Learning and connecting at Power To Be’s Prospect Lake program site

Program volunteers are an integral support to the participants during all the activities that we do. To support them, Power To Be provides annual volunteer training opportunities in Victoria and Vancouver.

This year the Victoria Volunteer Spring Training weekend gave active program volunteers an opportunity to deepen their adaptive skill sets through various workshops as well as connect to each other and, of course, nature.

This year we had an amazing and diverse group consisting of longer-term volunteers, some brand new to our community, and some who were re-engaging. All program volunteers are constantly learning new skills and growing each time they step out on program. Spring Training is offered as a way to expand on existing skill sets, share, learn, and have some fun along the way.

Hosted at our Prospect Lake program site, the weekend started out with some ice breaker games followed by a chat about Power To Be philosophies. Principles such as A.C.E: Accept all abilities, Challenge yourself and Encourage others, were adopted quickly.

In the afternoon, volunteers went through a session with our boats, adaptive gear and how to safely do lifts and transfers in and out of kayaks. Staff spoke about the importance of using adaptive equipment to assist participants in feeling comfortable, mobile, stable and supported while out on the water with us.

Volunteers were then walked through proper body mechanics, alignment, and our people-centered approach when supporting with lifting and transferring someone into a kayak.

The day then lead into a TrailRider and nature immersion training session. The TrailRider is an incredible adaptive tool (essentially an all-terrain wheelchair) that helps to bring participants on many adventures. Volunteers learned how to assemble the TrailRider and techniques for optimal use. They were also given an opportunity to try out the TrailRider themselves to deepen their understanding of what it feels like for our participants.

It was a great opportunity to explore Power To Be’s Prospect Lake program site and stop along the way to chat about nature immersion games and facilitation. The walk ultimately led the group to a quiet space for a “sit spot” where they sat in nature taking in their surroundings with all of their senses.

The night was capped off with some great paddle time on the lake and a BBQ. After dinner volunteers and staff connected around a fire at sunset before heading into town or crawling into tents for those who were staying overnight on the land.

Saturday morning kicked off with sunrise yoga on the deck, followed by a session on the very important topic of relational skills, where volunteers learned more about different populations and effective communication and support techniques.

The training finished with a closing circle on the raised point overlooking the lake. Volunteers shared things they learned throughout the weekend and what their powerful connection to nature meant to them.

It was a special weekend for a lot of reasons, one of which is that we were one on the first Power To Be groups to camp on the site!

As I rolled out of my tent in the morning and the sun glistened through the trees, I thought about the bright future of this property and was flooded with gratitude for the constant time, energy and support that volunteers have brought to Power To Be past, present and future!

– Story shared by Kendal Wright, Power To Be Volunteer Services Coordinator