Break­ing bar­ri­ers and get­ting out­doors

Choices for Youth par­tic­i­pants ‘Learn to Camp’ at Terra Nova Na­tional Park

The Packet (Clarenville) - - COMMUNITY - BY ME­GAN FROST SPE­CIAL TO THE PACKET

Terra Nova Na­tional Park re­cently hosted the Parks Canada Learn to Camp pro­gram for the first time.

Learn to Camp (cre­ated in 2011) aims to in­crease use of Parks Canada sites by groups of peo­ple who are typ­i­cally less likely to use them.

“It’s an op­por­tu­nity to share with all Cana­di­ans what we love,” says Parks Canada’s Dave Tay­lor.

Campers in the in­au­gu­ral ses­sion at Terra Nova Na­tional Park were nearly 50 moth­ers and chil­dren from the Choices for Youth Momma Mo­ments pro­gram from the St. John’s area.

Choices for Youth is a not-for-profit that serves home­less and at-risk youth. Their Momma Mo­ments pro­gram sup­ports young moth­ers and af­fords them an op­por­tu­nity to in­ter­act with other moms in a healthy and sup­port­ive en­vi­ron­ment.

Me­gan Matthews has been a par­tic­i­pant of the Momma Mo­ments pro­gram for five years, ever since she was preg­nant with her first son.

“I like to be out in the woods and so do my kids,” says Me­gan. “It’s good to be out here in a big group. I learned a lot on the hike, like about the wild­flow­ers that I never would have even thought about on my own, or never even cared about. Momma Mo­ments of­fers friends. And more than just friends, it’s fam­ily.”

ME­GAN FROST PHOTOS

In­ter­preter Mat­tea McRae helps a group of moms and chil­dren get a closer look at marine crea­tures dur­ing a coastal scav­enger hunt near the Vis­i­tor Cen­tre.

Parks Canada staff Mat­tea McRae, Meg Mackay and Re­becca Ray­mond su­per­vise and an­swer ques­tions dur­ing the coastal scav­enger hunt.

Build­ing a tower of blocks at the Vis­i­tor Cen­tre, Leah keeps a cap­tive au­di­ence.

Nathan dis­plays a sea star for Leah, Me­gan, Kayla, Amanda, and Katie Piercey.

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