In 2020, Power To Be formed a new partnership with Foundry. Foundry is a province-wide network of integrated health and social service centres for young people ages 12-24. Foundry centres provide a one-stop-shop for young people to access mental health care, substance use services, primary care, social services and youth and family peer supports.

The goal of the partnership was to bring the amazing work of the Foundry staff team out into nature. Initially this would be through in person programs in Victoria and North Vancouver but when the Covid-19 pandemic made in person programs more challenging we returned to the drawing board. Foundry has centres all over BC and the need to access nature was stronger than ever during a time when we were all spending more time indoors than we would like.

As we all adapted to life through a virtual platform, Power To Be had success with virtual knowledge sharing sessions to other like-minded organizations. The idea came to run an “Educational Workshop Series” that Foundry staff could attend from anywhere in BC. From there the staff could use what they had learned to bring their work with young people out into their local green space.

There were 6 sessions that took place in June 2021. Sessions one and six were via zoom with Foundry staff attending from all over BC.

  • Session 1 (Virtual opening circle and intro Via Zoom)
  • Session 2 (Advanced Planning)
  • Session 3 (Before you go Outside)
  • Session 4 (On the day)
  • Session 5 (After the Adventure)
  • Session 6 (Virtual closing circle and debrief)

Sessions 2-5 were pre recorded videos that were created by the program staff team at Power To Be. They included a sneak peek behind the scenes of what makes an experience in nature with Power To Be so successful. From advanced planning, how to create intentional program, assessing locations, to weather knowledge and what to pack. There was also info in there on risk assessments, on call process and creating a logbook.

The final piece of the puzzle was a workbook with questions and resources relating to the video content. We started with an opening circle which was a great way to meet the workshop participants and to learn about their goals for bringing their work into nature. After the introductions we sent them off on their learning journey and 4 weeks late we gave the opportunity to come back together, to share some highlight and to hear about all the adventures they have planned.

This model builds on our service delivery portion of the partnership as we have been working with Foundry for over a year and facilitate outdoor programs for their youth in Vancouver and Victoria. We love seeing these two models feed into one another to build connection, literacy, and further the notions of more people access natures beauty and wonder.