Maison des Jeunes offers activities for the dog days of winter

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Paul Shea, a volunteer who helped make various ski trails, assists Zoe Burnett on a X-country ski trail at Brauwerk Hoffman using a special sleigh made for those with reduced mobility.

Carl Hager

MANSFIELD – The Maison des Jeunes du Pontiac (MDJ) is encouraging adults and youth to get outdoors and enjoy the winter by participating in activities offered across the region. To do this, the MDJ, in collaboration with the MRC Pontiac, created an interactive online map of the region’s activities where
the public can view nearby facilities like skating rinks, ski trails and sliding hills; it’s available on their website and social media page.
“Given the locked down circumstances of this past winter, people are eager to find outdoor activities to enjoy. We at MDJ are trying to motivate
children and adults to get outdoors, put their electronic toys aside, and experience the joys of participating in wonderful outdoor winter sports activities,” said Desiree Tremblay-Giroux, MDJ youth activities programming coordinator.
Throughout March Break, MDJ offered a free cross-country ski lesson program in partnership with Ski at School at various locations throughout the Pontiac: Pine Lodge in Bristol, Otter Lake, Brauwerk Hoffman in Campbell’s Bay, and Mont Chilly in Mansfield.
The MDJ is also making sporting equipment available for people to
borrow in collaboration with the MRC Pontiac, Ski Pontiac, Ski at School,
and Sports et Loisir Outaouais. The equipment for skiing, sliding, skating and even snow-fort making is loaned out for free, and may even be delivered to users in some cases. Centers where equipment can be borrowed include Mansfield, Shawville and Campbell’s Bay by calling MDJ at 819-209-7626 or mdjdesiree@gmail.com. Schools are encouraged to take advantage of the service.
Five youth workers are helping get the initiative underway. Included
in their responsibilities is the complete sanitization of equipment as the MDJ complies with pandemic regulations.