When facing the trials of life, we need a certain amount of emotional capacity to be able to overcome these obstacles. But overcoming is only a half step through the situation, as it is important to understand that through overcoming, this provides us the opportunity for the individual to develop and grow. It is in dire moments of challenge and hardship that we find out exactly who we are, and what we can achieve. A great way for doing this is through alternative outdoor recreation engagement.
A new program mission statement from ParticipACTION (2015), the partner in our governing body for youth Health and Physical Education policy in Ontario, states that “Access to active play in nature and outdoors–with its risks–is essential for healthy child development. We recommend increasing children’s opportunities for self-directed play outdoors in all settings–at home, at school, in child care, the community and nature”. This philosophy is imperative for adults to follow as well. “Learning does not stop as we age, and neither should our yearning for challenge, risk, and adventure. Overcoming obstacles in outdoor adventure is a perfect environment for reflection, problem solving, emotional and cognitive reformation, and resilience development”, states Ryan Kasperowitsch (2016), an Outdoor Education professional.
When looking at wholistic health of the body, mind, and spirit, it is clear that challenge is an integral part of creating strong character and building resilience. Using our natural environment to engage in healthy risks and challenges can provide you with the opportunities for development and self actualization; what you do with your newly found emotional and physical power is up to you…Let adventure be your guide.
By: Ryan Kasperowitsch, Bachelor of Recreation and Leisure Sciences, Masters of Education,
ParticipACTION (2015). https://www.participaction.com/en-ca/thought-leadership/research/2015-position-statement-on-active-outdoor-play
Ryan Kasperowitsch (2016). BRLS (Honours in OR), M Ed. Personal Communications.