Merci à nos chers participants qui ont rédigé un récit et des impressions du canot-camping interculturel du 10-12 août 2018!

Albert, a good friend of mine, told me a month ago about a canoe trip he was participating in. ‘It’ll be a blast’ he said, ‘it’s for newcomers to Canada and a great way to meet people’. At first I must say that I was a bit skeptical at the thought of portaging with loads of heavy bags and equipment, and being feasted on by rabid insects. But after visiting the Milton Park website and reading about the purpose of the inter-cultural activities Adrienne organizes, I decided to give it a try.
And what a great decision it was! From the moment we attended the pre-camping meeting Adrienne hosted at her home, with snacks and refreshments, I could tell this was not a run of the mill campfire and marshmallow experience. She was very thorough in describing the activities, what to expect and pack with us, and coordinating meals among all participants. The great thing was that she presented cheap options for gear that we could pack instead of investing hundreds of dollars in high-tech camping equipment.
Two days later, off we went to Réserve Faunique Papineau Labelle, and everything fell in place for a wonderful weekend. The weather was ideal, every meal was delicious and appropriate for camping conditions and the activities such as canoeing, setting up camp, meal times, etc, were perfectly synchronized. We even had time for multiple swims while exploring the Lac des Sept Frères. The nice thing was that Adrienne and Fred really took to heart their mission of demystifying camping for newbies. From how to ensure your gear stays dry, to steering canoes, how to store food in the woods so as to not attract wildlife, to precautions to take with fire and the importance of preserving the quality of lake water. I know we all feel more confident about our abilities to survive in the outdoors, at least in summer. Fred, her fellow guide, was also extremely patient and generous in sharing his knowledge with us, particularly in regard to how to pick wild mushrooms, which he expertly prepared for the pasta meal we had on the second evening.
The weather was so nice that the cloudless sky at night showed the many stars and Milky Way that we forget even exist in our light polluted cities. We even saw a few shooting stars from the august meteor showers! As for the participants, we had an eclectic group of campers representing the US, Yemen, Spain, Poland, Syria, Ireland, France among others and it was great to see how everyone got along splendidly in such a short time. It truly was enriching to exchange with everybody and learn from each other.
By the time the weekend was over, we all were a bit sad and wished we could stay for another week. To me there is no greater evidence that the event was a success.
I am very grateful to Adrienne and Fred for their passion and dedication in organizing such a wonderful weekend for us and highly recommend this activity to anyone who is even the least bit curious about experiencing the great outdoors.
–          Alfa, participant
Ça fait 2 ans que je suis au Canada. Il y a plein de choses qui me manquait dans ma vie au mon pays d’origine (la Syrie). Parmi lesquelles les activités en plein air et les campings, car je faisais du camping chaque année avec mon groupe de Scout. Je voulais le faire ici, mais je ne savais pas où ni comment. Jusqu’au jour où j’ai tombé à l’organisation (plein air interculturel) et j’ai su que cela que je cherchais.
J’ai beaucoup aimé l’expérience de canot-camping, ça m’a fait rappeler premièrement à mon ancienne vie. Le groupe était super magnifique et tout le monde a un bon esprit qui m’a permis d’établir des liens humains cette fin de semaine, et oublier pour 3 jours mon routine et les préoccupations quotidiennes que je vis.
Pendant cette fin de semaine j’ai dépassé mes limites en nageant et en pagayant plus de 3 h, mais ça vaut la peine pour passer des jours en contact avec la nature et les beaux lacs.
Finalement je n’imagine même pas cette activité sans le guidage et le présence extraordinaire d’Adrienne et Frédéric, qui ont mis des efforts en toute sincérité pour nous apprend tous les informations et les détails reliés au canot-camping. Je crois qu’ils sont les bonnes personnes dans le bon endroit.
–          Jiana, participante
J’ai énormément apprécié ce qu’on a vécu ensemble pendant trois jours. Chaqu’un et chaqu’une parmi vous ajoutait son propre caractère et son propre humour au groupe. On a partagé les bons moments inoubliables. 
De ma part, C’était la première expérience de canot camping, j’ai appris plusieurs principes et j’ai bien aimé tous les détails le feu, la nature, les étoiles, l’ambiance…. etc. 
Je tiens à remercier Adrienne et Fred qui ont bien guidé, bien organisé cette sortie et qu’ils n’hésitaient jamais à nous expliquer les moindres détails. Merci à tout le groupe et j’espère que cette sortie était la bonne occasion pour tisser l’amitié. 
–         – Adel, participant
Our canoe-camping outing was one of the amazing unforgettable days in my life; the two days in nature recovered the tiredness in my soul and simplified the complexity of things in our daily routine.
I learned some basic matter about camping and canoeing that can help me to organize such a beautiful adventure on my own, thanks to Adrienne and Fred I am able now to take the next step toward nature.
The group I was happy to be part of, was an amazing interactive group who know spontaneously how to work as a team, each one was special and unique and because of them I had a wonderful time.
I can’t be more grateful for the nice weather we were lucky to enjoy, and for the breathtaking landscape we were surrounded with.
It was one of the thing that will last in my mind forever.
–          Rita, participant

Merci à nos chers partenaires la Maison de l’Amitié, MEC, la FQCK, Air Médic, ALPA, et nos donateurs privés, qui ont rendu cette sortie possible!

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