Fort Rodd Hill species at risk team Hailey O’Neill

Learning to camp, at the fort

Urban dwellers who imagine Canada’s backwoods as distant and dangerous can get a primer on safe camping, as part of Parks Canada’s centennial celebrations.

Urban dwellers who imagine Canada’s backwoods as distant and dangerous can get a primer on safe camping, as part of Parks Canada’s centennial celebrations.

Parks Canada’s Learn to Camp program is rolling out across 10 cities on June 18, including at Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site in Colwood.

One hundred families — staying with the centennial theme — will have a chance to camp overnight in the vast and scenic field overlooking the fort. Staff from Mountain Equipment Co-op will provide the instruction on operating a camping stove, setting up a tent and other camping basics.

“This is part of a strategy to get urban Canadians and youth, and new Canadians, to enjoy parks and historic sites,” said Parks Canada CEO Alan Latourelle.

“All surveys we’ve done show a change in demographics, that young Canadians are not connecting with nature and history. For a lot of new Canadian families, camping is not a traditional activity.”

It’s a rare chance to camp at Fort Rodd Hill, a historic site that hosts military reenactments and festivals, but typically not overnight events. Jon Barss, with Parks Canada at Fort Rodd Hill, said the event will give first-timers a chance to dip their toe into camping, while still close to the city.

Mountain Equipment Co-op is supplying tents, stoves and camping gear — participants only need to bring sleeping bags. Fort staff will be serving supper and breakfast.

“Fort Rodd Hill is not becoming a camping spot, but (Learn to Camp) is intended as an annual event,” Barss said. “This is totally new for us, we’ve not done anything like it. It should be a lot of fun.”

For more information email or see under Activities and then 2011 Calendar of Events.



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