During the time I have been at Trails, one of the challenges I have overcome has been stepping outside of my comfort zone. At Trails, I have learned to include everyone in every activity that we do. What I like most about Trails are the staff because they are caring.
During the time I have been at Trails, one of the challenges I have overcome has been getting up after falling and using new skills like leadership. At Trails, I have learned communication and it helps me at school by coaching me how to work with others. I like how the staff have helped me to become a nicer person outside of Trails.
Before Trails, I blamed all my problems due to things that I couldn't control. For example, my financial status, my family and society. Furthermore, I had a hard time socializing, opening up and had problems with mental illness. At Trails, I learned how to take leadership of my life, and stopped being a victim. I learned to laugh again, and stop worrying so much, with the friends I've made.
Being at Trails has created opportunities for me to relieve stress from school and home. It has allowed me to be more active and has given me the opportunity to express myself in different ways that I wouldn't be able to outside Trails. I have made new friends and gained new experiences.
Being at Trails has created opportunities for me to develop leadership skills. Throughout my five years at Trails, I have learned other useful skills that I have been able to use in my everyday life such as interview tips, time management skills and conflict resolution skills. All of these opportunities allowed me to work up the confidence to get a part time job as a lifeguard and swim instructor for the City of Toronto. With Trails and my work, I can further develop a passion for working with children. I know that Trails is rooting for me and I thank you for that.
Trails challenged me by taking me out of my comfort zone and pushing me to my edge in order to grow. I experienced things that I would never have experienced otherwise. I was a bit shy but I was forced to step up and take leadership roles within my group and with the younger kids as a LIT. I experienced things such as challenging canoe trips, high ropes course, polar bear dips in a cold lake, completing my Bronze Medallion and hours of community service. Trails also challenged me by challenging my way of thinking and conditioning by expanding my mind and worldview.
Trails challenged me in ways that pushed me to be the person I am today. I acquired transferable skills throughout the program that has allowed me to grow in life. I was challenged on the water, on high ropes courses, as a leader, as an individual.
Trails made me reflect deeply within myself to discover my strengths and weaknesses.
Trails creates opportunities for vulnerable youth from the Greater Toronto Area to learn and grow through experiences in the outdoors. Trails focuses on meaningful change over a long period of time, building trust and relationships between all of those involved in the Trails community. This long term commitment to the participants is one of the attributes that truly sets this program apart. Participants spend five years creating community, learning and growing together. This model of delivery allows participants to build meaningful relationships, gain progressive skills that are transferable beyond the backcountry into their everyday lives, andexperience safe adventure through many scaffolded experiences.
Trails is an organization invested in preparing our youth who, without the support of the program, might be not have an opportunity to reach their potential as contributing members of society.
The reason that I LOVE this organization and have supported it for so many years is because of the deep connections that are made over a long period of time. It’s not a one-off program that limits the impact but rather the four plus years that participants can be involved allows for a real depth of personal growth and development. As a facilitator, I saw first hand the incredible positive changes that youth were able to make with all of the supports at Trails.
Trails Youth Initiatives is not just a program. It is truly a community that builds roots in people’s lives so that they may spread their wings and contribute to their communities and the world at large!