two at the South Community Hall.
Food & Beverage
Participants are responsible for packing their own lunch. Lunches should be easy to eat and not require heat (eating will occur in outdoor locations).
For overnight trips participants are also responsible for bringing their own breakfast & dinner. We recommend that food is bought before you arrive on Galiano (we have very limited selection and groceries are expensive). If you are staying at the Millard Learning Centre, food can be prepared in the Classroom building’s full kitchen (if you are renting the Frontcountry campground) or on picnic tables in the Backcountry Campground.
There may be some activity-specific treats that are provided (eg. Solar Oven S’mores in our Renewable Energy in Action program).
Yes, drinking water is available at the Millard Learning Centre’s Frontcountry and Backcountry Campgrounds. We will bring drinking water to other workshop/field trip locations on Galiano.
We recommend that participants bring at least 2L of water to their program.
We are very lucky to be a “foodie” island with a variety of cuisines available.
Most restaurants are closed between October – April and are very busy during summer months. We recommend you call ahead and reserve and to warn restaurants in advance if you are ordering food for a large group. There are no food delivery services on Galiano. You must pick up any food you order yourself (GCA staff will not do this on your behalf or arrange GCA bus transportation for food delivery purposes).
Check out Galiano’s Chamber of Commerce website for more information on local dining options.
Yes, we have three grocery stores: the Galiano Garage (attached to gas station), the Galliano Corner Store and the Daystar Market. All stores are open 7 days a week with core hours between 9:30 – 6PM (some are open longer).
We have a very limited selection of food on island – we recommend that you pick up goods before you arrive on Galiano.
If you need to stop at the grocery store, you must do this on your own time with a personal vehicle (GCA staff will not do this on your behalf or arrange GCA bus transportation for grocery runs).
What to pack for my trip?
– Face mask
– 2L of water
– Packed Lunch (easy to eat, does not require heating) and LOTS of snacks
– Sturdy, closed-toe shoes (eg. hiking boots, running shoes)
– Clothing for rain or shine (lot of layers) and extra clothing in case you get wet/dirty
– Sunscreen/ sun glasses/ sun hat
– A sturdy backpack to carry everything in (day bag)
– Medications (eg. Epipen, Insulin) and other medical devices
– A roll of toilet paper, some paper bags and hand sanitizer (for instances when no washrooms are available)
– Warm clothing for sleeping (thermal underwear, sweatpants, sweaters, toque & thick socks)
– Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brush, glasses/contacts, deoderant etc.)
– Camping gear (tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, headlamp).
– A bag to cache animal attractants (eg. food, smelly toiletries etc.)
– An overnight bag that is separate from your day bag (you will often NOT have access to your overnight bag until the end of the day)
– cash for ferry food
– cards, board games, books for free-time
Our staff will inform your trip leader or you directly if you need to bring other specialty items for your education program.
In addition to the what to pack list above, please bring:
– Food for students dinner & breakfast (for overnight programs only)
– Signed student media release and COVID-19 acknowledgement forms
– Signed Millard Learning Centre Accommodations Rental Agreement form (for overnight programs at the Millard Learning Centre only).
– First Aid Kit
– Cell phone (for emergency communications)
– Final invoice and payment (if paying by cheque/ cash in person)
Yes. We rent tents (2 person), sleeping bags, sleeping mats and headlamps. We have enough gear for approximately 35 people.
Please contact us at 250-539-2424 or email email@example.com for more information.
Millard Learning Centre Camping Accommodations
The Millard Learning Centre is NOT a public or private campground.
The Learning Centre’s Front country and Backcountry Campgrounds may only be rented by individuals and groups participating in GCA education programs or contributing to GCA projects (eg. volunteers, volunteer retreats, teachers, post-secondary clubs, local projects/programs affiliated with GCA work etc.).
Please contact us if you are curious about renting the campground and aren’t sure if you are eligible.
