Norwegian Led Day Trips
Trip 2-Aim- Team-building Tasks
The second Monday Outdoor Education combined class trip (Norwegian and International) took place in the Jegersberg area. The aim of the day was to focus on team-building and group cohesion within small teams, a mix of International and Norwegian.
The first task consisted of improvised stretcher carry that was constructed from a tarp and two staffs of wood. This first task proved a challenge as the instructing team announced that the tallest and biggest person had to be carried. I was paired with 4 ladies who were considerable smaller than myself. Our stretcher was stable and strong and using The Art of Manliness (2017) who provide diagrams on various improvised stretchers we chose the use of jackets as the canvas or binder. We got about 150m before the stopping point to which we changed myself to a one of the ladies as it was unfair. This can contribute to the theory of learning by doing and that failure is good for a team (name 2004) state that difficult situations accelerates the learning and this lead to the fear of failure however we can learn from failure and strive for success better next time. I must highlight that although the task was hard, the ladies in my team were very motivated and pushed through. It was clear that determination and motivation was in full play here. We came in 4th out of the 6 teams and group cohesion and moral was high. The second task consisted of a race to which team can boil an egg the quickest using only a fire and cooking pot with a 10-minute completion time. This is a simple task that presents several factors such as communication, skill sets and resilience, factors that all need to be in place for a team to be successful and thrive. Each member of the team was task (collecting wood, supplying water, making the fire). Although the task was to be a fun, it was also very competitive due to pressure from other teams, thus strengthening our team cohesion. Our first egg was boiled within 5 mins, however still slightly runny in the middle, thus being instructed to cook another one. In the end, we did not we the task as we were out of the time limit, however we just laughed about. As the session ended, there were several mini tasks we had to partake in. these ranged from an item memory test, a rock carrying race, collecting as many items of nature using the alphabet and learning a traditional Norwegian child’s song which would later be performed. The tasks were fun and a good round of to the day, with a final competition between the teams, to determine the winner. My team were both successful at the memory test and the rock carrying and came 3rd.
Trip 3-Aim-Navigation/Orienteering & team games
The third Monday Outdoor Education combined class trip, once again took place in Jegersberg area, with the trip focus on navigation/orienteering and games. We were again split into mixed class teams with people we haven’t worked with before. This shows an underlining aim of team cohesion and forming new bonds.
The first task was an orienteering task, where in our teams we had locate as many geographical points in the surrounding areas in a space of 30 minutes. The orienteering task was a good icebreaker and we worked out each other strengths and weaknesses. The result was that we found 4 out of 7. We then had to make as many words in 2 mins using only 4 words which was a fun yet challenge as all words had to be in English which was a challenge sometimes for the Norwegian students. After a fire and lunch, we commenced with some small games where all teams were pitted against each other. This installed a sense of competition which drove members of the team to strive for victory. The games included a blindfolded sense of direction game, memory game, noughts and cross against another team and dizzy rock throwing game. Coming to the end of the session, there was a noughts and crosses tournament between all teams, which really increased the atmosphere and competitiveness. As the session came to a close, myself and my team were unfortunate to come 3rd however the spirit was high and you could see that from just one day the International and Norwegian classes were forming better bonds.
Trip 4-Aim-Fitness, Team spirit and Co-operation
The fourth and last Monday trip led by the Norwegians had a military-esque feel to the session. We once again split into mixed groups and were given several takes that had allotted times. The tasks were to carry as many people up a gully in 2 mins, assembling and disassembling a Lavvu (Scandinavian tent used commonly by the Sami people) in 2 mins, collecting water only using your mouth and finally moving rocks up an incline then carrying a log over the finish.
This Monday trip was the best yet from the Norwegian students as it incorporated all aspect of team work/cohesion goal setting and using intuition to work out the most effective way of completing the task. It allowed different members to take charge of the situation, those who wouldn’t normally. In these situations, we can use transformational leadership. Brymer (2006) suggest that stimulate or encourage team members to heighten their own agendas and goals for the better collective. Although my team came 2nd we were happy with our performance and completed the water carrying task time in the fastest time possible. This trip was a good round to several weeks of Norwegian led trips.
