Our Offerings

Outdoor Experiential - Based Executive Training and Development

Outdoor experiential training is rapidly gaining widespread credibility as a powerful learning approach. We tend to learn best by doing. Fully 75 percent of what we are taught is retained when we actively participate in the learning. A mere 25 percent is retained from a traditional classroom lecture and note-taking approach.

Outdoor Experiential Training or OET as opposed to passive observational learning capitalizes on this fact by allowing people to participate in realistic outdoor activities that bring to life such concepts as leadership, teamwork, communication, problem solving, risk-taking, creativity and decision-making.


Section I: OVERVIEW

Program Needs

All our programs that choose to utilize an Outdoor Experiential - Based Adventure Program as an approach to T&D are given a complete needs assessment and on-site interviews in order to ensure a quality and meaningful program for the company. This generally means that all programs are CUSTOMIZED to fit the customers’ needs and the follow-up component of these programs ensure maximum transfer of the knowledge and behaviors to the work environment.

Program Formats / Offerings

Outdoor training programs can be grouped into two main categories - wilderness and outdoor-centered programs. Wilderness programs are usually conducted in remote locations with comfortable but rustic accommodations. These programs tend to use more adventurous activities such as rafting, backpacking or sailing as the basis for learning. Participants in outdoor-centered programs normally eat and sleep indoors and venture outside to participate in structured exercises The development of an Outdoor Experiential - Based Adventure Program / Program Offering include a Group Initiative (Team Building) circuit, a low and high elements course, and a variety of other off site adventure / challenge activities.

Group Initiatives:

A series of problem solving exercises that focus on team development and effectiveness specifically in the areas of communication, cooperation, decision making, problem solving skills, group process, trust building, leadership, etc

Objectives
  • Building team relationships / unity / trust...
  • Enhanced team problem solving skills...
  • Effective planning and implementation skills...
  • Renewed commitment towards organizational goals...
  • Enhanced appreciation for'communication' skills...
  • Strengthened interpersonal dynamics...
  • Better personal leadership styles...
  • Feedback on team member effectiveness...

Low and High Elements Course

This component consists of a series of exercises that stress the aspects of leadership, personal growth, trust relationships and risk taking. Through a series of low and high elements each participant works with the other team members to move through a systematic sequence of stations, All safety systems are discussed and practiced by the team members prior to actual exposure to the high elements. Again, a professional facilitator will 'debrief' each exercise with the group.

Objectives
  • develop trusting relationship between team members...
  • To enhance the support network...
  • To foster personal risk taking behavior...
  • To increase personal confidence
  • To appreciate and care for the other team members...

Off-Site Adventure / Challenge Activities:

This program component would further enhance the ability to sequence the overall Outdoor Experiential - Based Adventure Program. The use of outdoor adventures such as white water rafting ,rock climbing, cross country hiking, wilderness backpacking , orienteering, river crossings, rappelling, etc..... These activities could be programmed in a number of different ways & are executed with a specific purpose of facilitating group interaction and reinforcing all the objectives that were focused on during the first two program components .All safety management systems are discussed and practiced by the team members prior to actual participation in the specific adventure / challenge activity. Again, a professional leader / facilitator will 'debrief' each activity with the group to ensure the full meaning and transfer is gained by the program.

Objectives

They depend on the specific activity and group needs, however they generally reinforce the stated objectives from the group initiatives and rope course.

Follow-Up Procedures

To maximize the benefits of Outdoor Experiential - Based Adventure Programming the 'follow up' aspects of programming are critical in certain instances. If the group is an 'intact team' (all working towards a common goal), there are a variety of follow up strategies that could be used to help the team continue to perform at high levels. Follow up is determined with the clientele's time schedule and availability. Often, Outdoor Experiential - Based Adventure Programming programs are done in conjunction with the Management Development faculty to establish a broad based approach to training and development for the company.

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Section II: PROGRAMMING OPPORTUNITIES

The potential program opportunities include a wide variety of hosts, ranging from business groups to educational groups. Basically, the programming falls into two categories: intact groups (where the group members already know one another) and newly formed groups (where the group members are unfamiliar with the other participants). Groups could use the program components extensively with a directed purpose or simply as a means of 'breaking the ice' before the main meeting starts or even as a break during the long conferences. Following are some of the existing groups that have utilized an Outdoor Experiential - Based Adventure component during their programs on campus or at off site locations:

  • * Educational Groups / Conferences
  • Alumni Associations
  • Executive Management Programs
  • Management Development Programs
  • PSU teams

* Students in graduate school experience stress associated with a fear of failure. Heightened stress responses typically occur in situations where students are required to absorb a vast quantity of information in a limited time. Student reports of stress induced anxiety and depression are further exacerbated by an inability to satisfy basic social, recreational, family and financial needs. Outdoor experiential training (OET) activities as a component of student development initiatives have been designed to assist students with the stress caused by the demands of college.

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Section III: Physical Safety

Learning is enhanced when the perceived risk of the activities takes participants out of their comfort zones - but not all the way into the "fear zone" where learning and growth shuts down. This presents a serious dilemma in that the perceived risk that can enhance the learning experience can also foster the impression that the outdoor program is unsafe. While being physical in nature our outdoor programs are not overly taxing physically. Our programs are designed to ensure full participation by everyone regardless of gender, age, physical limitation or ability and are supervised by trained personnel from the fields of action & outdoor sports.

Emotional Safety

Creating a supportive, non-judgmental environment where participants feel comfortable in taking risk, making mistakes, and giving and receiving helpful feedback to each other can enhance emotional safety. Emotional safety is also enhanced when participants know that all activities are totally optional; no one should ever feel forced to participate in any activity.

Facilitation

Outdoor experiential training is only helpful as a learning approach if participants can readily see the connection and translate key lessons to the business issues they face back on the job. The skills of an experienced facilitator are critical to turn a fun exercise into a powerful learning experience that can improve the bottom line. Our facilitators have strong outdoor skills and a solid business background, which effectively help participants transfer skill to on-the-job application.

ROI

Companies should expect a reasonable return on an investment in outdoor training. ROI comes in the form of changed behavior and improved organizational performance. Participants should leave an outdoor program with a few specific improvement goals complete with a detailed action plan. Follow-up after the program is a powerful way to ensure successful application and adoption of the skills learned out in the woods.

Experts have identified four levels of training outcomes: reactions, learning, behaviors, and results.

The fourth level considers the impact of the training on business results such as productivity, quality, time or customer satisfaction. The best way to demonstrate the impact of OET is through return on investment (ROI) analysis. This requires the measurement of fourth-level data results and there too, we can help by devising qualitative & quantitative indices.

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