The 2016 Adventure Treks instructor orientation begins today! Our 65 instructors converge from 28 states for two weeks of training as we prepare for the arrival of our students. This has been preceded by our five-day trip leader retreat in Oregon, where our leadership team gathered in a cabin near Mt. Hood, next to the Salmon River, for senior staff training.
The first week of instructor orientation will be spent together, camping as a large group in southern Washington. Here we learn Adventure Treks’ safety policies and procedures, build a close community of kindness that will trickle down to our students, and talk about how the learning our students acquire through an outdoor adventure experience relate to life at home. This “big group” orientation will be followed next week with trip-specific training, where each six-person instructor team learns the details of their specific trips, bonds as an instructor team, and eagerly prepares for the arrival of their students.
Our senior staff team—11 trip leaders and four regional directors—hails from 10 states, averages 28 years old, and has 107 collective years of Adventure Treks experience, with an average of 7 seasons of AT experience each. (Two were even former Adventure Treks students!) I’m proud to be a part of this group of mentors who will be training our new instructors at orientation and overseeing the success of our trips.
So what did we do at trip leader retreat? Besides forming our leadership team community, we apply leadership theory, current child psychology, and brain theory to Adventure Treks. We also focus on the specific details of each trip itinerary, and we use this time to review safety and the policies and procedures that lead to successful trips. Together, we share the tips and tricks we’ve gleaned over the years as we work hard to make every trip consistent and exceptional.
I also wanted to share what we have been reading this winter. It’s our job to stay on top of the latest youth development trends and literature so we can make sure that the Adventure Treks program remains relevant to parents. Besides being a ridiculous amount of fun, as your partners, we want Adventure Treks to be a tool that helps kids develop the skills, mindset, optimism, confidence, character, and resilience that will help them become happier and more capable adults.
Topics from these and other books will permeate our instructor orientation sessions as we facilitate the best possible learning and growing experience for your child. Below are our 2016 suggestions for those who share our obsession in helping teenagers experience personal growth.
T-minus two weeks until our first trip opens!