Regular Outward Bound programming at Portage Elora provides residents with the opportunity to put the leadership, communication, and teamwork skills that they have been developing in therapy into practice in the great outdoors.
Among the activities of the past few months, here are some highlights:
- In February, residents went on numerous cross country skiing trips to Snyder’s Flats near Kitchener, Ontario, and some went on a winter dog-sledding trip in Algonquin Park.
- In March, residents enjoyed a lot of ice-skating and hiking, and went indoor rock climbing at the Guelph grotto.
- In April, residents went on several day hikes through the Elora gorge, and went caving at Rock Wood.
- In May, the youth went on hikes to Webster’s Falls, and with the warm weather back, they started jogging and playing ultimate Frisbee every Thursday. They also took part in a drum walk, where each individual was blind-folded and had to use their senses to follow the sound of a drum through a forested area. The walk is a symbol of each person’s journey of walking away from addiction and overcoming obstacles on the path to sobriety. Residents also took part in a class where they made dream catchers and learned about the Native American practice of smudging, taught by an Outward Bound leader and co-instructed by two female residents from the Sudbury area.
During and after these activities, residents discuss how these adventures made them feel, and staff members help them relate their experiences back to what they have been learning about themselves and others while in rehabilitation therapy.