It's time to think about summer camp. Whether you have a camper of your own or you're a director and need to plan your staff training, the season is upon us! Check out our summer camp (grades 5-8), Leaders in Training (grades 9-12), or register for our Adventure Institute for Camp Staff and complete your training in no time.

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How Do You Reduce Stress?

Sometimes you don’t realize that your shoulders have crept up to your ears, or how tight your jaw is clenched until you make it a point to stop. Everything.  We all handle stress in different ways, so the staff at Project Adventure shared how they reduce stress to remind us that it’s important to take a moment out of each day for yourself. Take a deep breath or two. Remove myself from the situation by taking a short walk.Susan  Rock climbing, skiing, running (eww), hiking, biking, paddling and other such activities are tools I will often use as ‘active meditators’ to help chill out. Then there's the ‘everything but’ physical activity which often includes staying home, sleeping in with no alarm, eating lots of food, and catching up on all the stupid shows I never watch.  And lastly, social time. I am thankful to have such a tightly woven social network, with friends that know me well enough to identify when I might need help relaxing. These days of reprise will often look similar to the category listed above, but with more mental activity. Usually, board games, lawn games, short and long talks will ease me into a broader peace of mind.Dillon Walking, exercise, weeding, skiing, getting away for the weekend.Heather Yawn. Yawning is a proven relaxation technique, and it's contagious, the key is to stay in yawn for several minutes, at least two. The tricky part is the stigma around mouth wide open in public. Rock Balancing, I did some rock balancing AKA ‘rock art’ the other day and an hour and a half went by, and I had no idea.Mark I grin and bear it and hope tomorrow is better. Now that I think of it, talking with people that I love definitely helps.Debbie My stress relievers are turning off radios, and TVs computers and tuning into the world surrounding me. Being aware of the sounds and rhythms of the world. Also, I love yoga and any physical activity for reducing stress.Suzanne My best stress reliever is my dog and an evening walk. As we all know, the love that is expressed by our pets when we walk in the door at the end of the day is never ending and without judgment. Coupling that warm welcome with a walk through the neighborhood separates my work life from my personal life.  The other aspect of this that is important is that we (my dog and I) often see our friends during the walk. These encounters are short, but import interactions that reinforce the separation between work and home and help to bring a personal connection to my day. Being sure to have this separation between work and home is also important for me to keep my stress levels lower. While each aspect of life can have its stresses, being able to take a break from each part at different times throughout the day is essential and necessary to manage my stress levels. Part of this is being sure to disconnect from my work communications during my time and vice versa when I’m at work. Granted there are exceptions to this rule, but keeping these exceptions to a minimum and a manageable number is VERY important. Finally, being sure to have time for personal recreation is very important. Being a recreation professional, I understand that one definition of the word recreation is 'to create a new' and that it is crucial for me to assure I have time for recreational activities so that I can start fresh when I return to work or other aspects of my life. The recreational activities do not necessarily need to be physical but need to be of sufficient intensity to require complete concentration or separation from other thoughts. This recreational time provides the opportunity for me to 'cleanse the mind' and create a new view on any upcoming tasks.Wayne Most of what we do to relieve stress is to make a connection. We connect with loved ones through laughter, we connect with nature on a walk with our dog, or we connect with ourselves by unplugging from all devices. Whatever that connection might be, it’s a healthy release that allows our bodies to recover from the day. As for me, I love markers and pens in every color, and I also like to challenge my brain to create new things. My stress reducer is to combine the two: write brightly colored haikus and maybe share them. What will you do today?​

Creating Differentiated Learning Environments

 Project Adventure Leads Their First Women’s Specific Advanced Skills and Standards Workshop BEVERLY, Mass., March 19, 2018 Each year, the trainers at Project Adventure sit down and discuss the topics of workshops to offer and what content is relevant in our industry. It was last year that the idea of having a women’s specific technical training landed on the table. Some staff got on board believing that a women’s specific option would enhance our appeal. However, there was some speculation that if we offered it, we would be going against our inclusive model of learning. After much discussion, the result was a resounding, YES! This opportunity was not created to limit learning but instead, offer a differentiated learning environment while delivering the same content as our current Advanced Skills and Standards. Laura MacDonald and Camille Oosterman, two of our incredible trainers, recently reflected on their time spent in these environments. From Laura:At various times over the last 20 years, I have found myself by accident or design in single-sex learning environments. The one that stands out the most was 12 of us women for a two-day training. Trust in the group was built quickly and before long, we shared feelings of motivation, vulnerability, and apprehension. The empathy and support offered were immediate and overwhelming. Soon participants were doing things like yelling loudly before climbing the ladder, and everyone was gathering around to watch and encourage. There were laughter and tears, frustration and triumph. I noticed I was more able to push my limits in the community that we built. I botched many of the new skills I tried, but that was less important than sharing what I was learning with my peers. When I returned to my course, I had a new confidence and proficiency. It has been 16 years since that workshop, and we are all still connected. It is an experience I won’t ever forget. From Camille:It wasn’t until I started my internship at Project Adventure that I recognized the different energies and styles of the women I was working with. Some of them were, and still are, charismatic and extroverted, but far more of them brought a different sort of presence to their groups that resonated with me more than the other groups I had experienced. I have had the privilege to work with many incredible women in this industry, but I have always had to seek them out. So much of our industry has been dominated by the male voice—in our publications, in our role-models, in our history—that it has been challenging, but not impossible, to find female role-models. I have now been involved in several technical trainings lead by women, and it has helped me to be more confident in my own technical abilities. Sure, being proficient in any field is possible with enough diligence and confidence, regardless of who you are, but it is so much more inspiring to be able to recognize yourself in your leaders. Please join us April 30 - May 3 for our women’s specific Advanced Skills and Standards workshop. 

