Lately, I’ve run across two companies offering Bear Camps, and they both definitely piqued my interest. Living in the mountains of Colorado, I’ve had bears cross my back patio early in the morning and at dusk and enter my garage to snack on treats in the freezer late at night when the door didn’t get shut (think homemade ice cream and chocolate truffles). A better way for groups to experience the thrill of seeing bears, in the form of an extraordinary team building or a small meeting excursion is through companies like ROAM Adventures Inc. and Natural Habitat Adventures.
It’s safe and comfortable, meaning you’re not roughing it. “Bear Camp is arguably one of the most unique meeting venues you could ever imagine. We like to call our conferences ‘think tents’ as opposed your typical think tank,” says Brian McCutcheon, founder of ROAM Adventures.
Perched at the juncture of Chilko Lake and Chilko River deep in the unspoiled raw wilderness of British Columbia, ROAM Adventure’s Bear Camp was originally built in 1954 as a hunting and fishing camp and has since been repurposed and renovated into a world-class destination for adventure and wildlife-viewing. Although 95% of guests fly in from Vancouver, this Bear Camp also is accessible by car.
The main log structure is the focal point for meals, cocktails, and socializing while eight deluxe safari tents with comfy beds with down duvets and electric blankets are perched several meters in the air along the waterfront for spectacular views. Staff delivers coffee to the tents in the morning, and no one goes hungry with three chef-prepared meals, delicious appetizers and healthy organic snacks daily.
Your team will be in heaven selecting from daily activities ranging from bear and wildlife viewing to hiking, rafting, biking, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, horseback riding, and archery. September and October are for bear viewing and photography at this camp.
Natural Habitat Adventures has added Alaska Bear Camp to its portfolio of nature and wildlife expeditions worldwide. Debuting this summer, departures of this four-night, five-day adventure run from May 24 to August 23, beginning and ending in Homer, Alaska.
The adventure begins with a scenic flight aboard a privately chartered bush plane over Cook Inlet before landing on the beach next to a fly-in camp. Surrounded by 20 acres of private land, the camp sits on an inholding within Lake Clark National Park, renowned for some of the best brown bear viewing in the world.
Bear Camp can accommodate up to 14 guests and features weatherproof tent cabins that are perched on elevated decks. Meals are prepared by a resident chef who makes the most of fresh local seafood and other regional fare.
“We could, in theory, do corporate group travel on any trip we’re currently offering. Alaska would be a very top choice, but we also have several other U.S. national park trips that could be interesting, too,” says Court Whelan, Ph.D., chief sustainability officer for Natural Habitat Adventures. “To me, this would be amazing for a corporate retreat or incentive trip.”