Youth to embrace outdoors during March Break


By Stephen Dafoe

Morinville – Like a lot of people, Kelsie Sharun is looking to leave the community during spring break. But the youth worker is looking to take some youth with her on her outing. The Spring Break Outdoor Adventure Camp will take place Mar. 27 and 28 at Camp Nakamun. It is an opportunity for youth between the ages of 12 and 17 to get in touch with nature and with themselves.

The camp is the first event Sharun has planned on her own since taking over from former youth worker Nick Valcourt at the end of January. “It’s my first experience working out of the Youth Centre with the kids,” she said. “It’ll be a good chance for me to get to know the kids outside of the regular environment, and also a great chance to connect in nature doing activities that we are not able to do at the Youth Centre.”

Weather permitting, Sharun has lined up snowshoeing and trail hikes; however, there is more to the outing than breathing country air and spotting flora and fauna. The youth worker will be involving the students in some leadership and trust exercises – activities to let the youth get to know themselves by getting to know one another.

“It will be driven by the participants. I like to have some structured activities, but also some of what they want to do,” she explained, adding there will be time allocated for swimming in the camp pool alongside getting youth outdoors. “What is being accomplished by getting them out in the natural world is just having them value what’s in their own backyard. If you take them to a forest and you talk about the species that are there, the ecology that’s going on; they can take that information and then they apply it to their local natural spaces.”

Whether it is learning about nature or learning about each other, Sharun is hoping the experiences will be brought back to Morinville and put into their daily lives. “The camp trip is about exposing them to the natural environment and having activities there but also building the relationship between the participants and myself.”

Those taking part in the trip will depart from the Youth Centre at 12:30 p.m. Mar. 27 and return to Morinville around 4 p.m. Mar. 28. Those taking advantage of the program will be given a packing list of items to bring along. Cost of the program is $80 per participant. For more information contact Kelsie Sharun at 780-939-7874.