Oct 10, 2017

By Shannon Wall, Instructor

This week in our Recreation 3230 course we are looking at the idea of shared vision in organizations. One of the things we look at is a video that a group of wonderful Langara Recreation Diploma students created together (along with the help of Steve Musson, Andrew Lee and myself) a few years ago. If you haven't seen the video, take a look:

Two things strike me when I re- watch this video: first, the joy! I can't stop smiling when I watch this video. When we filmed the group scenes, we sent the students out across the campus in groups with cameras. I was in one of the groups, and what I remember most is the laughter- not just in our group, but in every group we ran into along the way. Lots of students from other departments stopped me in the hall that day to ask who we were and what we were doing. The joy that was emanating from them was contagious, and the other students wanted to be a part of something that fun, too! I think this joy is representative of the joy that runs through the recreation field as a whole, and is one of my favourite things about it.

The other thing that strikes me in the video is the sense of connection that the students have to each other. There is a strong sense of togetherness, of support, of camaraderie, that is very authentic. We see this connection each year as students go through the Diploma program together and come to lean on each other more and more as time goes by. This connection begins at Outward Bound and continues throughout the program. If you watch the video right through to the end, you will see the students singing on the bus. This was the bus trip at the end of Outward Bound, after the students had completed their four days of hiking on the trail. The bus was bubbling over with chatter and excitement as the students shared stories of their adventures with each other. They were so proud of their accomplishments on the trail (as they well should have been!) and were deeply connected to each other as they had this shared experience to bind them. If I had to pick a moment where this group became a team, it would be this one- when the music comes on and we all started singing at the top of our lungs. It was magic! This part of the video reminds me that HQR (High Quality Recreation) has the power to connect people, to bind them together through teamwork and shared experience.

In a world where there is much conflict, cut-throat competition, and social isolation, it is reassuring to be in a field where joy, laughter, teamwork, togetherness, camaraderie and support are present, and where connecting and supporting one another is encouraged and celebrated. And on this Thanksgiving weekend, I will add that to the list of things that I am thankful for!