K-12 and post-secondary program leaders will be asked if they are staying overnight at the Millard Learning Centre during their booking process. Camping fees will be added to your invoice accordingly.
For adult workshops, select camping ticket options online when you register.
Please contact us (250-539-2424 or firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are a volunteer/ volunteer group who wishes to stay at the Millard Learning Centre.
If you are hosting a workshop or event that is related to GCA programs and projects, yes. For example, the Classroom can be rented for educational speeches, nature-based artist workshops, gathering of local residents or professionals for networking or training, volunteer groups, teacher Pro-D groups etc.
The Classroom cannot be rented for wedding venues, parties or other non-educational and non-environmentally-related activities.
Please contact us for more information.
Yes. If you would like to book an extra day or two to enjoy the island on your own time you are welcome to. Please book extra days in advance. We may not be able to accommodate extra days if Learning Centre campgrounds are booked by other groups.
Please note, you must participate in at least one education program for every three days of stay at the Millard Learning Centre.
Discounted camping fees prices are available for stays longer than 7 days (6 nights). Contact us if you think you will be staying longer than 7 days.
The Millard Learning Centre has two tent-only campgrounds: the Frontcountry Campground and the Backcountry Campground.
The Frontcountry Campground can accommodate up to 76 individuals and has 13 tent pads, a large overflow field, a shared fire pit (propane pit during fire season), access to drinking water and two outhouses. The Frontcountry Campground also has access to the Classroom building which has a full kitchen, dining hall and gender-neutral flush toilet and shower facility. With access to multiple amenities, the Frontcountry campground is a comfortable spot for camping newbies or for those seeking a more deluxe (“glamping”) camping experience.
The Backcountry Campground is close to Chrystal Cove beach access and offers campers a more rustic wilderness experience. It can accommodate up to 36 individuals and has 12 tent pads, a picnic area, food cache, community fire pit, access to drinking water and 2 composting toilets.
Camping fees are charged per person per night.
Frontcountry Fee – $25 per person per night
Backcountry Fee- $10 per person per night
For K-12 field trips and post-secondary programs a minimum of 12 campers will be charged.
Discounts are available for individual volunteers and volunteer groups or for groups staying more than 7 days (6 nights). Contact us for more information 250-539-2424 or email@example.com
Camping gear rentals are additional to per night camping fees.
Your choice. We have camping gear (2-person sized tents, sleeping bags, sleeping mats, headlamps) for rent at variable prices (contact us for more info). We have enough camping gear for ~35 people.
Camping gear rentals are free of charge for the overnight Backcountry Experience field trip program.
If you are not comfortable sleeping outside, or you need to seek shelter (eg. during stormy nights) you may sleep inside the Classroom’s dining/instruction hall. The hall is one big, long area with no room divisions and sleeps approximately 30-35 people if they are spaced closely on the floor.
Generally, no. Please contact us if you need to sleep in a trailer/van for medical reasons.
Although we hope that you are able to disconnect while you are on Galiano, there is public wifi inside the Classroom building for adults only. We will discreetly give you the password when you arrive. Please do not use the wifi for streaming as we have limited monthly data allowances.
There is no wifi at the Backcountry Campground.
Cell reception is limited at the Millard Learning Centre. There is a 24/7 emergency landline phone outside the front door of our office building.
There are places to charge devices inside the Classroom building if you are renting the Frontcountry Campground. There is no electricity at the Backcountry Campground.
Yes. The Frontcountry Campground has two gender-neutral outhouses and access to gender-neutral the Classroom’s bathroom/shower facility which has 3 flush toilets and 2 showers. The bathroom/shower facility is wheelchair-accessible.
The Backcountry Campsite has two gender-neutral composting toilets but no shower or flush toilet facilities.
You are responsible for packing out your garbage and recycling. A $50 garbage/recycling fee will be charged for any garbage/recycling wastes left behind.
We will take care of your compost.
