It hasn’t been a speedy process but we continue be excited about the deep dive we’re offering up on the curriculum offered here at The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE).
As you might recall, our last blog post on this topic covered the educational group (Ed Group) topics of feelings identification, levels of communication/relationships and defense mechanisms. This time around we’re highlighting another batch of three Ed Group topics:
- Stress management
- Clear communication = conflict resolution
- Civic responsibility
Keep in mind that the big takeaway from all this curricula business, is not just to teach our students skills that enable them to become better climbers, hikers, surfers and rafters — but more important, to help them develop the ability to become better human beings and world citizens.
That’s why the NCOAE curriculum specifically deals with human skills. Because, let’s face it. Even on the trail, the honeymoon eventually comes to a screeching halt. And by honeymoon, we’re talking about those first few days of a wilderness excursion. We’re not going all Kumbaya on you, but that’s the time when everybody’s bubbly and happy and getting to know each other and enjoying the views. Problem is, group dynamics change — especially on an outdoor-based adventure.
And it’s most important that our course participants, whether they be preteens or upperclassmen, acquire the tools to deal with those dynamics when they emerge. Because they will emerge on both the trail and in the world from which they came.
So let’s start with our fourth Ed Group topic, stress management:
Outside of a traumatic event, stress usually builds up gradually, so when we arrive the point in an NCOAE course where expose participants to the stress management Ed Group, we ask them to describe personal situations where stress might have raised its ugly head. We ask them to tell us how they reacted — and dealt with stress in the past.
Then we conduct a few activities that offer participants a list of “triggers” and responses to those stresses. Students participate in a timed activity that (more…)