Partnership creates camping memories

Beneath a canopy of Douglas Firs, the Summit Seekers sat cross-legged as the warm glow of a freshly built fire danced across their faces. They rested in reflection of the days’ events: getting kissed by Veronica the dairy cow, foraging for plump organic blackberries, and connecting with friends both new and old.

"Once feet made contact with the dusty ground, the city life was forgotten and all that remained were the endless possibilities that camp could provide." - Program facilitator

Last month, Power To Be worked in partnership with the North Shore ConneXions Society Summit program to provide their participants with two nights immersed in nature. Tucked away in the mountains of the Lower Mainland, Golden Ears Provincial Park set the scene for this year’s Summit Seekers Overnight.

Camp is an opportunity for participants to socialize with individuals facing similar barriers in a nurturing and open setting. By stepping outside of the hustle and bustle of the city, they are able to form a deeper connection to their peers, to nature and ultimately to themselves.

For many Summit Seekers, it was their first time exploring Golden Ears Provincial Park. The excitement in the air was nearly palpable upon arrival. Once feet made contact with the dusty ground, the city life was forgotten and all that remained were the endless possibilities that camp could provide over the coming days.

Under the warm embrace of the sun, participants enjoyed many nature-based activities: dynamic hikes to Alouette Lake, building instruments with items found in nature (the rock rattler was a popular and loud crowd favorite) and collecting treasures for their keepsake boxes.

Utilizing their close proximity to the Fraser Valley, participants also had the opportunity to tour Abbotsford’s Eco-Dairy Farm. The day included learning the farm-to-table journey of specific dairy products and viewing Robbie the cow-milking robot in action. The group was most excited to meet the animals on the farm.

While most folks found amusement in the cows’ comically long tongues, one camper in particular formed a strong connection to the docile creatures. One of the Summit Seekers who tended to be more reserved and quiet in demeanor found comfort and companionship at the Eco-Dairy Farm. Upon interacting with the cows, he instantaneously appeared revitalized and awake in an entirely new sense. He was connected and focused, as if a switch had been flipped.

As program facilitators, we are fortunate to experience these aha moments. Moments of profound connection that act as a testament to the healing properties found within nature and within our daily interactions.

From laughing fits around the campfire, wet cow kisses, and nature walks through lush forests, the Summit Seekers Overnight created a medley of enriching memories that’ll last until next year’s get-away.

– Story shared by Andrea Macdonald, program facilitator