Edge of the Wedge #2
Experiential education has always been the lens through which I have structured activities, both with my language students and with participants of the Land Canadian Adventures. It’s a powerful methodology for continuous growth and improvement which recognizes that with the right mindset, the present moment can be mined for rich sensations that connect us to our past and help create our future.  I love that I get to create and curate natural, rugged and beautiful experiences for visitors, newcomers and locals alike, and have definitely come away from the GMIST Edge of the Wedge sessions with a keener eye for this art form.DCIM102GOPRO
Right off the bat, I was impressed that this course gave me the opportunity to meet and work with participants and facilitators from coast to coast and south of the border as well, although the winter storm prevented at least seven from arriving on time. Many of us could totally empathize with the GMIST crew, knowing what it’s like for the inevitable first obstacle in any event such as this to emerge either before it has started or within the opening moments!  In my case, it tends to put me on edge for quite a while afterwards, although I work not to let it show.
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Thankfully, we arrived early and The Kawartha crew of Kelly and Jaimie from PKT, who amazingly sponsored our tuition and accommodation for this course! and Fran from Zimart represented Ontario well by braving the elements on the Western Brook Pond Trail: likely the windiest walk on which I’ve ever set foot.

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This GMIST session focused on crafting well-rounded experiences for visitors, as well as creating space for participants to make it their own. It achieved this by providing us the chance to see how local operators partner to create packages that leave visitors feeling authentically engaged in the area.  Well crafted experiences combine challenge with just enough support from the leaders, and I think that accurately describes the experience of this intense and rewarding course. Theoretical ground work from Celes from Earth Rhythms and Nancy from Tourism Cafe paid off in some very valuable analysis of the types of hands-on experiences available to visitors to this beautiful park.

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I’m so grateful to the GMIST crew, my fellow participants with whom I envision much collaboration, and to those who helped me with tangible support of this mission.   Gracias miigwetch merci wela’lin thanks a ton!

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