Canada 150 Celebrated with Learn-to-Camp experience at Thousand Islands National Park

Thousand Islands National Park welcomed 75 rookie campers to participate in Parks Canada’s Learn-to Camp program on August 19th and 20th. The Learn-to Camp program creates a connection between first-time campers and the camping experience, helping Canadian families, including many newcomers, overcome barriers to planning and enjoying safe camping trips.

At Thousand Islands National Park, participants gathered for the third annual Learn-to Camp event at Mallorytown Landing. Led by park staff, novice campers learned practical skills as well as important safety skills. In the Campfire and Barbecue Basics workshop, participants learned how to start a campfire and charcoal barbecue with the park’s experts. During the tent tutorial, Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) provided step-by-step instruction and some helpful tips on the ups and downs of tenting. MEC also ran a Camp Cooking workshop where they showed participants how to create simple and delicious outdoor meals with a basic camp kitchen set-up and a little ingenuity. Participants also learned to appreciate the outdoors through hiking, photography, bird watching, and star gazing.

The Government of Canada recently expanded the Learn-to Camp program for Canada 150 to allow more Canadians to participate in the initiative, including families. The program empowers Canadians to experience the outdoors and learn about our environment and heritage. To reach more Canadians, Parks Canada offered Learn-to Camp activities in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Halifax, Ottawa, and Edmonton in 2017, in addition to other locations.

For information on how to register for a future Learn-to Camp event, please visit:

The Government is also very pleased to offer free admission to all Parks Canada’s places in 2017 in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Confederation. The FREE Parks Canada 2017 Discovery Pass provides unlimited opportunities to enjoy national parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas across the country.

Parks Canada has many options for those campers who wish to begin planning their next experience. Parks Canada is encouraging visitors to plan their trips and discover new breathtaking locations by consulting Parks Canada’s website or downloading the NEW Parks Canada app for a list of hidden gems and other unique and memorable ways to celebrate Canada 150: Download the app today for FREE in the App Store and Google Play Store.


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“I encourage all Canadians to discover their national parks as a great way to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation. Parks Canada’s Learn-to Camp program helps many young families learn the basic skills they need to make nature a part of their lives by providing them with the information and means to enjoy the outdoors. Register for a Learn-to Camp event near you and take advantage of free admission to all our national parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas during Canada 150.”

Honourable Catherine McKenna,
Minister of the Environment and Climate Chance and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

Quick Facts

  • Parks Canada, in partnership with Mountain Equipment Co-op, delivers the Learn-to Camp events near many urban centres.
  • Visit for more information on learning how to camp and call 1-844-365-2646 to register for Parks Canada’s Learn-to Camp events for summer 2017.
  • Since 2011, nearly 10,000 people have had the opportunity to participate in one or more Learn-to Camp programs from coast to coast. From a modest beginning of 11 events in 2011, Parks Canada has worked with partners to reach new audiences and held 29 events at 25 locations in 2016, with even more planned in 2017.
  • The FREE Parks Canada 2017 Discovery Pass is available from the Parks Canada’s website as well as at Parks Canada’s entry gates and visitor centres. Partners such as Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) and CIBC will also be distributing passes for Parks Canada.

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