It is no surprise that we become better at those things we practice in our lives. For the adventure-based facilitator, this means that we can improve our facilitation skills, our reviewing skills, and our overall value as an educator and trainer, by practicing and growing in our craft. If you are new to this field, or just want to improve your facilitation skills, here are a few suggestions on how you can reach the next level.
1. Read everything you can find on facilitation skills, reviewing activities, and the fine art of processing groups. Visit your local library or perform an internet search on such topics as: reviewing, facilitation, problem solving, coaching, mentoring, debriefing, groupwork and teamwork. Read something new every week. Visit Roger Greenaway’s reviewing website, and download tons of worthwhile reviewing information, at: www.reviewing.co.uk
2. Shadow another facilitator or co-facilitate a session with another presenter. Each of these techniques allow you to act and observe another facilitator. When you are finished, ask for feedback on your efforts.
3. Volunteer - In every community you’ll find opportunities for sharing your knowledge of adventure-based learning and debriefing skills with groups. Your local library, after school programs, summer and day camps, church groups, social clubs and professional organizations are all possible audiences for practicing your skills, and trying out some of those newer facilitation activities.
4. Share what you know. Join an internet listserve (such the Ropes Listserve, www.ropesonline.org) so that you can discuss your adventure-based experiences with other professionals in the field.
5. Join professional societies that promote quality programming. Find out what AEE, ACCT, ACA, NSEE, IAL, ICORE, AORE stand for, join them, and attend their conferences. Better yet, present a workshop at these conferences, and share your knowledge with others.
6. Find a mentor that you can trust. Form a partnership in learning with someone whose opinions you value. Perhaps a local challenge course professional, an author, a corporate trainer, a teacher, or some other talented member of the adventure-based learning community.
7. Have Lunch. Once a month get together with other professionals and discuss your three favorite activities. Bring your best and share them. In half a year, your group will have dozens of best ideas from each other.
8. Attend trainings, workshops and conferences. Locate opportunities for expanding your learning by attending and presenting workshops at new venues.
9. Create your own training manual. Organize and compile your favorite training techniques, complete will photographs, sketches and illustration. You can use this as an informational document to share with your clients, and as a ready reference at your fingertips. Don’t be surprised someday if this simple manual turns into your first book, internet e-book, or workshop reference manual.
10. Create a resume of experiences that will make audiences want to enlist your services. Consider what talents, skills and experiences your future clients will want. Identify each of these possibilities, and then make them happen, so that your resume will reflect the best of what you are.
Processing Publications/Recommended Reading List
A Teachable Moment, a Facilitator's Guide to Activities for Processing, Debriefing, Reviewing, and Reflecting. Jim Cain, Michelle Cummings, Jennifer Stanchfield, 2004. Kendall Hunt Publishing, Dubuque Iowa 2004.
Islands of Healing, A Guide to Adventure Based Counseling by Jim Schoel, Dick Prouty and Paul Radcliffe, 1989, 301 pp. Project Adventure, www.pa.org
Lasting Lessons, Clifford Knapp, 1992, ISBN 1-880785-06-4, ERIC Publishing, PO Box 1348, Charleston, WV 25325
Reflective Learning: Theory and Practice. Sugarman, D. Doherty, K., Garvey, D., Gass, M. Kendall Hunt Publisher, 2000.
Open to Outcome, Micah Jacobsen and Mari Ruddy, 2005, Wood N Barnes Publishing.
Processing Pinnacle, An Educator’s Guide to Better Processing by Steve Simpson, PhD, Dan Miller & Buzz Bocher, 2006, Wood N Barnes Publishing.
Processing The Experience, Second Edition; John L.Luckner, Reldan S.Nadler, Kendall Hunt Publishing, Dubuque Iowa 1997.
Tips and Tools: The Art of Experiential Group Facilitation, Jennifer Stanchfield, 2008. Wood N Barnes Publishing.
Most of these titles are available for purchase in our Book Section of our Online Store. (see buttons to the left)