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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Schedule an consultation at one of these events!

Project Adventure specialists are traveling across the country and to Canada to attend several upcoming conferences and events.

Do you have questions you want to ask about your program?
Are you interested in learning how to get a challenge course installed?

Call - 1-978-524-4554 or email info@pa.org and schedule a time to meet with the specialist on site at any of these events!

Or make an advance appointment with a PA specialist at any of these upcoming conferences:

Southwestern District Ahperd/Az Ahperd, Pheonix, Jan. 21-24

Alternatives to Expulsion, Suspension and Dropping Out of School, San Antonio, Jan. 28-31

Toronto Camps Conference, Ontario Canada, Jan. 28 – 30 Angel Krimm will be in the Flaghouse Booth demonstrating our new props and activity guide - Creating Respectful Camp Communities!

19th Annual Association for Challenge Course Technology Conference, Jan. 29 – Feb. 1, Houston

Eastern District Ahperd Conference, Lancaster, PA Feb. 4 –7

American Camping Association Conference, Orlando, Feb. 17-20 Angel Krimm will be in the Flaghouse Booth premiering our newest pack bag and activity guide - Creating Respectful Camp Communities.

New Jersey Ahperd Conference, Longbranch, Feb. 22-24 Jane Panicucci, Keynote Speaker!

DuPage County PE, Health Institute, Naperville IL, Feb. 27

Research and Evaluation for Adventure Programs, Atlanta, March 13-20

American Camping Association Tri-State Conference, Atlantic City, March 17-20

California Ahperd, Santa Clara, March 19-22, Meet Dr. John Ratey, author of SPARK - The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain - in the Project Adventure booth

National AHPERD Conference, Tampa, March 31-April 4,

Monday, November 24, 2008

Count Me In - Great Activities for Large Groups by Mark Collard



The newest book from Project Adventure - Count Me In by Mark Collard.

Keep 30, 40 or 100 people engaged and having fun!




Try this activity with your group - Superiority.





Purchase this book today!

Achieving Fitness of the Body and the Mind - A New Model

Strategies - a special theme supplement published by the National Association for Sport & Physical Education, features an article by leading author and expert on infusing adventure, active learning and social and emotional learning into a health-related fitness program - Jane Panicucci.

Panicucci, author of Adventure Curriculum for Physical Education (k-12) and Achieving Fitness is also the Vice President and COO of Project Adventure, Inc. Known world-wide for her engaging presentations, wisdom on team development and a respected school leadership and change management coach, Panicucci's insight into self-efficacy, motivation and tools for engaging all students.

If you don't subscribe to Strategies, you can access the article at www.naspeinfo.org or receiving a copy by emailing info@pa.org and request in subject line: Strategies article please. We'll send you an electronic copy.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Project Adventure Annual Christmas Tree Sale




It's that time of year again. Christmas Tree harvest at Moraine Farm in Beverly MA.




Come to the antique barn off Route 97 (Cabot Street) in Beverly and pick out your tree from a large selection of fresh cuts. Or go out into the field and cut your own. Also, a wide assortment of our extremely popular wreaths (both decorated and undecorated) in sizes from door size to big enough for the side of your own barn!




Enjoy a tractor drawn hay ride, freshly baked cookies, hot chocolate and mulled cider. And bring your camera for the perfect holiday shots.





Price range: $20+ according to size
Cut your own tree: $75 - limited selection


Tractor Drawn Hay Rides
Wreaths - Greens - Bows - Refreshments


Saturday & Sunday,
December 6 & 7, 13 & 14, 2008
The Antique Barn
735 Cabot St. Beverly (Rt.97)
From 10AM to 4PM

Support Project Adventure’s Youth Programs
Questions? Call Amanda Mazzaglia 978-927-3708
www.pa.org







Available Saturday & Sunday,
December 6 & 7, 13 & 14, 2008
The Antique Barn
735 Cabot St. Beverly (Rt.97)
From 10AM to 4PM

Support Project Adventure’s Youth Programs
Questions? Call Amanda Mazzaglia 978-927-3708
www.pa.org

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Gavin 7th & 8th Graders Build Community - Adventure Style

by Jeff Frigon, Project Adventure Youth and College Programs Specialist

Galvin Middle School Unit CF came to the Project Adventure Challenge Course at Moraine Farm, a group of 7th and 8th graders looking to welcome new students and build community.

Many of the students had experience with adventure from camps and other schools, but as a school, Galvin was new to adventure. The teachers did a great job priming the students for their day at Project Adventure, and everyone arrived prepared for a day outside and knowing what to expect.

The kids had fun playing, learning together and co-creating Full Value Contracts to be used throughout the day and to bring home with them to school. Laughter, belay commands, and sunshine mixed in the late-season air to make for a great day for all of us!

As coordinator for the day, I stood in the middle of the ropes course and spun around, seeing group after group in all the various moments of their day: belaying, climbing, playing, debriefing, reassuring a nervous climber, celebrating their successes and working through their challenges.

On their walk back to the busses, the teachers were already talking about how to bring the learnings from today back to their classrooms and how to make next year even better.

A day as rewarding for me as facilitator as it was for the client, Galvin Middle School!

Project Adventure offers a wide range of field trip programs for schools, agencies and camps. Programming is offered at Moraine Farm in Beverly MA or at your site - 7 days per week. Our Youth and College Trainers are amoung the best in their field and participate in extensive professional development and challenge course training.

Sample pricing, guidelines and program samples are available - also long term contracts.

To bring your class, group or camp program to the Challenge Course at Moraine Farm, contact Jeff or PA at info@pa.org or 978-524-4558. We are booking now for November and Spring, Summer 2009.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

California Master's Degree Cohort Starts with Portable Adventure

The first session of the California / Project Adventure Master's Degree Cohort began Friday night in Aliso Viejo, California. Kristen Okura, Physical Educator at Don Juan Avila Middle School is the coordinator of the six workshop series.

The first workshop, Portable Adventure, started on Friday at 5:30 p.m. with pizza and paperwork. Then PA trainer Topaz Murphy Terry jumped right in with activities and teaching the core components of adventure facilitation.

On Saturday morning when I checked back in with the group at mid morning, they were discussing the first 8 activities they had already learned!

One of the discussions I had the benefit of sitting in on was "Boundaries". Topaz talked about a new twist on using cones or boundary ropes or verbal prompts to remind students were the boundaries are. She talked about using "in the action" and "out of the action" to describe to prompt students.

"Are you in the action?" "What does it feel like to be in the action?" "What did it feel like when you were out of where the action is happening?".

She talked about using with a group of fifth graders who quickly learned that being "out of where the action happening" became boring, lonely and not so much fun. Their desire to be "in the action" or within the boundaries became predicated on their own experiences and learning...and not on Topaz repeatedly saying, "Susie, remember to stay in the boundaries".

A large discussion began and the group talked about ways to apply this new language and places where it really wouldn't be applicable.

We did a brief check in on the next workshops coming up. Participants talked about how these workshops are so relevant to the actual work they are doing. And how the projects, that they will work on with the Plymouth State advisor, Jamie Hanon, will be truly meaningful to their day-to-day teaching.

