The end of the summer and beginning of fall has been a busy season for Outward Bound outings and trips. There has been a canoe trip every month, alternating between the boys’ and the girls’ communities, and in between these, Portage’s Outward Bound Coordinator, Sarah Connolly, led residents on day trips to go swimming at the gorge and canoeing on Guelph Lake and Laurel Creek.
At the beginning of September, residents spent a day rafting on the Grand River, where they stopped a couple times to first climb the inside of a three hundred year old tree, and then to go body surfing and drink from natural spring water.
On the last boys’ canoe trip of the summer, the theme was “Primitive Crafts”. Participants made impressive shelters during their twenty-four hour solo that really brought out their creativity and resourcefulness. They also spent a lot of time making bowls out of coal around the camp fire.
There was a special twist to the most recent girls’ canoe trip, which gave one resident a birthday that she will never forget. Her peers woke up early to surprise her by decorating the campsite and dressing up in costumes to celebrate the day. They enjoyed games, team-building activities, a birthday cake competition, and some art therapy around the campfire.
Cardier, one of the residents who went on a trip earlier this summer, asked Sarah to deliver the following message to the girls participating on the following trip:
“Tell all of the girls that I said it’s SO worth going. And that it doesn’t only make them stronger physically, but emotionally too. Their self-esteem and confidence will go way up ’cause they prove to themselves that they’re capable of what they may have thought impossible.”
On her trip, Cardier portaged a canoe by herself for 1.5 km.