I just arrived home after the most amazing three weeks with Canadian Wildlife Federation’s CCC! You may have read my team mate’s blog about our adventure here.

Trailblazing

At Camp Kandalore in Ontario, we had a lot of fun learning Wilderness First Aid. We also did a service project at Barnum Creek Nature Reserve. Equipped with snowshoes, we posted trail signage on trees along 7 km of trails.

Adventure of a lifetime

When it was time for the wilderness journey in Algonquin Park, I was a bit scared. It would be my first Canadian winter, first winter camping, first snowshoeing, first dogsledding… It was a lot of first times for me!

But during those 10 days, I felt reconnected with nature. I felt happy. And I felt alive!

In such a short time, from being new friends, we became one big family. A happy family who was snowshoeing from one camp to another, cooking, eating, sleeping and doing everything together. No privacy anymore. But it was okay, because we needed each other. Especially when one of us had a hard time.

Night alone in the wild

Close to the end of the trip, we had to spend one night alone. I liked the idea of having some personal space. But I wasn’t very comfortable leaving the camp with only my duffel bag, one tarp, one box of matches, and my granola bars.

Surprisingly, it was the best moment of the trip! I am really proud of myself for being able to build my own shelter and fire. I felt at home in the middle of the forest.

This night made me rethink my whole life. It also reminded me to be more grateful for what’s around me, and how important it is to protect our wildlife.

Back with the CCC family

We went back to Camp Kandalore for the last 5 days. What a relief to finally have a shower after 10 days in the bush! We debriefed from our trip, getting certificates and practicing our leadership skills.

Our CCC facilitators were amazing, a bit like mum and dad. Always here to help and support everybody.

I had never opened myself up so much to people – especially people I only met 3 weeks ago. But they are my people, my friends and my family for life. We are different, but we all have the same interest in conservation and protecting our home.

Onto the next adventure!

It’s now time for the Stage 2 placement. I am flying to Calgary and am so excited to start assisting with wildlife conservation at the Calgary Zoo!

The CCC program is an amazing opportunity to reconnect with nature, with yourself, and with people. We’re all here with the same goal: making a positive difference for wildlife. Because we share the same home.

Hanna