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Longboat Key, FL
What is the the Common Adventure Model?
It could be a couple of friends getting together and going on a trip. It might be two or three friends going climbing or hiking together. Or it might be a couple of families combining to go rafting together. Someone comes up with the idea, but there's really no designated leader. No one is charging money or acting as a "guide." It's just a fun trip among friends.
But when it is applied to a club, some further definition is need. (However, remember, Cleveland Sea Kayakers is not a club it is a web based forum for people to find friends to plan common adventures)
The common adventure model, as described below in the Long Definition, is quite lengthy and it is helpful to have a definition that can encapsulate the model in a sentence. Although short definitions are always a compromise, the following is one possible way of describing it:
A common adventure trip is two or more individuals working cooperatively for common goals, and sharing expenses, decision making, and responsibilities as equitably as possible.
A Model of Common Adventure Concept
To define the Common Adventure Model we need to look into its attributes. The list of underlying values leads naturally into the development of a theoretical model of the common adventure concept. What's important as the model is constructed, however, is that only those values from the list become a part of it. Legal, cultural or administrative concerns are extraneous components which can alter or pollute the resulting model. Thus, with an eye to staying within the boundaries of its philosophical principles, the following model results:
Since ownership is an important part of the underlying value system, trips are structured in our model so that participants are interactive and intimately involved in organizing and running the trip. That would mean they help in the planning, organizing, cooking, washing, and cleaning up afterward. By their intimate involvement, the participants become the trip. On a practical level, some type of pre-trip involvement is necessary. A planning meeting is held so that all members understand what the trip involves, and understand its goals and the risks. At the planning meeting, the group—not one individual—hashes out the wheres, whens and whats of the trip.
The success or failure of the trip, then, rests in the hands of the group and not the person who initiated the idea or the sponsoring club or institution (if there is one). In doing so, members of the group are taking responsibility for the trip and responsibility for each other.
The trip environment is one of concern for all members of the group. Fairness and free and open discussion are fostered. Individuals in the group are encouraged to think independently for themselves and freely express their ideas, but independence is tempered by empathy for the other members of the group. Because everyone can express their ideas, the group is more creative, drawing from the talents of all of its members.
The type of trip selected involves physical activity such as hiking, paddling, skiing, climbing and not passive motorized activities. An attempt is made by the group or sponsoring club or institution (if there is one) to keep things simple. Rules—other than those important to the group's safety—procedures, extraneous structure and other bureaucratic barriers to participation are minimized as much as possible.
Groups are structured horizontally so that all members share in decision making. Decisions are made by consensus in a democratic manner. Top-down leadership is generally avoided unless, perhaps in an emergency, it is necessary for the concern and well-being of the group. Within the horizontal structure, leaders—those who can help move the group towards its goals—emerge. By involving everyone and accepting the emergence of leaders, the group is able to tap all of its resources, making it more creative and stronger than if one person made all the decisions.
Independent thought is encouraged during decision making, but once consensus is reached, the group comes together as a team and works cooperatively to achieve the common goal(s). All members of the group pitch in and help, and because of empathy for one another, responsibilities are spread out among the group as equitably as possible. Free and open discussion promotes cooperation and equitable sharing. With an emphasis on openness and personal responsibility, all members of the group contribute to process of making the trip safe, watching out for each other's welfare.
Since simplification and the desire to provide an alternative to commercialization is a part of the underlying value system, the trip is structured so that no entities or individuals benefit monetarily. Thus, in the model no trip fees go to the sponsoring club or institution (if one exists), nor would they go to any individual on the trip. By combining together in groups, trip costs are spread out and costs stay low.
Learning which occurs on the trip is experiential: learning by doing. When appropriate, knowledgeable members share their knowledge and skills with those less skilled, but there is no formalized instruction. Potentially, much can be learned through direct experience, but what is learned and the pace at which it is learned is determined by the individual.
Learning is reinforced in a positive manner. Because members are concerned and care about each other, those who learn new skills are encouraged and praised. Positive reinforcement also comes from the satisfaction of achieving goals: hiking to a lake, climbing to the top of a mountain, or running a river. Negative inducements such as the fear of punishment, or the fear of a receiving a low grade would not be acceptable. Other negative inducements such as the use of "survival" techniques whereby members of the group don't eat unless they snare an animal or find an edible plant would also not be acceptable.
Finally, the care of the natural environment would be embraced and all members of the group would work to minimize their impact on the environment.
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Edited by Libby on Mar 22, 2012 11:43 PM