At this point, regretfully, it was time for me to pack up and head out. But I was delighted to hear the group talking about how they were going to communicate between workshops, possibly begin a study group, share and discuss projects and more.

If you are interested in learning how you can start or participate in a Master's in Education with a focus on Adventure through Plymouth State University and Project Adventure in your area ... email bwonson@pa.org or call 978-524-4619.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Oh, the things Project Adventure teachers will do

Mark Michaud, a Project Adventure teacher from Newtown Middle School in CT has a hand in creating a trebuchet...a midieval military device for tossing heavy loads. Michaud and others used the device to offer up the opportunity to community members to toss pumpkins for charity.

And of course, like any good PA educator, Michaud and students combined math, physics and history with active learning to create, test and now figure out a real life application for thier trebuchet.

Photos and full article!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Independent School Adventure Network (ISAN) Institute

The 4th Annual Independent School Adventure Education Network (ISAN) Institute will be held January 21-24, 2009 at the Lawrenceville School (New Jersey).

ISAN was founded in 2005 and is sponsored by Project Adventure, Inc. The goal of ISAN is to provide a place for independent school administrators and staff who share a common vision and commitment to the use of active, experiential and outdoor education methodology to "talk shop" and learn from each other.

The founding schools of the ISAN Institute are: Albuquerque Academy, The Lawrenceville School, Phillips Andover Academy, The Westminster Schools, and the Westtown School.

Each year the ISAN is hosted by a different member school providing an opportunity to see programs and programming up close. Also, presentations by industry experts as well as sharing of program strengths and challenges are part of the agenda. And of course, networking and fun.

"I gained more from this ISAN three days than from years of other larger conferences. I came away charged, filled iwth appropriate facts and details, and renewed in my belief that what we are doing really matters, both in our own lives and in the lives of our students". Jim Brady, Assitant Head, Santa Barbara Middle School

To find out more info or to register go to www.isaninfo.com

Monday, November 10, 2008

Project Adventure Fans and Friends - Sign up now

Be on of the first to sign up on the newest blog feature - Project Adventure Fans and Friends...scroll all the way to the VERY bottom of the blog...and sign up!

Achieving Fitness of the Body and the Mind, Jane Panicucci

Strategies Magazine, published by NASPE features Achieving Fitness of Body and Mind by Jane Panicucci.

Panicucci is available for professional development, district wide in-service and keynote sessions. As the thought-leader in the value of social/emotional competency and physical activity in schools, Panicucci's message is founded in solid research. All members of the educational community, from administrators to practitioners, will leave with a fresh understanding the impact physical activity on the brain's ability to learn.

Panicucci serves as the Treasurer for the National Afterschool Association, is a coach for administrators seeking to bring about culture and climate change within their schools, is a former physical educator and Outward Bound course leader. Jane has held positions as corporate consultant, Director of Training and Consulting and is currently the Vice President at Project Adventure, Inc.

Call 978-524-4619 or email info@pa.org for more info.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Will Smith, Oprah and Adventure

I watched the Oprah show in awe yesterday as Will Smith discussed turning 40 and what that means for transforming his life to a place of service for others. What does this have to do with adventure teaching and counseling?

Will talked about the power of groups. How groups, when performing well, can actually manage the emotional and physical safety of their community (he was using his family dynamics as an example and he and his wife's parenting philosophy). He talked about how the power of being inside the group or pushed out of the group can be a powerful tool. He was very vague, but passionate...and had clearly thought a lot about this concept of the group...and the ability to harness the power of it for good. Of course, the advertising breaks kept interrupting his thought process and momentum (he even voiced frustration when the "going to commercial music" started saying "No, not again").

He reminded me so much of so many people who experience Project Adventure for the first time. When they begin to really understand that the Full Value Contract is more than rules. That is a living, breathing agreement for guiding and transforming the community. When they experience "Challenge by Choice"(c) and see that it is not a tool for opting out, but actually a tool for empowerment. For taking risks in a safe and supported environment. When they experience communication, reflection and feedback through the "Adventure Group Process" - and for the first time in their lives understand the difference between open, honest and valuing communication and criticism.

What Will Smith was describing was the power of the Project Adventure's methodology. He was talking about what PA has been seeing and experiencing for over 37 years as a non-profit organization.

Will, if you are looking to put a name to what you are describing, it is called "adventure education". If you are looking to learn more about how a non-profit, comprised of believers, educators, counselors, administrators and researchers have been developing curriculum, training professionals, working with youth on leadership, and striving to transform the life's of vulnerable and at-risk youth through the use of this methodology - please contact us. ( info@pa.org or 805-556-0895.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Staff Development Feedback - Wouldn't you like to hear these comments?

Any school administrator will tell you that it is no easy task to strike a balance when providing professional development for staff. Finding a program that your faculty sees as a good use of thier time, is meaningful and relevant and will actually help them grow as professionals....is not easy.

Recently, Senior PA Consultant Bart Crawford conducted a professional development session at the International School in Greenwich CT. Here is some feedback on the program:

"...able to be out of our comfort zones in non-threatening ways".
"Building relationships with respect and communication".
"Over the past few years we have been through a lot and we needed this opportunity to help us move forward".
"There were definitely activities today that I can use in my classes".
"It was helpful to reflect on who we are as learners".
"This workshop was more relevant and useful than previous 'group building' sessions".
"We need to have more experiences like this".
"I feel relaxed and stress free...and grateful for not having to sit all day".
"This was the most relaxing and fun staff development day I've had in 7 years".
"It was a pleasure to be in a workshop with a facilitator who has clear goals, is well prepared and leads the group comfortably".

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Learning in the Great Outdoors at Wilderness School in Daly City, CA

The San Mateo County's homepage featured an article in The Daily Journal on the field trip the South San Francisco-based Baden Continuation High School took to the Wilderness School's White Hawk Ropes Course on San Bruno Mountain.

As I read the article, I was taken with the uniqueness of this program run by the Wilderness School. You see, as part of this one semester program offered through Jefferson Union High School District, 10th through 12th graders can learn to be facilitators on the White Hawk Challenge course and work with students and groups from other schools and agencies.

Long time Project Adventure friend and experiential education advocate, Reno Taini, created The Wilderness School program by bringing the concept of project-based learning and wilderness education to life. The programs cornerstone is the concept of "learning", "doing", "reflecting" and then "internalizing" learning. In existence since 1967, the curriculum and outcomes of The Wilderness School are as relevant today as they were then.

To learn how your educators and counselors can bring components of a program similar to The Wilderness School to your school or agency, contact Project Adventure - the leading in advancing active learning since 1971.
Email bwonson@pa.org or 805-556-0895.

What I have learned is that Project Adventure can be used in my future - a student's reflection

Hamilton Wenham High School is where PA began. And continues. This reflection, written by a student, is included on page 12 of the November 2008 - Hamilton Wenham Regional High School Syllabus.

"Project adventure has challenged me to put more trust in my
classmates and to deal with my large fear of heights. I find it difficult to
function any more than ten feet off the ground, so relying on others to
keep me from falling was not high on my agenda list. Project adventure
forced me into these circumstances and made me have to believe in my
own abilities and other people around me.

I learned that I can cooperate with other people well, when I give
up on being the leader, but do not put aside my own recommendations.
I must strike a balance between being bossy and holding back my own
ideas.

