iGen21 February 2017 - Page 12

This past summer my family and I went camping to Emily Provincial Park near Peterborough, Ontario. We did a program called Learn to Camp because we had never gone camping as a family before. When we arrived at the park, we got to know other people who were participating in Learn to Camp as well. The leaders taught us how to assemble our tent and mesh canopy that we were given. We also learned how to stay safe around wild animals and how keep them away from your campsite (don’t keep food-related items in your tent!). They provided the air mattresses, cleaning supplies, dishes, chairs, picnic tables– basically everything we needed to camp!

When I had spare time, I painted and drew the beautiful forest scenery with my art kit. Sometimes, I would venture off into the forest, playground or my dad would drive us to the beach. In the evenings, my sister and I roasted marshmallows and made s’mores. Yummy!!!

My favourite part of the whole adventure was fishing. Along with Learn to Camp, there is the optional Learn to Fish program my family enjoyed as well. Everyone was given a card illustrating all the different types of freshwater fish that could be found in the area. It helped me figure out what kind of fish I caught. The leaders gave us fishing rods and bait and taught us how to cast our lines. The coolest part was how fast I caught the fish — as soon as I dipped my rod into the water, I caught one. It was awesome!

The second night, we had some trouble with our tent door (it wouldn’t stay shut!), so my mom decided to temporarily seal the doorway with tape and dental floss. I had just fallen asleep when my parents heard a scratching noise coming from the tent’s roof. When they looked up, they saw two beady eyes peering down at them. It was a squirrel which must have gotten attracted from the dental floss! They tried to scare it away, but it was content to playing on the top of the tent. My parents figured it would soon find the improperly sealed doorway into the tent, so my mom called a Park Warden to come and they were kind to come and set up a new tent– in the dark!

The next morning, when I looked out the tent’s window, everything appeared different—I didn’t know where I was! Our new tent was facing a different direction, so I was completely disoriented. Believe it or not, my sister and I didn’t even remember walking from one tent to the new tent in the middle of the night!

Overall, I had a really amazing experience camping and I hope I can do it again next year, too!

Natalie Mikaelian

My Camping Trip