Skating into Skill Development

Prospect’s Outdoor Pursuits team works to provide exciting opportunities for clients with the goal of developing skills through intentional outdoor and fitness programming, leading towards meaningful employment!

The purpose of the Skating program is to challenge pre-existing behaviours and habits associated with learning new and difficult skills.  Through this program clients have the chance to try skating for the first time, or improve on their existing abilities in a safe and supportive environment.  While learning the movement skills important to skating, clients are also developing essential skills such as: hazard identification, social awareness, self-awareness, emotion recognition and regulation, following rules and instructions, and effective verbal communication.

On this particular day, clients brought their new and improved skating skills to an outdoor rink for a round of hockey.  With hockey adding additional challenges and opportunities for skill development, clients were able to adapt their skills to a new environment while working to become resilient in their challenges and failures.

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Movember

Here at Prospect building and being involved in the community is important to us.  We work to support our clients in experiencing enhanced quality of life through activities that integrate skill development for increased workforce and community participation.

While we aim to participate more in the community, we also want to contribute to our community and support fellow community members.  As November draws near, the Therapeutic Hiking program spent a few minutes talking about the Movember movement, and why it’s important to support those around us.  Clients and staff then took a few minutes to  show their support for men’s health. Of course we had to do it in our own “connected to nature” way!

Building Community at Camp!

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Prospect’s partnership with the Ecotourism and Outdoor Leadership (ETOL) program has been going strong since 2011, with Prospect clients and ETOL students coming together every year for a camping trip.  The ETOL camping trip is something that Prospect clients and staff look forward to year round.  It is an important opportunity  for us to challenge community attitudes and stereotypes about people with disabilities while supporting future outdoor professionals in learning to plan/facilitate inclusive, adaptable activities that focus on an individual’s abilities.

On October 20th, 2017, seven Prospect clients, two Prospect staff and 11 ETOL students came together for an overnight camping trip at Easter Seals Camp Horizon.  Before the trip the ETOL students worked together to create a comprehensive program plan designed to support Prospect clients in developing essential skills such as relationship development, effective communication, self-awareness, and self-sufficiency.  Prospect clients and staff had a fantastic time engaging in creative and exciting activities that we haven’t had the opportunity to try before like glow bowling and an awesome night photography session!  The trip was a huge success, with everybody feeling like they had the opportunity to develop skills and create stronger connections to other members of the community.

We would like to thank Easter Seals Camp Horizon and the Ecotourism and Outdoor Leadership program at Mount Royal University.  Partners like these are integral to Prospect providing meaningful opportunities for clients to develop essential skills and participate in their community.

Finding Calm in Nature

 

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The Therapeutic Hiking program was designed to help clients better identify and manage their emotions, while connecting with nature and finding a sense of calm in their day-to-day lives. During the program clients spend as much time as possible in the wilderness, learning to be mindful in any activity, and getting to know nature just as we would get to know another person.

Out at Widow Maker on the Kananaskis River, clients spent some time discovering land formations and talking about how they might affect a river’s flow. The group was lucky enough to arrive at the river before the dam opened, allowing them to see formations while the water was very low. Soon after the group arrived the dam was opened.  The group was so excited  to observe the changes in the growing river!

Squashing barriers at Grow Calgary

Planting, watering, weeding and harvesting have filled our days as we work hard to grow healthy food.  Participants in Prospect’s Horticulture program work alongside Paul Hughes and the staff and volunteers of Grow Calgary to produce healthy food that is then harvested and donated to help support Alberta’s vulnerable populations.  The responsibility of caring for our garden helps participants to improve concentration and attention capacity, develops fine and gross motor skills and hand-eye coordination, and teaches task initiation and completion.  Participants are filled with pride and a sense of accomplishment as we work to give back to the community, and improve the lives of people in need!

For more information about Grow Calgary please visit – www.growcalgary.ca

Update: On August 8, 2017 the Horticulture group harvested 24 giant squash, 40 beets, a dozen tomatoes and carrots, and more beans than we could count!  We were so excited about what our garden produced, and even more excited to donate it to people in need!  After we finished our day at the garden we drove right over to Inn from the Cold to donate what we had!

 

 

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Snowshoeing

What do you when all of the cross country ski trails have melted during a chinook? This is a question that Prospect staff posed to participants of the cross country ski program. The group decided to head west and try another form of winter transportation- snowshoeing in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. It ended up being a beautiful day for trying something new.

 

 

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CrossFit

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Once a month Prospect’s Fitness program goes to Crossfit Athlete Inside to work with Coach Greg Gross and Coach Marcus Astley who generously volunteer their time and expertise.

Crossfit is based on functional movements that can be transferred into everyday life like how to safely lift objects or different movements for them to use in their own workouts. Participants also have the opportunity to develop valuable skills like encouragement, relationship development, team work, coordination and listening.

A HUGE THANK YOU to Coach Greg, Coach Marcus and Crossfit Athlete Inside for making these inclusive training sessions possible for us. We absolutely love going to Crossfit AI and learning from these two experts!

For more information about Crossfit Athlete Inside, check out: http://crossfitai.com/

Check out our coaches on Instagram.@crossfitmarcus and @gregdoesdoinstagram

Climbing

Anyone who has tried climbing knows how much of a physical and mental challenge it can be. If you ask a climber about the lessons that they have learned on the wall, they will be able to tell exciting stories about perseverance, confidence, and many different aspects of teamwork. For the last six months a group of Prospect participants have been learning these same lessons while challenging the wall at the Beltline Recreation Center. There have been a few days where we have ventured into parks in Calgary to do some bouldering. Bouldering  is a climbing discipline where the climber does a few physically challenging moves to make it up or across a small route without a rope.

Fenlands

Prospect Outdoor Pursuits program uses innovative strategies to teach employment skills. Sometimes the best classroom is not a classroom at all. Responsibility for completing tasks, working on literacy skills and giving back to the community are all skills that participants in the “Life Skills” program at Prospect had the opportunity to work on while trail reporting this fall.

Disc Golf

Over the summer participants in Prospect’s Disc Golf program worked on their numeracy, awareness and social interactions while enjoying time on some of the beautiful disc golf courses around Southern Alberta. Participants spent a day with Frisbee Rob, a disc golf pro who holds numerous world records. We would like to thank Rob for the great day we spent together! Check out this great video about Rob.