People of Georgian: Placement officer makes family memories backcountry camping

Nov. 25, 2022

What’s your story?

The Georgian community is full of unique, inspiring perspectives —and we’re sharing them as part of an ongoing series.

People of Georgian: Meet Angela Foster

I met my husband when my best friend married his brother. He was the best man and I was the maid of honour. Our love story started there.

A bunch of years later, my best friend was my matron of honour and his brother was his best man.

I still love him. We’ve had two kids. We absolutely love living in the Orillia area.

Angela with her husband and two kids.

Before we got married, my husband was living in Toronto, I was living in Ottawa. We picked a place totally different and started our life here.

We love spending time outside. Before we had kids, my husband and I would spend most of our time doing backcountry camping all around Ontario, mostly southern, central Ontario.

We’ve included our children of course as we’ve had our family grow.

A few years ago we bought a tent trailer. You know, you get a little older and sleeping on the ground isn’t quite as appealing as it used to be. Having some shelter when it rains and being off the ground is a little nicer.

‘We just kind of go where the wind takes us’

We’ve done some road trips, like going to the East Coast with our kids and up to northern Ontario.

We just kind of go where the wind takes us that day. We book something for our final destination, but we do something called boondocking along the way. We just find a spot, set the trailer up and spend the night.

During our first road trip, my son wanted us to sleep in a Walmart parking lot, so we did that on the way to Prince Edward Island. Then we also found some really cool off-the-map places to spend the night.

Angela’s family spent the night in a Walmart parking lot in their trailer.
Angela says she is “really, really connected to nature.”

Once we got to our destination, we stayed in a provincial or national park and explored the area that we were in.

A really memorable trip was last year when my son’s school didn’t have a Grade 8 graduation trip because everything was cancelled due to the pandemic.

So I proposed the idea to the parents of his core group of six friends that my husband and I would take them on a four-night backcountry camping trip.

So right after they finished Grade 8 we packed them all into canoes and took them out into the woods. It was amazing.

‘Watching them just be totally free in the woods – it was incredible’

We got to see them in a different light, too. I know all of his friends pretty well, but everyone was on a level playing field.

Watching my son taking a leadership role and teaching his friend who had never gone fishing before how to set up his rod.

Teaching them to paddle – that was an adventure in itself.

They were at a perfect age where they could be a little bit independent but they still relied on us to cook all their meals.

Watching them just be totally free in the woods – it was incredible. It was just an amazing trip.

There’s so much to love and appreciate about nature.

We have a beautiful country. I don’t want to get too patriotic about it, but I think we are so fortunate to live in such a beautiful place.

I also feel really, really connected to nature. If I’m stressed, if our family is going through something and we’re at each other, we go out for a family hike.

My favourite vacations are somewhere without cell service or internet. It’s just rejuvenating.

You can be dirty, and you don’t have to look around your house and see all the things you should be doing. It recharges me and lets me come back with a fresh perspective.

Angela Foster, Placement Officer at Georgian’s Orillia Campus. She’s also member of our Orillia Truth and Reconciliation Trail Planning Committee, which won the Team Award at the Georgian College Board of Governors’ 2022 Awards of Distinction.

Our categories