We are so glad you found us. Come explore.
Instead of giving up, I became determined to build my skills and confidence so I could model strength for my kids. I became aware that this journey was intrinsically linked to my struggles with voicing my own needs and with setting boundaries around how I am treated by others. These lessons are even more important for me to model for my girls.
In seeking out training, I found similar gender dynamics often existed. The bravado can be off-putting. The elements of personal growth and transformation that go along with the technical skills training is watered down or completely left out. At times, I felt like I didn't belong, yet eventually found a safe place to learn. I now aim to bring a safe place to learn and grow to others.
All of my services acknowledge the mental and physical learning as well as the emotional and spiritual learning. Fostering increased relationship between self and the natural world around us is of central importance. My services are currently offered exclusively to women and children.
If you think you may benefit from building confidence and skills while getting to know yourself and the world around you more deeply, I'd be honoured to connect with you on your journey.
"You belong every place, and no place at all"
~ Maya Angelou
I am so glad you found us. My name is Kristen, I am the founder of Challenge Your Current and I'd be honoured to share just a small part of my story that explains why I have started this business.
A few years ago I found myself a single mother dealing with grief and post traumatic stress disorder as a result of the death of three very important people in my life and one central, yet toxic relationship. The difficulty of coming to terms with a new reality was immensely challenging. It led me to seek out the healing powers of the world around me. I needed something constant, consistent, and ever-nurturing. While hiking and generally being outdoors was great, I felt I needed to rediscover my childhood love of canoe tripping - that is what was bringing the long reprieves from the pressure of daily life to allow healing to occur. The ripple effect this had on my life and the life of my two living children continues to provide opportunities for growth and positive transformation.
The path to transformation was fraught with (and continues to be dappled with) self-doubt, limiting beliefs, and judgements (both internal and external). I discovered that there is a very real gender bias in nature recreation. At times, it can be quite uncomfortable to be a single mother with two young girls on canoe trips.
About Challenge Your Current
At Challenge Your Current, we envision a world in which all people are supported in coming into deeper relationship with themselves and the world around them; a world in which all people can offer themselves and the world around them deep care; a world in which all people feel empowered to fulfill their own unique role in our interconnected world.
Challenge Your Current offers immersive outdoor experiences for those that wish to know themselves and the world around them more deeply, and those who want to encourage this deeper knowing in others. All programming strives to encourage participants to challenge their current understanding of their perceptions and abilities; and, to challenge their current relationships with themselves and the natural and social world around them. All programming strives to initiate desired growth and change unique to each individual.
This deeper sense of knowing is fostered through several services tailored to specific audiences:
Life Skills and Outdoors Skills Development for Women;
Forest and Nature School; and
Consultation and Professional Development for Educators.
Life and Outdoors Skills Development for Women
This programming strives to develop the physical and mental aspects of outdoors skills in a supportive and intentional environment that honours and highlights the emotional and spiritual aspects that support development of life skills along the way. The primary programming areas are canoeing, fire-building, navigation, and general survival skills.
Educational Consulting and Professional Development
Forest school is a pedagogy for learning that encourages human-nature relationship through self-led, outdoor play and carefully curated guided activities. Professionals support the learning process by co-assessing risks along with the participant to encourage personal growth and autonomy. Programming is entirely outdoors as long as the conditions are safe to do so and completely connected to the 'real world' and peers - no screens.
Educational consulting services primarily centre around guiding and mentoring programs and professionals to bring more outdoor and environmental education into their pedagogy that is scientifically accurate, culturally sensitive and grounded in cognitive and affective learning. Professional development for educators can be arranged to bring this service either as a broader training around forest school pedagogy for one educator or to a larger group of educators. Please inquire.
"And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul"
~ John Muir
Kristen Field Callow
Kristen has spent much of her life exploring the outdoors and deepening her sense of relationship with local places. She has worked to document and conserve important wild species and spaces in central Ontario and through that work became passionate about exploring ways of fostering human-nature relationship for the benefit of people and the planet. Her most cherished moments are spent canoe tripping and exploring the outdoors with her daughters and their dog.
She holds a diploma of ecosystem management from Fleming college and is currently completing a personalized undergraduate degree in environmental health education from Trent University as well as the Forest and Nature School Practitioner Course through Child and Nature Alliance of Canada.
Kristen is excited to join PSFS on a part-time basis to put her learning into practice and encourage children to thrive and grow in relationship with land and place.
Having grown up in the Almaguin/Muskoka area, the outdoors are a passion for Adah that she's had the privilege of experiencing her whole life. This led her to pursue a career of helping people through the exploration of holistic therapeutic approaches, especially one of her personal favourites: nature! Completing a Recreation Therapy diploma at Canadore College gave her many opportunities to work with multiple demographics of people as a professional registered with TRO (Therapeutic Recreation Ontario).
Adah has experience in a variety of outdoor activities! She currently works at Algonquin park on the side and is obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation.
Adah believes in sharing, learning, knowledge, kindness, fun, and laughter.