I am constantly amazed at what can be accomplished with a little determination.
Recently, one of my students brought me a carabiner that he had found on the playground at Butler School – where we have our Challenge Course.
When I examined the broken carabiner, I thought I knew exactly what had happened. The ‘biner had two breaks, resembling round holes, one at the top, and one at the bottom of the ‘D.’ These holes were each cut diagonally into the metal – as though the ‘biner had been tilted at a bit of an angle when the holes were made.
“Someone must have tried to use the aluminum carabiner on our zip line, and it had broken from the friction of the soft aluminum riding on hard steel.” I told him.
I imagined some unfortunate youth attempting to ride the zip line without a pulley, and falling somewhere along the ride when the carabiner finally broke. Yikes!
I asked the student to show me where he had found the carabiner, hoping I would find more evidence to support my theory – while simultaneously dreading the possibility that I was right, and the potential lawsuit that awaited me.
As we headed out to the playground, I noticed one of the heavy duty ‘wings’ that covered the play apparatus was blowing in the wind. On closer examination, I noticed that the tarpaulin was connected to the poles using a steel cable. As I looked at the other wings, I noticed that they were connected to the poles using – aluminum carabiners. Case solved!
The constant motion of the aluminum carabiner rubbing against the steel cable had slowly but surely worn down the aluminum, until it finally broke. Although it took over 3 years, the carabiner never stood a chance.
As a team building facilitator and adventure guide, I spend a great deal of my time challenging my clients to do more than they think they can. I tell them “you don’t know what you can do until you try,” and encourage them to keep working, even when it seems like an impossible task. Although some individuals will give up, give in, and deny themselves of the achievement, most people step up to the challenge. With a little determination, most groups have success and learn and grow from having pushed through the difficulty. Following the program, the majority of my clients tell me that the best part of the day was overcoming the biggest challenges.
A little determination can go a long way.
We have gone through each of our team building options and tried to focus on and fine-tune the activities and programs that are most beneficial to our clients. We want to make sure that we are giving you the highest return on your investment as well as giving you a program that will fit your goals and your budget. Here are a few of the highlights:
The Adventure Team Challenge was created for teams whose goals are recreational team building with a small budget. The program works best with teams who already work well together or who are just coming together for the first time. If you are adding a few staff and you want to achieve instant buy-in without the need for deeper team development, then the Adventure Team Challenge is a great fit. Getting ready to begin a new school year, and want an energizer? The Adventure Team Challenge is the team building option that will fit the bill.
The PORTABLE Team Challenge brings the team building to your location or to a park or retreat center near you. The Portable Team Challenge is a facilitated team building experience – our expert facilitators will sequence activities that are not only fun and challenging, but relevant to your goals, needs and group dynamics. Following most activities, your facilitator will lead the team in a debrief that relates the lessons learned in the activity back to the ‘real world’ of work dynamics and interpersonal relationships.
The ROPES Challenge combines the facilitated team building of the Portable Team Challenge (getting-to-know-you activities, problem-solving initiatives and trust-building exercises) with the individual challenge of the high elements (challenging climbing, traversing or leaping activities that take place up to 40 feet in the air) to create a uniquely powerful team building experience. The accomplishment of the high element portion of the day is often the most memorable and individually satisfying component.
The NEXTeams Process begins where traditional team building programs end. Designed for teams whose goal is to get to the root of organizational dysfunction and build a foundation of trust that will foster commitment, innovation and higher performance, the NEXTeams Process bridges the gap between team building and ‘teams working’. NEXTeams is “The NEXT Step” in team development. Check out our other professional facilitation services at The NEXTeams Companies website: www.nexteams.com.
Recently, I have started reaching out to other organizations in the Washington, DC, area that may offer activities, events, and resources that are in-line with the values of GO-Adventures. The goal of building relationships with these other folks is to combine our skills and program offerings to bring clients new and memorable experiences.
Here are a few of the things we are in the midst of designing:
- Adult Camp – A weekend of adventure instruction (rock climbing, caving, mountain biking, canoeing, backpacking, etc.), combined with a wilderness medicine component and a fitness and nutrition component. Imagine going to a mountain retreat, waking up early and getting a fitness boot camp to stretch you out and warm you up before you head out to climbing a secluded rock face. After lunch, you learn how to splint an arm or treat heat exhaustion, and then you return to the campsite for a delicious and nutritious meal that you prepare under the supervision of a nutrition expert. That’s just one example.
- Ice Climbing – Meet us in the Shawangunks of New York for two days of ice climbing instruction, with an overnight stay in a luxurious cabin near the ice, and excellent meals prepared for you – or by you – depending on your interest. The town of New Paltz, New York, nestled in the ‘Gunks’ is known far and wide for its excellent ice climbing opportunities, yet is within a 6-hour drive of Washington, DC.
