Giving today’s youth the tools they need to enjoy their environment and maintain it; that’s the mission of a daycare of Whitehorse, Yukon called Garderie du petit cheval blanc. Thanks to the CPRA Green Jobs Initiative, David Rivard-Cartier shared his passion for the outdoors with the community’s younger generation. Together, they discovered Yukon’s natural wealth through educative excursions and activities.
David is studying to become a physical education teacher, and put his capacity to lead kids to the test throughout the summer thanks to many exciting activities. “My favourite activity was a two day camping trip with the older children,” says David. “Whether young or old, everyone really liked it.” David shared his passion for the outdoors and physical activities with the children, and he helped them push their limits and develop good social bonds. As he says, the caregivers not only teach a subject, they also play a role in building the child’s identity and healthy habits.
Thanks to the proximity of untamed wilderness of the Yukon, these activities were not only fun, but the children also learned some useful skills. “The children learned several survival techniques like how to filter water to make it drinkable, how to alert the emergency services if needed, and how to build a shelter and keep themselves warm,” explained Leslie Larbalestrier, Executive Assistant at the Garderie. “They also learned how to react if they encounter a bear, since there are quite a few species in the surrounding area.”
“My favourite activity was a two day camping trip with the older children. Whether young or old, everyone really liked it.” - David Rivard-Cartier, Student
Respect for nature is an every day consideration at the Garderie du petit cheval blanc. Composting, reducing, reusing and recycling are common themes throughout programming, and in addition to teaching children how to save water and other resources, crafts focus on using recycled materials. One of the most exciting activities of the summer was building small motorized vehicles using recycled materials. According to Leslie, one of the strongest values shared in the community is the idea that objects should be used and preserved as long as possible, and that it’s better to reuse than to throw away.
This camp was made possible thanks to funding from the CPRA’s Green Jobs Initiative, which is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Summer Work Experience Program. Without the help provided by this program, it would have been impossible for David Rivard-Cartier to fly to the Yukon, and he never would have benefited from this work experience and the cultural immersion it provided. The organization wishes that the Green Jobs Initiative be renewed for years to come. Due to the growing number of youth wishing to discover the many possibilities nature has to offer, they would benefit from it like their ancestors before them.
To read all success stories go to: https://www.cpra.ca/stories