We provide bins to separate garbage, recycling and compost wastes at the Frontcountry Campground. There is a compost digester at the Backcountry campground.
Yes. Drinking water is available at the Backcountry Campground’s wash sink. Drinking water is also available all taps in the Classroom building for the Frontcountry Campground.
It depends on the fire-danger rating and the need for burning permits.
In general, campfires fires are allowed between October 31st – March 31st. Between April 1st – June 30th and October 1st-October 31st burning permits are required.
NO fires are allowed between July 1st and September 30th. We will provide a propane fire ring for this time if it is deemed safe.
Wildlife is present on Galiano Island – predominantly deer, small rodents and racoons/otters/minks. Very rarely larger wildlife such as elk or cougars swim over (which we will inform you of if such an occurrence happens). We take precautions by storing our food properly and leaving no trace.
No. Frontcountry campers may store their food and smelly personal items inside the Classroom building. There is a large metal animal cache at the Backcountry Campsite for campers to store their smelly items in.
Yes. The Millard Learning Centre has ~5km of trail networks and a beach access (Chrystal Cove) as well as two gardens and a plant nursery to explore during your stay. Please make sure you close the gate behind you if you are visiting gardens and the nursery so the deer don’t get in.
Please do not pick any wildflowers/ plants, stick to trails and pack in & out your garbage (including any used toilet paper).
Yes, the Galiano Healthcare Centre is located on the south end of the island near the ferry terminal.
Galiano Healthcare Centre
908 Burill Road
Galiano Island BC
Clinic hours: Monday – Friday 9AM – 5PM (closed at lunch 1-2PM)
Daytime phone: (250) 539-3230 (phones answered 9AM-4PM)
Afterhours: Call clinic and listen to voicemail for options OR call doctor on call: 1 (800) 866-5602
For life-threatening emergencies call 911
Education staff are certified in wilderness first aid and always carry standard first aid kits with them to various field trip locations. If your injury or illness is beyond the expertise of our staff we will contact medical professionals accordingly.
Some field trip locations are in remote areas of the island where it may take a long time for medical providers to arrive. Please make sure you carry all necessary medications with you (eg. Epipen, insulin etc).
Galiano is a rural community with limited access to medical care. We have one clinic that is only open Monday – Friday and the doctor on call is not always on the island (they are shared between multiple Gulf Islands). If your injury/illness occurs after clinic hours or is deemed severe enough, you may be transported off island by ferry, water taxi or helicopter.
GCA education staff are Wilderness First-Aid and CPR-C certified. Staff carry standard first aid kits with them to all program locations.
View the GCA’s up to date COVID-19 policies here.
Please contact our office at 250-539-2424 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com if you are trying to get a hold of someone participating in our programs.
If your child is participating in a school or extracurricular field trip, we also suggest contacting the leader in charge of their group.
We have an emergency 24/7 landline that is just outside our office’s front door if your child/spouse needs to call you and does not have access to a cellphone.
Participants will be informed of what to do in an emergency during the introduction to their program or their site safety orientation at the Millard Learning Centre’s campgrounds.
If weather systems pose significant risks or if there is an environmental disaster, we will stop education programming and/or volunteer work-parties immediately and head to a safe location.
If the re is an incident afterhours and you are camping at the Millard Learning Centre, you will have access to the Classroom building as an emergency shelter space.
We will follow directives from our local emergency service providers for adverse weather systems and environmental disasters and communicate these to our participants accordingly. We will provide bus transportation for participants when appropriate.
It is possible the ferry gets cancelled in the event of bad weather or an environmental disaster. You will be able to extend your overnight stay at the Millard Learning Centre if that is the case.
There is water and shovels available for fire control in the fire pits at the Backcountry and Frontcountry Campgrounds.
There are fire extinguishers and a smoke alarm located inside the Classroom building.
5000+ gallon water storage tanks are located near the Front and Backcountry Campgrounds for fire-fighting purposes.
