Rachelle van Zanten is sending one Burns Lake child off to camp to learn about wildlife, land and water conservation.
The camp, which takes place over seven days at the Bear Claw Lodge in the Kispiox Valley, teaches those who attend how to live off the land, as well as how to protect the land and its resources.
The idea to start this fund came after she recorded her song ‘I Fight for Life,’ which she wrote in response to the Northern Gateway pipeline.
The song she says is about why the pipeline is not beneficial for the area, and why the area is so important to her.
Van Zanten says she thought that taking the money she made from the song and putting it towards something that would educate future advocates was a good idea.
“I thought that I should take the money I made from this song and put it into something like a child that potentially is going to be a leader in conservation,” van Zanten said, “a child that is connected to the land and who will be here, in years to come, standing up for water, land and wildlife.”
The camp is for children, ages 10-15, and is split over two separate weeks.
The younger children, ages 10-12, will spend a week at the camp from July 16-23, while the older children, ages 13-15, will spend a week at the camp from Aug. 12-19.
However, the person that is selected by van Zanten will attend the camp the week that best fits into their schedule and when they’re available.
During the week, they will learn a number of skills, including how to catch salmon from the river, how to build a shelter in the forest and how to identify different plant, animal and tree species, among other things.
This is an issue that van Zanten has always been passionate about, and the real turning point for her was when she became a mother.
She felt that her daughter deserved to have the same quality of life that she’s experiencing.
“My family, we are completely connected to the land. My dad’s a farmer, I grow my own food and we drink the water right from the lake, so to lose that is huge, it’s a huge part of who we are,” van Zanten said.
The hope for van Zanten is to make sending a child to this camp an annual thing.
She hopes to partner with the Lakes District Clean Waters Coalition to help fundraise each year.
Eventually, she would like to set up her own camp.
Applicants must be between the ages of 10-15, and send in their application via email no later than Saturday, June 28.
To apply, the applicant must answer four simple questions, which are, what is your favourite way to connect with the land, what does the Lakes District mean to you, why would you like to attend and what do you fight for?
Then they will send their answers to those questions to email@example.com.
The recipient off the fund will be selected shortly after the deadline date