International Conference of the Association for Experiential Education - November 4-7, 2010

AEE_logo The 38th Annual International AEE Conference will be held on November 4 - 7, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Envision 2500 passionate and committed experiential educators convening in the city that never sleeps!

Imagine the energy, discussions, mentoring, sharing, and discovering that will happen with a gathering of such a diverse and varied group of dynamic professionals.

This is a wonderful opportunity to be a part of a community that shares a commitment to transforming lives through experiential education.

Sample of Workshop Topics

  • Adventure-Based Programming
  • Business Development
  • Challenge and Ropes Courses
  • Environmental Education
  • Experienced Based Training & Development
  • Facilitation and Processing
  • Leadership Development
  • Mind/Body/Spirit
  • Program Administration
  • Research and Evaluation
  • Risk Management
  • Schools and Colleges: Higher Education
  • Schools & Colleges: K-12
  • Social Justice and Ethics
  • Therapeutic Adventure/Adventure Therapy

There are so many great people presenting workshops this year including our friends:

  • Sam Sikes -- "A Foundation of Trust"
  • Chris Cavert -- "Chiji Cards: Beyond Processing"
  • Jason Kipps -- "Accountable Teambuilding in a Web 2.0 World"
  • Michelle Cummings -- "Got Tossables? 10 Teambuilding Games Using Tossable Props You Already Have"
  • Jennifer Stanchfield -- The Art of Experiential Group Facilitation and Teaching"
  • Michael Gass & Lee Gillis -- "Kinesthetic Metaphors in Adventure Therapy"

And this is just the tip of the iceberg.  CLICK HERE to view all the workshops.

This year the conference takes place in Las Vegas and is sure to be amazing.  CLICK HERE to learn more about this conference.

Speed of Trust -- Workshop by Stephen M.R. Covey

Stephenmrcovey_tomheck For the past couple of days I've been attending a "Speed of Trust" workshop at Snowbird ski resort in Utah. 

The workshop is based on Stephen M.R. Covey's soon to be released book entitled "The Speed of Trust".  Pictured to the left is Covey with Tom Heck, President and Founder of the International Association of Teamwork Facilitators.

Covey was interviewed by Tom Heck for the IATF.  Listen to the interview HERE

Barryrellaford_and_tomheck Covey's lead trainer for the Speed of Trust project is Barry Rellaford who is also a visiting faculty member at the IATF. Barry and Tom Heck (pictured to the left) are good friend who share a passion for building high performing teams.

My job was to participate in the workshop and then provide feedback on how to make it more powerful through experiential learning exercises.

A few of the key learnings from the workshop...

Trust (lack of it) acts like a "tax" on a team / company / system. 

Here's an equation that reflects the impact of Trust...

Normally, the equation would read like this:

Strategy x Execution = Result

Reality shows us the equation reads like this:

Strategy x Execution = Result - "Trust Tax" = Actual


Here's what people often believe what's going on:
-- Strategy -- Your team has a great strategy measuring 10 on a scale form 1 to 10
-- Execution = Your team has perfect execution.  So good it measures 10 on a scale from 1 to 10

10 (Strategy) x 10 (Execution) = 100

THE REALITY is much different if trust is low on the team (which it usually is)...

10 (Strategy) x 10 (Execution) = 100 - 40% "Trust Tax" = 60

Most teams focus their energies on building better Strategy and Execution in order to improve / increase the Result.  This, according to Covey, is a mistake.  The team should focus on increasing (improving / building) trust so as to minimize the "Trust Tax".  Back to the example...

10 (Strategy) x 10 (Execution) = 100 - 10% "Trust Tax" = 90

In the above example the Strategy and Execution remained the same AND YET the final result improved all because the "Trust Tax" was reduced.

How do you increase trust (and decrease the Trust Tax)?  This was the focus of most of the workshop.

We learned strategies to grow (improve, build, increase) trust in the following areas:

  • Self Trust
  • Relationship Trust
  • Organizatinal Trust
  • Market Trust
  • Societal Trust

Because trust starts within, the program outlined the 13 behaviors of high trust leaders.  Here are the first five:

  1. Talk Straight
  2. Demonstrate Respect
  3. Create Transparency
  4. Right Wrongs
  5. Show Loyalty

At the end of the workshop we developed a "Wave of Trust Action Plan".

I highly recommend this workshop if your organization is ready to move at the Speed of Trust.

Tom_at_snowbird And finally, I have to share a picture from the top of a mountain (11,000 ft) near the training center (click on photo to enlarge).

Tom Heck to speak at the Adventure Group Symposium

Symposium_img1 Would you like to learn more about adventure education?  If yes, you must attend the September 2006 Adventure Group Symposium to be held in Black Mountain, North Carolina.

In addition to the engaging conference workshops, there will be some great pre-conference workshops led by some of the best trainers in the industry.  The location is amazing and the high ropes courses you'll have a chance to play on are state of the art.

I'll be leading a teambuilding games workshop during the conference and I'll be delivering a keynote presentation as well.  I hope you can join me for this event.

A full day of teaching team and leadership skills

The 7-hour team and leadership program with the 37 high school students went well.  The students were fun to work with because of their eagerness to participate and learn.  We started at 7:30 am and finished at 2:30pm with the day going by quickly.

Here is a list of the activities I led during the 7-hour team and leadership development program for high school students: 
OPENING SEQUENCE >> Welcome, Bus stop, Quick draw numbers, Partner tag, Neighbors, Balloon triangles, Big Question & Mrs. Wright, Group Loop (yurt, race car), Turnstile, Reading
AM EXERCISES >> Team Pictionary, Beliefs, Hole Tarp, Infinite Loops, Tennis Ball Madness, Focus Ring 1-2-4
PM EXERCISES (after lunch) >> Funderbird, A Different Drum, Appreciative Inquiry Mini Session, Rapport, Poster

It’s likely that the list above will make little or no sense to the average person.  Each activity leads to a lesson and discussion.

I had a 30-minute break and then led a 60-minute workshop for 24 teachers.  I was pleased with the energy the teachers had in the program.  Many teachers are exhausted by the end of the day and attending an after school workshop is the last thing on their mind.  These teachers however were engaged and having fun as they learned new ways to teach team skills in the classroom.

From 7:30 – 8:45pm I delivered a keynote presentation to teachers, students and parents in the school auditorium.  I spoke about a theory of generational history that I first learned about in a book entitled “The Fourth Turning – What The Cycles of History Tell Us About America’s Next Rendezvous With Destiny” written by Neil Howe and William Strauss.