Looking for a unique professional development day?
Look no further. The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Lifelong Learning Center, 8050 Paradise Road, offers an outdoor team-development course designed to provide a group-challenge experience to hone team-building skills such as listening, leadership, strategy and communication.
You’ll just have to make it across the logs.
Through activities such as walking across logs blindfolded and helping others climb a flat wall, participants can acquire a deeper understanding of friends and co-workers. Carol Padilla, youth director for the Nellis Youth Program at Nellis Air Force Base, has completed the course a couple of times with staff members and teens.
“It was awesome,” she said. “It helps people learn how to strategize and work together.”
Padilla said she sees no downside to taking on the course.
“It (engages) your mind and your body so it pulls people out of their shells and everybody has an opportunity to contribute,” Padilla said.
Time to complete the course ranges from four to eight hours, but it can be customized to an organization’s needs. Want it shorter? Interim area director Eric Killian can do that.
Staff has communication issues? He can focus on that, too.
“I can say a lot out on the team course that they can’t say in an office to each other,” Killian said. “The beauty of the team course is everybody can be leader at some point and everybody gets an opportunity to contribute to the team effort.”
Killian has offered the course for three years and it’s grown primarily through word-of-mouth. Thus far, about 25 groups have participated, including sports teams, Scout groups and faith-based groups.
Want to know the best thing about the course? It’s free to in-state businesses and organizations.
The goal is to help participants communicate more effectively and understand why they react to situations. At the end of each activity, Killian has the group review — identifying their roles, how they reacted to the situation, how they reacted to their group and how the experience relates to their work.
“It’s a different way to address issues that generally in an office you don’t get to address,” Killian said.
In case you’re thinking it might be too hard, the course is built on top of rubberized turf and focuses on low ropes challenge development, so you’re close to the ground.
“It’s really a lot of fun,” Killian said.
For more information, email Killian at email@example.com.
Contact reporter Laura Carroll at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-4588. Follow @lscvegas on Twitter.