Are you interested in going on your first camping trip but don’t know where to begin? The Learn-to Camp team has you covered!

In collaboration with MEC, the Parks Canada Learn-to Camp program equips you with the knowledge and skills you need to feel confident in planning and carrying out your first adventure. We’d love for you to come and learn about camping, national parks and historic sites and the outdoors with us!

There are three ways to get your first taste of camping or enhance your skills in taking your outdoor experience to the next level:

Pop-up activities

Free, drop-in sessions at convenient locations and festivals throughout Ottawa and Gatineau. Find us along the Rideau Canal National Historic Site, at municipal parks and beaches, and at various other locations in the National Capital Region, including select museums. The 2019 schedule will be updated throughout the season and may vary depending on the weather conditions.

May
Date Location Hours
Friday, May 31 Canadian Museum of Nature – Nature nocturne 8pm – 12pm
June
Date Location Hours
Saturday, June 8 Andrew Haydon park
Mooney’s Bay park
10am – 4pm
Sunday, June 9 Rideau Canal – Hartwells lockstation
Mooney’s Bay park
10am – 4pm
Thursday, June 13 Canadian Museum of Nature 5pm – 8pm
Saturday, June 15 Rideau Canal – Hartwells lockstation 10am – 4pm
Sunday, June 16 Andrew Haydon park 10am – 4pm
Thursday, June 20 Canadian Museum of Nature 5pm – 8pm
Saturday, June 22 Rideau Canal – Hartwells lockstation
Rideau Canal – Ottawa lockstation
10am – 4pm
Sunday, June 23 Andrew Haydon park
Rideau Canal – Hartwells lockstation
10am – 4pm
Monday, June 24 Rideau Canal – Hartwells lockstation 10am – 4pm
Wednesday, June 26 Canada Science and Technology Museum 10am – 4pm
Thursday, June 27 Canadian Museum of Nature 5pm – 8pm
Friday, June 28 Canadian Museum of Nature – Nature nocturne
Rideau Canal – Ottawa lockstation
8pm – 12pm
10am – 4pm
Saturday, June 29 Mooney’s Bay park 10am – 4pm
Sunday, June 30  Andrew Haydon park
Rideau Canal – Hartwells lockstation
10am – 4pm
July
Date Location Hours
Monday, July 1 Rideau Canal – Hartwells lockstation 10am – 4pm
Wednesday, July 3 Canada Science and Technology Museum 10am – 4pm
Thursday, July 4 Canadian Museum of Nature 5pm – 8pm
Friday, July 5 Mooney’s Bay park 10am – 4pm
Saturday, July 6 Tales and Tunes: Family Fun Day at the Library!
– Ben Franklin Place, Ottawa
12pm – 5pm
Sunday, July 7 Andrew Haydon park 10am – 4pm
Wednesday, July 10 Canada Science and Technology Museum 10am – 4pm
Thursday, July 11 Canadian Museum of Nature 5pm – 8pm
Wednesday, July 17 Canada Science and Technology Museum 10am – 4pm
Thursday, July 18 Mooney’s Bay park
Canadian Museum of Nature
10am – 4pm
5pm – 8pm
Saturday, July 20 Parks Day
– Thousand Islands National Park, Mallorytown Landing
10am – 4pm
Sunday, July 21 Ice cream festival – Canada Agriculture and Food Museum 9am – 4pm
Wednesday, July 24 Canada Science and Technology Museum 10am – 4pm
Thursday, July 25 Mooney’s Bay park
Canadian Museum of Nature
10am – 4pm
5pm – 8pm
Friday, July 26 Mooney’s Bay park 10am – 4pm
Saturday, July 27 Mooney’s Bay park
Rideau Canal – Hartwells lockstation
10am – 4pm
Sunday, July 28 Andrew Haydon park 10am – 4pm
Wednesday, July 31 Canada Science and Technology Museum 10am – 4pm
August
Date Location Hours
Thursday, August 1 Mooney’s Bay park
Canadian Museum of Nature
10am – 4pm
5pm – 8pm
Friday, August 2 Mooney’s Bay park 10am – 4pm
Saturday, August 3 Mooney’s Bay park
Andrew Haydon park
10am – 4pm
Sunday, August 4 Rideau Canal – Hartwells lockstation
Andrew-Haydon park
10am – 4pm
Monday, August 5 Rideau Canal – Ottawa lockstation 10am – 4pm
Wednesday ,August 7 Canada Science and Technology Museum 10am – 4pm
Thurdsday, August 8 Mooney’s Bay park
Canadian Museum of Nature
10am – 4pm
5pm – 8pm
Friday, August 9 Mooney’s Bay park 10am – 4pm
Saturday, August 10 Mooney’s Bay park 10am – 4pm
Sunday, August 11 Andrew Haydon park 10am – 4pm
Wednesday, August 14 Canada Science and Technology Museum 10am – 4pm
Thursday, August 15 Mooney’s Bay park
Canadian Museum of Nature
10am – 4pm
5pm – 8pm
Friday, August 16 Mooney’s Bay park 10am – 4pm
Wednesday, August 21 Canada Science and Technology Museum 10am – 4pm
Thursday, August 22 Mooney’s Bay park
Canadian Museum of Nature
10am – 4pm
5pm – 8pm
Saturday, August 24 Andrew Haydon park
Mooney’s Bay park
10am – 4pm

