Thursday, May 15, 2008

Trainer Reflections on Achieving Fitness

I just had to take a minute and share an awesome Aha moment that happened yesterday during my 21-participant Achieving Fitness workshop.

We were outside sharing one of the practice fields with the girls' lacrosse team. While we were playing Striker (FYI- we were having so much fun they deflated both my beach balls), the girls' lacrosse team was doing some conditioning (running Indian sprints). As the team ran by us, not a single girl was smiling or having fun, every envious eye was watching us play and you could hear them saying "that game looks so cool," "that game looks like fun". When we finished Striker, naturally a lesson intended to teach taking our heart rate and staying in our zone, I asked the group..."Why does conditioning have to look like what the lacrosse team was doing? Why couldn't it look like Striker? Weren't we working on the same thing, cardiovascular conditioning?" My next question..."If you asked the girls what activity they would prefer for cardiovascular conditioning? Bet I could guess what the girls would say."... You should have seen it! . The conversation that followed was empowering! Words such as self efficacy and intrinsically motivating activities were buzzing!!!!!

I dreamed about it all last night!

Renee Cavaluzzi is a Project Adventure trainer currently leading an Achieving Fitness workshop in NY.

Funding ideas...for adventure and beyond

The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools (CHHCS)

Mazda Foundation -- Education and Social Welfare Grants:
The Mazda Foundation supports programs promoting education and literacy,
cross-cultural understanding, and social welfare.

Heineman Foundation -- Seed Money for Start-Up Projects:
The Heineman Foundation is accepting applications for its seed money for
start-up projects. The purpose of the seed money is to support development
of programs related to the Heineman Foundation's areas of interest:
workforce support for economically challenged women; environmental research
to improve water quality; music appreciation in education and culture;
research into prevention, education, and treatment of childhood illnesses;
and youth support for opportunities to think, create, and communicate

Boettcher Foundation -- Community & Social Service, Education The Boettcher
Foundation is dedicated to assisting, encouraging and promoting the
residents of the State of Colorado. The Foundation awards grants to projects
in the areas of community and social service, education and healthcare.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Patience, Grace, Humility and Jane Goodall

PA Senior Consultant Bart Crawford recently had the unmitigated good fortune of meeting and working with Jane Goodall at the University of Montana in Bozeman. Dr. Jane Goodall, renowned primotologist and the world's foremost authority on chimpanzees, is founder of the Jane Goodall Institute. The mission of the Institute is to advance the power of individuals to take informed and compassionate action to improve the environment for all living things. Roots and Shoots is a program of the Institute that engages and inspires youth through community service and service learning.

Bart was in Montana following a training for the staff of the
National Indian Youth Leadership Project at the invitation of NIYLP’s Executive Director, Mac Hall. Mac is also a member of Project Adventure's Board of Directors. Bart was introduced to Jane by Mac and a member of the training who had worked for the Roots and Shoots program. He thought it would be important for Bart to meet Jane and discuss the possibility of doing training and consulting work with her organization.

Bart not only met her, but had the opportunity to co-facilitate and speak with and join her and her staff for a candlelit debriefing at the end of a long day.

When asked how meeting Jane will most inform his work, Bart effused…

"She is the most gracious person I have ever met in my life. Her presence and her sense of calm would dissipate any negative feelings in her present surrounding.

One of the biggest goals in my work and in my life is to be Present. I'm a very visual person so, seeing Jane was to see Patience and Grace and Humility embodied in someone. She gave me the model to aspire to.

I have never seen anyone so constantly present. She is Right Here, Right Now….no matter how many hours she has been working.

Being with her, I can never say, 'I'm tired' again. A day of her tour consisted of staff / donor meetings in the morning, TV interview at noon, an interactive presentation with middle school students in the afternoon, followed by a presentation to an audience of 6,000 college and community members. For two hours after that, she greeted people, signed autographs, had photos taken and then, as she was leaving, she personally thanked all the security guards."

There was nothing about her that said 'celebrity,' it was all about being a good person doing good work."

One example of her work brought tears to Bart's eyes. She worked with a reservation in South Dakota that had the second highest suicide rate in the world. Representatives from the reservation spoke of her work. One man said that he had cut his son down out of a tree after he had hung himself. Another said that, after two years of working with Jane's organization, the reservation now has a zero suicide rate. Bart said softly, "They found out that someone cares….and it made all the difference. Remembering that…that is what I will bring to my work."