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Experiential Learning for SEL

9 October 2019We have conversations with clients that typically start with, "I thought you ONLY did ropes courses." While designing and installing challenge courses is definitely part of what we do, we also service schools and youth-serving organizations without using a challenge course. In fact, we design high-impact curricula to be used within a classroom or after-school setting by any educator. The purpose of experiential learning is to engage students in their learning, make it relevant to their life experiences, and encourage them to apply that knowledge to other areas of their lives.On October 8, 2019, Caitlin McCormick Small and Josie Martin hosted a free, introductory webinar for ​anyone interested in learning more about the basics of our Experiential Learning Cycle – the methodology that anchors every Project Adventure activity – and why experiential learning is so essential to SEL.Since this webinar was just the tip of the iceberg, we encourage all of our participants to experience their learning with us by joining our workshops. There are still plenty of opportunities to enroll before the end of the year.We also like to share, because sharing is caring. Below are links to our resources from the webinar as well as a feedback form.  Please leave us feedback to help us inform our future webinars and workshops.Presentation SlidesWebinarFeedback Form

Project Adventure Welcomes New Director of Social and Emotional Learning

 ​Defining What PA's Whole School Programming Looks Like through Social and Emotional Learning BEVERLY, Mass., Sept. 18, 2019 – Project Adventure (PA) announced that Caitlin McCormick Small, joined the adventure education staff as the Director of Social and Emotional Learning to continue the coordination of comprehensive social and emotional programming for whole school communities. She joins PA after six years as a trainer, manager, and coach of training and curriculum at The PEAR Institute of McLean and Harvard. As the Director of Social and Emotional Learning, Ms. Small plans to continue the foundational work set forth by PA and offer an engaging and practical approach to the teaching and learning of SEL skills. Her extensive background in research-based school improvement and assessments and the development of afterschool partnerships will help expand existing PA programs and enhance the Project Empower advisory curriculum designed for whole-school implementation. “I am thrilled to join the Project Adventure team. PA’s experiential learning model is such an important contribution to the SEL field. I look forward to helping our partners utilize this approach to support their students’ growth and to make real, lasting change in their schools.”  Richard Ross, the Executive Director at Project Adventure, believes that “Ms. Small’s experience with school reform and change management, coaching, and SEL program development will be a great asset to our mission of creating whole school programs for all learning communities. Her energy and understanding of the curricula and the importance of data collection and assessment will help move our work forward, extend our reach, and make lasting positive change in more school communities.” ABOUT PROJECT ADVENTURE Project Adventure is an innovative non-profit teaching organization and a respected leader in experiential programming offering a wide range of programs as well as challenge course design and installation. Since 1971, Project Adventure has created and facilitated shared learning experiences that empower individuals to be responsible leaders and strengthen their communities. For more information, visit www.pa.org. 

Embracing the Awkward

23 August 2019Meeting people for the first time has the potential to be VERY awkward. What do you do? What do you say? Maybe you offer your hand, or maybe not. Handshakes vary from culture to culture. Maybe you're used to a kiss on the cheeks, a hug between friends, or a turkey, salmon, or butterfly.   Yup. A turkey, salmon, or butterfly.  Since breaking the ice puts everyone in an awkward and vulnerable position, why not embrace it. Acknowledge that you're in a space that few people enjoy being in and everyone wants to get out of as quickly as possible. Shout about it! "We're in this awkward space so we might as well make the most of it!"  Try these three ways to greet someone new AND learn something about that person. With each handshake, find a new person and embrace the awkward. By the end, you'll have met three new people and learned three new things about that person, and possibly about yourself.  Turkeys make a silly, gobble noise. Use your turkey handshake and answer the question, "what do you do that might be silly to others, but makes you feel comfortable?"             Fish often swim together in a school. Use your salmon handshake and answer the question, "what can you learn from a school of fish?"             Butterflies begin as caterpillars and grow through phases. Use your butterfly handshake and answer the question, "what do you need in your environment to grow?"                          Are these weird? Yeah. Will they get your group talking? They sure will. Use what your group learned from each other to build a learning community that values each other’s opinions, thoughts, and ideas. Once you’ve embraced the awkward, that’s when your community begins to grow.   Find your turkey, your fish, your butterfly, and your community. 

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Additional SEL through Adventure workshop added!

The December 12-13 SEL through Adventure workshop sold out so we added another one on December 16-17. You don't have to wait until 2020 to bring social and emotional learning alive in your classroom! Click for registration information.