Course bridges co-ordination and confidence

“It is one thing to push your levels of comfort and sit with pure moments of anxiety on an obstacle course in the trees, and it is another experience all together when you live with physical limitations or an emotional barrier,” said Carinna Kenigsberg, Power To Be program manager. “WildPlay has opened up a space for our participants to come and try something they thought they would never be able to do.”

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The tree-based obstacle course is the perfect space to build confidence in physical literacy skills – including balance, grip and co-ordination. It’s also the ideal space to work on physical and problem-solving skills developed through Power To Be’s other programs, including kayaking, climbing and hiking. The sense of community that comes from those experiences is magnified in the trees as participants support each other to take on the next challenge.

“Wildplay staff have been open to learn about the diversity of people in our community and together we have come up with modifications to support people with emotional and physical limitations,” Carinna says. “That can mean letting a young boy with autism try the demo course several times in lieu of the official course or adding additional tools to offer balance support to someone living with an acquired brain injury.”

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With multiple exit points on the course it’s also well suited for Power To Be’s challenge by choice approach to testing limits. Back on the ground, they can see the immediate reward of looking up at the trees and seeing what they accomplished, notes Carolyn Macdonald with the Adaptive Recreation team.

The resulting memories can have a lasting impact, Carinna adds.

“For participants, the chance to push through the different heights and obstacles offers them a memory to pull on at another time in their life when they are needing the motivation to move through a difficult time.”

If you are curious to learn more about this or other programs, or would like more information on how to get involved with Power To Be please reach out to our Adaptive Recreation team.