There are First Aid kits with Epi-Pens at the Front and Backcountry Campgrounds. There is an AED (defibrillator) located outside our office’s front door.
There is an emergency tree list at the Frontcountry/ Backcountry Campgrounds and an emergency 24/7 landline phone located outside our office’s front door.
Yes. We will have 15 minute to 1 hour breaks scheduled throughout the day during your education program. You will also have free time outside of instructional hours. Free time is not supervised by Galiano Conservancy staff.
Swimming is at your own risk (we do not have a lifeguard on duty) and must only be done outside of education program hours.
Swimming at the Millard Learning Centre (Chrystal Cove Beach Access)
The Chrystal Cove beach access is rocky and can be slippery with seaweed growing in the intertidal zone. Please ensure that you have adequate, sturdy shoes (eg. water shoes/Crocs, NOT flipflops).
Other swimming risks include a steep drop off, submerged rocks, underwater currents and VERY cold water. We DO NOT recommend swimming in at Chrystal Cove if you are beginner swimmer.
Yes, at your own risk and outside of education program hours.
We do not rent watersport equipment. You can check out Galiano’s Chamber of Commerce website for outdoor sport equipment rentals.
Watersports at the Millard Learning Centre (Chrystal Cove Beach Access)
Chrystal Cove is a narrow and rocky shore access which is very difficult to land when the tide is low and possesses underwater submerged rock risks when the tide is high. We DO NOT recommend this area for watersport beginners.
Recreational fishing/ crabbing etc. must be done outside of education program hours.
Many locations are within Rockfish Conservation Areas (learn more) or other marine protected areas. Some locations are closed to shellfish harvesting due to the risk of paralytic shellfish poisoning.
Please do your research before you harvest – including territorial/land permissions and Indigenous harvesting rights – and always harvest sustainably.
Harvesting sea-life at the Millard Learning Centre (Chrystal Cove Beach Access)
Chrystal Cove is within a Rockfish Conservation Area, which prohibits line fishing due to the risk of causing barotrauma to endangered Rockfish species.
To conserve the diversity of marine species at Chrystal Cove, please do not harvest shellfish, crabs or other intertidal invertebrates.
There are several other locations around Galiano if you choose not to stay at the Millard Learning Centre. See Galiano’s Chamber of Commerce website for more information.
No, sorry. Camping gear is reserved for education program participants and volunteers only.
We accept in-person or mailed cash and cheques (addressed to the “Galiano Conservancy Association”) and online credit card payments (2.2%+$0.30 Stripe Credit Card Processing Fee applies). In-person debit/credit payments are also available if you notify us in advance that this is your preferred payment method (variable Square processing fees apply)
Please mail cash/cheques to:
Galiano Conservancy Association
10825 porlier Pass road
Galino Island, BC, Canada
Registration for most adult workshops are through online ticketing (credit card) payments. Please contact us if you wish to prefer to pay by cheque/cash/debit.
For more information on forms of payment please see our Booking & Cancellation Policies.
In general, proceeds for education programs, camping fee/gear rentals and GCA bus transportation services are 100% refundable up to 2 weeks before the start date of your program/ rental/service.
Please see our Booking & Cancellation Policies for more information.
Galiano has many hikes and beaches to visit. The Mid-Island Protected Areas Network has over 5km of hiking trails spanning the west to the east side of the island and is conveniently located across the road from the Millard Learning Centre. Pebble Beach is a favourite swimming beach on the island.
We are lucky to have a variety of restaurants, shops and local artisans too!
The Saturday Market occurs on Saturdays from 10Am -2 PM from Victoria Day (May) to Thanksgiving (October) annually and is located beside the Galiano Health Care Centre on Burrill Road.
See Galiano’s Chamber of Commerce website for more information on what to do.
Monday – Friday | 9AM – 4:30PM
GCA Office: 250-539-2424
10825 Porlier Pass Road
Galiano Island, BC