To my classmates, I would like to be known as a good listener and
to appear in control of myself. I want my classmates to think of me as a
reliable and focused person who can try their best, even if my best is not
up to their standards. I influence that image by putting a lot of effort
into every initiative we do, so I do not slow them down, being seen as a
participator rather then a slacker.

What I have learned is that project adventure can be used in my
future. Cooperating with a group of people that I am not close with is a
social skill used in the workplace. Teams are often put together to
accomplish a goal together that they would not be able to accomplish by
themselves. Getting across the wire on the "lifeline" with others is not
far different than a meeting of employees balancing a company’s budget.
Both require a high level of participation and cooperation".

Monday, November 3, 2008

Santa Fe Mountain Center Receives AEE Award

Project Adventure congratulates Sky Gray and her great team at Santa Fe Mountain Center!

The Santa Fe Mountain Center (SFMC) has been selected as the Association for Experiential Education’s (AEE) organizational member of the year. According to a press release, Dr. Nina Roberts, assistant professor of Recreation, Tourism and Parks at San Francisco State University, wrote in here nomination letter: “They have touched the lives of thousands of people, young and old, giving many of their clients something to hope for during times of uncertainty and despair. Even the healthiest participants – across the program spectrum – credit SFMC for providing them with new ways of thinking and being in the world. The SFMC exemplified social justice and constantly strives for social change by Mountain Center will soon be celebrating 30-years as one of this nation’s premiere experiential education programs.”

To see the full press release go to http://nhcv.blogspot.com/2008/11/santa-fe-mountain-center-receives.html.

The leadership of Project Adventure is proud to have worked on several committees with the leadership of Santa Fe Mountain Center, and to have consulted on curriculum and training for the SFMC staff. Congratulations to Sky and team for all your hard work, dedication and commitment not only to experietial education and programming but to the community and people you serve!

Regards, your friends at PA.

Climbing Walls for Pennridge Middle School

From The Intelligencer - www.phillyblurbs.com - Nov. 3, 2008

Students soon will be climbing the walls
By THERESA HEGEL The Intelligencer

Some kids dress up as Spider-Man for Halloween.
But Pennridge middle-schoolers will soon have the chance to become Spidey. Or at least to climb across a wall like the Web-slinging superhero.

The school board approved a $13,500 contract with Massachusetts-based nonprofit Project Adventure for design, installation and training on 40-foot-long climbing walls at the district's three middle schools. The district will spend less than $10,000 to buy the needed materials.
The walls are short, with students' feet never more than 3 feet above the ground, but students can climb across their length, not just their height.

Climbing walls and other challenge-course activities reflects a shift in physical education philosophy, said Arlene Zielinski, assistant superintendent for programs. She added that the walls should go up in December or January.

When she was in school, “Phys-ed was seen as ground for training future athletes and if you weren't among them you just kind of had to go along anyway,” she said.
Though Pennridge still features team sports as part of its gym curriculum, now there is also an emphasis on wellness and fitness.

“This creates more of a balance,” Zielinski said.

The climbing walls, which can improve coordination, problem solving and teamwork in addition to building upper body strength, tend to be motivational for students who aren't necessarily top athletes, she said.

“When success is defined as personal, individual progress ... all children can do that,” she said.

Pennridge received a federal grant to install climbing walls at its elementary schools several years ago and has had great success integrating them into the physical education program, Zielinski said.

There has also been some interest in purchasing a taller climbing wall for the high school, but Zielinski said such walls pose some problems* because they require harnesses and other gear and fewer students can use them at one time.

Project Adventure, a 37-year-old international organization, provides schools and other agencies with the tools to implement various experiential programs, according to its Web site.

Theresa Hegel can be reached at 215-538-6381 or thegel@phillyBurbs.com.

*research shows that with properly trained staff, inspection and maintenance by a qualified vendor, climbing elements that utilize harnesses, helmets and appropriate safety equipment actually result in less injuries than low challenge course elements. (PA comment)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Master's in Education - Adventure Focus - California locations

Kristen Okura of Don Juan Avila Middle School in Ailiso Viejo CA and Chip Candy, NASPE Teacher of the Year from NJ, have been advocating for a series of workshops for California PE Educators that will support the achievement of the Plymouth State University / Project Adventure Master's in Education with an Adventure Focus.

Starting in November, a series of weekend Project Adventure workshops will be held in Ailiso Viejo. Each workshop is eligible for 2 or 4 graduate credits through PSU (part of the NH state university system). Workshops will be lead by Project Adventure instructors.

And, the good news is, you don't have to be interested in graduate credit to take the workshops. You can select one workshop or if you register for five or more, you receive a 10% discount on all workshops. The workshop tuition includes all books and materials. Payment for credits is through PSU ($135 per credit). Workshop tuition ranges from $290 - $ 400 and is payable directly to Project Adventure. Advance registration is required.


To learn more about this exciting opportunity, or to inquire about holding a series of workshops in your area, contact bwonson@pa.org or call 805-556-0895 or 978-524-4619.

Click here for more info on the Master's Degree Program or PA's California Workshop Series.

Research and Evaluation of Adventure Programs - 5th Annual

What are the goals of REAP?

To advance scientific, evidence-based research in adventure programming in educational and therapeutic settings.


To connect research with practice and practitioners with researchers.


To explore how evidence-based research can influence program quality and public policy.

Don't miss it!

The Annual REAP Symposium March 18-20, 2009 Atlanta, GA, USA
5th REAP Symposium
Introduction Letter from Paul Limoges, Chief Executive Officer, Association for Experiential Education and Dick Prouty, President, Project Adventure, Inc.
REAP Symposium Flyer
REAP Symposium Call for Proposals (Word doc ) (pdf )

For questions, contact Alison Rheingold, Coordinator @
alisonrheingold@gmail.com

Project Adventure Workshop Photos!

What do you do in a PA workshop? Adventure Programming looks like this:
all.things.zietz.: UPDATE: Pics from Project Adventure Workshop

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Reflections from a workshop partictipant

Of course, Project Adventure trainings are about learning skills, methods and tools for using in your work. But the by-product which is often over looked - or that isn't thought about in advance is the learning about your self.

One recent participants comments remind me of that extremely meaningful and relevant benefit of the unique format of Project Adventure's open-enrollment workshops.

all.things.zietz.: I have returned

Putting learning into action!

"I’ve been teaching history for 10 years. The skills I’ve learned through my Project Adventure trainings have been the highlight of my teaching career!"

Mike Brady, Indian River Middle School, Chesapeake VA

Mike became re-engaged with Project Adventure in 2007 when he wanted to pursue his Master’s Degree. After eight years of teaching middle school history, Mike was considering getting his Master’s in counseling. After doing some research, he realized that school counseling wasn’t exactly the direction he was seeking.

A brainstorming exercise reminded him of an experience he had working at a camp where he used adventure-based methods. Mike realized, "Wow, why don’t I pursue something along the lines of Project Adventure".

Mike recalls that his research led him to the Project Adventure/Plymouth State University Master’s in Education program. The combination of PA workshops and PSU classes "are in line with my passion."

As team leader, Mike has been able to introduce his fellow teachers to the core concepts of Project Adventure including the Full Value Contract, Challenge by Choice© and intentionally-designed activities.

