Momenta was founded by Lise Brown and Sara Harrison in 2006 after recognizing a need within Manitoba to provide year-round, accessible therapeutic adventure programming. Momenta’s programs are designed to incorporate their core values, themes from the participants’ daily lives and agency-defined therapeutic goals and aspirations for their groups. These programs include leadership development, character building, positive peer relationships, group cohesion and coping strategies.
Momenta’s mission is to create experiences for young people to discover their strengths and learn from connections that are a result of shared experiences. The organization uses current best practice research in youth development, social work, adventure therapy and experimental education to ensure that clients are safe, engaged, find meaning and feel challenged. They are also a certified B Corporation, which means they have met rigorous social and environmental performance standards, accountability and transparency.
“We became a B Corp 7 years ago because we want to be transparent about who we are,” says Lise Brown. “We are a female-owned small local business that wants to do good work, provide exceptional programming, provide sound and meaningful employment opportunities and make as little a footprint on the land as possible. The B Corp community and its assessment process help us develop progressive, inclusive, meaningful policies and procedures that support people and the environment and focus on where and how we can do better. We are a value-driven business, which is beautifully enhanced by being a B Corp.”
In March 2020, COVID-19 forced Momenta to hit the pause button on all of their programs for three months. During the program hiatus, they were able to continue consulting virtually and developed a video series for participants. Momenta now has a newly developed, 12-week, outdoor education series that includes skills and individual challenges, along with videos facilitated through Zoom to reflect and process participants’ independent learning. As of June, in-person programs have started up in a new way. Large groups and overnight camp programs have been cancelled, and they are currently running the program with half the staff, but through all the changes, Momenta is making the best of it. “We are entering a summer season that is 100% full,” says Brown. “We work with four to eight young people per day hiking, paddling or cycling. As an intentionally therapeutic organization, we are enjoying this type of programming immensely.”
Through all of the ups and downs brought on by COVID-19 and this new way of life, Momenta remains consistent in their value system to develop a caring and passionate team of practitioners, and to lead exceptional programs. “We desire to create safer spaces in the outdoor industry, and we will continue to thrive in this work in the best way that we can,” says Brown.
Being a B Corp has helped Momenta remain socially, environmentally and economically responsible. “The process of becoming a B Corp allows businesses to celebrate areas they are doing well in and identify areas of improvement. This movement is important for individual businesses to do the best work they can in the right way. It is also important as a global movement for businesses to act as role models for ethical practices, says Brown.