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Family Camp July 14 | Learning your Nature
Family Camp July 14 | Learning your Nature

Sun, Jul 14


Manitoulin Eco Park

Family Camp July 14 | Learning your Nature

Take steps off the beaten track to strengthen your family bond while deeply connecting to yourself, each other and Nature.

Time & Location

Jul 14, 2024, 5:00 PM EDT – Jul 19, 2024, 12:00 PM EDT

Manitoulin Eco Park, 18777 ON-6, Tehkummah, ON P0P 2C0, Canada


About the Event

Learning your Nature is happy to invite you and your family to Manitoulin Eco Park & DarkSky this summer to the Learning your Nature Family Camp

Camp includes:

  • Instruction and course materials for the week, onsite camping, Sunday dinner and daily lunch (Monday-Thursday)
  • PLEASE NOTE - you must bring your own tent, sleeping and camping supplies. Detailed list will be sent to you with your enrollment confirmation.

Program Dates:

  • Arrival on Sunday, July 14th after 1pm to set up camp (Dinner at 5pm. Fire and Instructions after dinner)
  • Monday, July 15 - Friday, July 19, 2024
  • Monday - Thursday sessions begin at 9:00am ending at 4:30pm (meals and breaks in between)
  • Friday July 19 departure at noon

A little about the Learn your Nature Family Camp:

Take steps off the beaten track to strengthen your family bond while deeply connecting to yourself, each other and Nature. 

Build self awareness, Relational awareness and Nature awareness. Reconnect with your natural roots to recover and restore. 

Everyone in the family has a contribution to make, we will draw forth the natural gifts of each person to  help them discover their relationship to their various communities, both human and natural. 

If you’re struggling to disrupt toxic patterns inherited from your own childhood, navigate expectations placed on you and your children then our family camp is for you. 

You will be introduced to wilderness living skills, relational skills and make memories your family will treasure. We welcome diverse families and cultures. Tools and materials for all activities will be provided.

Resources informing and supporting this camp include:

  • Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature - Ellen Haas, Evan McGown, and Jon Young
  • Last Child in the Wood - Richard Louv
  • Adlerian Parent Education - Alfred Adler, Jane Nelson and Lynn Lott
  • The Evolved Nest - Darcia Narvaez and G. A. Bradshaw
  • The Myth of Normal - Gabor Mate
  • Tom Brown's Field Guide nature and Survival for Children - Tom Brown Jr. with Judy Brown

During this experience you will learn the following skills, amongst others:

  • Fire: Friction Fire methods including the hand and bow drills and fire tending skills
  • Food: Harvesting Wild Edible, Medicinal  Plants, Cooking with fire and cob
  • and More!
  • Shelter: How to build them
  • Water: Connecting with and caring for Water
  • Tools: How to make a bowl and spoon

Some of the Skills we will cover:       

  • Spoon and bowl building
  • Friction fires
  • Care for chickens and collect eggs
  • Forage for medicinal herbs and salve making
  • Cob oven building
  • Nature hikes
  • Story catching
  • Astronomy night
  • Fires side story telling
  • Expanding your senses - deer ears, owl eyes, dog nose, fox walk

Nature Observation and Awareness Skills:

  • Wildlife Tracking
  • Bird language, the baseline symphony of nature
  • healthy relational, family and community  dynamics, healing, condolence and peace tending
  • Leather pouch making (for those who choose not to work with leather they can use a natural fiber such as wool, cotton or linen
  • Dreamcatcher craft
  • Basket making basics- key ring basket, cordage basics
  • and More!

Program Fee 

  • $250 per person 4 years and older - includes campsite, daily lunches, arrival and departure feasts.
  • $50 Optional meal tickets available for breakfasts and dinners.
  • Children under 4 years old are free - must be registered with free ticket option

Subsidies are available with proof of CTB - contact us via our website by using the chat bubble.

Limited spots available, please book to reserve your spot.

To book your ferry to Manitoulin Island:

If this price is a barrier to some who wish to attend we have sliding scale bursaries, work trade options and full scholarships for those who need it. Pleases complete this form.


