Once a year our program team gets together and dedicates our time to sharpen and develop our skills at our Spring Training. For two years we were not able to have our traditional Spring Training so coming together this year with our program team had many reasons for why it was successful.
We had the pleasure of spending time on the traditional lands and waterways of the Pacheedaht Nation. The Pacheedaht nation has been an incredible community who has shared with many the value and importance of the old growth forests. The massive trees that greet us upon entering Port Renfrew and play a huge role in protecting the biodiversity in that region from the ocean to the connected roots system.
We got to explore lots of the diversity of the terrain and weather on our Spring Training. Base camping for a few days at the campground, and doing a hiking overnight on the Juan De Fuca trail, and kayaking in the estuary at the River. Two activities we do regularly with our Wilderness School and other multi day programs. We had intention built within the whole week. Crossing staff across our two regions of Victoria and Vancouver to create the pairs that were leading workshops and activities, thinking about the earth and our actions, meeting the team where they were at with comfort and skill level, and being in the shoes of our participants while we experienced the different opportunities.
The training brought together the strengths of our team. Our team led workshops on our standard operating procedures, first aid, developing a growth mindset, nutrition, environmental stewardship and activism, a participant-centered approach, as well as going over the skills to running a kayaking and hiking program. People left with feeling connected, inspired, physically aware of the strength it takes to run our programs, and the importance of learning from one another with no biases, hierarchy or assumptions.
Another reflection shared by many was the important reminder of natures lessons and power. How the weather can teach you about resilience, how at one moment a root in a forest can trip you and at another moment it’s the latter that helps you climb, how the ocean creates formations that can warm you, create moments of awe, and help find a connection to ourselves. It is through these trainings that our program team has a chance to connect to our “why” and align with how me move our vision and intentions forward for the year.