He recalled an incident where the benefit of Project Adventure’s methods was demonstrated. A teacher left the class room briefly. Upon his return, the teacher noticed that someone had written a derogatory term on the board. Of course, no one would come clean on who had written the word. Using the PA Adventure Group Process that Mike learned in his Adventure with Youth at Risk workshop and passed on to his fellow teachers, the students were empowered to maintain a safe learning environment while helping their peer to take ownership of negative behavior. During this process, the young woman admitted that she was the one who had written on the board. Her peers decided on a consequence, which she agreed to (In School Suspension) and served.

This intervention was successful for all students, including the young woman, because the ground work was done in advance through the use of the Full Value Contract and active learning including adventure activities. These methods increase social and emotional competency, develop an emotionally safe learning environment, and challenge students to become responsible and accountable for their own behaviors.

Mike is hoping to build on this success. He is proposing a nine-week Project Adventure based course. Students, some who will elect to participate and some who maybe identified, will increase social and emotional skills, increase pro-social behaviors and ultimately increase academic success.

To learn more about how you can bring Project Adventure into your school or program, email bwonson@pa.org or call 1-978-524-4619.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Creating Respectful Communities - Alley Pond Adventure - 10.2.08



The theme of using adventure education as a tool for creating respectful communities in schools and agencies was embraced by over 100 administrators, educators, counselors and policeman under clear blue skies on Oct. 2 at Alley Pond Adventure Park.




Opening remarks from C. Warren "Pete" Moses, Chief Executive Director of The Children's Aid Society, set the tone for the interactive event sponsored by Project Adventure's Metro NYC Advisory Board. Moses recalled how his own experiences shaped his belief in the power of adventure as a tool for helping to increase social and emotional competency in children, youth and adults.




Jane Panicucci, the leading expert in incorporating active learning and adventure into curriuclum and culture in schools and agencies delivered a keynote on how self-efficacy is increased through the use of adventure. Leading the group through activities to experientially highlight the key points of her message, Panicucci helped participants then connect how increased self-efficacy supports increased ability to learn new behaviors and change norms, culture and climate.




Participants broke into groups lead by local practitioners who incorporate the core concepts of Project Adventure into their work.




Presenters included: Colleen Morey, Greenwich Public Schools, Director of PE, Health and Consumer Science; Rick Levine, Principal, NYC Public Schools; Vince Canziani, Director, Wagon Road Camp and Jane Panicucci, Vice President, Project Adventure.




Following a networking lunch, participants who so desired were able to experience Alley Pond's outstanding challenge course which was designed and installed by Project Adventure.




Feedback on the day from participants was overwhelming positive.

Adventure Success from Washington State

Hello from the great northwest. I just wanted to update you on how things are going out here in Washington State. I am using Project Adventure stuff in all my classes and I am a true believer.

If you use the stuff it works. There are so many team building, community building activities along with the Full Value Contract that it has all but cut any discipline problems we had. I truly don’t know where the discipline referrals are at our school.

Also, I just put our Junior Varsity volleyball through some of the team building activities and they just went and beat the local powerhouse. They didn’t touch a volleyball on Monday and went and won on Tuesday with a new found teamwork and togetherness. The girls were giddy and excited and their coach was pleased at their cohesiveness. Anyway, I just thought I would pass on a little success story from our neck of the woods.

Brian Hagbo
Physical Education Instructor
Ellensburg High School

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Project Adventure California Workshop Series


Earn Graduate Credit!

Earn a Master's in Education!

Learn to implement a portable adventure program!

Weekend Schedule!

Meaning and Relevant Content!

Active Learning!

All in Southern California!



Nov. 14, 15 & 16 Portable Adventure



Jan. 24 & 25 Debriefing Tools

Feb. 28 & March 1 Achieving Fitness



Register for five or more workshops and receive a 10% tuition discount!


Workshops are being held at Don Juan Avila Middle School, 26278 Wood Canyon, Aliso Viejo CA


Workshops are offered in an abbreviated format. 3 day workshops begin on Friday with registration at 5:30 p.m. and start at 6:00 p.m. Saturday hours are 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Sunday hours are 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. 2 day workshops begin Saturday with registration at 7:30 a.m. and start at 8:00 a.m. and end at 5:00 p.m. Sunday 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.


If you are interested in earning a Master's In Education with an Adventure focus, please contact Plymouth State University to begin the enrollment process asap ( 603-535-3220 or forgrad@mail.plymouth.edu). Tell them you are considering the Project Adventure CA Workshop Series.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Good wishes, Lisa Faulkingham Hunt

Today, Project Adventure says good bye to a long term trainer and consultant, Lisa Faulkingham Hunt.

Lisa's career at PA has spanned nearly 10 years and her influence has ranged from Youth and College Program Facilitator, working on our Association of Experiential Education Accreditation, co-author of our Adventure Curriculum for Physical Education k-12 series and co-author of Achieving Fitness Activity Guide. Most recently, Lisa has lead our Physical Education Core Team.

We wish her well. With Lisa's permission, we've included her reflections on her time at PA.

"I love the moments on the Challenge Course when decisions are made – the big “go for it” dives of the pamper pole, or the screaming dismount onto the zip wire. But what I love even more are the quiet decisions that people make, not so dramatic but full of growth and thought, toward the next right thing. The quiet decision to leave the comfort of the tree and walk out one step onto the Catwalk; as if it were just simply their time to do it. It has become my time to make that quiet decision to leave the comfort of my Project Adventure family, and I am able to make this critical next move because of what you have taught me.

It is a simple task to reflect on the highlights of my experience working at Project Adventure. The images, the people, the moments and the sounds come to mind quickly. The opportunities that have been presented to me are ones I don’t expect to find anywhere else. It is simple too to reflect on the relationships, who you all are, and how you have impacted me and my work, because all of the relationships are so dear and special to me, and they are right there, right up close in my thoughts. Lists of moments that I’m proud of come easily too, as do the memories of making mistakes in my leadership that you’ve allowed me to take as learning opportunities.

But you’ve taught me that my responsibility is to step into my stretch zone, so to write about the highlights, the relationships, the memories, the accomplishments, the pride isn’t going to cut it.

You’ve taught me to set goals, to revisit them often and to say them out loud. So, my goal is to reflect on, and share with you, moments when I felt the mission being lived. Moments that really have nothing to do with me.

Project Adventure seeks to develop responsible individuals, productive organizations and sustainable communities. Where have I seen that? What happened?

A second grader at the Arch School in Greenwich, Connecticut is waiting for a program to start. Bart (fellow trainer) and I are present, but behind the curtain of the stage. The girl observes two boys arguing over which one gets to play with a HulaHoop. She approaches them and gently reminds them that they agreed to Be Gentle, Be Kind and Be Safe, and encourages them toward a gentle solution. Not because a teacher was watching. Not because someone suggested that she intervene. She was empowered to use a tool that had been taught to her, that she demonstrated a complete understanding of. This is the young girl who would later ask if Bart and I were “named after Bart and Lisa Simpson.”


