Surfing is the perfect instance of creating a partnership with nature. Your body, your board, and the water must seamlessly align. When you succeed, you achieve something extraordinary. That’s what this Tofino trip was about for Power To Be’s Adaptive Recreation and Wilderness School youth – coming together to break through personal barriers and literally walk on water.
For Leesa Watson, being in the middle of nowhere brought her even closer to home. Together with her daughter Brittni, Leesa joined Power To Be for its annual family trip to Nimmo Bay Resort. The four-day retreat is focused on strengthening family bonds and the remote location within the Great Bear Rainforest provides the perfect backdrop.
Throughout my practicum I have had many opportunities to learn about gathering strength and empowerment from a nature-based activity. These activities give people the opportunity to grow and develop beyond the limits placed on them by society, social systems and negative self-concept. I have observed many interactions that highlight human compassion and understanding while pushing for individual change and growth.
Settling into a new culture brings a myriad of challenges no matter what age you are; from learning a new language, new customs and cultural norms, culture shock, integration and everything else that comes along with leaving everything you know behind and starting fresh. And then you add the natural challenges of just being a teenager. This is the reality for so many youth that have moved across the world to begin a new life in Canada.
This past summer, Power To Be Vancouver’s staff superstar Alanna Ray let me know about a new idea Mountain Equipment Co-Op (MEC) had initiated, MEC Outdoor Nation. Outdoor Nation is a movement aimed to get youth and young adults off the couch and out and immersed in nature’s natural beauty. Alanna had soon convinced me to register as a Power To Be delegate.
As we started driving back down the Island I realized that my cheeks were sore from having had a smile on my face all weekend. I had just spent three laughter-filled days with three amazing families in the crashing waves and salty waters of Tofino for a family surf trip with Power To Be. It was amazing to see everyone push their limits and challenge each other together on this trip. It was truly inspiring to get to see the fathers and their daughters get to share such a powerful experience.
The day before program was a rainy one, which meant moist air and beautiful calm waters when we hit the water. There's something special about the air that follows a good Victoria down pour. Given the hot summer, rain also meant a program day with Thetis Lake all to ourselves, launching our stand up paddle boards from a nearly empty main beach.
Strategy, teamwork and a willingness to get dirty were key for the 36 teams who took to Stanley Park Sept. 25 for Power To Play Vancouver. The adventure race, sponsored by Goldcorp, raised $218,000 in support of Power To Be programs. The amazing volunteers, sponsors and teams who came together to help other people access nature made that success possible.
“Belay on,” echoed throughout the gymnasium as Power To Be youth scampered up the rock walls at The Boulders Climbing Gym on Sept. 11. This adaptive recreation climbing program is the first of many sessions to happen this fall.
Last Wednesday's Celebrating the Journey event marked the end of year one and the beginning of year two for youth in Wilderness School. Not wasting any time, the new year twos set out Thursday morning to tackle the highest peak south of Strathcona Park, Mount Arrowsmith.