Aim- Provide an adventure week for 18-19 year old students, a range of activities that incorporate teamwork, communication, leadership and analytical thinking.
The aim of the Tangen College Project was to provide an adventure week for students leaving high school. There were several activities which consisted of:
- First Aid
- Group Dynamics
- Fire Making
Throughout the week, the groups would vary due to levels of motivation and team spirit, some groups simply weren’t interested which would have a negative impact on everyone involved in the activity. This is common in the young generations to today, talking from previous experience with working with young adults that they follow like sheep if a more prominent member of the team takes a disliking.
My activity was running and supervising abseiling due to my outdoor interests that mainly focus on climbing and mountain sport. The crag used was a nice introduction to abseiling for people, not to strenuous or difficult but still a challenge for some people. The rigging location was good, with solid anchors (large spruce trees) that allowed for simple and solid rigging system, with the abseil rope, safety line and emergency line in case I had to perform a rescue or offer guidance. Myself and Bowen led the abseiling for majority of the week and both of us were confident in our abilities. During the week, the students would receive points on teamwork, task completion and the verbal use of English which was an occurring problem as they were told from the start however they would keep communicating in Norwegian. On the abseil we didn’t really score them as it was more of an individual task. Bowen asked a few questions at the of activity in relation to the activity to give some points. I had one group that only two from a group 6 performed the abseil. We encouraged them as much as possible however they were not taking any of the advice so descended. His angered me slightly as none of them even gave it ago, with the idea of the week was to work as a team and push yourself. It was also a challenge getting them moving in the morning as many were tired from inadequate sleep or were simply not motivated. The abseiling became very bore some by the 3rd day due to the repetitiveness however that is the outdoor industry.
On the 3rd day, I moved to Slacklining which was a pleasant change and was more of group dynamic game where full team involvement was needed to complete 3 tasks. The tasks consisted of a walk along the slackline with no aid and if you fell off you had to remain where you are to help others and was finished when the whole had reached the other side. The second was the use of swinging rope aids however the whole team had to be on the slackline at once. The final was the two members with a balance rope had to cross each other and make it to the opposite sides. The games were great for communication aspects and tactical thinking. All groups I had on this task were a lot more involved and motivated compared to the abseiling. This may be due the level of the tasks and that for most it was easier to complete, however some groups but in more effort than others and by this point I started to deduct points for anyone speaking Norwegian among the team.
From my observations, many of students didn’t want to be there and embrace the opportunity we were giving them. This brought into light the concept and image of Norwegians being outdoor orientated and live up to the friluftsliv philosophy. Many of the students didn’t even know how to make a fire which we thought was standard practice and in fact they don’t have much outdoor education, this week being the 3rd one they have throughout their school career. I think the friluftsliv life is mainly dominated by adults and families and I believe it is declining in the younger generations due to increase a cosmopolitan lifestyle and more focused on their urban image. I hope it does not completely fade out and there is movement to increase outdoor education and exposure.