Cindy Simpson and I spent about ten days in Rutland, Vermont doing some BMTA (Behavior Management through Adventure) training in 2000. We went back several months later to observe and support their program. A teacher started the day in the gym with a game of Giants, Wizards and Elves. “They are learning, through playing this game day after day, that they can communicate. They can solve problems. They can have fun and laugh. I remind them of this throughout the day,” their teacher tells me. I watch the game. Each side decides quickly which characters they will represent, but with all voices heard. Students are eager to efficiently solve the problem so they can continue the joy of play. They give and take; they strategize. And I saw that over and over again in that classroom. This teacher went on to say that “it doesn’t mean much if I tell them to go and work it out. I have to remind them they have the skills and the tools to work it out. That kind of thing has never happened in this school, or for these kids before.”


Greg Cowen is a teacher from Putnam, CT, one of the early recipients of the PEP grant. Putnam has accessed almost every resource that Project Adventure has to offer. Greg has emerged as the Challenge Course Manager and over the years he has taken 15 Project Adventure Workshops. A combination of Greg’s intelligence and excitement, his trainers over the years and the resources that the school has received have come together to make a truly sustainable program. Each grade level has a Full Value Contract and a thoughtful PE program that reflects the best of what we have to offer made even better by the outstanding work of the teachers in this district. Greg recently completed his third Advanced Skills and Standards workshop and what I saw was a person who has developed over seven years and who has brought an entire program behind him. He will continue his ASAS every couple of years, he will certainly stay in touch with us, but he has what it takes now, it’s just a part of him. I said to him this summer “Greg, I have nothing left to teach you,” and as a client who has soaked up our mission, he has so much to teach us.

And most significantly for me now, I feel proud of Project Adventure’s mission to “bring the adventure home” because I have brought Adventure into my home and to my son, and you all taught me how. The best parts of me as a mother have come from my experience with you. You have taught me:

That we each will act out in different ways when we are in our panic zones, or have been pushed too fast into our stretch zones.

That sometimes we just need to curl up in our comfort zone.

That we will thrive when we understand our behavioral guidelines and that we can contribute to them.

That “good job” can be the end of a conversation, and “how was that?” can be an invitation to share and explore feelings.

The value of a check-in at the beginning of the day and reflection at the end of the day.

The best games are simple, provide opportunity for creativity and can include everyone.(My son and his cousins played “race the acorns down the playground slide” for an hour last weekend, and eventually had all the other kids on the playground involved)

That bursts of physical activity are a natural and critical part of every day.

That in the end my job is to maintain a safe environment and to support the growth of those in my care.

That is not only what you have taught me, but what you have provided that for me while I have been in your care. I am very excited for the opportunities that are ahead for each of you, and the organization that is the sum of you. I leave Project Adventure very humbly, and I will take the lessons you have taught me wherever I go.

And to Lisa, we say "Peace Out". Your friends and colleagues!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Project Adventure's 20 Year Safety Study

Back by popular demand once again, Project Adventure's 20 year safety study is the most comprehensive of its kind and the most referred to the industry. To download your own copy, click here.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Project Adventure Welcomes Back the Cambridge School of Weston

The Cambridge School of Weston has been bringing students to the Challenge Course at Moraine Farm since 2005.

The faculty of this school originally came to Project Adventure for a staff development day, and had a great program. The teachers immediately saw the connection for student learning based upon their experience.

The culture of the school is one of emphasis on the individual’s strengths and talents. Because of this, one of the goals was to help students reach out to students they might not usually interact with, and to learn the positive side of working as a community.

At the end of the first program, the teachers felt very hopeful that PA would have a positive influence on their school community. Based on their history with PA and the excitement with which students look forward to the program, it appears their goals are being met.

To learn how your school, agency or group can benefit from an adventure program - call 978-524-4554 today or email... info@pa.org

Achieving Fitness of the Body and the Mind, by Jane Panicucci

A new article by Jane Panicucci that will help you make the case for increasing physical activity in your program!

Panicucci, M.Ed., Harvard University, is currently Vice President of Project Adventure and author of Achieving Fitness: An Adventure Activity Guide and the Adventure Curriculum for Physical Education series. Panicucci is also the leading expert on the integration of adventure in Physical Education programs and schools. As a public school educator in the mid 80's, Jane designed an Adventure curriculum that is still going strong. She is an international keynote speaker addressing the issue of adventure play and effective teaching to support positive change.

To learn how to bring Panicucci to your school, program or conference, contact bwonson@pa.org or call 978-524-4619.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Best Deal Around - Free Membership in the National Alternative Education Association

The National Alternative Education Association is an all-volunteer organization with members nation wide. With a focus on providing tools, standards, support and professional development to its membership and beyond, membership in NAEA is free! Simply go to the NAEA website and sign up.

You'll join a growing group of professionals who are committed to providing high-quality, standards based education to vulnerable, at-risk and disengaged children and youth.

In conjunction with University of Wisconsin, Green Bay, the NAEA hosts an annual conference. Now in its 15th year, the conference, "Alternatives to Expulsion, Suspension and Dropping Out of School" features a tract for administrators, gang issues and immigration. The conference is being held in San Antonio, TX January 28-31, 2009.

Connect with educators, curriculum coordinators, school resource officers, and administrators from across the US. Join today.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Project Adventure Workshop Listing 2008-2009

Project Adventure's 2008-2009 Workshop catalog including workshop descriptions and dates is now available on line.

For assistance in selecting a workshop, call 1-978-524-4554 or info@pa.org. And remember, any of these workshops can be customized and delivered at your site for your staff.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Lockport High School Starts the Year with Climbing Wall Training!

Lockport High School was one of the many schools around the country that used their Carol White PEP Grant funds to infuse adventure into their physical education program.

Project Adventure's PEP Grant Implementation Specialists, Bill Bates and Wayne Berger worked closely with grant coordinator Pat Seidel to develop a challenge course installation that meets Lockport's goals for improving PE in the district.

This week, Darryl Essensa, a PA trainer and former Physical Educator, is working with physical educators from Lockport in an intensive training which combines our Adventure Programming and Technical Skills Intensive - customized to meet their specific goals.

The educators are learning practical skills for using the challenge course equipment effectively including:

  • Standard operating procedures and safety guidelines.
  • Understand the applications for equipment including harnesses, helmets, carabiners, and belay devices and belay set-ups.
  • And knot-tying skills, belay team skills
  • Challenge course take up and set down procedures and equipment retrieval.

The educators are also learning the soft skills required for effectively using adventure in-line with curriculum standards for Physical Education including:

  • The core concepts of effective PA programming including Challenge by Choice (c), Full Value Contract and the Experiential Learning Cycle.
  • How to use sequencing, debriefing and facilitation skills to achieve desired outcomes.
  • They will experience the activities that they will be expecting students to participate in.
  • They will learn to infuse fun, positive and appropriate risk taking and trust into their classes and teaching methods.

At the end of the five day training, educators will be able to effectively implement Project Adventure into their Physical Education curriculum. The result will be students who are more engaged in physical activity and have learned tools for goal setting, appropriate risk taking and have a better idea of what they are capable of - not only physically, but mentally, academically and socially.

