It is crucial for outdoor practitioners to be trauma-informed as they interact with individuals who may have experienced trauma or are vulnerable to triggering events in outdoor settings. Trauma-informed practices promote safety, empowerment, and sensitivity in supporting participants’ mental, emotional, and physical well-being. By understanding the potential impact of trauma, practitioners can create environments that foster trust, respect boundaries, and offer choices, allowing participants to feel secure and in control. Trauma-informed approaches also emphasise awareness of potential triggers and provide appropriate interventions, ensuring that outdoor experiences become transformative and healing opportunities for all individuals involved.
The success of the outdoor adventure industry hinges on transformative adventurous experiences, which are considered a crucial metric. The elements required to create, present, or facilitate such experiences often spark stimulating debates among practitioners and serve as an intriguing topic for interdisciplinary academic research. An essential aspect of adventure experiences is to provide participants with an encounter that pushes them beyond their comfort zones, involving perceived risks while ensuring their physical and emotional safety.
However, despite the recognized ingredients of adventure, there continue to be numerous headlines highlighting tragic accidents, revealing a shocking disregard for safety standards. Basic safety guidelines are readily available through organisations like SA AIA, where industry experts are willing to share their knowledge and resources. There are no valid excuses for neglecting safety.
Equally devastating is the blatant disregard for the emotional safety of participants. Based on personal research and experience, the damage caused by untrained facilitators can have profound effects on the lives of participants and the industry as a whole. While some experts advocate for a “challenge by choice” approach and practitioners may emphasize the need to “embrace the suck,” it is crucial to address emotional safety.
In response to these challenges, the Adventure Institute was established as a training organisation to bridge the gaps in holistic outdoor practitioner training. The Trauma First Responder training offered by the Adventure Institute is a ground-breaking initiative within the industry. It aims to provide comprehensive training for facilitators, enabling them to offer transformative adventurous experiences to all individuals, particularly the vulnerable ones who can benefit the most from this industry.
We invite you to join us for this vital training program facilitated by world-class experts. The training will take place in Lynnwood, Pretoria, from August 14th to 18th. Special discounts are available for SA AIA members. If you have limited resources but recognise the significance of this unique training for your professional career, we will do our best to assist you. Please visit https://adventure-institute.co.za/events/trauma-informed-first-responder/ for more information.
Employers, take note: this training module can potentially elevate your facility and facilitators to a world-class level!
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