Wilderness School parent shares positive impact on her family

Year One

Weekend one.

I see a parking lot.

I see a van, and I see a group of unknown teenagers thrown together.

Mulling awkwardly around camping gear they aren’t sure how to use or why it is necessary.

I smell sunscreen and uncertainty.

I see excitement and unsure goodbyes.

At pick up, I see the starts of shared stories and the beginnings of memories.

I see friendships growing.

I see hiking boots and blisters and smiles.

I see some excitement at the prospects of next month’s weekend away.

I hear a rumoured hush of a four-hour solo at the end of Year One, something all the kids seem a little apprehensive of.

I watch my first closing circle and experience teenagers learning to articulate gratitude for one another and for nature, pride in what they have done and what they will carry with them.

I feel happy.

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Year Two

I see a parking lot.

I see a van, and some slightly less awkward teenagers looking forward to another year spent adventuring together.

I see teens looking forward to weekends away and trips that are yet to be had.

I see teens that are engaging in planning and voicing preference in activities and food choices, as well as preferred gear choices.

I watch the beginnings of prepared youth gaining confidence in their ability to enjoy nature and each other.

I see teasing and comradery. I hear of the impending eight-hour solo at the year’s end.

I also hear afterwards of the lessons of learning to be alone with yourself, and your thoughts and to enjoy your own company.

At the end of Year Two, I see confident youth.

I feel excitement for them.

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Year Three

I see a parking lot.

I see a van and a group of old friends excited about the year ahead.

I see confident youth ready to conquer the coming year’s fun.

I hear stories of chasing crabs, jellyfish stings, van sing-alongs, of epic sunsets and historic facts of places visited.

I hear anxiousness in the upcoming overnight solo.

I buy a hammock in hopes to ease the overnight stress.

I hear tales of an overnight success; of windstorms and sideways rains, of soggy sleeping bags, of pride and perseverance, survival and self-esteem.

I am impressed.

At the end of Year Three, I feel inspired and hopeful.

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In a world where we are trying to provide the best for our children, survival sometimes outweighs the importance of appreciation. Power To Be has reminded us of the importance in taking the time to appreciate the beauty in nature that surrounds us and the importance of sharing that with each other.

Thank you all so very much.

– Story shared by Suzi, Wilderness School parent