Adventure Pursuits Forms
Leaders can download the following Adventure Pursuits forms for their group event.
The Adventure Pursuits program is designed to support group leaders as they work with youth. Please contact the La Vida Center for Outdoor Education and Leadership office at 978.867.4886 or through email at Sarah.Shannon@gordon.edu with any questions. Our office manager or Adventure Pursuits director will be glad to assist you.
PREPARING GROUPS FOR THEIR ADVENTURE PURSUITS EXPERIENCE
Adventure Pursuits can be a new or different experience from your regular meetings, classrooms or activities. Group leaders can help participants prepare for the A.P. experience simply by talking about what to expect and how they can "get the most" out of the day. Participants feel more prepared when they are aware that:
- Adventure Pursuits is designed to be a learning experience.
- They will be active throughout the day.
- They should dress appropriately in layers for the weather.
- They will be working to solve problems in small groups.
- They will be playing games and having fun.
- They will be challenged but not pressured.
- The success of this experience is not dependent on athleticism.
- They will be doing activities outside on the ground (low course) and 20-30 feet in trees (high course).
- Reflection is an important part of the day so that they can learn from their experience and apply it.
- All activities are conducted on a "challenge by choice" basis.
The following are additional suggestions of activities to do with your group in order to prepare for the event
- Hopes and Fears Hat: Discussing hopes and fears with a group can allow people to see that they are not alone in the experience, alleviate fears and create a supportive growth community. Have two hats, paper and pens. Everyone should write something that they hope will happen or a goal on a piece of paper. After writing it, drop it in the hope hat. On a second piece of paper, write something that they are nervous or concerned about. Drop this paper in the fear hat. After everyone has put their papers in the hats, read them to the whole group. Discuss common hopes or fears that come up and how the group can support people in the experience.
- Goal-Setting Exercise: Goal setting has proven to be an effective way to help students be intentional about how they engage in an experience. Have each participant write down two goals for their experience. Each participant should write one of the goals on a blank sticker (like an address label) and attach it to their clothing. Everyone should then find people who have similar goals to themselves and stand together as a group. Each group can share what their goal for the day is. Be sure the goals are SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time sensitive)
- Respect Brainstorm: Respect is a foundation of group work. This experience will directly or indirectly build on the participant's ability to respect one another. Brainstorm in small groups all of the different ways that someone can show respect to another person. As a large group share and discuss how students can live these out during their Adventure Pursuits experience.
We encourage groups to continue the learning process after the experience. Below are different strategies and examples of ways to help participants apply learning after Adventure Pursuits
Full Value Contract
On most days, groups will develop a Full Value Contract. This contract includes ways that will help the group work well together and things that they want to remember from their experiences. You can come back to the full value contract by reviewing it, writing it down, posting it in a common area, acting it out, adding to it and discussing how to live it out.
Reflection and Processing
During the experience, facilitators use creative methods to help participants process. We have found that processing is a crucial step in helping participants apply the learning to their life. Facilitators have had success with the methods listed below and encourage leaders to try them with their groups. Here are a few examples of ways to continue engaging your group in the reflective process.
- Develop a short skit in small groups that is a "snapshot" of an experience.
- Have participants write or draw a postcard to themselves of what was learned during an experience. Collect the postcards and then send them to the participants at a later date.
- Use a one-word "whip" around the circle in which participants pick one word to describe how they are doing, what happened, what they would like to "take away" or apply, what they have a question about, etc. After the word is shared, go around and allow people to give more explanation for why they chose that word.
Additional Program Opportunities with the La Vida Center for Outdoor Education and Leadership
Adventure Pursuits welcomes back returning groups for a second or more advanced day of the low and high ropes course. Groups can also start and end their year with a team building experience or a 4-day backpacking trip to the White Mts in NH to frame their time together and celebrate in the end.
The La Vida Center for Outdoor Education offers additional follow-up experiences for groups. Learn more about taking a group on a canoeing or backpacking trip with Adirondack Expeditions, using our Rock Gym, sending students to our Adventure Camp for 11–15 year-olds or encouraging individuals to apply for our two-week Adirondack Leadership Program for 15–18-year-olds.