Challenging young people – swap Wi-Fi for conversation
Businesses and professional organisations are learning from schools.
For decades, our camping trips have been popular with schools. As well as being a cheaper alternative to hostel accommodation, it’s a chance for young people to get back to nature and enjoy the adventure of living, sleeping and eating outdoors.
In more recent years, it’s also a chance to get back to basics and away from technology that many young people believe they can’t live without. And now, companies are realising the value of taking their trainees, graduates and apprentices back to nature and out of their comfort zone.
Reflecting on performance
At the heart of all of our programmes is reflective practice. With professional development courses, this is more formalised: our guests learn a new skill, practice the skill, reflect on their performance and that of their teammates, and then identify the improvements that can be made.
With school children we do this in a more informal way, chatting about what they’ve achieved and what might happen if things were done differently. But the outcome is the same; the children grow in confidence and learn to work better together.
Away from technology
The beauty of camping, is that young people – whether they’re school children or embarking on a new career – are brought together away from the distractions of 21st century life.
They’re taken away from technology and encouraged to converse with one another over the campsite. In a world where instant messaging, social media and bite-sized news flashes keep people glued to their smart phones, youngsters have the opportunity to talk about their day, the challenges they faced, and their achievements. Without even realising it, they’re taking part in the process of reflective practice and continuous improvement.
“The art of conversation is being lost,” says Jamie Gordon, Senior Instructor for Learning Development. “Sometimes all that’s needed to remind ourselves of this is to be taken back to basics. With our camping challenge, young people spend the evening under the stars, talking to one another, followed by the adventure of spending the night under canvas.”