Outdoor Recreation

Recreate and explore in an outdoor environment with your peers.


Outdoor Recreation is a day program for individuals ages 18 years and older and is designed to take full advantage of all things an equestrian farm has to offer. Activities suit any preferences including arts, adventure, nature, athletics and more. This is a full day program running on Monday’s and Friday’s where individuals will get to experience a variety of adaptive recreation activities, outdoor learning opportunities and adventures, as well as invaluable socialization time.

Program Activities

Outdoor Recreation is unique in that each activity will have an incorporated goal and facilitative technique in order to guide individual and group experiences from a Therapeutic Recreation perspective. Activities are chosen to be adaptable to individual needs, promote creativity, exploring, teamwork and active living in an outdoor setting. Check out the many example activities listed below:

Helping Hands
Participants will engage and help out with a variety of different tasks around the facility. These tasks can include helping with lunch time feeding, horse stall duties, shovelling, checking the
paddocks and so much more!

Mapping, Navigation, & Orienteering
Participants will have use of compasses and maps to participate in various activities including treasure hunts, orienteering challenges, and map making activities. Participants will test their skills in our back fields to show their learning.

Animal Tracks
Come and explore the animal world through tracks! Learn and discover all kinds of tracks of animals that live within our farm environment through crafts, activities and games.

Nature Art
We have 142 acres at Hope Haven to help inspire creativity! We have an abundance of natural materials to create sculptures and many natural landscapes to reproduce on canvases.

Outdoor Survival
Learn the basics of wilderness survival including food sources, how to get fresh water, shelter building, and even fire making. Participants will get to practice their outdoor skills through challenges and trivia.

Daily & Seasonal Changes
Students will explore seasonal changes through interactive games, crafts, and activities. The focus will be on the current season, while exploring what is different during other times of the year.

Growth & Changes in Animals
Participants will learn all about animal life cycles and their survival process. Interactive games and activities will have them exploring various predators and prey, animal life cycles, and animal adaptability in the wild.

Outdoor Activities
Participants will engage in a variety of outdoor winter games such as floor hockey, snow shoeing, tobogganing and more! There will be opportunities for individual and group play in a wide selection of different activities.

Campfire Building
Participants will learn a variety of different ways to build, light, feed and as well the proper ways to put out a campfire. This is a safe process and the only person to manage the flame will
be the Recreation Therapist or the volunteers that are instructed to do so.


Please contact our Program Manager, Robyn Allen, if you are interested in registering. We will do a basic screening over the phone, answer any questions you may have and then do a site visit to meet you if you are new to Hope Haven.
Email: program@hopehavencentre.org or 519-986-1247.


Who runs the Outdoor Recreation program?

Hope Haven's Recreation Therapist, Shannon Speers, programs and facilitates the day program with the assistance of volunteers as required.

What are the days and times of the day program?

We will be running Mondays and Fridays throughout the Fall and Spring Sessions, and only Fridays in the Winter. Drop off time is 9:00am and pick up time is 3:00pm. Please meet in our Activity Centre which will be the program's central hub and warming area.

How many participants will there be?

We are keeping with an intimate group and will be registering 4-6 participants each day depending on needs.

What are the requirements of the participant?

This program is for young adults, 18 years and older, who have unique needs and abilities and would like to continue to learn and explore in an outdoor environment. If a participant requires hands on assistance with one or more of the following, they will require a support person, organized and/or paid for independently from Hope Haven:

  • toiletting
  • eating/food prep
  • basic dressing
  • mobility on even or uneven terrain
  • following 1-2 step instructions

What is the cost?

Cost to participant is $40 per day. We will be asking for full session committment for all Mondays, Fridays or both, for the full Fall session. Invoices may be paid by monthly installments.

Can my Adaptive Riding lesson be scheduled for the same day?

Staff will ensure participants get to and from their lessons safely if they occur during the same day as the Outdoor Recreation program.

What Covid-19 meaures are in place?

The Outdoor Recreation program will be following the Public Health guidelines that will be in place at the time of your session including daily health screening, physical distancing, frequent hand and facility sanitizing as well as mandatory masking for indoor activities or if distancing is not able to be maintained when outdoors. For our current precautions and policies please refer to our Covid-19 Policy page.


545747 Sideroad 4A, RR #2
Markdale, ON N0C 1H0

(t) 519-986-1247


Located on Sideroad 4a between
7th Line and 9th Line.

View Map

Benoit Dube - Executive Director

Kim Reain - Development Officer

Robyn Allen - Program Manager & Physiotherapist

Michelle Lemire - Volunteer Coordinator

Emma Houser - Program Administrator & Instructor (PATH Int. CTRI, EC Instructor of Beginners)

Danielle Caswell - Equine Manager & Instructor (PATH Int. CTRI, EC Competition Coach)

Gillian MacNeill - Instructor (CanTRA CTRII, PATH Int. CTRI)

Shannon Speer - Recreational Therapist & Equine Assisted Personal Development Coach

Gretel Stanish - Instructor (Path Int. CTRI, EAPDC)

Alexis Murray - Instructor (EC Instructor of Beginners in Training)

Laikyn West - Property Manager