Welcome to NorthernYouth.ca | Northern Youth is a project on Tides Canada's Shared Platform

We take the responsibility of looking after your child and proving them with an empowering and inspiring camp experience very seriously. Below we have answered some common questions about camp. If you have a question that we haven’t answered, please contact us.

What are the benefits of camp?

NYL camps help youth build confidence, independence, and connect with other northern youth. At camp, youth work together and engage in new experiences like canoeing, hiking, or portaging. These activities give youth an opportunity to engage in positive risk-taking and gain valuable leadership and outdoor skills. We’ve found that participating in an NYL camp can encourage youth to seek out other opportunities, and feel more comfortable participating in opportunities that involve travel outside of their community.

How much does it cost?

There is no cost for youth to attend our camps! In addition, NYL covers the cost of return travel to camp from your child’s home community, and provides specialized gear needed for camp.

How long is camp?

Camps are usually 1-2 weeks long. This gives youth time to adjust to the new environment, connect with other campers, and get the most out of their camp experience! Depending on where your child is travelling from, they may also have one or more additional travel days before and after camp.

How will my child get to camp?

If you child is invited to participate in an NYL camp, NYL staff will make arrangements for their flights to and from camp. If their travel schedule requires extra overnights before and/or after camp, you may be asked to help find accommodation with family or friends. You may also be asked to drive your child to the nearest airport to your community. NYL staff will confirm all travel arrangements with you before making any bookings.

How can I help my child prepare for camp?

For many campers going to camp is an exciting, but also daunting experience. If your child is anxious about the time away, reassure them that camp will be fun. You can also make the trip more comfortable by:

Going over all camp information together. This will help your child understand anything they are unsure about. Your enthusiasm for all the fun things they will be doing and all of the friends they will make will surely add to their excitement.

Pack a special surprise in your child’s luggage. This could be a note, a funny family photo, a book to read or something your child can share with other campers. A journal to record their camp memories is a great gift they will treasure for years to come.

Try out some of the activities ahead of time. If your child is afraid of canoeing, take them out yourself so they can experience it for the first time with you. This will build their self confidence.

Finally, don’t forget to send them off with excitement and a positive attitude!

What does my child need to bring to camp?

NYL provides the specialized camping gear needed for trips, such as tents, sleeping mats, lifejackets, drybags, paddles, etc. Your child will just need to bring their own seasonally appropriate clothing, toiletries, and personal items like a books or journal. If you child is invited to participate in a camp, you will be sent a packing list specific to that camp. If you are missing any items on the packing list, please reach out to our staff and they will help make sure your child has what they need for camp.

Will my child be able to communicate with me while at camp?

Most of our camps are held outside of cellphone range, and we ask that youth do not bring cellphones and other electronic devices with them on camp. We have found that this helps youth participate more fully in camp activities. If there is an emergency and you need to get in touch with your child during camp, you can contact the camp’s incident command and they can communicate with camp staff through an emergency communications device.

Will my child be safe?

Safety is our #1 concern. Camps have a low camper to staff ratio, which helps ensure that staff can provide youth with the support they need. NYL builds a culture of safety on camps by giving all campers safety talks on wildlife and bear safety, water safety, and activity specific safety and involving youth in risk management discussion throughout the camp.

Senior staff have RCMP vulnerable persons criminal records checks, are trained in Wilderness First Aid and CPR, and have the skills and qualifications for the activities they lead. We also ensure that they are trained on our policies and procedures prior to any camp.

How does NYL manage the risk of COVID-19 on camps?

NYL takes the risk of COVID-19 seriously, and follows all public health orders and recommendations issued by the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer in the Northwest Territories. If you child is invited to participate in a camp, you will receive a COVID-19 policy specific to this camp. This policy will outline the specific COVID-19 safety protocols for that camp. These may include vaccination requirements and travel restrictions for staff and participants. As the pandemic continues to evolve, NYL will adapt and update these policies as needed. If necessary, NYL may cancel programming on short notice if the situation with COVID-19 in the NWT deteriorates.