Summit Outcomes

 

The Canadian Outdoor Summit is an epic, national, historic project enabling the creation of a more unified, national outdoor community and begin to remove roadblocks currently affecting outdoor programming.

The national outdoor community is broad, diverse and includes any organization offering Led Outdoor Activities (schools, camps, guiding companies, outdoor clubs, therapeutic programs) or associated with Led Outdoor Activities (training organizations, certifying bodies, and land managers).  The Summit is intentionally designed to respect the wealth of knowledge found from coast-to-coast-to-coast. This knowledge is leveraged to accomplish outcomes that will be of benefit to the national outdoor community.

 

The overarching goal of the Summit is to accelerate the transformation required for Led Outdoor Activities to thrive. To accomplish this, the Summit is focusing on the following outcomes. 

  • Create an evidence informed statement about the value of outdoor activities for Canadian Society: The statement will be a foundation for informing Canadians of the importance of Led Outdoor Activities and will be used as a lever to affect policy changes provincially and nationally. The national outdoor community is an indispensable contributor to economic, social, and environmental health. However, compared to other sectors, this community has little control over messaging. The result is little understanding of the importance of Led Outdoor Activities, little respect towards the associated professions, and lack of interest in orienting resources towards their development. The statement is the first step towards claiming the national outdoor community’s position as an essential contributor to society.
  • Identify accepted practices of Canadian outdoor programs: The first step to developing accepted practices for outdoor programs will be to compile accepted practices related to Led Outdoor Activities across the country. Then, the goal will be to find commonalities in practices that are known to promote quality and safety. Finally, these practices will be used to synthesize agreed-upon principles applicable nationally while maintaining enough flexibility to be functional locally. This will significantly increase the national outdoor community’s resilience in case of high profile accidents. In other words, the national outdoor community possesses expert knowledge in designing quality Led Outdoor Activities. This knowledge must be recognized and used across the country to develop better and safer programs.
  • Discuss and develop a proposed national framework of competency training for outdoor leaders: Developing a coherent training framework for outdoor leaders will have many benefits. It will ensure that clear “Standards of Care” can be referred to when meeting “Duty to Care” for participants. Training organizations will be able to meet the needs of the industries better. Respect for the professions associated with outdoor leadership will increase as the competencies required to act in these roles are established and affirmed across the country. Land managers will be better equipped to evaluate if a person has the competencies necessary to operate on their territory. Finally, a coherent training framework will increase workforce mobility across the country.
  • More widely promote outdoor education strategies for students in K-12: There is increasing evidence that Led Outdoor Activities in schools (outdoor education, environmental education, experiential education, place-based education, etc.) can foster improved educational outcomes. The Summit will enable an exploration of existing trends and opportunities for Led Outdoor Activities in schools. The intent is to find concrete actions transforming education in the outdoors from the “alternative” to the “norm” education for all Canadian youth. 
  • Invite and Integrate Indigenous perspectives on Led Outdoor Activity and its connection to land-based programming: The national outdoor community consists of a wide variety of worldviews. These worldviews often co-exist in parallel, reducing exchanges in knowledge, practices, and wisdom. The Summit is intentionally designed to respect the wealth of knowledge found from coast-to-coast-to-coast. It is intended as a project inclusive to all peoples living in Canada. Consequently, a special effort is made to ensure that the perspectives of Indigenous peoples regarding Led Outdoor Activities are part of the Summit. In the spirit of reciprocity, these perspectives are expected to shape the Summit results. In addition to having Indigenous individuals in most workgroups and committees, a workgroup has been provided with this specific mandate.
  • Promote greater access to the outdoors for individuals with differing mobility: For Led Outdoor Activities to be of benefit to all Canadians, they must be accessible and attractive to a diversity of participants. Consequently, a workgroup has been mandated with identifying current projects and propose key actions to promote access to the outdoors for individuals with differing mobility. The Steering Committee is well aware that barriers to access is a concern for multiple other groups in Canadian society. The reflection on inclusivity and access to the outdoors may be broadened. The workgroup coordination team will decide on this matter and inform the Steering Committee. Beyond workgroups, additional structures have been implemented to promote inclusivity for visible minorities and 2SLGBTQ2 individuals in Led Outdoor Activities. 

Be Part of the Collective Effort!


If you care about bringing people outside, this Summit is for you. It is designed to give space for your opinion to influence the results.  Join this unprecedented national collaboration and help co-create the future of the outdoor community.

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