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Kids go tech-free at Bridging the Gaps youth camp

Participants and chaperones enjoyed a weekend of nature at the Bridging the Gaps Youth Camp Aug. 14-16. This was the third annual camp held by the HV-GB Crime Prevention Committee and the largest, with 16 kids aged 11-13 taking part.
Participants and chaperones enjoyed a weekend of nature at the Bridging the Gaps Youth Camp Aug. 14-16. This was the third annual camp held by the HV-GB Crime Prevention Committee and the largest, with 16 kids aged 11-13 taking part.

It was a weekend of enjoying nature — for the sake of enjoying nature — for some Labrador youth recently.

Sixteen young people between the ages of 11 -13 from the Upper Lake Melville area found themselves passing over their iPhones and any other electronic gadgets, as they entered the grounds of the Labrador Christian Youth Camp for the third annual Bridging the Gaps Youth Camp held Aug. 14-16.
“They turned in their phones when we started and never got them back until the camp was over,” said Cpl. Peter Robinson, of the Crime Prevention and Victim Services division at the Happy Valley-Goose Bay RCMP detachment.
“They never had time for that anyway — they had just one hour total of free time all weekend, we had so much planned for them.”

Sixteen young people between the ages of 11 -13 from the Upper Lake Melville area found themselves passing over their iPhones and any other electronic gadgets, as they entered the grounds of the Labrador Christian Youth Camp for the third annual Bridging the Gaps Youth Camp held Aug. 14-16.
“They turned in their phones when we started and never got them back until the camp was over,” said Cpl. Peter Robinson, of the Crime Prevention and Victim Services division at the Happy Valley-Goose Bay RCMP detachment.
“They never had time for that anyway — they had just one hour total of free time all weekend, we had so much planned for them.”

Kids were able to take part in lot of outdoor activities, including canoeing.

The Happy Valley-Goose Bay Crime Prevention Committee runs the camp each year and included presentations by volunteers from the RCMP, Canadian military, Canadian Cancer Society, Mental Health and Addictions, Wildlife and Conservation, and Labrador Grenfell Health.
Robinson said from 7 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. each day, the kids just took in the sights and sounds of nature all around, taking part in outdoor activities such as canoeing and learning outdoor survival skills, to hearing presenters talk about internet safety and self esteem.
“There was also no junk food,” said Robinson. “They ate healthy all week and they also learned about healthy eating over the weekend.”
Robinson said this is the most kids they have ever had attend the camp in the three years the camp has been going on.
“We actually had to turn down applicants this year,” noted Robinson. “We had twice as many kids apply as we had spaces. We will be looking at possibly adding more spaces for next year, but that it something that will be decided as a committee.”
Ethan Hiscock, 11, was on one of the camp participants.
He said he applied to go because he wanted to do something different this summer.

Kids learn outdoor survival skills from a member of the Canadian military.

“I liked canoeing and swimming the best,” he said.
“I also learned how to canoe, not to do drugs and made lots of new friends.”
Robinson said the camp is able to take place solely due to fundraising efforts and volunteer manpower, including organizations such as the Salvation Army who helped provide meals, along with the Crime Prevention Committee and the Salvation Army.
“The wealth of expertise and knowledge in the Happy Valley Goose Bay area is staggering,” he said. “ Representatives of the groups were happy to donate their time and knowledge to the kids.  The quality of the presentations over the weekend were second to none, and without the generosity of local citizens, this camp would not exist.”

bonnie.learning@tc.tc

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