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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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.

Things I Learned From My Wife

My wife is a 10th-grade school teacher in a small NH town. Last night, she told me a story about ‘Billy,’ a student who is not academically outstanding and often creates behavioral problems in class. Well, that morning, like many mornings, he came in late to class, and instead of issuing a stern warning, she smiled and asked if he would wait a moment after class. Once class ended, she decided to take a new approach to Billy and ask, “How are you today?” Instead of shrugging her off, he opened up and told her he had a bad night because of some poor decisions he made. His family was upset with him and he only slept about an hour all night which is why he missed the bus and arrived late. Billy then thanked her for not yelling at him and said that most of his teachers never take the time to ask. My wife quickly realized that he needed help beyond her and had his guidance counselor follow up with him. How often are we given the opportunity to reach out and be compassionate? More importantly, how often do we allow ourselves to do so? All that could be seen in the beginning was that Billy walked into class late. What my wife found out was that he needed significantly more help than that, and would continue to need support throughout that day and possibly much longer. The reality of the situation was that Billy was already suffering consequences far beyond being late to school. So much so that he couldn’t find a release at home. It is so easy to judge and dismiss behavior as willful disregard, but compassion leaves judgment behind. Compassion opens the door to healing while recognizing the behavior for what it is: simply another opportunity to grow. A mentor of mine once told me, and I’m paraphrasing because it was a long time ago “All kids come to us with baggage. We don’t know what it might be, but it shows up in their mood, their behavior, their interactions with adults, and it shows up without them knowing how or why. If you’re good, you may be able to guess a little about their baggage, and if you’re lucky, they may tell you about it. The one thing one thing we as educators cannot afford to do is to judge them because of how they present the baggage.”   Post created by Mike Sallade

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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.