Workshops

Free workshops to help kids from 7 to 12 years old to acquire basic camping skills and learn about outdoor activities. These take place in Ottawa public library branches. Registration is required. The program is offered in English.

  • Monday, July 8 at 2:30 p.m.
    Carlingwood Branch (281 Woodroffe Ave, Ottawa)
  • Thursday, July 11 at 2:30 p.m.
    Greenboro Branch (363 Lorry Greenberg Dr)
  • Monday, July 22 at 2:30 p.m.
    St Laurent Branch (515 Coté St, Ottawa)
  • Friday, August 2nd at 2:30 p.m.
    Cumberland Branch (1599 Tenth Line Rd, Orléans)

You can also book a free Learn-to Camp workshop for a group or organization. Workshops cover a variety of camping skills and engaging outdoor activities. Please contact Dominique Drouin at 819-420-9319, or by email dominique.drouin@canada.ca for more details.

Overnight Learn-to Camp

Learn-to camp overnights
Learn-to Camp Overnight

Think you might want to experience the pleasure of overnight camping but just need a helping hand?

The overnight Learn-to Camp program introduces visitors to camping in a fun and safe way. Parks Canada and MEC have teamed up to teach the art of setting-up camp and to provide you with all the skills you need for a successful night of camping under a starry sky. 

  • July 20-21, 2019
    Learn-to Camp at Rideau Canal National Historic site – Newboro lockstation
    • Bring the whole family and join us at Newboro lockstation to experience camping, the guided way!
    • Fee:
      • $44 per person (13 years old and older)
      • $22 per youth (6 - 12)
      • Children 5 and under are free
    • Two meals are included in this event. Camping gear and workshops are provided; participants must bring additional food and sleeping bags.
  • August 10-11, 2019
    Learn-to Camp at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum
    • Bring the whole family and join us at the Ottawa Canada Aviation and Space Museum to experience camping, the guided way!
    • Fee:
      • $44 per person (13 years old and older)
      • $22 per youth (6 - 12)
      • Children 5 and under are free
    • Two meals are included in this event. Camping gear and workshops are provided; participants must bring additional food and sleeping bags.

Registration 

Registration will begin on Thursday, May 9, 2019.The registration line is open from 10 AM to 6 PM Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), Monday to Friday. Call 1-844-365-2646 to register.

Ready for your own camping adventure? Here are some helpful hints for a memorable camping trip.

For more information about the Learn-to Camp program in the Ottawa-Gatineau Region, please contact our Learn-to Camp Coordinator at dominique.drouin@canada.ca

Learn-to Camp

The functionality and content of the Learn-to Camp app can now be found in the Parks Canada National app. Download it today!

For more information about the Learn-to Camp program in general, please contact Parks Canada’s National Information Service at 1-888-773-8888, or pc.information.pc@canada.ca