N.B. non-profit group teaches newcomers how to camp
MONCTON, N.B. -- A non-profit group in Moncton, N.B., that has been supporting newcomers in the region, is now offering a new program to teach tips and tricks for a successful overnight camping trip.
"Camping may seem simple, but it's a lot of preparation," said Karan Patel, a first-time camper.
Ketan Raval is the founder of Moncton Cares. He recently created a Learn to Camp program that focuses on teaching newcomers and immigrants everything they need to know about outdoor living.
"The first time that I experienced it, it was kind of an amazing experience for us as a family and I thought it would be new for every newcomer," said Raval.
Raval and a group of volunteers accompany the newcomers to Fundy National Park, where they learn camping essentials like building a tent.
"We already had experience with the barbecue and fire pits and stuff, so we will guide them how to cook food on the barbecue, then how to chop wood,” said Shubhem Mavani, a volunteer with Moncton Cares.
Mavani came to Moncton from East India in 2019. He says the idea of "roughing it" in the wilderness is not something he was used to.
"We will kind of learn with the newcomers as well and there will be a lot of fun experiences. Kayaking, I didn't even know the word kayaking when I was in India, so it is also a new experience for us," said Mavani.
The overnight camping trip planned for June will be Karan Patel's first time camping.
"It's going to be more beneficial to the newcomer. Someone is behind you to help us at every moment," said Patel.
The non-profit organization purchased all of the necessary gear for the participants. However, with the overwhelming response to the program, they hope to receive a little help to be able to get more.
"So far, we have five tents and we are probably expecting more than 50 people, so we may run out of our budget to accommodate all of those," said Raval. "So, if we can get some donations of whatever camping gear we can, that would be really nice."