One of Ontario’s most precious resources is our lush landscapes and our miles of unspoiled wilderness. Though many families get a chance to experience what our forests and parks have to offer, there are also many who have not had the opportunity to learn how to camp and enjoy the experience for themselves. With this in mind, Ontario Parks has created the “Learn to Camp” program, a fantastic new way for parents and children to learn about camping together.
Families who register for the program will be able to go on two-night or three-night camping trips. The Parks administration provides a camping location as well as all the supplies you’ll need to go camping for the first time. In addition, during the camping trip, you’ll be able to attend several sessions where Ontario Parks staff will be teaching you about all the basics you need to know about camping, so that you can have a great first experience and then camp on your own in the future.
What Camping Supplies Are Provided in the Program?
Ontario Parks realizes how camping often requires a large amount of gear and equipment. For a first time camper, this can be very difficult to determine what they need and what they should bring on their first trip. During a “Learn to Camp” program, all you will need to bring is clothing, bedding, food, and personal items. The program will provide:
- A six person tent
- Air mattresses and pump
- Covered dining area
- Folding chairs
- Camp stove and propane
- Dinnerware and cookware
- Campfire kit including firewood and ingredients for s’mores
- Lanterns and flashlights
- Other useful supplies
Rest assured that the Parks staff will be teaching each family how to set up camp, construct their tent, and build a campfire. Campers will also have access to fun family activities in the outdoors, flush toilets and hot showers, and drinking water.
What Else Do I Need to Know?
The “Learn to Camp” program takes place every year from June through September and is available at nine different provincial parks spread throughout Ontario. If you can’t arrange transportation to the campgrounds, the Parkbus can bring you and your family from Toronto to Grundy Lake Provincial Park.
Ontario Parks generally recommends that families choose the two-night program. The first two days will include some learning activities. The two night programs allow families to spend their third day doing fun nature activities and exploring all that the Canadian wilderness has to offer. Families are expected to clean up and check out of the camping area by 2:00 PM on their last day, but they are invited to stay at the park until 10:00 PM.
There are so many wonderful lessons that children and adults can learn by spending more time outdoors in the natural environment. Unfortunately, these experiences are getting harder to find. With the Ontario Parks’ “Learn to Camp” program, you and your family can commune with Mother Nature first-hand. It will be an experience that your children will never forget.