Ontario Parks Rolls out a Learn to Camp Program Aimed at New Canadians

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

White River Ontario Canada

According to Ontario Parks, 25% of all Ontarians have never gone on an overnight camping trip (I thought it would have been higher). Research revealed that lack of camping knowledge was one of the primary barriers to new Canadians getting out camping so Parks Ontario is trying to address that issue with their new Learn to Camp program.

The Learn to Camp program involves a three pronged approach including an online website, community-based evening sessions and overnight classes at several provincial parks.

Throughout the camping season the Ontario Parks staff will be organizing free evening sessions in partnership with local community groups around the Greater Toronto area. The clinics will allow people who are thinking about going camping learn about provincial parks and how to make their first trip a success.

If you are a fan of emersion learning then you could sign-up for one of the overnight programs. It costs $46 and can have a maximum of six participants. It’s much more in-depth then the community sessions as it covers some of the key outdoor skills to make sure your camping experience is successful including settings up a tent, building a campfire, equipment choices, and food prep.

Finally, if you can’t get to an event in person, Ontario Parks has rolled out a fantastic online resource with all clinic materials online. I really appreciate that the site content is very practical and clearly aimed at the beginner camper with the goal of breaking down the intimidation factor. For example, the food section includes a sample meal plan as well as lots of information on things that I would never think about like how to actually cook on a stove safety or how to properly pack a cooler.

I love this initiative and congrats to Parks Ontario for rolling out.

Photo credit: Our camp at Nipigon Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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