Since we started our Adventure Sports course there has not been one day were we haven’t learned anything.
It already started in our first week. First of all, we got to know each other better by playing team building games. Shortly after we started planning our hiking trip to Pallas. We learned how to pack our backpack, make a food plan, how to read a map and use a compass. There is a very simple way of packing just necessary things. Just ask yourself three simple questions: Do I need it? Is it heavy? Can I survive without that? All these skills we put into practice during our classes: how to use a stove with gas bottle, how to put up our tents and tarps, where to put it up and how to make right knots, etc.
After theoretical classes, training part we finally had the chance to hike in Pallas and use our new skills in real situations in nature … and we survived!
And even more, we’ve learned new skills that made our hike more successful, interesting, fun and respectful of Nature:
- chopping wood using an axe
- using a knife
- poo in the woods
- Everyman’s rights
- orienteering in nature
- Lappish culture and traditions
- leadership skills and team work
- different ways of reflecion
In our third week we started kayaking adventure. We started with expending our safety zones by practicing wet exit in the indoor-pool and getting to know the new equipment.
The most challenging part was doing wet exit and rescuing in freezing lake (in case we capsize). After that we started being instructed with paddling techniques, leadership and safety issues. We also learned how to do maintenance before and after paddling. Now we can paddle on our own!
The next adventure sport was climbing. We started with “dry practice”, first we got to know the equipment (harnesses, carabiners, ropes), we learned how to use it, we practiced belaying inside and outside. Next each of us had the chance to build a tower of crates and create a low rope course. We had a great chance to practice and improve our new skills during two trips to indoor climbing hall and high rope course. In this experience we have learned a lot about trust to yourself, each other and the equipment. We have improved our self-confidence, self-esteem, empathy and we learned social and personal skills as communication, teamwork, problem solving and controlling fear and feelings.
To sum it up: in one month we learned how to hike, climb and kayak … that’s not too bad right?
During all of our trips and adventures we’ve learned more skills than just the physical once. We’ve learned how to interact with others in a group, how to empower and help each other, to build up trust, to talk about our fears and share emotions and at the end how to reflect the past experience.
All skills we’ve gained during the learning experiences are not only valid for adventure education but they are also very practical and useful in everyday life.
What we enjoy a lot about Adventure Education is that classrooms are not just inside and lessons are not just theoretical, everything we learn we put into practice outdoors. After a whole month of really intensive learning and practice we are ready to pass on our knowledge to others, for example our upcoming Schools on the Move Project…to be continued.
And remember … slowly, slowly … step by step! 😉
Judith, Alicja, Norbert and Josephine