Summertime in Newfoundland and Labrador has so much to offer: hiking, swimming, beautiful landscapes and an abundance of places to explore. Newfoundlanders and Labradorians across the province are hitting the highway when the work week ends and finding that perfect camping spot to spend a night or two. Our Momma Moments program was recently able to participate in this summer tradition thanks to the Learn to Camp initiative with Parks Canada.
Over 50 moms and children boarded a bus chartered for Castle Hill National Historic Site for their first camping excursion. Even the hours on the bus were enjoyable, with excited children passing the time with singalongs and games. Upon arrival to the campsite the group was taught how to assemble their tents and Parks Canada staff shared their tips and tricks for a safe and fun camping experience. Throughout the camp the group participated in a variety of activities, including nature hikes, bee tours, music on the hill, stargazing, and learning basic outdoor survival skills. Above and beyond learning new things, the Momma Moments group made new memories, solidified close bonds, and were able to enjoy a wonderful outing with their families. Experiential learning is priceless and the benefits to each person’s mental health were obvious as each mom and child was able to fully experience and appreciate the beauty and benefits of the outdoors.
Experiences like the Learn to Camp excursion are often seldom for the moms and children in our Momma Moments program, and often they would not happen at all if it weren’t for the help and support of community partners who make these initiatives come to life. The Parks Canada Learn to Camp program provided an amazing opportunity for Momma Moments, one that was invaluable to each and every participant. The variety of programming that was offered during the 24 hours was more than enough to allow every person to learn something new about camping, the outdoors, and themselves.
This exciting weekend could not have been such a success without the support of Avalon Search and Rescue, Castle Hill National Historic Site, the Royal Astronomical Society and Stuart McKelvey law firm, who donated sleeping bags and supplies to keep each mom and child comfortable and prepared. We are so appreciative of the many volunteers who gave time and energy to impart their own skills and passion onto our Momma Moments group and for the ongoing support of each community partner – without them, this adventure would not have become a reality.
Momma Moments is a program that empowers young, parenting and expecting mothers to lead healthier lives and provide more stable, happy homes for their children. The Learn to Camp initiative was an outstanding experience for Momma Moments, one that gave another opportunity for young mothers to equip themselves with new skills while also providing a fun, recreational activity for moms and kids. Every day is often an adventure for these young mothers, and by adding to their life experiences and skill sets we are continuing to empower and support young families in our community.