Outdoor Leadership Program Brings Students Together To Network and Collaborate

Two women who travelled the length of the Fraser River together in 2016 have joined forces to design, develop and deliver a new experiential learning program this year on the Lower Fraser River. Called The River's Clinic, the program is offered in partnership with the Rivershed Society of BC and will contain spaces for 10 UBC students, sponsored by the UBC Sustainability Initiative.

Petra Markova and Megan Rempel are from Port Coquitlam, BC and are passionate about sustainability in their community. While paddling on the river during a 30-day sustainable leadership program, they had an idea to provide a more accessible outdoor trip for change-makers in the community. Petra is currently attending SFU, working towards her Bachelor of Science in biology and Megan graduated from BCIT’s project management program in 2016.

“I found when I wanted to start doing environmental work, I didn’t know anybody, which was the most difficult part. Trying to save the world by yourself is really daunting and difficult but as soon as you meet a network of people that want to do the same thing, you realize that each person is making a difference and you can use everyone you meet as resources and teammates. It’s important to build that sense of community to reach our goals in sustainability. This program gets students in nature, inspires them and nurtures them as they begin to join forces to make change.” – Megan Rempel

The River’s Clinic takes place on June 1st – 3rd this year and will engage 20 students from various post-secondary institutions in the Lower Mainland. Participants will paddle along the Fraser River from Kwantlen to Musquem Territory in 34’ voyager style canoes. A clinic style approach is used to inspire and strengthen relationships between participants by providing space for team building, positive discussion and project planning time in nature.

Summarized Itinerary

Day 1 – Introductions

Participants arrive at Glen Valley Regional Park and learn about each other, the RSBC and the Rivers Clinic. Orientation to program and camping systems. First meeting with the Fraser on a river walk and nature sit-stay. End of night share-out circle and discussion about student initiatives.            

Day 2 – Strategize and Networking

Facilitated leadership styles and strategies discussion with activities. Paddle from Glen Valley to the Kwikwetlem First Nation territory. Free time to network or explore the land. Participate in a community dinner. Guided bat tour at Colony Farm Regional Park.

Day 3 – Inspiration and Commitment

Paddle from Kwikwetlem to Musquem, with a break in New Westminster. Guest speakers share their stories and the importance of working with others. Participants brainstorm and make a commitment to a solution. Final closing circle and trip highlight.

This is an exciting opportunity that will build a powerful network of passionate youth in our communities.

The UBC Sustainability Initiative is sponsoring places for 10 UBC students - applications close April 30th, 2018. To learn more, please visit our webpage at www.rivershed.com/RCEL