Building Positive Learning CulturesThrough Adventure

Project Adventure Partners with Lawrence Family Education Development Fund to Create Strong Community at SISU Education Center LAWRENCE, Mass., January 30, 2018 Since 1971, Project Adventure (PA) has been providing quality curriculum and professional development that yields tremendous results for student and faculty learning. We do this by embedding the core competencies of social and emotional learning into each of our activities. As we move forward, we are afforded more opportunities to share that learning with school-wide programs, like the work we continue to do with Lawrence Family Development, Inc. The Lawrence Family Education Development Fund (LFDEF) offers a variety of alternative youth programs for Lawrence area young people ages 16-24 all housed under their new SISU Education Center. At SISU, they are offered a positive youth development approach creating a welcoming and supportive environment for young people most of whom struggle with a mentality of feeling and being told they are “not good enough.” The programs are developed and delivered in collaboration with YouthBuild, the City of Lawrence, and area funding organizations.  Two years ago, the LFDEF staff believed that their teachers and counselors could be equipped with more effective group facilitation pedagogy and skills that would more deeply engage and motivate their audiences in learning. They also wanted to build a strong culture and shared mission and understanding, so they engaged in a partnership with PA. Some of their goals were to introduce all staff to PA methods with a primary emphasis on community building, to advance their mindsets from being just a teacher to having a role in advancing the broader alternative youth program vision, and to build community and agree upon norms. The work done by Larry Childs and Laura MacDonald was guided by these goals and questions like, “How do our current norms merge to create a truly safe place where all youth can feel safe, inspired, and know they belong?” With their goals in mind, the staff celebrated ways of working together through adventure activities, and as all teams do, they came up against some behaviors that created obstacles to their vision of SISU.  Experiencing these obstacles made their learning tangible and allowed them the space to work through the areas where they struggled. They used everyday objects to represent their work such as safety glasses to symbolize the value of having a vision as an organization and as individuals. The SISU staff continues to practice using adventure methodology, guiding reflective learning and exploring ways to develop social and emotional skills like self-management, responsible decision-making, conflict resolution, and positive risk-taking in the context of Challenge by Choice.  Adventure levels the playing field for everyone and creates a necessary space to evaluate the way things were, the way things are, and the way things could be. Contact us to see how implementing school-wide programs can transform the culture of your learning community.

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Project Adventure has been building adventure programs on challenge courses since 1971. Having installed thousands of courses in all 50 states and more than 20 countries, our experience in comprehensive program design is unparalleled in the industry.

Challenge Course Design & Installation

Project Adventure has facilitated thousands of transformative training workshops and custom programs for professionals in the worlds of education, business and human services who want to cultivate the skills, behaviors, and relationships necessary to actualize their mission.​

Training & Consulting

Since 1971, Project Adventure has been designing and facilitating transformative experiential adventure programs for students and athletes from elementary through graduate school. After learning about you, our Youth & College Programs (YCP) Specialists will create a customized experience that will help your group achieve its unique goals.​

Youth & College Programs

Project Adventure's "hands-on" SEL (social and emotional learning) programming allows children and adults to learn and experience critical social and emotional skills. Our programs promote the teaching and application of social and emotional competencies through engaged, experiential learning activities.

Social and Emotional Learning

SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL LEARNING SYMPOSIUM: Bringing Leaders in SEL Together

FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2018 

 

This year, Project Adventure will host the first annual Social and Emotional Learning Symposium. The symposium will consist of morning and afternoon sessions featuring speakers from Panorama Education, Social-Emotional Learning Alliance for Massachusetts, and Courage to Lead as well as a panel of school administrators from Danvers, North Andover, CREST Collaborative, and Lawrence.