Training "On the Land"
For many Junior Canadian Rangers the best part of the program is the regularly scheduled trips "out on the land." These expeditions allow the young people a unique opportunity to put their lessons into practice and to experience first-hand the thrill and pride of mastering a difficult skill.
Once in camp, Junior Canadian Rangers receive further instruction on surviving in the wilderness. Lessons can include how to successfully hunt bears, birds and whales or how to trap smaller animals like seal, deer and rabbits. Cooking and skinning of animals is commonly taught, as is fishing and foraging for food such as berries, mushrooms and edible plants. Practical skills like how to build a fire, store food supplies safely, and how to navigate by map and compass, Global Positioning Systems (GPS) or the night sky, are also reinforced.
Going "out on the land" is a way of life for many residents in Canada's northern, remote and isolated communities. Having practical survival lessons incorporated as part of the regular Junior Canadian Ranger curriculum is a sound idea that has received much support from tribal or band councils, and town halls.
These major expeditions are conducted year-round in a variety of weather conditions in order to expose the Junior Canadian Rangers to the realities of life out on the land and on the water. Groups travel by snowmobile, boat, snowshoe, skis, foot, cars or all-terrain vehicles (4X4s) in order to arrive at their destination and set up camp - which can be an igloo, a lean-to, a teepee, a canvas tent or other temporary dwelling.