https://www.teachmeteamwork.com > Tom Heck and Youth Development

Boys_and_girls_club

Boys_and_girls_club

This is a staff training I did with a Boys and Girls Club near San Francisco - - the executive director at the time was my long time friend Tim Sinatra who is one of the most inspirational leaders you'll ever meet.


YMCA staff training

YMCA staff training

This is a group of YMCA professionals I worked with. This was a teambuilding and leadership development workshop. The group is working with a piece of equipment called "Toobeez" which is like a giant set of Tinker Toys. The challenge is for the group to collaboratively write a word on the piece of paper - - at the hub of the giant spokes is a marker pointed down.


Climbing Trip With 6th Graders

Climbing Trip With 6th Graders

This photo is from my YMCA days. The program was called "Adventure Week" and was designed to take up where "Adventure Day" left off. The Adventure Day program took place in the school and I worked with one 5th grade class for the day on team and leadership skills. I filled the summer Adventure Week programs with kids who were moving into 6th grade (kids I had already worked with in the classroom). I'm in this photo holding the climbing rope. We were on our way to rock climb in the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area.


Ropes Course

Ropes Course

I ran a high ropes course program in the city of Asheville, NC and worked with lots of school groups. This group of middle schoolers had just completed "ground school" where they learned how to use all the safety equipment.


Parent Child Campfire

Parent Child Campfire

While working for the YMCA I headed up a parent-child program that involved fun trips. On this particular day we all hiked to a waterfall near Brevard, NC and it had snowed a little the night before. We carried in some wood to make a fire and roast marshmallows. I loved working with the parents and their young kids.


Service Project

Service Project

I ran a leadership development program for high school students called Earth Service Corps. I worked as the liaison between five local high schools, helping the clubs in each school. I worked with the students to design service projects in the community that would benefit the earth. In this photo we are taking a "break" from a leadership weekend by doing service work. I'm in the front row holding an ax.


Trainig for Youth Workers

Trainig for Youth Workers

While working for the YMCA I also led teambuilding events for adult groups including this one.


Snorkling with Manatees

Snorkling with Manatees

One of the programs I led for the YMCA was called Earth Service Corps. In addition to promoting leadership skills and service to the earth and community, we also took a lot of adventure trips designed to expose the kids to nature and all it has to teach us. This is a group I took to Florida (from NC) to snorkel with manatees. It's cold weather which is good for manatee viewing because the manatees don't like cold so they swim near warm springs.


Horses and Kids

Horses and Kids

While working as a juvenile corrections officer I learned how to help kids work with horses as a therapeutic tool. It was some of the most enjoyable and amazing work I've ever done. When I moved on to other jobs I would try to find ways to work with kids and horses. In this photo I'm working with a group of middle schoolers enrolled in a leadership program.


Rafting

Rafting

Whitewater rafting with inner city kids is an adventure I'll never forget. This is a group I worked with for one school year. I took them rafting, over-night to an aquarium, sailing, rock climbing, hiking on mountains, and more.


Sarah and a Climber

Sarah and a Climber

While working for the YMCA I installed (with lots of help) several high adventure activities in the main facility's two gymnasiums - - these included a "Swing By Choice", Commando Crawl, Jump To A Trapeze, Dangle Duo, and climbing wall. This picture was taken on an open house where everyone from the community could come and enjoy the facility for free. This young climber looked at the wall and said "I can do that!" And he did!


Tree Planting

Tree Planting

I love the outdoors and I love using the outdoors as a learning environment. Here's a picture of a parent-child group I headed up. We spent a morning planting trees near a park. You ought to see those trees today! That's me on the right side of the photo (white shirt).


Jump for Joy!

Jump for Joy!

If there is one picture that captures the work I most love to do with kids it's this one. This group of fifth graders just completed a hard challenge that required a great deal of teamwork and focus. They tried and failed and tried and failed and I even suggested giving up on it but this group would have none of it. I happened to have my camera at the ready just as the last team member crossed over the imaginary shark infested water to the safe side of the island. The program was called "Adventure Day" and I created it while working for the YMCA. Over the course of 5 years I delivered this program to over 8,000 fifth graders. The program ran for another ten years after I left the YMCA. Talk about legacy!


Horse as Teacher

Horse as Teacher

One of my great joys is working with kids and horses. It is the most amazing and simple therapeutic program you can imagine. I say simple because so much happens just by getting kids and horses together. Before the kids ever got a chance to sit on the horse they would have to clean (brush) the horse, learn to clean it's feet, clean the stalls, clean the equipment, feed and water the horse, walk the horse, etc. By the time the kids mounted the horses they really felt a sense of caring for this animal. My goal was to get the rider ready to listen to what the horse had to teach. I remember the young man in this photo saying "I love this horse!" A week before he wanted nothing to do with that "smelly animal". It's magic.


A Day Planting Trees

A Day Planting Trees

It's another beautiful fall day in the mountains of Asheville, NC and I was out with a group of high school students from five area schools - - all of whom were enrolled in the YMCA Earth Service Corps program. Planting trees was so much fun.


Road Trip to the Aquarium

Road Trip to the Aquarium

Here's a group of middle school kids I drove to the Tennessee Aquarium for an overnight trip. I remember driving along the interstate and one of the kids said "Man, look at all that wasted land!" "What do you mean, wasted?" I said. She was commenting on the rolling open pasture. She said there needed to be houses or buildings on the land otherwise it was a waste of land.


Middle School Team Building

Middle School Team Building

During the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years I worked as a volunteer at Francine Delaney Charter School as a teacher of team and leadership development. I taught a leadership curriculum developed by the Center for Creative Leadership (ccl.org) and used experiential education activities like the one in this photo to drive home the lessons.