the Maddie Project
Outward Bound Canada has a proven track record of working with Canadians from all walks of life to implement innovative and bold solutions that encourage participants to overcome obstacles and reconnect with themselves and others and the world around them. OBC’s programs tap into the power of the natural world as a place of education, healing and empowerment. As such, OBC is well-positioned to play a key role in helping youth develop self-awareness and build their confidence.
As a third-generation participant in Outward Bound’s programs, Madeline Grace German Coulter had first-hand experience of the power of nature. Her family’s long history of participation and involvement with OBC was the impetus behind a pilot project called Connecting with Courage, an OBC program tailored for teenage girls. Maddie was the sparkle in the room that brought laughter and energy to everyone. When depression ended her life at just 14 years old, Maddie’s family channeled their grief into purpose creating the Maddie Project. Driven by community collaboration and events, the Maddie Project has two goals: to raise funds to provide uninhibited access to support for youth and their families through improved facilities and programs, and to increase awareness through conversations about youth depression and mental health concerns.
The Connecting with Courage program model uses a strength-based curriculum to support the development of wellbeing and resilience. The uniqueness of the program comes in the fact that it combines activities focused on self-expression and awareness with more traditional outdoor adventure elements, and provides instructors who serve as powerful role models who lead by example in standing in their confidence and owning their unique voices.
The Connecting with Courage program has a long history of success with Outward Bound schools throughout North America including in Canada. With the rise in mental health issues amongst adolescents, and the linkages that have been identified between time spent in nature and positive mental health, OBC and the Maddie Project are excited to continue this collaboration. The 2021 course will be a seven-day backpacking journey in the backcountry of British Columbia, run in the late summer (August 23-29, 2021). As with any OBC course, the expected outcomes for participants are an improved sense of resiliency, greater leadership skills and social connectedness and a stronger connection with nature. In addition, this course will have an added focus on developing confidence and helping youth find their voice. To learn more about this course or to register please click here.