A Season of New Possibility
Every season has its beauty, yet a sense of magic comes out during the summertime. Between the twinkle of sunlight on the lake, the outpouring of delicious fruit from our plants, and the warm evening breeze, summer has stamped itself on our hearts.
For teens, summer is a time of new adventure, freedom, and possibility. It is during these years that we develop a sense of identity, and our experiences during the summer months are fundamental to this exploration.
An Experience Measured in Connection and Community
Between social expectations, school, and finding a way in the world, navigating life as a teenager poses it’s challenges. And yet, camp allows us to break away from our daily lives and everything that comes along with that. It offers the opportunity to see ourselves and the world around us with a fresh set of eyes, to pause, live in the moment, have fun, and create lifelong bonds.
A place to be yourself leads to a blossoming sense of confidence. New opportunities unlock newfound accomplishment. And taking on challenges and overcoming fears opens us to an eagerness to take on the world. These are our mountain top moments – they cultivate the feeling of being closer to oneself, while connecting with something bigger.
Camp doesn’t just answer the question “who am I?” but gives us the autonomy to decide who we want to be.
Wilderness Youth Leadership Development: Authentic Adventure
At Strathcona Park Lodge, we specialize in adventure and outdoor education. Our wilderness expeditions differ from traditional sleepaway camps, and yet we understand that the two are grounded in connection and community. Here, cabins turn into tents, grassy fields turn into miles of mountainscapes, team building activities move from solving a low ropes puzzle to navigating across a wavy section of water. It is through these authentic experiences that our groups learn to trust, to embrace adventure and uncertainty, and to find joy in both times of struggle and triumph.
These expeditions touch on the value of “the journey,” the importance of shared experience, and the freedom of living from what you (and your group) can carry. Like a good book, these programs are grounded in the idea that when put together, a beginning, middle, and end becomes a story. And these unique stories are where we learn and grow.
Our hope for WYLD participants is that they return home with the awareness that there is an ocean of possibility. That they learn to trust themselves, find support in their peers, and feel belonging. That they feel driven to acquire new skills, gain an appreciation for the natural world, and go after what they believe in. That there is a deep knowing they are both capable and resilient. That by experiencing the wonder and freedom of the wild woods, that they too can be free.
-Sophie O’Brien, Program Manager