Understanding Youth as Opportunities, Not Challenges
In this interactive session, participants were invited to develop an appreciation for the emotional, social, and identity challenges faced by youth. Through a variety of group processes, personal reflection, and sharing of experiences, the workshop celebrates youth participation in parks and the outdoors, while offering a suite of techniques and principles to help foster wider celebrated participation.
Stories and experiences from older youth help inform the presence of emotional tensions within
youth engagement. The emotional pressure placed on youth in their formative years under the
societal emphasis of “youth leader of tomorrow (or today)” adds the provocative backdrop to
conversations. With collective support and knowledge, participants generate concept maps of
programs fostering deeper connections with nature, based on a holistic representation of youth.
Presentation from the 2015 Alberta Recreation and Parks Association Parks Forum