For many years Cottonwood Institute (CI) has partnered with military youth and family programs to provide outings for kids and families serving in the U.S. Military. This year, CI is offering three programs as part of a series of engagements with the Colorado Army National Guard for our Military Kids Project 2017. On Saturday March 25th, 2017 Cottonwood Institute taught a one-hour team-building and transference workshop for volunteers for the Colorado Army National Guard. This training included games and initiatives, and how to debrief and reflect on these activities to provide the biggest impact for students.
CI Program Director Madeline Bachner Lane led the training. She met 15 volunteers in Parker, CO to present a host of games and go through the progression of activities, from name games to higher stakes initiatives. The group participated in several activities, learning and taking notes along the way. Several strategies, new and old, were tested on the Magic Carpet Ride; a team-building initiative that requires participants to flip over a “magic carpet” (tarp) they are all standing on. The last part of the training focused on best practices and several examples of reflection exercises and debrief activities designed for students to transfer their fun and learning back to their regular lives at home and school.
What? So what? Now what? Those are the three basic questions to ruminate on for a quality reflection. The CI training was the last hour in a long day of learning for these CO Army National Guard volunteers. The final reflection exercises integrated participants own experience of the day with examples of options to use with students. The group ended on a positive note as they reflected and looked forward to a summer of engagement with military youth. Cottonwood Institute instructors may just see some of these same volunteers in the field at Buena Vista or on our overnight camping trip in July. Stay tuned for more notes from our Military Kids trips and workshops this season.
A special thanks goes out to our amazing donors and supporters, including Enterprise Holdings Foundation, for helping to make this partnership possible!