Power To Be uses a Theory Of Change framework as an evaluation tool that looks at the intricacies of people and how they change behaviourally, physically, and socially. Our program theory of change is: “Power To Be’s participants’ sense of self and community is positively increased by removing barriers to access nature-based programs”. To achieve this change, our programming approach is guided by 8 outcomes to support growth and impact in our participants.

We believe that spending time in nature fuels the body, guides the heart, and mends the soul. With the addition of a welcoming community, a safe place, and a large dash of playfulness we believe Power To Be programs can have a positive impact on the mental and emotional health of our participants, volunteers and staff.

Included as one of our Theory of Change Outcomes, we often see Emotional and Mental Health changes through subtle shifts in behaviours, attitudes or general moods. This may be the gradual change of someone arriving to program in a flustered state, and slowly being able to settle and relax into the moment as we get onto the water and focus on moving the paddle through the lake. Our staff witness regularly, groups starting program feeling tense and unsure of the activity, then gaining confidence and transitioning into laughter and enjoyment. Some have noted that the opportunity to leave worries behind, even for a short period of time, allows them to just enjoy the experience as a group or a family. This can do wonders in improving someone’s health.

In some of our programs we will include more intentional activities to bring greater awareness to our current state and develop tools that can be used to support our mental health. This might include a sit spot, yoga, meditation, sensory work, or space for a guided or open conversation.  Further, as a way to deepen our knowledge, practice, and to better serve our participants, we are grateful to partner with organizations that align with our values such as Human Nature Counselling for specific programs like our Family Roots Program.

Our overarching approach to programming is to be participant centered. This means we focus on meeting people where they are at and creating an experience that will benefit them. Whether that is through playfulness, challenge, reflection, mindfulness, or community connection we see nature as our co-facilitator to create these opportunities. Further, we hope that spending time with Power To Be, and more specifically, in nature, will benefit our community beyond measure.

To provide additional support during the various lockdowns of the COVID 19 pandemic we met people in their own community to check in, we met people on a one to one basis, we created regular drop in virtual sessions so people could just show up, and we created a few videos to help our community bring some of these mindful exercises into their own home. Trying to create a menu of opportunities to meet the needs, interest and availability of the participants in our community.