If you have any questions please contact us via the chat box on the bottom right or the contact form on our homepage.

This program is brought to you in collaboration and cooperation with: 


Shore Charnoe: BA (hons), ECE, BSW, RSW 

Shore has had a private counseling practice since 1994.  As a traditional counselor, helper, and social worker, she has directed several community clinics and many highly-effective community helping programs. These programs have focused on at-risk youth and have included suicide prevention, apprehension prevention, parenting skills, lifeskills, adoption facilitation and short- and long-term foster care.  She has helped foster, raise and mentor over 100 children.  She is a mother of eleven adopted and biological children and a grandmother of six.  A number of her adoptive children were born with fetal alcohol syndrome and came from abusive homes where they were victims of severe abuse, neglect, and trauma. She has been a consultant for child welfare organizations.

Shore credits much of her effectiveness to the lessons she has learned from over 20 Indigenous Elders. To name just a few specifically:

  • She studied for 10 years under the Odawa Medewin Elder Eddie King.
  • She took her degree in Indigenous Social Work through First Nations Technical Institute under the direction of Banakonda Kennedy-Kish (Bell) , an Anishinaabe (Ojibway) Elder; Katsitsiase, also known as Betty Maracle, a Bear Clan Grandmother of the Mohawk Nation, Elder and Wisdom Keeper, and Ben Carniol, who was a Holocaust Survivor, social activist and author.
  • Shore also studied language and traditional stories with Basil Johnson, an Anishinaabe (Ojibwa) Elder.

Shore’s unique gift and skill is her ability to make the lessons she learned from these and many other Elders accessible to others. She has a deep gratitude and love for all the Elders and their teachings.

Carole Blodgett

Carole has Penobscot lineage through her mom’s mother but was not raised in the tribe. At 35 Carole began her path of reclamation and began to decolonize her ways of thinking and being. Carole has been honored to have many teachers along the Čhaŋkú Lúta (Red Road). She was made a relative of the Sičhą́ǧu Oyáte (Sicangu Lakota, or “Burnt Thigh Nation”. and began walking the Wiwáŋyaŋg Wačhípi (Sundance) way of life in 1999.”  “When Sacred Pipes were passed to me, I learned that their teachings are in fact responsibilities to the People: to the Seven Generations coming up behind me. Bundles are not things, they are responsibilities. As a mother of two and grandmother of four, I came to honor the Elders in my life who have chosen to see my heart and share knowledge and lifeways with me along this journey we call life.  Carole has been honored to have many teachers along the Čhaŋkú Lúta (Red Road) and began walking the Wiwáŋy

Hilary Diouf: BA Social Studies, CPDT

Hilary has been supporting families and young people for over 20 years. She has had the privilege of working with and learning from young people in care in a variety of settings from special schools for young people with learning and behavioral challenges to detention centers. Hilary currently supports parents dealing with high conflict family dynamics.

Since 2013, she has supported parents and schools through an Adlerian based programme, Positive Discipline.

As the founder of The Common Good Collaborative she works with trainers locally and internationally to provide Adlerian workshops to support the growth of Mutually Respectful Relationships in homes, schools and communities.

Hilary is deeply connected to her Celtic roots, growing up in Ireland. She supports groups and communities in celebrating the Celtic connection to Land and seasonal celebrations through her work as a Celtic ritualist.

She adventures through life with her husband and two teenaged children. They are a multicultural, multiracial, trilingual family who have lived in four different countries and are now settling down in Ontario, Canada. These experiences have opened her mind and broadened her perspectives.

Hilary has Bachelors in Social Work and is currently pursuing her Masters in Social Work.

Jeff Knapp

Jeff is a father of three and grandfather of two.  He lives and works in Ottawa on the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabeg people and is an active proponent of Indigenous reconciliation. He is passionate about the Earth and is an environmental care-giver.

Jeff is a Queen’s grad with degrees in Music (concentration in Symphony Conducting) and Education and has a strong technical and science background. He taught mainstream high school Math, Science, Economics and Music in Ottawa for 18 years. In the later stage of his career, Jeff taught students with unique needs in the Alternate High School system.

