Ontario Parks Launches New Learn to Camp Program

Ontario Parks is offering a new program aimed at new Canadians and others who have never camped before.

About 25 per cent of all Ontarians have never gone on an overnight camping trip; new Canadians are even less likely to have tried camping. About 74 per cent of new Canadians surveyed said that a hands-on course about camping would be helpful.

Learn to Camp offers would-be campers three choices:
• exploring online for information to help plan a camping trip
• participating in a community-based session; or
• staying overnight in one of the three provincial parks that are part of the pilot program

Web content provides tip sheets, first-time camping instructions, packing lists, booking forms for an overnight camping experience and request forms for Ontario Parks’ staff to visit community organizations.

The free community sessions are run in the afternoon or evenings, and are led by an experienced Ontario Parks staff member who will visit community groups in the Greater Toronto Area. Participants will learn about provincial parks and what they need to do to make their first camping trip a success.

The in-park program is a two-day combination of structured learning activities and free time to enjoy the park. The pilot program is being held at Bronte Creek, Sibbald Point and Darlington provincial parks – all within easy driving distance of Toronto. All of the necessary camping equipment, except sleeping bags, food and personal items will be provided for participants.

Learn to Camp is offered most weekends and occasionally mid-week through the summer months, at a cost of $46 for a maximum of six participants.

Campers attending the in-park program will learn:
• what equipment they need to go camping;
• how to set up a campsite and tent;
• how to build a campfire;
• food preparation and storage;
• how to be a responsible camper, such as green camping and respecting natural areas and wildlife, and
• how to be safe in parks.

Ontario Parks would also like to recognize the support of our Learn to Camp partners. Thank-you to Coleman; Foodland, and Pepsi for supporting Learn to Camp through their commitments of camping equipment and the supplies necessary to make a first time camping experience a memorable one.

More information can be found at the Learn to Camp website.