Guest Blog: Fei and Jayden Back for More Get Outside BC

By Jayden Rae and Fei Ge

It has been less than twenty-four hours in Squamish at the Get Outside BC summit and our ideas and friendships are already taking flight. As we laugh around a campfire, enjoy a peaceful morning hike and bond while learning leadership skills, we realize that a positive energy is truly infectious. It is clear to see that although we each hold different ideas on what we believe leadership should be, our common passions unite us together. For us, Fei and Jayden, we feel incredibly fortunate to be back at Get Outside to take part in this incredible opportunity all over again. I (Jayden) and Fei took part in Get Outside in 2011 and 2012 respectively as participants and the experience we had has lead the way to many new opportunities including becoming interns this year. 

Our years with GOBC have had different influences over our lives but in both cases, it has certainly set us on our paths to becoming community leaders. We were able to go back home from the project with high ambitions and a new found confidence that has guided us to accomplish our goals. What is it about Get Outside BC that has such an empowering influence? As we both consider this, we realize that it is about the emphasis on natural leadership. So what exactly is being a natural leader? It is all about connection. Making connections to your peers by creating meaningful networks and relationships. It is connecting to the natural world around us that is to be both respected and explored. Most importantly, it is connecting to our inner values to become more self aware of how our actions can impact the world around us.

Through Get Outside, we have made meaningful connections that have allowed us to host successful events that inspire our communities to enjoy the world around us as we do. Fei’s events reached out to the immigrant and minority groups in her community and encouraged them to take advantage of the nature that defines BC. A bike ride and International Potluck at a provincial park jumpstarted her debut as a natural leader in her own life and within her community. Her successful events gave her a new found confidence to take on her goals, recently landing her the Prince George Youth of the Year Award. In my own experience, after hosting two successful Get Outside events, decided to take on the goal of creating a network of youth in my community committed to protecting the environment. Through the skills and networks gained at the project, I have been able to establish the Whitby Environmental Youth Alliance, which has enabled me to grow as an individual. Get Outside ignited the sparks within us to step outside of our comfort zones and to continue our journeys of becoming natural leaders.

Although we are all at different starting points, it is clear that we are setting out on the journey all over again with another set of incredible, passionate youth.