• Opinions

    EVERY kid deserves a chance to go to camp (and why I support Tim Hortons Camp Day)

    This year’s Tim Hortons Camp Day is June 6! Being a typical Canadian, it doesn’t take much convincing for me to stop in at Tim Hortons.  But on Camp Day, I make a special point to grab a double-double for myself and treat some friends, because supporting Tim Horton Camps is important to me.  Here’s why…. Did you go to summer camp? Do you remember how awesome it was?  I went to a sleep-away Brownie camp when I was around 8 or 9 years-old and it was my first taste of independence from my parents. I remember doing crafts with stuff we found in nature and I can still feel the…

  • Opinions

    Every kid should go to camp

    Last year, I went to camp with Emma and her Grade 6 classmates for a year-end camp trip to Camp Brebeuf in Rockwood, Ontario. We spent almost 3 days and 2 nights outside, except for when we slept and ate our meals.  As a parent volunteer, it was pretty cool to experience (again) how powerful camp can be for kids. It has been a long, long time since I was a camp counsellor (BEST SUMMERS EVER!!!) but being at camp with the kids brought it all back and just reaffirmed what I have known since I led my own campers when I was a teenager…. Every kid should go to camp. I don’t…

  • Opinions

    Girls Belong Here

    #GirlsBelongHere. They belong in the outdoors where they get dirty and test their limits and learn to be strong when faced by the challenges of nature as well as the people around them. #GirlsBelongHere because it as much their right to experience the joy of nature and all the rewards it offers. #GirlsBelongHere because what they learn outside will stay with them when they go inside. Emma is an outdoors girl who is growing into a strong and independent young woman. I think that being raised as an outdoor child and given the opportunity to get dirty, to explore and to be challenged has a lot to do with it.…

  • Opinions

    2016 Wasn’t Totally Crappy

    You know what? Some good stuff happened in 2016. Yes, a lot of really bad stuff happened in 2016, too.  We saw the death of too many iconic people who affected our lives through literature, music and movies. We saw the political landscape change worldwide in a dramatic and frightening way that many of us could never predict or comprehend.  We saw the death of too many innocent men, women and children through acts of war and terror. On a personal level, my Dad had major heart surgery, throwing me into the position of decision maker and caregiver. I applied for numerous jobs but am closing out the year in…

  • Opinions

    Giving back

    Anybody who spends time outdoors will tell you that they get something special from the experience. That something special is unique to every single person. It could be physical or mental health benefits, family bonding time, personal rejuvenation, creative inspiration…. the list is endless. No matter what it is, we all get something positive out of getting outside. One thing that I’ve noticed in the outdoors community, is that thing we get from being outside often translates into something we want to give back or to pay forward to others so that they can get something special from getting outside, too. I know many of you reading this already give…

  • Opinions

    A fear of falling: That time I fell on my face and badly broke my confidence

    I am afraid that one day, I will fall and hurt myself very, very badly. I know, I know… nobody wants to fall and hurt themselves. But my fear is big enough that it has rendered me shaking and in tears at doing things other, less fearful people can do without much hesitation. Stuff like hiking down a steep, rocky incline. Or walking across a fallen log to cross a stream, or stepping from stone to stone to cross a creek. Or skiing down the blue runs at our local ski hill. I’m not talking big rivers and mountains here. I’m talking about stuff that an average person with average…