Empowering with adventure
The PGL adventure experience is becoming more and more popular with youth groups, who use the outdoor adventure experience to build confidence and help inspire young people to succeed. For many young people, a PGL adventure weekend is a motivating and life-enhancing experience. Away from the routine of everyday life, they have the time and space to enjoy activities they may have never tried before, in a new and different environment.
Here are 10 ways a residential adventure weekend can empower youth groups:
Bringing young people out of their comfort zone for a weekend away filled with new experiences is a great way to build their independence. As they adapt to their new routines and activities, the ability to organise themselves appropriately becomes more important and helps them become more self-reliant.
Decision-making is a key part of the residential experience. Adventure activity challenges test physical, mental and emotional skills, allowing different members of the group to demonstrate their strengths in these areas - and those leadership qualities to shine through!
Experiencing success in the great outdoors is a fantastic confidence-boost, especially for young people who may not engage with the traditional sports available in school. Trying something new and exploring the unknown works wonders for self-esteem, regardless of ability.
It may be conquering a fear of heights on a climbing wall, re-building that raft after the fourth attempt to cross the lake, or tackling a challenge course with enthusiasm even with tired legs! Being determined to achieve personal goals despite the setbacks helps young people succeed in other areas of their life too.
5. Relationship Building
Spending quality time together often helps existing friendships to flourish and new friendships to develop. It's a chance for everyone to see each other in a new light, and reset existing group dynamics as everyone adapts to their new and inclusive environment.
There's a real sense of community spirit that develops when young people are faced with overcoming challenges as part of a team too. In the big open spaces of the outdoors, communication is key, especially when the challenges are on a large scale and physically demanding.
7. Supporting Others
When success relies on team effort, supporting each other becomes paramount. Understanding how other members of the team feel about certain tasks, helps to develop the skills to provide effective emotional and social support to others.
8. Emotional Wellbeing
There's something very calming about being outdoors - maybe it's the wide open spaces, the natural landscape or being close to nature that puts the mind at ease. The emotional wellbeing that comes with getting outdoors and active (and away from phones and computers), can help young people re-connect with themselves and reduce stress.
Living together together as part of a community and all that entails - such as sharing space and eating together - requires tolerance, a positive attitude and the ability to compromise. These are qualities that will benefit young people throughout their lives and are an important part of the residential experience.
For themselves, for others, for their environment. For many young people, understanding how their behaviour and actions have an impact on others and the world around them, teaches respect, which can make all the difference when it come to the choices they make in the future.
By PGL Travel.
Find out more about PGL's outdoor adventure residentials for youth groups.