The future of the outdoor
community is in our hands.
Sept.29 – Oct.02, 2021
The Canadian Outdoor Summit is not a conference! It is an epic, national, historic gathering. As such, we are inviting participants to excitedly co-create a reality where Led Outdoor Activities can thrive and be appreciated for their true worth, while reducing “operating in silos.” The future of the outdoor community, after all, is in our hands.
A team of dedicated individuals from across Canada have been collaborating since the Fall of 2018 to create an innovative model. A Summit where participants are not merely attendees of workshops and receivers of information but are honoured custodians of unique viewpoints, respected knowledge keepers, and passionate agents of change. Each participant is an active ingredient of the Summit.
In October of 2019, six workgroups and an Advisory Committee were launched under the leadership of volunteer specialists from across Canada. Women and Men from Indigenous, French, and English communities, all lending their considerable expertise to exploring a set of compelling topics. In the course of their explorations and research, these groups are engaging with the Led Outdoor Activity community to bring proposals to be discussed, enriched, and endorsed at the gathering. If you work in Led Outdoor Activity, then your voice is essential to the Summit.
It takes courage to travel on new or unfamiliar terrain. By providing input to workgroups and participating in the Summit gathering, you are leading our community in taking bold new steps towards a better future. We don’t expect to tackle all the most compelling challenges of our time by reaching a single Summit. Still, we do mean to make a powerful start by doing it together.
Our goal is to create an interactive experience utilizing experiential program methods and community building processes to design a truly effective and memorable gathering. We invite you to forget all you have come to expect from traditional conferences and make space for the Summit.
The Summit is not just an event! It as a journey, one to which you are all invited.
of the Summit is Staging Day: Like all great adventures and Summit journeys, we will begin by “finding our feet,” getting acquainted with our travel companions and setting the stage for how we can work together.
Staging Day will include innovative workshops establishing the necessary foundations for 350 people to achieve a joint goal in less than 40 hours and succeed in a cross-cultural context. This day will include inspiring messages from all across Canada and playful activities to help us step out of our siloes and create authentic connections. We will engage in some shared outdoor adventures together at the height of the fall colours and then celebrate, mingle, and power up at a unique evening social event!
Discussing systemic, “big picture” conversations have inherent challenges. Undoubtedly there will be diverse viewpoints, perspectives, interests, and personalities. These must be carefully navigated to ensure that people are feeling included, respected, and heard. This is our collective responsibility as participants in co-creating a successful Summit. This day of preparation will provide participants with practical tools to transcend challenges.
is Exploration Day: Like an alpine journey, this day will require some inspired team-work, communication, optimism, and collective determination. On this day, workgroups will share the information they have gathered over the 12-month ramp up for the event and bring proposals for the national outdoor community. A short panel will allow participants to peek inside the window of each group’s process so they can make informed choices about which sessions they feel excited to assist with that day.
Then, an active, facilitated process will invite all those present to contribute their additional thoughts, suggestions, and unique perspectives. This part of the process is about making space for other voices and vantage points, identifying both challenges and opportunities, and gather all the pieces of the collective puzzle. Day 2 will conclude with signature evening events.
is Resourcing Day: In mountaineering terms, we imagine this as being the day we make the final push to the Summit. There is still some big (and exciting) work involved, but also the understanding that there will be a moment to stand together in the sun to take in the view from twenty thousand feet.
The Facilitation Team will invite participants to step boldly back into the big picture and conduct that day’s conversations from that unique, mountain-top vantage point. The collaborative focus on Day 3 is about beginning to identify resources (funding, people, organizations, structures and supports) that might assist in mitigating the obstacles and challenges that revealed themselves the day before. This is where the makings of potential solutions will begin to emerge and where participants may find opportunities to take leadership over some of frameworks that are starting to take shape. On this day, Summit participants will also be presented with information enabling them to offset the cost of participating at the gathering.
is about “Navigating the Way Forward.” The final day will begin to look at the structures and frameworks required to keep healthy, forward momentum after the gathering. The Facilitation Team will be looking to identify individuals and organizations that may be interested in being of service to the national outdoor community. These organizations will take responsibility for implementation, resourcing, or leadership on a particular Summit results. These organizations will be known as “Summit Stewards.”
We will begin with an activity outside to gather our energy and enthusiasm for the metaphorical trip back down the mountain. This will include elements of celebration as we review some of the innovations, strategies, and tangible outcomes we have created together as part of the Summit journey. It will also be a chance to effectively map the concrete steps of what needs to come next to begin to make change come to life.
The Summit will conclude with an inspiring celebration and some unique closing activities along with a compelling call to action. After all, the future of the outdoor community is in our collective hands.
Throughout the Summit:
There will also be a unique collaborative process building our collective history, honouring those who have come before us and on whose shoulders we now stand. In addition, there will be a component of “Open Space Technology” programming to help nurture people’s diverse interests and set the stage for future Summit journeys. Finally, there will be a Summit Film Showcase celebrating the passion, voices and contributions of the national outdoor community.
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.
Support the Summit and join forces with hundreds of people and organizations passionate about Led outdoor Activities.