Since many years, Portage works with Outward Bound Canada, a nonprofit educational organization which aims to cultivate resilience, leadership, connections and compassion through inspiring and challenging journeys of self-discovery in the natural world.

On Monday, June 24, 2019, two staff and ten residents attended Outward Bound in the Adirondack region. The youth and staff were living in the wilderness for five days. During the day, they portaged their canoes to find new areas to camp.

The youth and staff learned many new skills including how to create a fire, how to make food over it, how to purify water, how to pitch tents, how to architect tarps for rain shelter, how to paddle and carry canoes. They hence learned about independence, leadership, safety, patience, and perseverance.

After five days in nature, Portage residents and staff returned to Elora with confidence and great memories. This Outward Bound activity is an experience that enables youth to use the skills they learn at Portage and need towards recovery.

This incredible experience was very appreciated by the youth. Adrian, a young resident of the Portage addiction treatment center in Ontario, described it: “Outward Bound has opened my eyes and shown me that I can achieve whatever I put my mind to. Upon completion of the trip, I feel stronger, more confident, more aware and more capable of withstanding the obstacles of everyday life.”

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