Interesting in bringing an adventure program to your school, agency or organization? Interested in learning more about how to apply for Carol White PEP Grant funding? Contact PA today!

http://www.pa.org/ bbates@pa.org 1-800-468-8898 x 4554

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Lowe's Toolbox for Education Funding Program - for use for permanent facilities, playgrounds etc.

It appears that challenge and ropes courses would be a good fit for this funding source. Schools and/or affliated parent groups can apply. They are interested in projects that have a facilities based focus and bring the community together.

Read on:


Lowe's Toolbox for Education K-12 Grant Program Opens Fall
2008 Cycle
Deadline: October 17, 2008
The Lowe's Toolbox for Education grant program, an initiative of the Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation ( http://lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=pg&p=AboutLowes/Community ), is dedicated to supporting parent-teacher groups at schools across the United States.
Any individual nonprofit public K-12 school or parent group associated with a nonprofit public K-12 school is eligible to apply.
Parent groups that are applying (PTO, PTA, etc.) must have an independent tax ID number and official 501(c)(3) status from the IRS. Groups without this status should apply through their school.
Pre-schools are not eligible at this time. Applicant schools must be more than two years old.
The grant program gives preference for funding requests that have a permanent impact such as facility enhancement (both indoor and
outdoor) as well as landscaping/clean-up projects. Projects that encourage parent involvement and build stronger community spirit are encouraged.
Up to $5,000 per school is available. In order to apply, the requested grant amount must be between $2,000 and $5,000. Lowe's will donate $5 million to schools and school parent teacher groups at more than 1,000 different schools during the school year.
The Fall 2008 deadline for submitting applications is October 17, 2008. However, if 1,500 applications are received before the application deadline, the application process will close.
See the Toolbox for Education Web site for application procedures and sample projects.
RFP Link:
http://fconline.foundationcenter.org/pnd/15014675/toolboxfored

Friday, August 29, 2008

School District Implements Project Adventure to Support MCAS Turn Around

North Andover, MA

Project Adventure is working closely with Kevin Hutchinson, Assistant Superintendent in North Andover, MA and his team of educators, parents and students to assess the culture and climate of the school environment.

A long time Project Adventure advocate, Hutchinson contacted PA to support the development of a positive school culture and climate and to assess the social and emotional landscape at North Andover.

The North Andover Citizen newspaper and Wicked Local Webnews detail the MCAS results and the leadership strategy to improve.

Project Adventure's Consulting Team is lead by Larry Childs and Jane Panicucci.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Achieving Fitness Symposium - Oct. 10, 2008 Marlborough MA

"There is cutting edge research explaining the profound impact that physical activity has on the brain's ability to learn, and on an individual's ability to manage behavior. Yet, scientists struggle with how to make exercise fun. That is a terrible miss, and hte use of adventure and play is the simple solution." Jane Panicucci, Vice President PA

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Achieving Fitness-An Adventure Approach - Practitioner Symposium
October 10, 2008
8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Marlborough MA
A full day symposium exploring the following questions:
How can I infuse an existing fitness program with activities that engage everyone?
How can physical activities enhance my afterschool program, my academic classroom, or my
therapeutic/alternative school?
What are the social components of an effective program?
Can exercise make my students smarter?
Who should attend? Physical Educators, Recreation Therapists, Principals and Adminstrators,
Program Directors, Curriculum Coordinators, Therapeutic Treatment and Program Directors, Fitness Professionals, After School Professionals, Youth Development Specialists and anyone who is new to adventure or experienced but looking for new ideas.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Project Adventure and Upcoming Conferences

We are happy to announce our 2008-2009 Conference Schedule. Conferences are a great place to meet PA trainers, consultants and implementation specialists. You can also preview our newest books or look at some of our classic titles.

Also, take advantage of a our attendance at a conference in your area to schedule a one-on-one consultation or have a customized training at your school or agency at a reduced rate (because you save on travel)!

Do you know about a conference, regional meeting or seminar where the audience would benefit from:

  • Engaging, exciting and active presentations?
  • Content that is brought to life though experiential and adventure methods?
  • Teambuilding and community building?
  • Keynote or plenary sessions that are engaging, fun and make connections between activity, cognition, behavior, health and wellness?

Let us know! Contact Beth Wonson (bwonson@pa.org) or call 805-556-0895!

We hope to see you at one of the great conferences below:

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Scituate High School and Project Adventure - Getting Kids Motivated About Moving

"We are going with more life long skills than team sports type things" is the quote by Greg Rainer, Health and Wellness Chair at Scituate High School in Scituate, MA. As part of a tax override vote, the school has been able to replace a climbing wall that had been installed by novices with a professionally installed Project Adventure Climbing Wall.

In an article by Brian Nanos of the Wicked Local Website, PA Installer and Challenge Course Inspection Coordinator Alex Kramer is pictured providing an orientation to Rainer of the new climbing wall. In September, Physical Educators and other staff will receive training from Project Adventure on the appropriate use of the elements.

Assistant Superintendent, Jim Kelleher refers to the PA climbing wall and training as tools for continued improvement of curriculum in the district.

Interested in installing a climbing wall in your school or agency? Contact PA today! 978-524-4554 or info@pa.org.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Casa Mia Ranch - Behavior Management through Adventure in the Southwest

Casa Mia Ranch, located in Silver City, NM, uses Project Adventure's licensed model, Behavior Management through Adventure, as a tool for helping vulnerable and at-risk youth realize their full potential and break through perceived barriers to become successful and contributing members of society.

According to the Casa Mia Ranch website, BMTA and experiential ed are implemented to:

"encourage people to learn new things about themselves and offer engaging opportunities for the practice of fundamental life skills".

Through action oriented, hands-on educational methods, the ranch seeks to instill the knowledge that:
  • Each of us has the potential to influence our world.
  • We can take responsibility for our own actions.
  • Most behavioral limitations are self-imposed.
  • Planning, teamwork, and determination can over-come great obstacles.

To read evaluation data from other BMTA sites, click here.

To learn how you can use the tools and methods of this researched model, BMTA, contact Beth Wonson, bwonson@pa.org , 978-524-4619.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Setting Students Up for High School Success - Using Project Adventure Activities

Goal setting, diversity, conflict resolution and team building....,

200 high school students from the Mansfield Public Schools, including 60 incoming freshman, spend two days out of their summer setting themselves up for success by attending the Annual Leadership Summit.

Activities include not only PA activities with problem-solving on the challenge course, but also writing "goal letters" to identify what they want to strive for and achieve during their high school years.

Share the tools you use for goal setting and achievement with students!
Or contact PA to get some great ideas. 978-524-4558. info@pa.org

To see the full article, click here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Team Adventure and the Covington Century



The 20th Annual Covington Century Bike Ride was a huge success with over
1,100 cyclists attending the 30 to 100 mile ride!


Leading the cyclists for the first time ever in the history of the ride, was "Team Adventure", 30
youth and staff from
Project Adventure Kids (PAK). All proceeds from the ride benefited PAK.
Dick Prouty, Executive Director of Project Adventure (pictured from left to right), and Aaron Nicholson, Assistant Director of Project Adventure Kids , Jonathon Belt (former student, current college student and part time PA Kids staff person), Kim Boykin (program director) and Tom Shumaker (staff person) rode with the "Team Adventure".


