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Helping Outdoor Orientation Leaders Understand Group Process

Article Date:  July 11, 2016

A series of resources for helping outdoor orientation program leaders. Collated by Mark Ceder, University of San Diego. 

Using Personal Affirming to Create Healing – by Denise Mitten


“10 ways to have a better conversation” – Celeste Headlee | TED Talks



  1. What are the 10 ways to have a better conversation?
  2. Which of these 10 are strengths of yours? Which are areas for improvement?


“Developing a Growth Mindset” – Carol Dweck



  1. Why is “yet” such an important word?
  2. What does “the tyranny of now” mean—how do these ideas interact with one another?
  3. How do you praise wisely?
  4. How can we create an environment/culture of growth at OA? 


“Teaching Tips—Win-Win Conversations” – Rita Person



(think of this in the context of handling a difficult participant)

  1. Why doesn’t the first situation lead to a win result? 
  2. How does Rita change her approach? Why does she provide a choice?
  3. How does she maintain her relationship with the student while maintaining boundaries and expectations?
  4. Explain the term, “when you enter a power struggle with a child you have already lost.” 

“Inclusion, Exclusion, Illusion and Collusion” – Helen Turnbull | TED Talks



  1. What are your blind spots?
  2. What experiences have you had that have altered your blind spots, to widen your scope of inclusivity?
  3. Why do we have “many faces” and how can this be both detrimental and beneficial?
  4. How do you want to model inclusivity? 

“The Danger of a Single Story” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie | TED Talks



  1. What is a “single story”?
  2. How is Pre-O Adventure an opportunity for first-years to write or redefine their story?
  3. How can we create a Pre-O culture where we rid our community of assumptions?
  4. What short- and long-term affects will this have on our participants?  
  5. Why is it important for people to share their story?
  6. Why MUST we use relationships to develop trust and authority vs. age/size/position?

“I Hope My Counselor Is…” – Linda Missal



(I know this is about camp with kids…but the basics still apply to incoming first-years on Pre-Orientation Program)

  1. What do kids worry about before arriving to camp? (think…Pre-O)
  2. According to the video, what makes a good counselor? (think…guide)
  3. What kind of impact do counselors have on campers?

The best seller used by outdoor programs across the country as a resource and textbook. 

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