Archives for posts with tag: wilderness foundation

ImageI’ve spent the day deep in conversation with the Chief Executive of the Wilderness Foundation UK designing the course content for a leadership development programme we’re delivering later this year.

It was great to start with a blank sheet of paper – and a big pile of post it notes! – and brainstorm what we think would be the key areas for the leaders of tomorrow to focus on. As the programme is being delivered by the Wilderness Foundation, there is a heavy emphasis on nature based learning – using a variety of outdoor exercises to explore leadership skills and abilities. You might have seen in an earlier blog the fun I had hugging trees in an exercise on trust, teamwork and observation – it’s activities of that sort that we’ll be weaving into the programme.

After spending the day up to our armpits in post it notes and felt tip pens, we had an overall plan for the structure of the programme. We’d come up with some great thoughts for the detailed activities that will make up each day of the course.

Tomorrow we’ll be putting some meat on the bones of that structure, designing sessions and outlining activities. I can’t wait to use the opportunity to be creative, finding new and exciting ways to help the participants to discover the leadership potential within themselves.

Have you undertaken any leadership development training? What sorts of activities, tools, models or techniques really resonated with you? Are there any that you put into practice in your life and how effective have they been? Did any involve the great outdoors? I’d love to hear your experiences.

ImageGarden weather has finally arrived! After spending most of the day at day two of the mentoring training course I mentioned in an earlier blog, I returned home and managed to spend a couple of hours unwinding in the hammock in the garden for the first time this year – hopefully the first of many!

Luckily, the training course was with the Wilderness Foundation UK, which meant that they were just as conscious of the nice weather that had finally reached us. Excitingly, they were also well prepared for it with an outdoor activity built into the programme for the day.

So we spent some time this afternoon in some beautiful woodland, undertaking a trust exercise consisting of leading a blindfolded partner around the wood, attempting (though not always succeeding!) to avoid the frequently hidden holes in the ground, filled with piles of leaves, as we guided them through the trees.

The aim of the exercise was to lead them to a tree, which they felt until they thought they were able to identify it, and then lead them away again. Once back at base, off came the blindfolds and they were now tasked with trying to retrace their steps and identify their tree.

It was a great exercise, focussing as it did on both developing trust and increasing observational skills. I was quite surprised how effective most people were at tracking down their tree from touch alone, which I didn’t expect.

It was a really enjoyable exercise and one that reminded me of the opportunities for learning that present themselves to us outside of the classroom, in the great outdoors. And then my time in my hammock in my little sanctuary of a garden reminded me of the opportunities for snoozing that the great outdoors also present us with!

Here’s hoping you manage to enjoy being outdoors in some form or other this weekend. Do let me know – dog walk or BBQ, gardening or out for a run… what have you been up to today or have planned for tomorrow?

Have a great weekend, everybody.