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Help making Choices

EDITOR:

Many thanks to the staff at China Spring Youth Camp and Douglas County Juvenile Probation for facilitating a team building experience for the entire sixth-grade class at Gardnerville Elementary School. The Choices course consists of a series of challenges which incrementally increase in difficulty. The challenges are designed so that mastery requires the group to persevere, become creative, apply skills like communication and trust, and to rely on each other. The experience created positive student relationships, a feeling of personal empowerment and a sense that others can be trusted, all of which will hopefully last throughout the school year.

Special thanks go out to our group facilitators, Dominic Hastings Molyneux and Eric Anderson of Douglas County Juvenile Probation, Jeremy Batten of China Spring Youth Camp and Ashley Goering of Aurora Pines Girls Facility. The facilitators created a safe, fun, supportive, learning experience for our youth.



Here is what our sixth-grade students wrote about the experience.

I learned to trust people and communicate.



It helped me know that being with a group is better than being alone.

I learned to get along with people I don’t normally hang out with. I think that the purpose was to gain trust from other people you might not know.

We worked together and accomplished our goals. Communication and team work is what you need to get through life.

I learned that everybody has good ideas and you have to let everybody be able to talk. My favorite activity was the ring of fire. It involved a lot of teamwork and trust because your group has to lift you. I also learned that everybody has strengths you can use to help the group.

Because of you, (Jeremy) I feel I got closer to my classmates.

I learned that you had to believe in yourself and in others.

I learned that everything you do is not by yourself you do it as a part of a team. I can always trust my classmates more and let them by my side.

I learned that I could trust every one in my group. I also learned that I could trust myself.

I learned that I don’t have to be afraid to help out.

What I learned about these activities is that they are harder than they look but the most hard part for me was trusting some people that I never really did before. I also learned that you have to pay close attention if you want to become successful.

One thing I learned was to trust each other and relationships. I mean by counting on each other, helping each other, and supporting each other.

I really liked how we had to communicate with the whole entire group and not just with our friends.

Shaunda Vasey

Gardnerville Elementary School counselor