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Adventure Education

Ever won­der how to coil a 600-​​foot rope?

Ever won­der how to coil a 600– foot rope?

Out­door adven­ture edu­ca­tion has long been rec­og­nized as a pow­er­ful vehi­cle for achiev­ing a mul­ti­tude of pos­i­tive goals in young people.

Imag­ine an Amer­i­can Adven­ture Ser­vice Corps mem­ber on a 10-​​day moun­taineer­ing trip in the Sierra Nevada moun­tain range of Cal­i­for­nia or a 170-​​mile canoe trip through South Car­olina to reach the Atlantic Ocean. These types of trips cre­ate oppor­tu­ni­ties for mem­bers to learn life­long lessons about them­selves and how to work in a group. Week­end trips and extended trips are often quite adven­tur­ous with tough chal­lenges. Par­tic­i­pants feel a strong sense of sat­is­fac­tion after com­plet­ing the goal. This feel­ing, along with a sense of accom­plish­ment after each day, pro­vides ongo­ing injec­tions of self-​​esteem. Mem­bers learn valu­able lessons about being self-​​sufficient as a team and about work­ing together to achieve an objec­tive by coop­er­at­ing, lis­ten­ing, fol­low­ing and leading.

Per­sonal dis­ci­pline is devel­oped from tasks such as wak­ing up early, cook­ing break­fast, pack­ing up, and putting in the mileage to reach that day’s goal. Confidence is gained from per­sonal skill mas­tery. Many out­door skills are learned in order to safely com­plete spe­cific trips. These skills can be used later in life for that mem­ber and for his/​her future friends and family. Other Amer­i­can Adven­ture Ser­vice Corps adven­tures that fos­ter the pre­vi­ously men­tioned val­ues include under­ground explo­ration, climb­ing multi-​​pitch rock routes and bivouack­ing part­way up on a ledge, an annual 13-​​mile moun­tain run/​walk, learn­ing how to roll a kayak and pad­dle through mov­ing water, backpacking and climb­ing trips to inter­est­ing areas, and win­ter camp­ing and mountaineering.

Adven­ture edu­ca­tion is a valu­able method­ol­ogy for instill­ing self-​​esteem, team­work, and acqui­si­tion of new skills, which pro­vide mem­bers with the tools to work with oth­ers and advance to more chal­leng­ing expeditions.