TWC’s stabilization counsellor Jesse Kiss uses creative ways to welcome our new guys and make them feel like part of the family. When weather is permitting, everyone drops their pens and gathers at the Norquay Park basketball court just a short distance from the treatment facility. The walk there is spent socializing and getting revved up to let loose for a bit. Once at the basketball court everyone is separated into three or four smaller groups and given an assignment. It’s usually an exercise to help the new guys feel welcome and get to know their teammates. First there are some serious personal questions asked encouraging each teammate to disclose information to another and then there is a short series of fun questions to lighten the mood.
When each smaller group has completed their assignment they are asked to join into the game. With an average seven against seven it’s almost like a scene from a movie with everyone just hanging out having fun, some of them not having played played basketball in over 20 years. The guys that don’t play basketball relax and get to know each other. Even the very first days of recovery can be made inviting with the right incentives.
Buntzen LakeTrail, located in Coquitlam, boasts an attractive nature experience for anyone looking to get back to basics and escape the noise and bustle of the city. It is an 8 kilometer trek that offers fantastic views overlooking the tranquil and serene Bunzten Lake. Although the temperature was almost 30 degrees, the large overhanging trees offered ample shade adding to what turned out to be an exceptional day. About halfway through the hike everyone stopped for lunch and a dip into the refreshing lake. Many of the men expressed extreme gratitude and immense pleasure for what proved to be an enjoyable and relaxing way to unwind and have fun.
Many newcomers in recovery carry a tremendous amount of guilt, shame, remorse and anxiety over their destructive pasts and unknown futures. These nature hikes allow them to focus on the present and stay in the moment while experiencing the beauty of nature and enjoying the freedom that comes from living a life without the complex repercussions of active addiction. Oh, did we mention it was a load of fun?
TOGETHER WE CAN AND HEART OF HOPE DOUGHNUT DASH
On Sunday August 23rd Together We Can alumni clients and first stage clients teamed up with Heart Of Hope and volunteered at The Inaugural PNE Doughut Dash 5 km Fun Run. It was a great day. TWC would like to extend a big thank you to everyone that came out to help. We set up water stations and acted as course marshals. The guys handing out water were a big hit with the runners. Lots of laughs were had by all. The fact that these guys got out of bed before 6am on a Sunday to freely give their time to something like this just shows how special a group of guys we have here at Together We Can. Heart of Hope is operating an amazing program that allows people to make a positive impact on their community in an easy and innovative way…check them out at www.heartofhopetokens.ca and accept the opportunity to help someone who needs it.