A day at WildPlay makes a lasting impression for participants and staff

“Most people in my situation would look at it and say there is no way I can do that, but you don’t know until you try,” he says. “When you are in this situation everything can be scary. Five years ago, walking over a broomstick handle was scary. And now, I’m swinging in the trees!”

Following a stroke, Mark has hemiplegia, meaning he has limited use of his arm and leg on his left side. That hasn’t stopped him from looking for new challenges and WildPlay provided the perfect platform for just that. 

His ability to complete the course came down to safety and Mark didn’t doubt his for a minute. Accompanied by two Power To Be staff members, the trio approached each challenge as a team, ensuring Mark was supported so he could tackle obstacles ranging from ziplines to suspended wood plank walkways. 

“I had no reservations that he could do it, it was just how we were going to make it work,” says Carolyn MacDonald, Power To Be staff member. “It was great personal growth and understanding, and really challenged me too.”

The WildPlay team set Mark up with a special pulley system in addition to the regular harness, providing a little extra support for when it was needed. The staff’s ability to create and adapt equipment went a long way, Carolyn says. 

“There was a hiccup with the pulley not being long enough and WildPlay was there to literally come up into the trees with us and we did some problem solving as a group, with Mark included,” she says. “Mark has such a great attitude and I am always amazed by the WildPlay staff. They encourage, but they don’t interrupt.”


For Carolyn and Mark, the day made a lasting impression.

“It is why I love doing what I do. With something seemingly so impossible or so challenging, with the right people and the right attitudes, we can make that happen. That is what Power To Be does,” Carolyn says. “That day I got to see first-hand those barriers being broken down.”

That was part of Mark’s motivation for tackling the course. He wanted to prove to himself and others that with the right supports in place, many people can take on these kinds of challenges if they want to.  

“I want to be able to break the mold and say, ‘you know what, it can be done,’” he says.

The experience helps him take on other challenges in his life too. 

“I think, ‘Remember Mark, remember WildPlay,’” he says. “It was a combination of having the guts to do it and Power To Be having the flexibility to do it with me. It was something I didn’t think I could do and when I did it, and I have to say to myself I did it well, I was a proud puppy. It makes me want to do so much more.”

We want to extend a big congratulations to Mark for conquering the course with us and a special thank you to the team at WildPlay who continue to go above and beyond to ensure Power To Be participants have positive experiences high in the trees.

– Story shared by Mark Miller, adventure seeker and Adaptive Recreation participant