Do good as you go this summer

Songhees youth Brianna Dick at the Victoria, B.C., art gallery show after the workshop run by Ann Lockley earlier this year.The Muskoka Foundation, whose tagline is “Use What You Know to Do Good as You Go,” is getting the summer off to a great start with programs for travelers throughout Canada, USA, Latin America and Africa. Many overlanders don’t realize how much of a difference they can make in their own backyards: Muskoka has volunteering locations in Inuvik, along the Top of the World Highway; in Seward, along the spectacular Kenai Peninsula; and down to Canyon de Chelley in Arizona, to name a few. 

Muskoka runs programs for youth in photography, entrepreneurship, IT, and business, as well as “no volunteering skills required” programs in music and artisan crafts. The foundation provides all the equipment, contacts, and curriculum to get volunteers started, all you need to do is show up.

Muskoka’s youth photography program has been particularly successful, with sales of photo calendars and gallery shows benefiting many worthy projects. Many of the workshops are being run by volunteers recruited at Overland Expo. 

Casa Hogar in Baja, Mexico: Alan’s proud smile holding up his certificate from a Muskoka Photography Workshop.One such project was hosted at Casa Hogar in Baja, Mexico, with a group of young boys ready to learn and get a leg-up on life. Muskoka Travelers Robert and Martine spent a weekend exploring with the boys and teaching them how to take a great shot. In addition to the workshop, visitors and exhibitors at Overland Expo 2011 raised funds to support the orphanage: special thanks to the Camel Trophy team & Pete Sweetser, who raised $1000 for Casa Hogar through their posters, as well as the generosity of Doug Hackney and Chris Scott. In all, over $2,000 went to support Casa Hogar. 

Contact The Muskoka Foundation to find out more about how you can get involved, or to pass on suggested programs to support. themuskokafoundation.org and Twitter: @dogoodasyougo