The Yukon has a new camping gear library for young campers to get out in nature.
Parks Canada Yukon announced March 30 on social media that this recently launched program will allow Yukon schools, Parks Canada programs and non-profit youth organizations to use camping equipment. The program is a collaboration between Parks Canada and the Department of Education.
Daniel Ashley, public education outreach officer with Parks Canada, led the project for the agency.
Ashley said the learn-to-camp program is part of a national initiative.
“The goal of that program has been to essentially lower barriers to access for first time campers to be able to get out in the Canadian camping experience, and also build an awareness of how health and wellness can be positively affected by spending time in the outdoors,” Ashley said.
“But this specific program is kind of our unique take on that.”
The gear library sign in/sign out sheet lists a variety of equipment: tents, sleeping bags, compression dry bags for sleeping bags, Thermarests, stoves, water filtration systems, pot sets, tarps, ground sheets and duffle bags.
Ashley said the approximately 4,500 students enrolled in schools across the territory can benefit from the program, in addition to those youth involved in participating not-for-profit organizations and Parks Canada programs.
“We’re really hoping that this is going to benefit youth. We know that there’s already some gear available to them to participate in programs like this,” Ashley said.
“But we also know that it can be a barrier to access — especially high-quality gear can be quite expensive — and so we’re hoping that youth and educators will benefit by being able to access this equipment and make it easier and more affordable to get their groups and students out into our national parks and also our beautiful Yukon landscape.”
The supplies, which are stashed at the Department of Education, can be reserved through an online booking system before being picked up.
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