Zac speaking

What can you expect from a keynote presentation by Zac Crouse?

Zac uses stories, original music and clips from his documentary film ‘Paddle To The Ocean’ to engage, entertain and empower. His ability to explore sensitive topics in an honest, respectful & light hearted matter allows participants to gain insight into his recreation therapy self-practice and unique approach to recovery from PTSD.

Topics include the stigma surrounding mental illness, the links between mental health and recreation, and leadership development.

Zac draws from personal experiences and adventures – using humour, anecdotes and theory – to illustrate points and facilitate connection with the audience. He’ll explain why it’s a bad idea to joke with police in rural Oklahoma; and why you should always say “Yes!” to an invitation for Tea in outport Newfoundland.

Participants will walk away with practical tips to help them make time for the things they love while improving their quality of life.


Mental Illness – It’s Time To Stop Being Weird About It

Why is it that we treat individuals with mental illness differently than we do those with an illness of the body?
How does stigma restrict treatment opportunities for those seeking to improve their mental health?

Zac discusses these questions and shares his personal experiences in dealing with our health system. His central message: recreation is essential for mental wellness; because it provides opportunities for regular physical activity and creative outlets within a framework that is more sustainable than traditional treatment approaches.

Zac encourages participants to explore their own passions and interests as a way of improving overall quality of life.

Leadership Through Failure

By embracing and celebrating failure you can achieve more, with less anxiety and wasted energy. Instead of viewing failure as the end; Zac helps participants to see failure as an opportunity for learning – one stage in a circular model of growth and change.

Employ strategies such as prototyping. Discuss consensus vs coercion approaches to motivation. Be brave enough to to ask yourself the question – “What kind of leader am I?”

Zac will share hard earned wisdom – such as why a job interview is the wrong place to try out a new joke; and sarcasm does not help build rapport with at-risk youth.

Dare To Be Bored

Learning to cope with boredom is an essential life skill. Many people are uncomfortable being alone with their thoughts – no distractions, no connectivity. Just…you.

Critically examine the growing trend of  pathologizing boredom; as though it were a serious illness or a problem to be solved. Learn how to stop falling into the role of entertainment director for your family. Teach the young people in your life to take responsibility for their own time. Allow your brain the time & space it needs to process life’s unexpected hurdles.

Discover the benefits of boredom, the skills that it teaches us, and how striving to eliminating it contributes to exhaustion and anxiety.