Those who wish to take part will get a chance for a real Northern experience on Nov. 25 – a snowshoe under a full moon.
The Town of Hay River and NWT Centennial Library have joined forces for the Full Moon Snowshoe along the Oxbow Trail on Vale Island.
Craig Edwards, a program librarian, said he had talked with the town’s previous recreation programmer about what the two organizations could do together.
“And I thought it would be cool to do a full moon event,” he said.
Edwards explained it is a chance for people to explore the community’s trails.
“I feel sometimes in town that we know the trails exist, we know that there are recreation areas but sometimes they’re not explored,” he said. “So I feel it’s really important to get people up moving and exploring what we have in the town.”
The town’s new recreation programmer, Dale Loutit, also thinks it’s a good idea, saying it’s a chance for people to do an outdoor activity together.
Loutit said some people might also be hesitant to snowshoe the trails alone.
“Because a lot of time you’re afraid if there’s going to be animals on the trail,” she said, including anything from dogs to bears.
Loutit said it will also be a good social activity.
She said people are encouraged to bring their own snowshoes if they have them.
If not, the town can supply snowshoes from its room full of various sporting equipment at the Don Stewart Recreation Centre.
“We do have a limited amount available,” said Loutit, estimating there to be 10 or more pairs of plastic snowshoes.
Edwards said the town and the library are doing the joint programming for a number of reasons.
“Just because we have two programmers who are working doing similar things trying to develop programming for the community,” he said, adding that includes promoting more recreation, culture, arts and crafts.
“We decided that we would kind of get everything together and mix our skills,” he said.
The Full Moon Snowshoe is an obvious physical activity but will also have a literacy component.
“We’re going to read some stories around the campfire and things like that,” said Edwards, adding with a laugh. “I really didn’t advertise it as such because I didn’t want to make it like Literacy Night because that just might scare people away. So I figured that I’d slip the literacy in there.”
Plus, he said literacy has a very broad definition these days and knowledge of the land is considered a form of literacy.
Neither Edwards nor Loutit know how many people to expect for Full Moon Snowshoe.
“I would be happy if one showed up,” said Loutit.
Anyone of any age can show up at NWT Centennial Library by 7 p.m. on Nov. 25 and they can get transportation in the town’s 15-passenger van to the Oxbow Trail.
The event will also offer hot chocolate and s’mores.
Edwards said it will be a chance to enjoy the winter.
“A lot of people take it as an excuse to shut themselves in but there’s a lot going on,” he said of when the weather turns cold. “As long as you’re prepared for the weather, the world is your oyster.”
Plus, Edwards said it will be a chance to try snowshoeing in a positive environment
“We’re supportive,” he said. “We want everyone to make sure they have as much fun as possible.”