July 30, 2015

Today was our final class of HKR 3515 Introduction to Outdoor Recreation for Persons with Disabilities. This summer has past at such an alarming rate, I am sadden that everything is coming to an end this summer. We together as a class have grown to know one another in great amounts, and have formed many friendships which will last a lifetime. With this being said we still as always enjoyed ourselves. In todays class we spoke about the stages of team building in the morning portion of the day.

Team building is an essential activity for recreation providers to conduct when training people, meetings, or facilitation programs. There are five stages of team building: forming – the team is starting to know each other, storming – often members of the team are now comfortable and will try and test limits, norming – they may ask for help from one another, and resolve conflicts if any have arise, preforming – at this stage you have to be aware that your team has the potential to fall apart – ensure that you keep all together, and adjourning – the project is completed now, some members of the team may find this hard as relationships are formed over the course of the activity. Each of these steps plays a vital role in any activity wither from start to finish.I on a personal note continue to conduct team building activities whenever I have conducted a training program for staff, as the majority of these individuals do not know each other, and sometimes are nervous as they are in-front of completely new people. Typically towards the end of the session each person will walk away with making at least one connect with another in the training.

After this was finished we then in our afternoon portion of class moved to trust building activities. These activities have a risk factor involved, as the person who is catching you – yourself has to have a sense of trust in the person(catcher). For this activity Colin and I were partnered up for the session. These are tasks that I have done in previous training seminars, which I have attended – would I feel comfortable conducting and teaching these in my own training sessions? No, as I still am learning more skills and techniques continually. You the trainer would have to grasp a sense of understanding of the targets audience capabilities. Some examples of trust falls that we tried during class were Trust Lean and Willow in the Wind to name a few. The trust lean is with you and one partner, each lean you take the catcher will move back further and further ensuring this is within the your comfort zone. The Willow in the Wind was when approximately six – to – eight people surround one person who is the “willow”, as the willow leans towards people they lightly push him/her away. In saying this, at no point is the “willow” to become the ping-pong ball for lack of better word. They are to remain relaxed at all times. Both of these activities all seemed to enjoy alike with myself.

With this being said, there are three things that we must keep in mind when conducting these types of activities. Goals of your client – ensure that what is being offered matches the needs. Second, Stigma – everyone is welcomed – release any perceived conceptions. Third, Safety – this is to remain your top priority when conducting any type of program, training, event, and further. Overall these activities have various benefit as stated in the above.

I have found this course has given me a further and bettered my understand of how almost anything you put your mind to is adaptable. I will take away the activities that Dr. Loeffler has educated and taught us throughout this course. Are we exporters in each session we had? No we are well underway to become knowledgeable in the topics at hand.

Well wishes,

Ryan Lawlor

“The past has no power over the present moment.”

– Eckhart Tolle

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