Our organization uses outdoor experiential learning techniques to provide a foundation for self development, which we believe is necessary before dynamic, self-organizing teams can develop. Success in our programs depends on how the team analyzes the situation, identifies resources, distributes responsibilities and implements their “plan of attack”.
Participants of our programs leave with a new perspective of their abilities, as well as a better understanding of how they contribute to a team effort. Essentially, they begin to appreciate the art of compromise – making critical decisions with limited time and resources, then taking responsibility for the consequences.
Our participants also strengthen theirempathy for other team members, while taking a greater degree of pride in their work. But perhaps the most satisfying and sustainable part of our approach is an environmental ethic, which is contagious considering the immense respect our executive team and facilitators have for the outdoors.
The outdoors is a place where nature is the rule, rather than the exception. Whereconsequences are real and immediate. Although we offer on-site and urban solutions, conducting our team building courses outdoor, away from social interference, helps foster an environment of creativity, respect and interdependence. It can also lead the way to a profoundly inspiring experience that may transform the way our participants set priorities in life.
– TOOLS –
We use various simulations, or scenarios, during our courses. Our participants engage in activities with limited time and resources under physical stress in order to develop an approach to seemingly impossible tasks. Tools we use are dependent upon need:
- Communication skills
- Conflict resolution
- Leadership development
- Strategical planning
- Personal development
- Project management
We develop a program to meet your needs. We use a variety of activities to challenge our participants style of problem solving. The programs include:
- Learning projects (problem solving, scavanger hunts etc.)
- Ropes Course Elements (High or low challenging ropes course depending on the location)
Special elements on request (kayaking, raft building,rafting, climbing, rapelling etc.)
Whether we give an attainable goal under ambiguous circumstances, or a value-based goal with variable conditions, our participants strengthen their situational creativity and risk assessment skills.
– PROCESS –
The relationship with our clients and participants begins with a thorough assessment of the organization. We conduct interviews, hold group meetings and distribute questionnaires. This helps us to create an appropriate program for our client, with the understanding that team building is a process.
Next, our executive team and facilitators design a program drawing from various methodologies and activities. The specific program will depend largely on what the primary objective is, whether we are working with new or existing groups.
The following are typical objectives proposed by our clients:
– To see how a new group of individuals works in a team (as part of the hiring/selection process for our clients)
– To challenge an existing group (such as a sales team, a non-profit staff, a university group)
– To build a new team (for example, a multi-national company setting up a branch office)
– To challenge current managers by introducing unexpected variables
– To facilitate the self-development of new leaders (generally through our youth programs)
After we receive approval from the client to run our program, we will organize all logistics and send out “What to expect” information packets to prospective participants. Our courses range from 1/2 day on-site, to long weekends or up to 5 day intensive experiences.
We can conduct the training at your facility, in the field, at an urban site, on the water, or more typically, in a combination of settings. As far as specific activities, we introduce various scenarios throughout our ropes courses as well as the hiking, biking and water components. During the assessment phase, our clients will determine the desired share of adventure for their program.
The relationship with our client has many layers of evaluation, from debriefing after each activity to feedback upon completion of the program to final evaluation a few weeks after the team building experience. As a dynamic and responsive organization, we want to find satisfaction in the services we provide. We do this through continuous education of our own team as well as review of our clients’ impressions. As was said by Bernard Berenson, “Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago.”
– RESULTS –
Our programs provide benefits on both the organizational level as well as to the individual participants. They:
– help expand personal boundaries;
– contribute to self-knowledge by discovering, developing and achieving one’s potential;
– help shape and strengthen team-spirit.
– leadership abilities, feeling of success;
– confidence /trust between members of the group;
– self reliance.
Our clients may integrate them into their hiring process, to complement their other techniques for selecting strong team members and leaders. Or they may want to build new teams, either from individuals new to the organization, or as a result of internal restructuring. Or they may enroll existing teams to introduce variables that challenge existing group dynamics, helping to uncover individual resiliency to change.
As far as the individual benefits, during our programs the participants go through a challenging cycle of environmental awareness, risk assessment, critical thinking, and situational creativity (improvisation) in order to strengthen their ability to manage ambiguity. They accomplish challenging, unfamiliar tasks, learn that they can do far more than they ever thought possible. Ultimately, this experience develops character and builds confidence by encouraging our participants to transcend their “limits”.