Academic leadership training can sometimes be very nebulous, ambiguous, and theoretical. While we truly enjoy leadership
theory, Experiential Adventures doesn’t care for that form of training. True leaders work in the worst conditions, realize when to step into the void without concern for self, and understand that criticism comes with the territory. Very few academic programs offer effective leadership training to the level that Adams State University does through it’s Adventure Leadership and Programming Minor.
Many assume that adventure leadership means fun and games! However that myth is quickly dispelled when experiencing the following conditions that are anything but fun. This includes – getting thoroughly lost while leading a group of peers; teaching how to use a stove in a downpour because people NEED hot water to stave off hypothermia; and surviving a rainy night with your peers with only 8 items – none of which are effectively useful for 13 people.
Experiential Adventures LLC partners with Adams State University to offer this essential core program. ALPS emphasizes leadership, followership, social justice, and core community building skills. In short, ALPs prepares college graduates for a successful leadership or management career as a compliment to the discipline specific academic degree.
The ALPS expedition is 14 days long, covers many miles and uses the outdoor
environment as a medium for significant personal growth and leadership development. In truth, practical leadership is developed by investing substantial energy into the process. It also requires active followership, and a willingness to submit to the experience. Leaders step forward, not backward when challenges occur. In the outdoor world, often the challenge is not physical. Emotional challenges are more complex and not easily resolved. In fact, most challenges presented in adventure education, require the understanding of an ambiguous environment, and the appropriate deployment of decisions fraught with partial information.
True leadership is often messy. It is often riddled with unknown hazards, challenges, and pitfalls. It is worth every risk and every consideration. ALPs trains students to recognize personal values, follower interests, and through mistakes, the consequences of ignoring or failing to identify those factors important to a successful outcome.
EA loves collaborating with the Adams State Adventure Program, and we believe the experiences our students have during the ALPs expedition prepare them for the real world. The degree and the specific discipline is important (engineering, biology, teaching, or construction management), but college graduates who excel in school while investing in important pragmatic skills such as leadership have an upper hand in the workplace. I cannot think of a better environment to further the leadership skills of others than using the outdoor as a medium. This minor is the perfect compliment to Adams State University’s diverse degree plans. We cannot wait to do it again in July 2013!