Sunday, September 7, 2014

Learning to Camp with Ontario Parks

learn to camp
Camping is a fun getaway to do with the family and take a break from life’s stress and pace. My family and I loved experiencing the fun Learn to Camp program hosted by Ontario Parks. We got to know about this program through a community information session that Ontario Parks hosted. We learned everything we need to know about camping without harming the environment. Camping with knowledge encourages us to do this recreational activity more often, and learn to relax in nature and appreciate it more. 
learn to camp
After registering and booking online, we were sent the program schedule, information on camping etiquette, rules and regulations of the Ontario Parks, program waivers, and packing checklist. Since the program provides all the equipment we need to use, all we have to take is our bedding, personal items, and food to prepare our meals.
learn to camp
This guided overnight camping experience is a wonderful way to make camping part of our lifestyle. At this program we learn all that we need to know to become confident campers, and camp in a safe and fun way. We learned how to set-up camp, build a campfire, and heard lots of tips from our wonderful camping instructors. 
learn to camp
We can either choose to have a one or two night experience in the Learn to Camp program. Since the first day will be busy as we attend the sessions and learn how to do everything, it is better to take the two day option. On the last day of our camping we have to check out by 2:00 p.m., however we can use our parking pass and stay at the park or visit any other Ontario Park until 10 p.m.
learn to camp
The cost for two nights is approximately $125 and $80 for one night. For this fee, we are provided with a campsite for up to 6 participants, including children, and parking for one vehicle at the campsite. The campsite we were assigned had easy access to flush toilets, hot showers, and drinking water. 
learn to camp
The scheduled family-friendly activities and learning sessions, led by experienced Ontario Parks staff is an awesome way to learn and ask questions. I like that the sessions are separated to make sure we do not get overwhelmed. 
learn to camp
After arriving, registering, and exploring our surroundings we met up for a welcome session, in which we learned to setup the camping kitchen, cooking and cleaning up. Since the staff have lots of camping experience they taught us easy way to do things to ensure we succeed on our first try without getting frustrated. In every session we were taught tips and techniques to make everything about camping natural and easy, such as setting up the dining shelter.
learn to camp
After lunch we were taught how to setup the tent, and have a fun safe camping experience. For example to be safe, we learned things like not to eat inside the tent as the smell can attract animals.
learn to camp
During our visit at Emily Provincial Park, the park celebrated a five year old rescued turtle’s birthday, which we had the pleasure of attending. The turtle’s name Spike was revealed, as we enjoyed the birthday cake. 
learn to camp
After the birthday celebrations, we headed towards the park store to enjoy their delicious ice cream and wait for the Learn to Fish program to begin. 
learn to camp
Learn to Fish program is an educational way to learn about Ontario fish and how to fish. Our instructor in a child-friendly way showed us to identify different fish, cast a line and more. This program happens at six of the participating provincial parks. I like that the Learn to Fish program teaches us to enjoy angling, which is one of the most popular outdoor activities in Ontario. 
learn to camp
If you are eager to fish, but don't have the equipment check out the TackleShare program and use the fishing rod and fully stocked tackle box for free. Anyone over 18, in order to fish must first purchase fishing licence online, print the e-licence and take it with them to fish. In Ontario during Family Fishing Week and Weekend that happens between Feb 16th to 18 and July 6 to 14 we don't need a licence. 
learn to camp
After dinner, we enjoyed another session in which we learned how to build a campfire and we were given a s'mores kit and firewood to enjoy. 
learn to camp
The next day after breakfast we had our final session, where information about planning our next camping trip was given, and the staff showed us to clean up our site and put away the equipment for next time. People who chose to leave after one day, wrapped up and left while the people who chose to stay for the two nights enjoyed leisure time. We went swimming, canoeing, played games, and relaxed. 
learn to camp
I like that this program teaches us all the “common sense” and logic behind the things we need to know such as not to transport firewood, as it may have invasive species such as Emerald ash borer that may spread and destroy thousands or millions of trees; carefully disposing soap water; and dropping off our cylinders at the Orange Drop collection on our way out of the campsite.
learn to camp
Since there are no lifeguards at the beaches, we have to be cautious. I like the that the swimming area is restricted so we don't go to the area where the boats and canoes are. With the ParkSmart program to raise water safety personal floatation devices are available free of charge when we sign it out at the Rental Shack by the Park Store. We can rent and use paddle boats, canoes and kayaks here.
learn to camp
The best part of this program was learning everything we need to know from experienced campers. This is also a wonderful way to explore, experience and see what fits our family lifestyle and know what type of equipment suits us. 
learn to camp
Ontario Parks are wonderful for day visits, as well as overnight camping in tents, cottages, cabins, and yurts so locate a park today and enjoy, as some parks are open from late spring until fall and some are open year round. 
learn to camp
Summer camping will be open till Thanksgiving weekend. The overnight programs are held between June and September, at these participating parks 
  • Bronte Creek Provincial Park
  • Darlington Provincial Park
  • Earl Rowe Provincial Park
  • Emily Provincial Park
  • Sibbald Point Provincial Park
  • Six Mile Lake Provincial Park
  • Murphys Point Provincial Park
  • Selkirk Provincial Park
  • Grundy Lake Provincial Park - there is a transportation program for this site. 
If you have camped before, but want to learn more they have a Learn to Camp Graduates Program where the sessions are available as well as the equipment is provided. 
learn to camp
All rights reserved on photographs and written content Createwithmom © 2011 - 2014. Please Ask First

12 comments:

  1. Wow! Sounds like an amazing camping experience. I like how accommodating they are and very family friendly!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow! Sounds like an amazing camping experience. They seem to be very accommodating and very family friendly.

    ReplyDelete
  3. i've never been camping.looks like fun

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love to go for camping ,but never did .It looks like you had a wonderful experience there .

    ReplyDelete
  5. This looks great. I hope to start camping with my son next summer.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm getting the camping bug again. Years ago I swore I would never sleep on the ground again, but I miss it
    (Debbie W)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love camping, looks like a fantastic park! (Tammy Dalley)

    ReplyDelete
  8. How fun that looks, I've never been camping.. really must make it happen

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sounds great. We didn't get to camping this summer but we hope to go next summer.

    ReplyDelete
  10. You spoiled the kids with that camping trip!!! Lucky them

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh the adventures of camping and going to parks :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. We spent 30 nights camping this summer - we LOVE camping!! I enjoyed reading your post about it.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for commenting :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...