Power To Be practicum student shares an inspiring day on the water

The staff and volunteers at Power To Be facilitate and support this type of healthy development. I am truly inspired by each staff member’s dedication to each individual. However, my most profound learning moments have come from the participants themselves.

One occasion stands out in my memory. I was with a group on a voyager canoe trip. I was asked to support an individual with limited mobility. He had a hard time using the paddle and kept talking about how he was not doing much paddling. We also talked about his life, the beauty of the water and the feeling of being in a canoe. He seemed to be enjoying himself, but would occasionally slip in a negative comment about his paddle abilities.

Halfway through the canoe trip another participant began to encourage and engage him around these comments. She asked him about his level of ability. She challenged him to try doing as many strokes as he could. She applauded his efforts and focused on his success. In addition, she highlighted his strengths. Which were: he came out on program, he put himself in a new environment, he was meeting new people, he was trying something new, he was contributing to the group, and he was challenging himself.

Needless to say, I was very inspired by witnessing this interaction. I certainly walked away with a number of ideas around encouraging and challenging participants. I also walked away with an appreciation for shared experience and ones ability to relate to others.

In a later debrief with the staff team, I found out the motivational participant is a long-time Power To Be participant. She has come a long way and her actions while out on program speak to her own personal growth. 

– Story shared by Teagan Lee, Power To Be practicum student and Bachelor of Social Work student at Yukon College