A Magical Journey with Project Canoe

Jyothsana Nagesan Youth News

At the beginning of August, four CultureLink youth were led on a backcountry portage trip in Algonquin Park for 5 days, thanks to a partnership with Project Canoe. Project Canoe uses the outdoors, including wilderness canoeing, to create a transformative environment in which young people facing barriers develop life skills, social competencies, and resiliency, thereby fostering their own personal success. They partner with youth, supporting them as they carry these skills and successes forward to manage the complex challenges of their lives. CultureLink staff Barbora Gomezova and Chantelle Campbell-Sholzberg accompanied the youth as Lizzy and Holly guided the group.

This iconic Canadian experience was more than a physical journey for the girls (all female trip), it was a time to connect with each other and with nature. Jennifer soaked in the whole adventure: “Project Canoe was a great experience for me. I learned how take a canoe by myself and have mental control to get physical strength. I feel more strong after the trip. Sometimes we need to take a break from city and feed our soul from nature’s energy, and Algonquin Park is the perfect place. I wish to go again someday and learn more things about me and about how take care of the environment.”

The journey was magical. We came together on the last leg of a 1km portage to relay the canoe. We had a full henna session resulting in beautiful masterpieces. The final night we laid out on a rock under the stars to watch the Perseid meteor shower. Algonquin made many lasting memories that will be reflected on for years to come.

By Chantelle Campbell-Sholzberg, Bike to School Project