In the past 19 years, the kids have always just worked
the rest stops at the ride. To be on the first cycle team at PAK, the kids
had to earn the right through positive behavior. Many of these teens have spent their
entire lives in foster care and had not ever ridden a bicycle.


The Atlanta and Covington cycle teams pulled together to teach these kids a healthy
hobby that the kids can carry with them into their adult lives. Thanks to
the many cycle volunteers, the kids received new bicycles and cycling
clothes. They even got a cycling coach who taught them the rules of the road
and took them on practice rides.


Being in foster care, you are always riding in group vans, so that made the thrill for the kids of riding a bicycle on the road that much more exciting. It was a great day not just for the kids
riding in their first ride but also for all of the 1,100+ cyclists who realized they were riding to make a difference in these kid's lives!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Students Prepare for High School on Prairie View Hospital's Challenge Course in Newton, KS

Teachers and administrators from Hutchinson High School in Kansas work to make the transition into high school as seamless as possible for students. According to an article on Hutchinson News On-line, a group on incoming freshman spent two weeks preparing for the challenges of high school through environmental programs, outdoor education and challenge course activities.

Prairie View Process Solutions is a Project Adventure partner offering direct-service challenge course programs and professional development services in the use of Project Adventure's Behavior Management through Adventure program in and around Kansas.

Assistant Principal Patterson is quoted as saying, "We are trying to build positive student/teacher relationships". And believes that this gives students an early chance for success.

One teacher is quoted as saying the challenge course program was "especially" effective for teambuilding. Hutchinson High School staff and administration are hoping to grow the program in future years.

Outdoor Education makes front page news!

The lawmakers, policy makers and newspapers are finally catching onto what Project Adventure, The Association for Experiential Education, The American Camping Association and thousands of educators, counselors, teachers and more have known for years.....

Good mental health, physical health and time in the out-of-doors...all go hand in hand.

See the headline news article in USA Today

There is even hope for $500million over five years to be included for outdoor education in the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind.

It is exciting. And great news. The best programs, of course, will be ready with solid, standards-based curriculum, data collection and evaluation. Remember, Project Adventure's curriuclum consulting team can help you get there!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Challenge Course Management

Reflects by Angel Krimm, PA trainer and former challenge course program manager.

Over the course of the past 3 years, I have seen a dramatic increase in the attendance at the Adventure Program Management workshop. Perhaps it is due to field staff becoming seasoned professionals, or due to the awareness that program managers need to know more that just how to perform technical maneuvers on the challenge course.


The workshop held at Moraine Farm this July was no exception - with 12 participants spanning experience levels of brand new to over 20 years in the Challenge Course industry, and representing just about every client base we serve - PE departments at schools, therapeutic agencies, a camp and conference center, and a military training program.


Together we explored topics of risk management, including staff hiring and retention, medical forms and liability releases, intentional programming (yes, the intentionality that an organization puts towards their program does impact safety!), new regulations and industry standards,and understanding Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and how to write Local Operating Procedures (LOPs) among other topics such as marketing and grant support of programs.


Most of PA's trainings are extremely active and experiential...an immersion approach to learning. And although this workshop differs by being content heavy, we kept it light with a few games to aid in the learning. We are experiential educators after all!


The overall consensus throughout and at the end of the workshop is that the information is valuable (though somewhat overwhelming), and participants have a clear sense of the next steps for their organization. Some head home with the intention of getting that Local Operating Procedure manual finished, while others were thinking of ways to get the word out in the community about the great work they are doing. And for one client, regulations really got him thinking as he discovered his home state is considering adopting regulations for zip wires.


The book used extensively through out this workshop is the book that we refer to internally as "Bob's Book"... The Guide for Challenge Course Operations, by Bob Ryan.


If your Challenge Course staff is wishing to pursue ACCT's Challenge Course Manager certification, this workshop, in addition to the related field hours and additional training, and having obtained Practitioner Certification Level II will get them there.









Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Must Read - SPARK by John J. Ratey, MD

Jane Panicucci, creator of PA's Adventure Curriculum for Physical Education, k-12 and Achieving Fitness, says, "This is a great read! Ratey illuminates the many connections between adventure, cognition and fitness".

A groundbreaking and fascinating investigation into the transformative effects of exercise on the brain, from the bestselling author and renowned psychiatrist John J. Ratey, MD.

Discussing the "New PE", Ratey talks about how Naperville, IL's physical educators, Phil Lawler and Paul Zientarski say, "In our department we create the brain cells. It's up to the other teachers to fill them up".

Zientarski goes on to talk about how the public, when asked about what skills they want student to leave high school with say communication, small group work, problem solving and risk taking. "Where does that happen?" Zientarski asks on page 25 of SPARK, "Science class? I don't thinks so."

Sound like adventure? Since 2005, Physical Educators in Naperville have been trained using PA Adventure Curriuclum for PE.

And don't think SPARK is only valuable for physical education and fitness. Ratey, also author of "Driven to Distraction", "Shadow Syndromes", and "A User's Guide to the Brain" delves into the connection between physical activity, fitness and anxiety, depression, stress, attention deficit, addiction, hormonal changes and aging - making this a must read for special educators, counselors or anyone who is striving for tools to transform their ability to connect with, teach and support students, clients and participants.

Now available through Project Adventure, order your copy of SPARK by calling 1-978-524-4556 or email catalog@pa.org.


304 pages, 2008. $25.00

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Mentoring, leadership and positive youth development

Since 2003, a youth center in Ciero, NY has used Project Adventure activities and programming as the catalyst for getting teens to positively mentor and build relationships with younger youth.

This is not the first such program or likely to be the last. Bill Bates, formerly Director of Physical Education, Health and Wellness at Cambridge Public Schools outside of Boston, MA (and now a full-time PA consultant) began a great program of community dialogue nights where youth used PA's methodology to create and facilitate community based discussion on topics of importance to them.

In the Bronx, NYC, Global Enterprise Academy uses PA methodology in the Adventure Leaders program. And Greenwich CT Public Schools had used the PA methodology in their Peaceable Playground program, Urban/Suburban exchange programs where youth from diverse communities learn about each other, and in their dialogue night model which grew from the one Bates implemented in Cambridge.

Adventure Happens at the Alternative Learning Enviornments Conference - Hot Springs, Arkansas





Deb Walter, 2007 NASPE National Teacher of the Year from Rogers, Arkansas spoke at the ALE conference recently in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Deb introduced her fellow alternative educators to the tools, tricks and great activities she uses in her classes.


To bring the excitement and fun of advenure to your conference, professional development program, school or agency...contact Beth Wonson (bwonson@pa.org ).

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Combating Decreasing Physical Activity in Youth by Developing Intrinsic Motivation

According* to Journal of the American Medical Association article issued on July 16, 2008, the measured physical activity decreased significantly in youth between the ages of 9 and 15 years.

We know all too well that this trend of decreasing physical activity only further increases the negative impact of bad health (both mental and physical) of youth to be successful in school. Further more, the researchers forecast that this trend indicates a lifetime of bad health for these youth.

Providing more minutes within the school schedule for physical activity is certainly a necessity. And it is great to see that more and more states are mandating and embracing more time per day and week.

