My first camping experience in the Baxter Conservation Area

David Njuguna is a volunteer with Nature Canada. He hails from Kenya and is participating in Canada World Youth’s Youth Leaders in Action program. David will be completing a two-month work placement with Nature Canada, starting in early October and ending in November. He will be joining the Communications and Conservation teams and helping them with various projects.

As part of Canada World Youth’s program, we visited the Baxter conservation area. It was a great experience. We were a group of twenty; ten Kenyans and ten Canadians. Our main objective was to go camping and we were really determined to do so. Baxter Conservation Area is situated on 80 hectares along the shore of the Rideau River; Baxter is a beautiful example of river flood plain. It Is basically a wetland with various hard wood trees, bean trees and shrubs.

After arriving there, we started putting up our tents. It was my first time camping so I was learning how to put up a camping tent too. We then put our sleeping bags inside the tent. It was getting cold as time went by and it was very windy. The clouds were so dark. They were sending us a message but its like we ignored it.

Despite the strong wind, we made a camp fire which was really fun. We made a lot of jokes, sang many songs and also told some stories.  It was warm at the camp fire but we warmed ourselves from behind sometimes due to the cold wind that was blowing. I enjoyed watching people warm their backs because it was like they were sitting in the fire.

Approximately an hour and a half  after settling in the tents, it started raining. It got even colder so we slept with our jackets on. The ground became wet but all we wanted was to spend a night in the tents. Neither the wind nor the rain could have stopped us.

After waking up in the following morning, my back was aching, my hands were so cold, I felt so tired and my neck was aching too. I felt like I had spent the whole night digging. I almost regretted spending the night there but overall, I enjoyed the whole experience.