Guest Blogger: Trevon Hauth- Course Manager/AGM at Empower Adventures Middleburg

At Empower Adventures in Middleburg Virginia, we know all about helping people get outside their comfort zone; in fact it is our specialty. But the truth is that each of us face some form of challenge, adversity, or fear on a daily basis. We offer multiple facilitator lead adventures to help individuals and teams overcome the mental roadblocks in their way, and realize that they can overcome whatever might be in their path.

GirlOur Tree Top Canopy Tour is a great way for individuals to challenge themselves. Whether prior fears deal with heights, speed, suspension bridges, or trust in the guides and equipment there is plenty of room to allow people to overcome what they perceive as an obstacle. During our tours we encourage our guests to do some self-coaching and muster up "two seconds of courage", and take a leap of faith. If they need some extra help along the way we are of course here to provide additional encouragement.

BridgePeople build up courage in different ways, some scream, some don’t talk at all, some talk to themselves, and others just smile nervously. However, by the time the 1.5 to 2 hour experience is over their confidence is up, they have an easier time getting on each zip line, move much faster on the bridges, and even hug the last few trees a little less than at the start of the trip. Seeing how people grow and conquer their fear as individuals while being on a great adventure is priceless. The trick to applying this new found confidence to other areas in your life, to recognize how you overcame the obstacle that was in front of you. Did you have to give yourself a pep talk? Did you have to take a leap of faith? Did you need to ask a lot of questions or just smile nervously until it was over? If each person recognizes how they were able to expand their comfort zone then the same process can be duplicated at home, school, work, or anywhere else life might take you.

Group TowerSo what does all this adventure business have to do with teamwork? The same principles that apply to our canopy tour can also apply in our other team building experiences. Our favorite is our Survival 101 course which allows us to create a survival situation where your team must complete different survival tasks with limited materials and do it all together. Our extended experience allows us to create a little stress, (which is not uncommon in the workplace right?) and see how you are able to manage that as a team while completing the task at hand. We require teams to find ways to trap small game, filter water, perform first aid, traverse valleys, and build shelters. These activities require role clarity within the group, and each person contributes in different ways.

Survivor ClassIt is incredible to watch as teams start with high energy, start to realize that they may not have all the knowledge or supplies to complete the task as they imagined, and then readjust to make realistic decisions and produce results that could one day save their lives. As the situation progresses our trained facilitators are able to help the group realize their behaviors, help establish norms, and effective communication which creates an understanding and some best practices that can then be applied in the everyday workplace.

At Empower we certainly know that all work and no play can lead to stressful environments. That is why we always enjoy celebrating a solid teambuilding accomplishment with our Zip & Sip program. After tackling our Tree Top Canopy Tour guests can indulge in their choice of beer, wine, or freshly made seasonal beverage to mark the special occasion. The experience is a fun way to share a drink, re-live your zip lining experience and relax prior to heading back to the office!

No matter whether you are an individual looking to conquer your fears, or a leader seeking unconventional ways to build a more cohesive team, we hope you’ll visit us at Empower and let us be part of your adventure.