WWF-Canada Blog:

Youth & Nature: Reminiscing about even more childhood memories

Earlier this week, I gave you a glimpse into some of my colleagues memories of being outside as a kid.  Here are a few more stories that show how we went from tiny tots to WWF Pandas.

With the skyline of Toronto on the horizon, children play in the water on the shores of Lake Ontario, Ontario, Canada. © Frank PARHIZGAR / WWF-Canada

With the skyline of Toronto on the horizon, children play in the water on the shores of Lake Ontario, Ontario, Canada. © Frank PARHIZGAR / WWF-Canada

“As a kid, my older brother Patrick and I loved exploring the Sifton Bog in London, Ontario, as it was virtually right in our backyard. The bog provided hours of endless fascination for us – it was filled with tadpoles, frogs, snapping turtles, and the coolest thing of all – carnivorous pitcher plants. I remember floating around the bog on an our old patched-up rubber dingy and being both scared and fascinated by those murky waters all at the same time!”
Emily Giles, Freshwater Program Manager

“As a child in Kelowna, BC I took my aunt’s dog for a walk and had traveled no more than ten minutes from her subdivision when I looked up over a ridge and saw a mountain lion. I was in a place that was much less familiar than the world of roads, houses and fences that I called home. It was nature and it was not only bigger, but much closer than I had ever imagined. Since that day, I have not stopped stepping off the paved path to see the real world all around me.”
– Kyla Marshall, Community Engagement Officer

“For me, a foundational experience was the adventure of wilderness canoe trips as a youth. At first, it was small trips, like 3 to 5 day trips in places like Algonquin; but by the age of 16, I was helping guide canoe trips to the French River and Temagami, ultimately spending more than 40 days of a summer paddling, portaging and camping along the rivers and lakes of Ontario. To this day, I still feel happiest out on the water in a canoe or cooking over a fire in the backcountry!”
– James Snider, Conservation Science Specialist

 “Growing up in the suburbs of Vancouver, there were so many opportunities to be outdoors. My absolute favourite was heading to the beach when the tide was out and splashing around in the tide pools. Not only that but collecting shells and discovering the tiny creatures that had been trapped by the receding water. It was such a great opportunity to see what was beneath the surface and even today it is one of my favourite things to do!”
Carolyn Anderson, Youth Engagement Officer

If there’s one thing that my colleagues and I can agree on it’s that if we weren’t encouraged to get outside and explore as kids, we probably wouldn’t be where we are today.  Something that we all took interest in as kids stuck with us to become a full-time passion.  Start making it a habit to spend quality time with your family outdoors.  The autumn is the perfect time to start.  This September, gather your family and join the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup to help keep our waters healthy.  Your kids will  have fun getting their gloves dirty and their feet wet while helping to collect shoreline litter and learning to appreciate our planet. Show them how beautiful the spaces around us are.  They’ll thank you for it later.