Connect with Nature with Parks Canada’s Learn-to Camp at Port au Choix National Historic Site and Gros Morne National Park
Canadians encouraged to register for Parks Canada’s popular Learn-to Camp program
July 13, 2018 Rocky Harbour and Port au Choix, NL Parks Canada Agency
Parks Canada’s Learn-to Camp program is a chance for first-time campers to try out a camping experience by learning how to plan and enjoy safe and successful camping trips. Families learn basic camping skills including how to set-up a tent and light a campfire. They also have the opportunity to discover the outdoors through activities such as hiking, photography, bird watching, and star gazing. Camping gear is provided – all that is needed is a sleeping bag!
The Government expanded the Learn-to Camp program to enable more Canadians to connect with nature. In the last year, the Learn-to Camp program has grown from 10,000 participants to over 100,000 participants across the country. The program empowers Canadians to experience the outdoors and learn more about our environment and heritage through different activities. The Learn-to Camp program is offered at many locations across Canada.
The Learn-to Camp events at Port au Choix National Historic Site and Gros Morne National Park will take place on July 21-22 and July 28-29 respectively, in partnership with Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC). These Learn-to Camp events are overnight adventures and will focus on learning new camping and related skills and creating lifelong camping memories with family in a spectacular natural setting.
The Port au Choix Learn-to Camp will be supported by the Qalipu First Nation and the Norpen Aboriginal Women’s Circle, and will incorporate Indigenous knowledge into the event’s activities. The event in Gros Morne National Park is being developed in partnership with the Autism Society of Newfoundland and Labrador and will focus on engaging children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families and caregivers in a camping environment. Both events are free and Parks Canada will provide tents and some basic camping supplies. To register, visit Learn-to Camp with Parks Canada and MEC, call 709-458-2417 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Developing new and innovative programs and services, like the Learn-to camp, enables more Canadians, including youth and newcomers, to experience the outdoors and learn about our environment and heritage. The Learn-to Camp program encourages Canadians to visit their national parks and historical places and provides them with the information and means to enjoy them.
During the Canada 150 celebrations last year, millions of Canadians had amazing experiences at Parks Canada places across the country. Building on this success, the Government of Canada is celebrating families and the importance of protected areas this year with free admission to Parks Canada places for youth, starting in 2018 and beyond. Admission to Parks Canada places will also be free for one year for new Canadian citizens.
“Parks Canada’s Learn-to Camp program is a great opportunity for families to learn the skills needed to experience and enjoy the outdoors. Camping is a truly Canadian experience. And one of my priorities is to help a greater number of Canadians – especially youth and new Canadians – discover and connect with our national parks. The Learn-to Camp program does exactly that, and this summer, I encourage Canadians families to participate in a Learn-to Camp activity near them.”
The Honourable Catherine McKenna,
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
“MEC aims to build a community of active outdoor enthusiasts by inspiring and enabling Canadians to get outside. Through partnerships like Learn-to camp, MEC and Parks Canada will help more Canadians discover their love for the outdoors while learning the basics of camping and environmental stewardship in a fun and engaging environment.”
Regional Sustainability and Community Investment Coordinator for MEC
- In 2017, Parks Canada expanded the Learn-to camp program by creating Learn-to Camp hubs in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Halifax. Parks Canada delivered 32 overnight events as well as almost 500 Learn-to camp outreach events. Overall in 2017, the program reached over 70,000 participants.
- In addition to basic camping skills, participants will learn important safety skills including wildlife safety, fire safety and water safety. Participants also learn about nature through hiking, photography, bird watching and star gazing.
- To date, the Learn-to Camp program has reached approximately 100,000 participants, not including visits to the Learn-to Camp section of Parks Canada’s website and downloads of the Parks Canada’s Learn-to Camp application.
Public Relations and Communications Officer
Western Newfoundland and Labrador Field Unit
Parks Canada Agency