In today’s world, many consider classroom-based learning the norm for students. This is because of its wide acceptance and use over the last century. Despite the popularity of classroom-based learning, new innovative ways offer a better and more effective approach to schooling. Outdoor team building, for instance, has gained popularity among educators, working professionals, and college students over the years. This is unsurprising given the volumes of empirical evidence supporting its advantages. By stepping out of the classroom and into nature, you can experience various benefits that are impossible to replicate indoors. We can count numerous advantages, including enhanced communication and problem-solving skills, to increased self-confidence and leadership abilities. In this article, we’ll look closer at the benefits of outdoor team building activities for students and how they can help you develop important skills that will serve you well throughout your academic and professional career.
Examples of Outdoor Team Building Activities
Outdoor team building activities come in all shapes and sizes, from low-intensity icebreakers to high-intensity challenges. With some creativity, you can always get a suitable challenge to enjoy with your team. Some of the most popular activities for elementary students include:
Orienteering: Here, participants use orienteering skills to navigate their way around a course.
Challenge course: In this activity, teams navigate an obstacle course as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Geocaching: Here, team members use GPS to locate hidden caches outdoors.
Backyard games: This involves teams competing in classic outdoor games like horseshoes, bocce, or Frisbee golf.
Nature scavenger hunt: Students can collaborate in teams to solve clues and find hidden items like leaves, rocks, and feathers in a park or forest, promoting collaboration and communication.
Whitewater rafting: This is a high-intensity team activity where participants navigate a raft down a river. Individuals are typically equipped with a paddle and life jacket, and they navigate the whitewater through other obstacles with the help of a guide.
Other popular activities include zip-lining, hiking, camping, and rock climbing. Apart from being excellent channels for relieving pressure and frustrations, they can be essential hobbies for those in love with the outdoors.
Regardless of your choice, the key to successful outdoor team building is to select an appropriate activity for the group’s skill level and interests. Always remember that people have different abilities, skills, physiques, and personalities, making each one uniquely suited for various tasks. Therefore, by selecting a challenging but achievable activity, students can push themselves to new heights while building vital skills. You can start by writing down several tasks and asking your team to choose one.
While several studies have shown that outdoor activities are more effective than classroom ones, their adoption and use remain low. This is mainly due to time constraints and curriculum congestion. Students are increasingly handling more courses with multiple assignments and homework weekly. Coupled with work and family demands, getting time for outdoor activities is almost impossible. Still, some options can alleviate your burdens. For instance, the essay service CustomWritings offers professional writing help to students with immense workloads. With more than 18 years of experience in the custom writing industry, they have served 10000+ students, helping them improve their academic performance and self-esteem.
Exploring the Benefits of Outdoor Team Building Activities for High School Students
The benefits of outdoor team building activities for students cannot be overstated. Whether you choose a low or high-intensity outdoor team building activity for youth or older people, respectively, there’s a lot to gain. Below are some of the benefits you can enjoy.
Physical activity and fresh air
Being outdoors is about running around and enjoying the physical nature of learning while getting some fresh air. Nothing beats a cool breeze on your face after a quick and intense workout. Whether you go for simple warm-up games or complex challenges, you’re sure to move and breathe deeply. Physical activity can improve mental and physical health and increase your cognitive abilities.
Outdoor team activities are an excellent avenue for learning the importance of collaboration and working together. Even the most uncomplicated activity requires relying on each other to accomplish. This approach fosters teamwork. Most importantly, as students learn to listen to one another and appreciate diverse perspectives and contributions, they develop a stronger connection between them.
Students can work collaboratively in unfamiliar and challenging environments by engaging in outdoor activities consistently, fostering adaptability and problem-solving skills. These experiences teach valuable lessons about communication, leadership, and perseverance. As a result, students develop the resilience necessary to overcome obstacles and navigate through difficult situations inside and outside the classroom.
Enhances critical thinking skills
As shown above, there are numerous outdoor activities to explore. From simple games like horseshoes, bocce, or Frisbee golf to more challenging ones like orienteering, there is so much to enjoy. Each activity requires you to evaluate its strengths, limitations, and weaknesses and apply critical thinking skills to make the right choice. Conquering these obstacles helps you develop the right mental processes for problem-solving and decision-making.
For typical college students, there are just so many things to write, memorize, and master. In some courses, remembering important details, retaining knowledge, and understanding concepts are critical for success. You can achieve these milestones with outdoor activities. Studies have shown that students remember ideas and theories taught using visual aids more than those involving plain text. In fact, learning becomes easy when multiple senses are involved. So, mixing audio and visual elements can be very productive. Additionally, experiencing the concepts learned in the classroom firsthand in outdoor activities makes them fun and more memorable.
Developing leadership skills
One of the vital roles of education is to develop young people into capable leaders. While the American classroom setup and the curriculum are designed to achieve this objective, outdoor activities are better suited. They allow students to face new challenges in unfamiliar environments. And by stepping out of their comfort zones and collaborating with others, they build confidence and learn to lead with empathy and understanding.
Step Out of the Classroom and Reap the Benefits!
As a matter of fact, outdoor team building is invaluable for encouraging students’ growth and development. The benefits above demonstrate how it can improve mental and physical health, build resilience and critical thinking skills, encourage collaborative learning, and enhance memory retention. Moreover, consistent outdoor activities can help students develop essential skills such as communication, problem-solving, self-confidence, and leadership. While planning a successful outdoor team-building event can be tasking, the rewards are well worth the effort. So, why not step out of the classroom and into nature? Your students will thank you for it!