We couldn’t be more enthusiastic about the quality, capabilities, and leadership of our 2016 Adventure Treks instructors. On Wednesday, June 15, our 62 instructors transitioned from our large orientation site in southern Washington into our six-person trip teams. Vans filled with instructors are now on the road, exploring their trip destinations as we continue training in smaller groups for another full week.
Our instructors are studying their trip notes and learning their itineraries, mastering the tiny details that make an Adventure Treks experience unique. They will scout trailheads, practice driving, refresh backcountry camping and hiking skills, plan menus, shop for food, and study student and parent questionnaires and health histories to prepare for our students’ arrival. Most important, as role models, they will build a kind, close, and caring community which will form a model for our students.
During orientation, we apply recent trends in youth development to our outdoor environment, with a focus on a growth mindset, 21st century skills, and our “Great Eight Outcomes.” We also refreshed our medical skills, reviewed policies and protocols, talked extensively about risk management, spent an intensive day on van-driving training, and exchanged ways to develop the inclusive communities that are the hallmark of Adventure Treks.
We also played a lot of games! If our instructors are having fun, so are our students! And there is actually research to back the impact games can have in group development. We are working hard to create an incredible summer for our students. This is a very special team of instructors, and we can’t wait for the summer to begin!