After an incredible 12 weeks, it is bittersweet to see our Landscaping and Restoration Employment Program at Power To Be nearing graduation. This pilot project has empowered eight young adults who face various barriers to gain landscaping and restoration knowledge, job skills, and a sense of community.
This past July saw Power To Be travelling up to Whistler with BC Children’s Hospital, where we had an absolute blast exploring lots of wild spaces. While our time in Whistler was punctuated by moments of exhilaration, wonder, and adventure, the teens collectively agreed that their favourite part was the time spent with each other.
As summer draws to a close, we celebrate yet another successful Wilderness School expedition. This year marked the fifteenth cohort of the Wilderness School, embarking on the challenging Juan de Fuca trail—a first-ever backpacking trip for most participants.
Tēnā Koutou, Nau Mai Koutou, Kia Ora Tātou Katoa! (A warm and generous welcome, greeting and acknowledgement to all of you reading this post) Ko Tangata Māori ahau (I am a Māori Person ‘visiting’ here on these Indigenous lands and waters of Vancouver Island)
As I reflect on the milestones in my life, 2023 holds a special place. It marks Power To Be's 25th anniversary and also 20 years since a car crash that altered the course of my existence. Little did I know that these seemingly unrelated events would intertwine and lead me to discover resilience, hope, and a renewed zest for life.
Are you looking for a fun way to explore the outdoors? Have you heard of geocaching? It's a worldwide activity with many thousands of community members participating in hundreds of countries. People hide containers called caches and then share the GPS coordinates with others, who then use their own GPS devices to try to find them afterward. It's like a treasure hunt, but instead of gold or jewels, you find trinkets, notes, or other small items left behind by previous seekers.
Last year, Power To Be’s Head of Programs and Services, Pete Carson, and I were approached with an opportunity to visit a number of organizations in Colorado who operate in very similar ways to Power To Be, with the intention to learn, share, and collaborate. Over three nights and two days at the beginning of November 2022, we were able to visit three organizations and one State Park, starting high in the Rocky Mountains.
At Power To Be, we want to help our participants build skills and create positive outdoor experiences by removing barriers to nature. We are proud to offer a wide variety of programs to accommodate as many of our community’s needs as possible. The Inclusive Adventures stream is designed for folks who are keen to learn and grow through outdoor adventures.
At Power To Be, we believe that nature can help us grow and find belonging. The concept of wellness is woven throughout our programs. With the introduction of the Wilderness Wellness stream, we are building more intentional programs to support people beyond feeling good with the goal of supporting them in functioning well.
A model that Power To Be has been piloting and testing over the last few years is called Have A Go events. A free community event where we facilitate in partnership with other service providers to offer a chance for people of all ages and abilities to come and enjoy a day of outdoor fun. One of our volunteers mentioned how many folks have expressed how great it is to “just show up and the rest will come to be”.