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  • Writer's pictureSuzanne Venuta

Youth, Outward Bound, and, Who is This Wade Davis guy ?

As many of you know, I have been speaking to youth about my wellness journey, mental health, this journey we call life, and the power of connection, for about 15 years now. Folks ask me why I do this and my answer is pretty simple. “I would like to think, that I am that person, the younger me would have loved to have met, to give me hope, and to let me know I was not alone.”

I don’t mean this in a conceited way, but I know if someone like me, came into my classroom when I was a youth, it would have been very powerful for me.

As those that know me, my years as a teenager were some of the worst years in my life, but as bad as it was- there were folks along the way, that connected with me, made me feel like I was somebody and for the time they were in my life gave me hope, or at least helped me survive.

Some were in my life for a very short time, and some longer, and others took their time to make what I call “A Micro Connection” with me- those tiny, seemingly, irrelevant moments that take less than a minute, but leave a huge impact. But, each one of these moments and connections counted, and impacted me in ways that I often didn’t realise until later in life.

No one could change what was happening in my life, but they helped give me strength to carry on and continue outing one foot in front of the other.

When we connect with others, it shows we are seen, valued and understood.

In 19 days, I will be going on another Outward Bound Adventure, this time it is the Mt Assiniboine Reach Beyond Expedition. Like my last trek, this one is a Reach Beyond Expedition, and we are raising funds for Outward Bounds youth programs.

The past 16 months have been a challenge for everyone, and our youth have not gone unscathed. Being a youth is hard enough with trying to figure out who you are, where you fit in, questions of ones futures, socializing, making friends, having relationships etc are hard enough, then lets throw in some hormones to the mix, and it can be one of the most challenging, confusing, and unsure times of ones life. As if that wasn’t hard enough, lets bring on a pandemic.

I know from personal experience the life changing and life saving impact the programs of Outward Bound have on folks. I was a late bloomer as I was in my 40’s before my first Outward Bound Canada program. I know that I would not be doing what I am doing, and doing it well, if Outward Bound had not been in my life.

I have spoken to youth who have been on an Outward Bound trip, and when they talk about their experiance, their eyes get bigger, their whole face lights up and they stand taller. They talk about realizing they are stronger, more resilient then they imagined, that they found out they can be leaders, help others, and that its ok to ask for help and not know how to do something. In these supportive environments, out in nature, away from the technology and challenges of their daily life, they are transformed.

Outward Bound can't change what’s going on in their life, but they can give them the confidence and tools to help cope, and guide themselves through it.

Just imagine what I could have done if I had the opportunity to take these programs when I was a youth.

Post pandemic, these youth programs are going to be more important and needed then ever.

This Reach Beyond Expedition was slated for last year- but like everything else it got postponed. Fingers crossed that it will be a go this year- its looking promising and I will be off into another chapter in 19 days.

Last year when I was invited on this trek, I thought to myself “Who is this Wade Davis guy?” When I told folks that I had never heard of him before, the majority of them looked at me like I had two heads. I have since done a bit of research, and yeah- he is a bit of a big thing.

I’m looking forward to this trip, walking the trails with friends, and making new friends. And I am aiming to raise at least $1000 for the life changing youth programs. With the generous support of folks, I have raised $620.

These last 16 months have hit us hard, personally, emotionally, and financially.

If you are able, I am asking you to consider supporting my fundraising goals, no amount is to small. Also, please share on your social media and with friends. Who knows, the youth we help today, may be the one that finds a new vaccine next time the world needs one.

Please find my fundraising link below, and also the link to the expedition I will be on. Once again, anonymous benefactors have allowed me to take part is this once in a life time trip.

Cheers and be well and stay safe <3


PS- I belive there is a spot or two avaliable for this trek

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