Immigrant Kids from Toronto Get a Close-Up Look at Quetico

Quetico canoeing (Photo by Torie Gervais via Quetico Foundation)

Several promising students from Toronto took a six-day canoe trip through Quetico Provincial Park this summer to see a wilder side of their country. The Quetico Foundation program provided the opportunity for first- or second-generation immigrant youth as part of a leadership development course.

In addition to learning wilderness skills, enjoying beauty and solitude, and growing as people, the students also helped with ecological monitoring. The trip included a study of a wetland at the mouth of the Pickerel River.

The trip “nurtures love and respect for wilderness spaces and hopefully encourages these youth leaders to advocate for these spaces [in the future],” trip leader Torie Gervais told the Atikokan Progress.

While the Quetico Foundation has provided the canoe trips for youth for years, 2014 was the first year the program was incorporated into a larger six-week program organized by a Toronto arts organization.

The trip offers chances for “paddling along Quetico’s shores through fresh water and wilderness, portaging along old-growth forest foot-trails, having the chance to see wildlife and incredibly beautiful landscapes as well as bonding and learning about the legacy of wilderness camping, wilderness skills and values,” the foundation wrote on its Facebook page.

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