Portage Ontario has a full-time Outward Bound coordinator on staff at its drug addiction rehabilitation for youth. The Outward Bound Coordinator leads year-round activities both on and off the Portage Elora site.
Portage Ontario’s partnership with Outward Bound has proven to be an incredibly valuable therapeutic tool for the residents’ rehabilitation process at Portage Elora. All those who have participated in the hiking, canoeing, or dog sledding trips in Algonquin Park have been profoundly affected by the experience. These several-day trips, along with the many day trips and Outward Bound activities at the centre, force residents to step out of their comfort zone and to confront physical outdoor challenges head-on. Many of these challenges can be tied back metaphorically to their substance abuse rehabilitation process, which encourages them to put into practice the competencies they have learned at Portage.
In all the Outward Bound activities, as in the rehabilitation therapy provided at the centre, residents take responsibility for setting and working towards personal goals. They also learn to trust in others and to appreciate the importance of being involved in the community.
"This experience helped me learn how to rely on myself. I can transfer the learning from this trip back to the final stages of my Portage program and to life beyond. It taught me to be self-reliant, how to work as a team, and how to be independent." - Jess