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Adventure Recreation and Personal Growth

By Jeffery

Adventure recreation is a great addition to any retreat or event.  It allows your team to grow or your students to get to know one another better.  But it isn't all about building your team's cohesiveness.  It is also about growing individually.  Adventure challenge courses allow your guests to learn about themselves and overcome obstacles that they never thought they could do.  Today, we are going to hear from our Director of Team Building and Adventure Education who runs Eagle Crest Adventures at Lake Williamson Christian Center. He has some pointers on personal growth that may inspire you to add adventure recreation to your next event: 

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." ~Mark Twain

Scattered around the adventure challenge courses at Lake Williamson, you will find posters listing out what I call "The Law of Personal Growth." As the law goes:

  • Each person is responsible for his or her own growth.
  • No one can compel another individual to grow.
  • Every moment is an opportunity for growth.
  • What a person takes from the experience directly correlates to what the person gives to the experience.

In explaining this law to participants, I often point out that my job (as a facilitator) is not to make them grow. My job is to give them opportunity to grow. What they do with that opportunity is entirely on them.

If you take a moment, there is a lot to mull over in this "law," and, frankly, much of what it says runs contrary to societal norms. We live in a day and age where it is common to blame others for our unhappiness and misfortunes. We expect others to take responsibility for our success and well-being.

However, as much as we try to "shift the blame," each of us is ultimately responsible for the kind of person we become. Growth is a choice. We can choose to spend our time watching television and trolling social media sites, or we can choose activities that stimulate growth and development.

Here are three quick choices that anyone can make to stimulate personal growth today:

Spiritually: Limit your Social Media time to just once a day for a set amount of time. Every time you feel the urge to search FaceBook during the day, read a passage of Scripture instead.

Socially: Schedule a Screen-Free evening each week and do something with your family or friends. Have a game night. Go out for dinner. Do anything that requires group interaction. Just keep the phones in the pocket.

Physically: Forget the diet and exercise plans. Simply challenge yourself to do something physical once a day. Take a walk. Toss a Frisbee. Paint a room in the house. The goal is not about losing weight, it's about choosing to be active, rather than stationary.

Every moment of your life is an opportunity for personal growth. Don't let the next moment slip away!

How has adventure recreation helped your guests grow individually?

Christian Retreats Network /

Based at Lake Williamson / PO Box 620 / Carlinville, IL 62626