International Led Trips
I did not attend the first international led trip due to being ill and an injury from skiing.
Trip 2-Aim-Team tasks and various games from the leading countries
The aim of the trip was to further team cohesion and co-operation. It was myself, George, Max and Bowen who led the session. It had snowed over the last few days which was great for our session as it involved people getting stuck in the snow. The groups were once again mixed with both classes and from the start you could see that people were working and bonding better due to the previous weeks. The tasks were an assault course, the infamous rubber chicken rounders, spiders web and titanic (strategy game where several members of the team pretend to have disabilities and the team have to get from one side to another). I ran the assault course, which fun yet interesting to different approaches from the teams as they were split into pairs and one was blindfolded and could only be commanded by voice. From looking at the other tasks all teams were really engaged and were working effectively. At the end of the session we had a rubber chicken rounders tournament which carnage but you could clearly see the determination in the teams to win. From this we could state that due to rewards offered that the teams showed a strong ego-involving performance as they wanted to beat others and claim the reward (Reinboth & Duda 2006). The end result met out aims for the day.
Trip 3-Aim-Group Dynamics
Similar and continuing theme, group dynamics was the main aim of the 3rd international trip. The session consisted of improvised shelter building, camouflage and team games. I found these to be some of the more interesting tasks as trips were becoming repetitive. The improvised shelter building task was fun yet made you think as there were certain specs that had to be covered such as fire pit, drainage from rain or foul weather and enough space to fit the team (5 persons). My teams shelter was a standard Gapahuk (lean-to shelter). Our shelter had all the specs except that out drainage system wasn’t efficient when tested. Inspecting all the other shelter our was the most traditional, natural and effective one as other teams used several tarps and created more shanty-town like tents. Practical Survivor (2017) highlights and showcases and effective way of building a lean-to shelter in traditional style which would be useful for many people in the course to strengthen their skills. The camouflage task was the best activity of the day. It comprised of us camouflage one of our team members that best way possible. We chose the smallest person as they would be able to move into small cracks and holes. The task then consisted of finding the opposing teams hidden members. We found 2 of other team’s members before our team member was found, however we spent another 20 mins looking for last hidden member who hiding in a tree. The small team task consisted of a memory game and the titanic game once again. As the session came to a close it was evident that people were becoming tiresome of the same type of activities every week. To round of the session, we had a game of stalker or tracker as known in England.
Trip 4-Aim-Team games and nature exploration at Baneheia.
The last and final Monday trip was a walk and venture round Baneheia and its lakes. However, this trip was just internationals as the Norwegian students did not decide to turn up. We started from the viewpoint where the canon resides which was interesting to read about as it had been there before WW2 and during and was once functioning. We headed towards Ravendalen, where play a German which translated to pooing pine cones. The aim of the game was to walk with a pine cone in your bum cheeks and drop it in a bucket and get as many as you can in an allotted time. This was a fun game and enjoyed by all. The rest of the day consisted of exploring Baneheia and enjoying the lakes at lunch. We had a small task of building a shelter from just twigs and branches and build it as high as possible. This task is commonly used with small children in forest schools or kindergarten but can be used for all ages. This trip was a good round off the Monday trips as it was relaxed yet still having fun.
Burleson, W. and Picard, R.W., 2004, August. Affective agents: Sustaining motivation to learn through failure and a state of stuck. In Workshop on Social and Emotional Intelligence in Learning Environments.
Brymer, E. and Gray, T., 2006. Effective leadership: transformational or transactional? Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education, 10(2), p.13.
Art of Manliness, L. (2017). How to Make an Improvised Stretcher | The Art of Manliness. [online] The Art of Manliness. Available at: http://www.artofmanliness.com/2016/11/11/make-improvised-stretcher/ [Accessed 8 Jun. 2017].
Reinboth, M. and Duda, J.L., 2006. Perceived motivational climate, need satisfaction and indices of well-being in team sports: A longitudinal perspective. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 7(3), pp.269-286.
R. (2017). Lean-to shelter | Practical Survivor. [online] Practicalsurvivor.com. Available at: http://www.practicalsurvivor.com/leanto [Accessed 8 Jun. 2017].