The School District had obtained a grant to create the Voyage to Excellence Outdoor Leadership School (VEOLS). The goal of VEOLS is “to foster leadership skills and team building among students through experiential educational opportunities in unique environments.” What a great use of Folbots!
The students kicked off the leadership experience by learning the kayaking basics (parts of boat, safety, and paddle skills). As they became comfortable in the kayaks, the VEOLS instructors gave the students specific tasks (like paddling through a dock system with one crew member blindfolded) to emphasize the teamwork, communication and leadership elements of the VEOLS program.
At the beginning and end of each task, students would discuss the challenges, outcomes, and observations they had noticed or made during their experience. “What worked, what didn’t, and why?” These discussions led into how to apply their new knowledge to other leadership situations and their own life experiences.
Oh yeah, they had fun too!
Check out all the pictures, as it doesn’t get much prettier than this:
We wish the Chugach School District all the best with VEOLS… what a way to learn!
If you know of any other school districts would would like to emulate this exciting program, please let me know.