But, as any physical educator will tell you, just because time is schedule, equipment is purchased and students are required to participate, does not mean they will:
  • Challenge themselves.
  • Stretch past their perceived boundaries.
  • Increase their enjoyment
  • Experience success.
  • Seek opportunities for physical activity on their own.
  • Continue physical activity into young adulthood and adulthood.

In other words, intrinsic motivation!

In essence, the question I hear over and over again from educators is ...how do we engage kids who don't participate or who have previously been unsuccessful with physical activities.

At Project Adventure, we've been struggling with that question as well. We know from our 37 years of history that students who have difficulty engaging in traditional programs and activities LOVE adventure. That they challenge themselves, build confidence, they accomplish things they never dreamt possible. We know that peer support inherent in adventure programming supports students to be successful and continue showing up.

We knew that if we could shape fitness activities into an adventure-based framework...we'd have a winner. And that's what we've done with Achieving Fitness.

Now we are professing that you only need Achieving Fitness to solve all the problems of inactivity, but we do know is that physical educators and fitness professionals who have tried Achieving Fitness agree that it is a great first step to getting youth involved in traditional fitness activities in a meaningful and long-lasting way.

Reflections from a physical educator who took part in PA's Achieving Fitness workshop:

"I think the two most important things I learned as a result of attending were: how to apply adventure theory to what I teach, and how to change my teaching to promote intrinsic motivation.

Embarrassingly, I had believed that intrinsic motivation belonged only to the highest caliber athlete or scholar. However, in our discussion of the characteristics of intrinsic motivation:

  • creates challenge,
  • provokes curiosity,
  • allows for choice,
  • promotes creativity.

I realized that I see moments of intrinsic motivation every day in my classes, but just not all the time. Also from having been a teacher for a number of years and also from having been a mom and watching my son, I mused over the idea that intrinsically motivated students are rarely behavior problems in the gym and so why not try to teach using activities that would be intrinsically motivating.

The problem I still see is that of differentiated instruction. For every student that comes into the gym who has had a multitude of physical experiences, another comes in shyly, and who participates marginally. A common attitude among lower elementary students is that they show signs of low self esteem around sport activities with which they have little experience.

My assumption was that they were coming into the gym feeling like it was the right place to be if you didn’t know how to play a sport. Rather, they often come in with the idea that everyone else will be better than them and there is the occasional student who just “freezes up” about trying something they may not be very good at. I liked how the Project Adventure activities for fitness would get kids moving no matter what their ability level because they wouldn’t have preconceived notions about the activity".

Let us know what you think?










(*Philip R. Nader; Robert H. Bradley; Renate M. Houts; Susan L. McRitchie; Marion O'BrienJAMA. 2008;300(3):295-305.)

Developing Respectful Communities in Schools and Agencies - NYC

Join Project Adventure's Metro New York City Advisory Board and The Children's Aid Society on October 2 at Alley Pond Adventure for a day of learning, sharing and experiencing!

Who should attend: Administrators, program directors, curriculum coordinators, educators, counselors and anyone who strives to support positive development of children and youth.

What to expect: Opening remarks of welcome from Dr. Irving Hamer, NYC Advisory Board and C. Warren "Pete" Moses, CEO of The Children's Aid Society.

Keynote address by Jane Panicucci, Vice President of PA and lead creator of PA's model for enhancing school culture and climate and PA's Coordinated School Health approach for increasing social and emotional competency, physical activity and health-related fitness.

A variety of concurrent sessions by greater NYC professionals who utilize the researched methodology and core components of PA's programming in their own environments to engage children and youth, help them move past their perceived limitations and enhance program outcomes.

Networking lunch and resource filled bookstore.

Demonstration and opportunity to participate on Alley Pond's state-of-art challenge course designed and installed by Project Adventure. The challenge course is one of many tools that can be used in a solid adventure education program.

Registration is limited to the 100. Preregistration is required.

Questions? 1-800-468-8898 x4638 or info@pa.org!


A Vision for Leadership - St. Martin's Episcopal School Implementation


Dr. Jeffrey Pratt Beedy, the recently appointed Headmaster at St. Martin’s has a vision for the future that includes leadership. Leadership, according to Beedy, is “not just a title but is the ability to inspire others to a common goal….and emerges at every level of society.”

Leadership development tools at St. Martins include: superior academics, revamped athletic programming, cutting-edge curricular research in the Coatney Leadership Center and project-based leadership built around Project Adventure’s methodology.

Beedy was originally introduced to Project Adventure in 1997 while at Harvard University. He began using PA's researched methodology in his own, widely implemented program, Sports PLUS. The significant relationship between PA and Sports PLUS is the focus on developing life skills such as respect, teamwork, conflict resolution and leadership through activities with outcomes that transfer to the classroom, school, home and community.

Project Adventure’s role at St. Martin’s includes consulting, training and curriculum development. The anticipated outcomes are:

-Development of social-emotional leadership skills in all students and staff in defined and measurable ways by the year 2010-11.
-Development of a steering team for the program composed of staff and students who will be responsible for the overall implementation of the leadership program.
-Development of a k-12 unified leadership curricular plan that includes modules for physical education, athletic team coaching, counseling, classroom management, service learning and selected integrated academic projects.
-Installation of an indoor and outdoor challenge course for the physical education curriculum.
-Design and implementation of an evaluation plan for both process evaluation and professional research outcomes.

Dick Prouty, Executive Director for Project Adventure, Inc. is the lead consultant for the St. Martin’s project. Working closely with Prouty are Larry Childs, Senior School Specialist, Renee Cavaluzzi, Physical Education, Health and Fitness Trainer and Jane Panicucci, Chief Operating Officer. Consulting on the evaluation is Noe Medina of Education Policy Research.

For more information on bringing Project Adventure's researched methodolgy to your program, school, agency or organization, contact us today at info@pa.org or 1-978-524-4554.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Prince Edward County Public Schools - Creating Respectful School Communities

Project Adventure, Inc. (PA) is pleased to announce that Prince Edward County Public Schools (PECPS) in Farmville, VA has joined a growing list of schools and agencies nation-wide using PA’s researched methodology to enhance learning and behavioral outcomes for students.

Beginning with an all-day professional development session for Superintendent Patricia Watkin’s leadership team in July, PECPS will be embarking on a whole-school climate and culture change that will result in:

Common behavioral norms and expectations that foster greater individual accountability for behavior and academic achievement and create a positive learning environment at PECPS.

Experiential and adventure-based skills to help educators create lessons that engage all learners.

Enhanced relationships between students, educators, administration, families and community.


A continuum of programs that support student success within the PECPS campus and reduce out-of-school placements, dropping out and/or out-of-school suspension or expulsion.

Physical Education, Health and Fitness programming that focuses on social and emotional competency, motor skill development and health-related fitness for all students.

Training will begin at the start of the school year with on-going training and consultation throughout the year. Evaluation of the implementation will be conducted jointly between Project Adventure and Prince Edward County Public Schools.

Project Adventure, Inc. (www.pa.org) is a non-profit organization founded in 1971. Headquartered in Massachusetts and Georgia, PA has trained and consulted with schools and agencies across the US and worked internationally as well.

The core methodology, which PA has termed Adventure Education, has been the core theme of PA’s own residential and alternative school programs in Newton County Georgia since the early 1980s.