Jeff had the privilege of studying with a life-long mentor, Mac Freeman, whom he met at Teachers’ College and who taught him that teachers must address the hearts as well as the heads of their students.

Jeff’s experience also includes directing the Kanata Symphony and the Kanata Choral Society. He was among the leadership group of a summer family music camp for 20 years and ran a home-based bible-study group for 10 years. This helped him develop skills in leadership, group dynamics and facilitation.

Jeff was compelled to leave teaching and move to Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) in 2001 to follow his passion for care-giving of the Earth. At NRCan, Jeff connects Indigenous communities with renewable energy funding to help them reduce their dependence on fossil fuels.

At the Circle for Change, Jeff shares his love of the Earth and his passion for teaching in the context of diversity and cross-cultural wisdom.

Richard Szponarski:

Richard has a passion for the out-of-doors. He is retired as a mentor with Brant Family and Children’s Services and has worked with The Circle For Change. He has expertise in wilderness skills, woodworking, fire-making, archery and other outdoor survival skills, and has been blessed to sit at the feet of many elders of many nations, including study with Odawa Medewin Elder Eddie King (Wassa) for over 30 years.  Richard found his calling while out on a solo 24 hour fast. While on a cultural immersion camp in  Northern Ontario the natural world “spoke” to him. From that day on he has worked tirelessly to show that everything we have is dependent on our relationship to our common Mother and we need to respect all life in all its forms. It was at this time that he met Wassa and began a lifelong passion to learn and teach these principles.  Richard brings 55 years of leather working experience as well as decades of experience working in carpentry and construction to his mentoring work. Richard has had a direct relationship with Manitoulin Island and the people for over 30 years.


  • Guest 4 yrs and over

    Guest 4 years and over. Sunday, July 14 - Saturday, July 19, 2024 | Includes Campsite, Daily Lunches, Arrival and Departure Feasts.

    Tax: +CA$32.50 HST
  • Breakfasts and Dinners

    Meals for Monday through Thursday + Friday Morning Breakfast

    Tax: +CA$6.50 HST
  • Children under 4

    Children under 4 are free but must be registered




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Important    Notes

Orientation to the DarkSky Preserve, Campground & Observation Field

The DarkSky Preserve has a no white light policy after sunset: no campfires; please have red filters for your flashlights, headlamps, and camping lamps; plan to arrive by sunset to drive a car in. The gate will be closed to cars after sunset.

  • The DarkSky Preserve or DSP includes an observation field plus campsites, the Stargazing Cabin, and Milky Way Bunkie for overnight guests. As a courtesy please keep voices low and cell phones on silent after sunset

  • No white light is allowed in the DSP including no campfires, cell phone screens, or vehicle headlights.

  • While we encourage event participants to walk without artificial light as much as possible, as a safety measure please be sure to bring your own flashlights and/or headlamps with AMBER or RED filters sufficient to colour and significantly dim the light shining through (you can attach cloth or cellophane paper with tape).

  • Astronomy guides will be at the front and back of the group with amber or red light sources.

  • On standard settings, cell phones should not be used as flashlights, or for taking pictures due to the white light of their screens and flashes. Alternatively, you can download an AMBER OR RED LIGHT app for your smartphone.

  • No laser pointers of any kind or strength (other than in use by our astronomy staff).

  • The DSP gate is closed to vehicles after sunset.

  • During all astronomy events, for safety all guests should stay with their guide and the group at all times. If you need to leave the event early for any reason, please be sure to notify one of the astronomy guides before you go.




All Event tickets are non-refundable. However, should DarkSky Preserve need to cancel an event, you will receive the option of either an opportunity to come to one of our future events, or a credit voucher in the amount of your purchase to be used at the Park during the same season, both pending availability.

  • All event tickets are non-refundable.

  • Events are held in all sky and weather conditions except those the Eco Park determines to be hazardous (eg. lightning, high winds).

  • Event tickets can be transferred to another date this season (pending availability) only if the Eco Park cancels the event. We will notify you by email in the event of a cancellation in advance.

To request change of date or for cancelations, visit:

Click on your selected date to purchase tickets

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