By JIM FOX, Special to QMI Agency
Camping is a fun, budget friendly getaway for the whole family. ONTARIO PARKS PHOTO
There’s still plenty of summer left to learn to camp at Ontario Parks.
Among the “what’s new” at Ontario Parks are additional Learn to Camp sessions at more locations, says Lori Waldbrook, senior marketing specialist.
There is also a new “Graduate” program offered to past learning participants along with new Learn to Fish sessions at four Ontario Parks.
Learning sessions are offered at Selkirk Provincial Park in Southwestern Ontario, Murphys Point Provincial Park in Eastern Ontario and Grundy Lake Provincial Park in Northern Ontario.
As well, in the GTA, Earl Rowe and Emily Provincial Parks are hosting learning sessions in addition to existing programs at Bronte Creek, Darlington, Sibbald Point and Six Mile Lake parks. For rates and availability: ontarioparks.com/learntocamp
The new grad program gives past participants a chance to further hone their camping skills.
There is a choice of one-or two-night sessions at an existing Learn to Camp location or opt for an independent camping experience at Grundy Lake, north of Parry Sound, with guidance provided.
Camping equipment is included and participants just have to bring their own food, bedding and personal items.
You can even take a bus to Learn to Camp with Parkbus service from the GTA to Algonquin, Killarney and Grundy Lake by booking the camping session first and then buying the pre-reserved bus ticket.
Ontario Parks, in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources, now offers two-hour Learn to Fish sessions.
These are part of the overnight Learn to Camp experiences at Darlington, Earl Rowe, Emily and Sibbald Point parks, with equipment and one-day fishing licenses included.
Other park learning opportunities range from nature photography to kayaking as well as mapping the night sky and creating a stone or wood carving.
THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT
Whether you travel near or far, there’s a camping app available.
Need a flashlight? Looking for easy campsite recipes or a trail to hike? How about a new outdoor game?
Camping apps include ones from Coleman for the Classic Camping Cookbook and Meal Planner, Coleman Lantern and Campfire Tales.
The Ontario Trails Council has a mobile app to search trails by city, town, name or nearby and includes cycling, equestrian, hiking and walking, running and snowshoe and backcountry.
There’s the St. John Ambulance app for first-aid advice and protocols for dealing with emergencies and includes illustrated guides and voice instructions.
Stargazers can download the Royal Astronomical Society’s Clear Sky Chart and there is a proliferation of bird-watching apps available.