CORNER BROOK, NL
– With the goal to keep learning real, relevant, and relatable amidst the serenity of wilderness, College of the North Atlantic (CNA) hosted another successful Winter Wilderness Leadership Camp last month.
Ten students from around the province, accompanied by two instructors, participated in a number of team-building and leadership development activities in Gros Morne National Park.
Jeff Martin, CNA’s program developer for Experiential Education, says the overall outdoor adventure aims to help participants gain experience in leadership, outdoor safety and teamwork.
“The camp, focused on an authentic wilderness experience, had over 20 applications and 10 students were selected,” said Martin, who added that Faron Barnes, CNA's Recreational Activities Co-ordinator, also assisted with preparation and execution of the outdoors adventure.
Traditionally organized as an annual event, students take home some amazing life skills while learning to adapt in a fun and relaxing outdoor adventure during the college’s Reading Week break.
“Throughout the trip, students worked in teams to do all tasks, which were aimed at training and encouraging self-reflection, skill building, and real-world applications. Despite the weather conditions, the snowshoeing activity was very adventurous and every student took something valuable away,” Martin said.
Katherine Wellman, a student of the Forest Resources Technician program at Corner Brook campus, says the trip was a great adventure, despite the weather conditions.
“I cannot imagine a better way to spend my reading break, but most importantly, reflecting on strengths and weaknesses. I walked 18 kilometres, but it was so much fun, I wasn't even tired. It was one of the most beautiful hikes I have ever done.”
Martin says making life-changing impressions is part of the goal for the Winter Wilderness Leadership Camp.
“All participants leave with a foundation on a number of critical life skills, such as respect, self-awareness, conflict management, leadership and willingness to learn, which helps us achieve our goal and encourages a healthy wellbeing for students.”
Nathan Fowler, a student of the Tourism and Hospitality Management program at the Prince Philip Drive campus in St. John’s, says the experience taught him the importance of working in a team.
"It was an amazing overall experience; an interesting way to spend the reading break. However, this experience will push you physically; when your eyelashes freeze together and your hands go completely numb. I had this weird desire to help cooking or cleaning for the group to stay warm. I learned a lot about myself when it comes to thinking like a leader and a better team member."
Fowler said the highlight for him was being 18 kilometres in the wilderness disconnected from technology and starting to interact with people in a way that you wouldn't have under any other condition.
“And in the process, express a lot of gratitude,” added Fowler.
To learn more about the programs offered at CNA, visit: www.cna.nl.ca
College of the North Atlantic