Frequently asked questions
1. How does Parks Canada support campus clubs?
- Supports the planning of club activities (outings and local conservation efforts);
- Development of standardized promotional material for the network;
- Development of a "step by step" toolkit to support new leaders in establishing their club;
- Management of the Campus Club webpage on the Parks Canada website.
The campus club network initiative is in its third year. We want to strengthen the support offered to our leaders and also enhance it by sharing best practices, lessons learned, etc. We have created a private Facebook group to facilitate discussions and develop a framework based on real and tangible needs.
2. What is the goal of the Parks Canada Campus Club Network?
The idea for this initiative was proposed by our first Parks Canada Youth Ambassadors in 2011. Their vision was the creation of a network of Parks Canada student clubs for youth and managed by youth. The aim is to mobilize young adults to inspire others to discover and experience nature and history, integrate them into their lives and share them with their peers. As young adults, the hope is that you will not only continue to enjoy and appreciate nature and history, but also support and protect them.
3. Why bring students together?
Young adults live and share their experiences with their peers. By coming together to share your experiences, thoughts and ideas, you become spokespersons, representatives; in essence, you become young Parks Canada ambassadors, inspiring your generation through your experiences. We aim to create a youth movement that is mobilizing others to connect with and experience nature and history by visiting our special places, living the adventures of camping, hiking, canoeing, or being involved in conservation activities such as shoreline cleanups, repairing trails, etc.
4. What are the concrete benefits for campus club leaders?
- You will receive a volunteer certificate at the end of their experience (note that this certificate will be newly issued to the leaders this year and based on network response, we will promote it accordingly next year).
- You will gain concrete experience to add to your resume: leadership skills development, experience as a project manager (planning, directing, managing a budget, fundraising, recruitment, promotion, etc.).
- You will be able to build a professional network within Parks Canada and the university.
- You will organize and participate in activities that inspire others.
5. What tools and resources exist to help campus clubs to plan and develop experiences for their campus club members?
- We are developing a pilot project of Learn-to-Camp activities that could be offered as a program (half-day and/or full-day) to campus clubs members, either on campus or in a park or historic site.
- We will be offering some youth developed sightseeing or experience itineraries for campus clubs to use in collaboration with field units;
- Campus clubs collaborate with other campus clubs to plan and deliver activities (climbing, hiking, camping, etc.) to enhance your experiences or to share costs.
6. What are the implications for campus club leaders in terms of time and responsibilities?
As a campus club leader you will have a few key tasks which include:
- Establishing a new campus club and organizing activities in and around campus.
- Serving as the main contact for the Parks Canada Campus Club Network and activities coordinator for your club.
- Leading fundraising activities to help support your campus club activities
- Managing campus club finances
- Liaising with your local student association
- Selecting dates and locations to host 2 outings per year, working in cooperation with the chosen site (i.e. Parks Canada contact person, the community or any other outdoor places):
- One activity (i.e. camping, hiking, canoeing, skiing, visiting a historic site, delivering speeches or presentations, etc.)
- One local conservation effort (river or campus cleanup, trail work, volunteering at a historic site, etc.)
- Organizing informal activities on a regular basis and having a strong presence on Parks Canada social media channels
- Networking with other campus social organizations to create awareness of your club
- Promoting club activities to the broader student population
- Informing fellow students about amazing volunteer and job opportunities within Parks Canada
- Providing feedback to the Parks Canada Youth Engagement Team.
Since the campus club leader is a volunteer role, we depend on their motivation, their organizational ability and commitment to the club and its members.
7. When can we submit our request to be a campus club leader?
Anytime!!! Official recruitment begins during the month of July each year, to ensure that the process is completed before the start of the academic year. However, we are always interested in hearing from potential future leaders!
8. How does a campus club leader obtain "Official Club Status"?
Every post-secondary institution has a Students' Association. To be recognised as an official club at your campus, the club leader must contact the Students' Association and inquire about the process for registering their campus club (contact information can be found at any university or college official website).
The Students' Association will provide the necessary information regarding rules, regulations and restrictions that may apply, as well as the relevant form(s) that must be completed. Student Association membership or recognition can also have its benefits, and member clubs may be entitled to the use of campus meetings rooms and facilities, club participation in special events/activities on campus, and even access to some funding to support club activities, among other things.