Balancing Act | A Dynamic Group

March 11, 2018

We were introduced to our ECS with a group bonding activity. This activity showed us that even though everyone might not know each other, we all have things in common. Later that day, we were brought to Pure Bouldering Gym, where we participated in competitive group bonding activities. The group was divided up into two smaller groups, boys and girls, where they competed in different challenges. The girls group beat the boys. These activities were helpful because they taught us how to communicate in a group setting by working together to complete different tasks. A NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) exploration of group decision-making styles allowed us to see why group decision-making is so challenging at times.

On the second and third day of our ECS, we joined the Yellowstone ECS and went through training to get our Wilderness First Aid training certifications. The training consisted of many hours inside the classrooms, with labeled diagrams and packets, as well as scenarios outside the classroom. Students were put to the physical test, whether it was running around trying to find resources to help their patient, or if it was lifting their patient out of a creek bed. But in the end, the 16 hour course was all worth it, because now we are able assist those in need and have an official WFA certification to add to our resumes. “It was interesting how detailed of a process it was. They made us ask so many questions before we checked what was wrong. What is obviously an injury or health issue may not be the only concern, you have to dig so much deeper”-Asher D. 21’.

On Thursday we decided to clear our minds, after our hard Wilderness First Aid training, with some yoga and meditation. We had yoga instructor Lenora Degen come in and teach us why people do yoga and meditate. We learned that people meditate for different reasons, but it is a very good way to clear the mind and to relax the body. After what we learned on Friday at Aspen Pointe, there is no doubt that we are all often looking for a way to take an occasional quiet moment and/or to deal with stress. “Meditation was valuable to me, because as a student, I have so much stress in my life, and meditation was a nice way to relax”-Zoe B. 21’.

On our last day of our first week, we paid a visit to Aspen Pointe. Aspen Pointe is a mental health and behavioral health facility in Colorado. They gave us presentations about mental health and brain development. Aspen Pointe has been around for over 100 years and began as a tuberculosis hospital! This helped us get a better understand of how different things, like stress and substances, impact our brain and body.