The youth at Portage Elora have been making the most of the outdoors this winter, enjoying many ice skating, hiking, and cross country skiing outings. Those youth who are nearing the end of their residential treatment program also had the opportunity to go on a five day winter expedition – hiking, snowshoeing, and dogsledding in Algonquin Park with Outward Bound Trip Leader, Sarah Connolly.
While on these wilderness adventures, residents take responsibility for all their basic needs, from cooking to building shelters, and finding ways to stay dry, warm, and comfortable. Sarah is continually inspired by how the youth cooperate and grow during these expeditions. “I love seeing the teens help each other out on these winter trips- the boys did really well considering how cold it was.”
This week, six female residents have started out on a five day winter expedition. Before leaving, Katherine, a Portage resident, expressed just how much she appreciates the Portage-Outward Bound program.
“My name is Katherine and I have been at Portage for almost six months. While at Portage, I have learned the importance of taking care of myself both mentally and physically. Sarah, the Outward Bound instructor, has been a significant influence for me. She has pushed me to my physical limits and helped me conquer my fear of heights during our visits to the Guelph Grotto, an indoor rock climbing facility. She has reinforced the need for physical activity in my life and introduced me to a number of new activities including rock climbing, ice skating, hiking, belly dancing, yoga, and team building exercises. My next adventure is happening on January 31, 2013. I am heading up north to take part in the winter Outward Bound expedition. We will be going dog sledding and snowshoeing. I am very excited, it’s a great opportunity.”