- Flight to Freedom – Visit an 1850s farm and experience a simulated journey from slavery to freedom. Participate in authentic plantation chores and experience the rigors of plantation life, before making your journey to freedom marked by night shadows, slave catchers, and the great unknown. This real-life journey will carry you across fields and thickets to secret hideaways along streams and culverts. The journey culminates after dark when you reach freedom at the “Circle of Light” where your experiences and impressions of the day are revealed.
Stay tuned to see how these projects unfold!
Here are a few of the partnerships we are building to help us create these unique experiences:
Rebecca J. Scritchfield, MA, RD, LD, ACSM Health Fitness Specialist is a leading nutrition and exercise expert for the metro Washington, D.C. area. She helps people reach their full wellness potential through realistic approaches to behavior changes that fit their busy lives. Her motto “nothing changes until you do” exemplifies her belief in the power individuals already possess to realize the lifestyle they want.
Occasions, Inc. is a full-service boutique event & meeting management company and tour operator with a strong focus on delivering personalized customer service. We provide innovative and strategic planning services, specializing in high quality meetings, incentives, special events, and customized group tours and excursions. Our distinguished clientele includes corporations, associations, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, government, and private individuals.
Combining her passion for emergency medicine and her love of adventure sports led to the development of Dr. Ellen Smith’s Wilderness Medicine Field Course. Originally designed to teach medical students how to apply and adapt emergency patient assessment, diagnosis, treatment and procedures to the outdoor environment, the course has evolved to include adventure racers, tri-athletes, and outdoor adventure enthusiasts, as well as nurses, physician assistants, athletic trainers, police officers, paramedics, EMT’s, and many others interested in outdoor medicine and safety.
A former Dental Tech & Fitness Instructor with the US Navy, Avon, 47, has channeled his passion for health and exercise into an intense, effective, yet extremely enjoyable fitness regimen known as, “The Sergeant’s Program.” Why the military focus? Because everyone knows how tough basic training is — you can’t make it through without getting into shape! Now a military veteran, Sarge has completed ten marathons, two full Ironman triathlons (Lake Placid 2001 and 2003) and at age 41, received his Black Belt in Korean martial art Hapkido. Recently asked what his greatest athletic strength is, Avon replied “perseverance… At 5″10 and 200 pounds, I’m not very fast…. sort of a slow moving tank that never quits”.
The Menare Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of Underground Railroad history, historic sites and environments and to the creation of associated educational programs. Through assistance and training, Menare works with individuals and organizations to preserve the Underground Railroad legacy using history as a resource for community revitalization, race dialogue and cultural growth.
Participants experience a sensory journey through taste, touch, smell, sights and sounds of plantation life as they conduct authentic plantation tasks before making the harrowing journey to freedom.
I love my job.
How many people get to say that every day? Sadly, very few.
I am an adventure guide and team building facilitator, as well as being a teacher at a private school for children ages 3 to 13. As I looked back at my schedule for last week, I can honestly say that I had a great week at work. Here’s how it looked:
Sunday – Wilderness Medicine Field Course – I was asked to come out and help another organization run the rock climbing component of a Wilderness First Responder course. We headed out to Sugarloaf and set up a few climbs, a few rappels, and taught some self-rescue. I love teaching advanced rock rescue skills, so this was definitely a fun day.
Monday – ROPES Course Facilitator Training – I collaborated with another adventure company for a training with a few new ropes course facilitators.
Tuesday and Wednesday – I chaperoned a trip for 6th graders down to Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens – roller coasters are just as fun now as they were when I was a kid!
Thursday and Friday – Rock Climbing guide training – I taught five new guides the basics of top-roping anchor construction, self-rescue and how to teach a basic skills class for youth or adults. Practice, practice, practice!
Saturday – ROPES Course – I facilitated a ropes challenge course program for a local company. We just finished building a new high element called the “Giant Swing,” where the participant climbs up to a platform, stands up, and swings off into the air. The great thing about this activity is that the rest of the team has to work together to lower the climber down using two belay devices – working in tandem. The group loved it!
I can’t wait until next week!
“GO-Adventures provides opportunities for individuals and groups to participate in high quality team building programs and adventure sports instruction. The goal is a positive experience through a mixture of teamwork, fun and education.
We feel that people learn and develop from overcoming challenges – our programs are designed to give participants enough challenge to stretch their limits, with enough guidance and instruction to expand them.
Over the years, we have seen clients from a variety of backgrounds and populations – from elementary school students to corporate executives. The activities and metaphors we use with a group of high school students will differ from those we employ for a corporate project management team. However, our dedication to providing great service and a program with value and lasting benefit is ever-present. Many clients in the Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC area have benefited from our team building challenges and adventure sports instruction. We invite you to become another satisfied customer.” – Eriq Powers, Founder