We're In this Together

Hello to all of our partners, 

At Project Adventure, our business is building resilience. Anyone who comes to our challenge course, joins a workshop, or invites us into their school or organization, knows that the spirit of adventure enlivens and inspires. They know how moments of triumph and connection feed the human spirit and forge lasting bonds. They know that adventure is transformative. 

We are in a scary time. This isn't an adventure any of us would have chosen. In the truest sense, we are being asked to face our fears and turn within. But those of us trained in the adventure model have tools for this moment. We just need to remember them: 

  • We know about the comfort zone, the stretch zone, and the panic zone - and we know that what many of us are feeling each day is, best-case scenario, a stretch. Most of us have known panic all too well lately, and the same will be true for our students. The truth is, we don't have much "challenge by choice" right now; so much of our current situation is out of our control. But not all. We encourage you to find where your choice lies every day and use that small bit of agency to ease yourself back into stretch or even comfort. In each moment, what can you choose for yourself?  To work or to rest? To give or ask for help? All of these choices can move you out of panic. How can you give your students choice too, and help them find their own sense of empowerment? 
  • We know, too, about the power of play!  We know that we need to laugh in order to open up, that students are most engaged when they’re curious and excited, and that we all need to connect with each other despite the physical distance. There are still ways to play together, even far apart. Check out this teacher's idea that replicates "Peek-A-Who" in paper and digital photos. Others have let laughter into writing assignments ("Hotdogs: sandwich or not? Back up your argument!") and used apps, like Zoom, FlipGrid, and Marco Polo, to facilitate games and get silly. 
  • And of course, we know the importance of group connection and relationships. Whether it's using the Full Value Commitment (how does it apply to your online learning space?) or the phases of group development (what does "storming" look like on Google Classroom, and how will you help a group through it?), we have tools that are still relevant. We urge you to remember that these are still at hand. With a little adaptation, they can still serve you. 

Above all of this, however, we want to remind you of what you know is most true about adventure: it's a time for reflection, growth, and bonding. We can all rush to curriculum standards and homework assignments that we have little to no ability to enforce; we can make to-do lists a mile long and try to innovate a whole new way of teaching in a week's time. But remember that what we all need most now, in this scary, uncertain, unprecedented time, is each other.  

This experience is profound, and our response to it can also be profound. We can pause and help our young people learn from the reality of the moment how to be more kind, brave, and generous. We can learn that for ourselves. 

We are in this together! If you'd like support from a Project Adventure professional who can help you think through using adventure methods in your current work, our all-star facilitators are available for free consultation session - just email me at csmall@pa.org and I'll connect you. 

We know you're out there innovating, learning, and connecting with those you serve. We see you. If we can help in any way, let us know. On the other side of this, we will all be stronger, more aware, and more grateful for our connections to each other. We look forward to seeing you then. 


Be well, 


Caitlin McCormick Small

Director of SEL 

Project Adventure