I.O. Core Values

At the basis of all that I.O. does lay the following core values. These assist us in creating a safe and trusting environment in which participants can discover the outdoors, develop skills and open themselves to the world around them and within them.

Challenge and Adventure

Both of these terms invoke an element of the unknown, the unusual, something exciting, even risky, which demands great effort. When we are taken out of our comfort zone we are invited to test our limits, explore and discover our strengths. To embrace the unknown is to be able adapt readily in the face of adversity. We move beyond personal apprehensions and fears in order to grow into our innate abilities.

Leadership and Responsibility

Leadership requires several factors, namely judgment and decision making, safety, communication, teamwork, and the ability to plan ahead and be prepared. Through it we are compelled to take ownership of our actions and decisions and keep the welfare of ourselves, teammates and surroundings at heart.

Awareness and the Environment

Awareness is the quality of knowing, or having an understanding. By awareness we refer to that quality of having an understanding of ourselves, others and the world around us. We project this quality to the natural world in which we live. We come to appreciate its incredible wonders, and to actively become stewards of its conservation and protection.

Sangha and Seva

Sangha is the sense of community, when we come to understand and experience ourselves as part of a bigger whole. In the sangha we acknowledge our interrelatedness and welcome, honor and adapt to diversity and differences.

Through seva, or selfless service, we participate actively in the community in a positive and constructive manner, with the spirit of looking beyond our personal needs.

Personal Development

I.O. strives to inspire participants to uncover their own potential and develop qualities essential to become creative, compassionate and balanced human beings. Those qualities are self-reliance, self-knowledge, confidence, communication, co-operation, awareness and responsibility for self, others and the environment.

Learning by Experience

Learning becomes real when we understand through direct experience. At I.O. we strive to create a safe environment in which ideas and concepts can be tested and challenged. Particpants are encouraged to explore and discover first-hand the consequences, application and relevance of theories, ideas and even their attitudes.

Leave No Trace (LNT)

We, at I.O., consider it our responsibility to help conserve those places we explore and use for our own pleasure and education. LNT is a set of guidelines devised to reduce the impact of one’s activities on the environment while traveling in the outdoors. I.O. adheres to the LNT principles and enforces them on all trips.