January 2023
Fostering an inclusive and safe space in the outdoors

By January 10, 2023Uncategorized

Hope Mountain Centre for Outdoor Learning (HMCOL) is leading a guided snowshoe trip to Manning Park’s Lightning Lake trail – on Saturday January 21, 2023 from 9am until 4:30 pm.

In this inaugural LGBTQIA2S+ event HMCOL is inviting everyone to register and come show their support while learning about wildlife, survival snowshoe building, quinzee building and of course enjoy a nice cup of hot chocolate along the way.
All ages and abilities are welcome and Allies are incouraged to join and show their support.
The event goal is to show public support of the LGBTQIA2S+ community, to strengthen bond between members of the community and allies and to encourage individuals to explore and adventure in the outdoors while being safe, protected and supported.

Moon – “I grew up as a queer kid in a very conservative, incredibly small town in Fance in the 1990s. I have always loved the outdoors, but never felt like I could explore safely being so far away and removed from civilization or help if needed.
I am not naïve enough to say that cities and populated areas are safe spaces by default, but the chances of finding an ally is greater there than it would be in the middle of nowhere. It took me a long time to feel safe enough, and it always takes a lot of research before booking trips, to make sure that my family will be safe. That’s not something everyone has to think about when recreating.
So, it was very important for me to make sure that HMCOL’s was a visible ally to the community. I have received nothing but support from the entire team at HMCOL since taking up the position of program director. From the board members to staff and volunteers and it was so important for me to make sure I carried that forward and made HMCOL’s already existing ally status more visible.”

Hoping that people wouldn’t have to wait some 20+ years like me to feel strong enough to venture out, explore and connect with nature like that.

On December 15, 2022 HMCOL joined the Safe Space Alliance. An LGBT+ led non-profit which promotes inclusivity worldwide.
A Safe Space is a physical, mobile or online space where members of the community are welcome, protected and safe to express themselves for who they are. They are a public way of showing support and being an ally.
At HMCOL, we are a blend of all, creating a safe space on the trails and everywhere we go – including our online platforms.
Safe spaces are extremely important as they foster inclusivity, protect individuals and offer support and backup should it be needed. They are a very public and visible way of showing support and being an ally.
Canada has indeed come a long way and is a country where LGBTQIA2S+ communities now have rights and are protected under the law. Sadly, it wasn’t always the case and even now, it doesn’t necessarily mean global acceptance. It is worth noting for example, that conversion therapy practices were not outlawed until January 17th, 2022.
This event is aimed at people of all abilities and fitness levels.
We will cover 1.5 km from the parking lot to the rainbow bridge and back, for a total distance of 3km. We will stop along the way with interpretive talks taking place about local wildlife and winter adaptations, demonstrations of use of handmade emergency snowshoes and participants will get to practice building a quinzee – a traditional snow shelter along with avalanche avoidance
safety tips. Terrain is easy to moderate. While the grade of slope is gentle, and we will be travelling at a slower pace. There may be some logs and debris to climb over, and snowshoeing is more strenuous than walking on pavement or dirt, so participants should be in reasonably good health.
Average January temperature range at Manning Park Resort is -2C to –9C or colder – and likely much colder than where you’re traveling from!  Please check the weather forecast on the day of the event and dress appropriately.
The event will take place rain or shine, but will be cancelled if there is danger to participants (ie avalanche risks).
We will meet-up in Hope at the Recreation Centre for check-in and introductions, and then convoy to Manning Park with the leaders in front. We will be driving slowly to ensure
participants are comfortable and safe while driving the Crowsnest Highway (BC-3E).

BC law requires that vehicles have winter tires at this time of year for the stretch of highway
used for this program.
All proceeds support the charitable work HMCOL does connecting people and nature.

Learn more and register at https://hopemountain.org/programs/lgbtq2s-allies-beginner-snowshoe-january-21-2023/

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