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June 7, 2004
Inner City Outtripping Centre expands programming
  
The Inner City Outtripping Centre (ICOC), an initiative of Toronto Parks and
Recreation, is expanding to offer year-round programming. The Inner City
Outtripping Program provides youth with leadership skills, work-related
volunteer skills and engages youth in the role of preserving their natural
world while at the same time presenting an opportunity for personal growth.

Councillor Sylvia Watson (Ward 14 Parkdale-High Park) has been a fervent
supporter of the program and integral to the $100,000 budget allocation that
will allow for the program expansion. Councillor Watson said, "The natural
environment has proven to be one of the most effective media in which to
facilitate personal growth and transformation. Outward Bound and Project Canoe
are known for their tremendous success in changing, and in some cases saving,
the lives of youth. Unfortunately, the cost of participating in these programs
is sometimes prohibitive and tends to prevent inner city kids from having this
type of experience. This is one of the reasons that the Inner City Outtripping
Centre is such an asset to the community."

The Inner City Outtripping Centre was based on the success of an initiative
introduced in 1995 to reduce conflict between rival gangs in the Christie Pitts
area. A city-wide survey undertaken in 1995-96 revealed that young people had a
keen interest in the outdoors and activities that took them out of their
immediate environment. Since that time, the program has evolved into a
carefully structured leadership model that includes multiple partnerships,
technical skill development, certification, volunteer opportunities,
internships and job readiness training.

The core of the centre's programming revolves around the Paddle and Picnic
Program and the Leadership Program. The Paddle and Picnic Program offers a
unique outdoor experience for children over 6 years of age as an outing for day
camps. Children participating in the program have the opportunity to learn
basic canoe paddling and water safety skills. They also take a trip using North
Canoes, swim at Sunnyside pools, play co-operative games, participate in a
campfire workshop and spend a day on the beach.

The Leadership Program is for young people 13 to 24 years of age. Participants
learn tandem and solo canoe paddling techniques, and North Canoe paddling and
racing techniques. In addition, they develop basic camping, wilderness and
first aid skills, take a four-day canoe trip, become involved with ICOC
projects, and volunteer at the Paddle and Picnic Program.

ICOC members also participate in significant outdoor events like Canadian
Rivers Day on June 13 and Family Fishing Day on July 11.

For more information on the ICOC, please contact the Masaryk-Cowan Community
Centre at 416-392-6928. For more information on other Parks and Recreation
programs and services call 416-392-1111 or visit http://www.toronto.ca/parks

Media contact:
Economic Development, Culture and Tourism Media Hotline
416-560-8726




 

 

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