Recreation and leisure are essential aspects of everyone's quality of life. Facilitating the therapeutic benefits of outdoor recreation and leisure is a rewarding career path for many of our graduates.
Jeremy works as a Therapeutic Recreation Specialist at the Niigaanning Bimaadiziwin (Future Life) department for children’s developmental services. He provides therapeutic recreation programming based on personalized care plans for children and youth of 13 Indigenous communities in the Kenora region. He works both one-on-one and in groups of varying sizes to deliver goal-oriented recreational programming based on assessment and observation.
Jeremy can often be found facilitating an outdoor activity for a classroom, completing assessments or follow-ups with clients, supporting extra-curricular activities and land-based learning, advocating for inclusive community resources and events, or playing a board game in the resource room. He says, "The sky is the limit, and every day is different".
The most impactful contribution that Jeremy took from the ORPT program is his confidence and ability to design and implement his own programs and lessons. The outdoor skills he learned have, of course, proved quite handy in a role that has him facilitating and instructing on outdoor skills & programming.
HBOR/BA (Psychology) 2008
Ruth graduated from Lakehead University in 2008 with a double degree in Outdoor Recreation and Psychology. She went on to complete her Masters of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University. Once she completed her Masters, Ruth worked full time as a camp director for various organizations in Ontario, before moving back to Thunder Bay. Ruth now works as a clinician in children's mental health, using the knowledge gained in ORPT to inform her clinical practice with children and their families. She also brings her expertise to ORPT as a contract lecturer, sharing her passion and knowledge of therapeutic recreation with students who wish to pursue a similar career path in our program's new Concentration in Nature-Based Therapeutic Recreation.
HBOR/ BA (Geography) 1995, BSc (Natural Science) 1996
After graduating from the Honours Bachelor of Outdoor Recreation, Parks & Tourism and Bachelor of Arts, Geography double degree program in 1995 I went back to complete my Bachelor of Science, Natural Science (Honours) in 1996. I then was fortunate to be offered a job as a Recreation Therapist/Leisure Lifeskills Instructor at the Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital. I continued to work in the Adult Mental Health with St. Joseph's Care Group in Community Mental Health Services. Knowing the benefits of leisure and recreation in holistic care and mental health I continue to advocate for clients, families and the recreation profession.
The ORPT program has been beneficial through the skills that I have acquired in critical thinking, writing, research, and practical skills in outdoor recreation and leisure activities. The ORPT program is balanced in practical and technical skills learning as well as academic and educational learning. The academic portion of the program has given me the foundation for research, report and proposal writing, and maintaining best practices in therapeutic recreation. The skills and philosophies that are taught have formed and enhanced my career and life.