One of my first experiences at Camp Winning Ways was a retreat to Lukenya. It was a facilitators' retreat and a form of induction into the family by taking us through exactly what we were to take our campers through. So we were to experience a horror called "Pipe dream". Consider this: I'm afraid, not of heights but of falling (saying that makes me feel so self-aware and sophisticated). Insert finger snap.
Basically, I was to climb up a pole laid out vertically, about fifteen feet into the air using metal rungs as steps and walk across a length of about fifteen more feet to the next pole then be brought back down. My only companions were a belaying harness from the people supporting me below, a helmet, the Holy Spirit and my pee which was itching to personify my cowardice.
After a failed attempt at hiding from my punishers, realizing that perhaps Lukenya was too far from home for me to start running, and also discovering the interesting fact that letting others go before me was just increasing my anxiety, I confronted my fears and climbed. I didn't look down until I was up, and then my legs became jelly but I still had to make it across. I looked down for the first time and most of the people were cheering for me, some were laughing because my legs could almost start a fire in a jiko. It dawned on me that I wasn't the first person to do this, and I was not going to be the last. It hit me that I couldn't not do this because I had to prove the people laughing at me wrong, I had to prove to myself that my worldview is right in saying that every problem hides a solution and can be overcome. The fear I felt at that moment was just a story that I was going to tell someday and that this challenge was a stepping stone to getting over greater life problems that lay ahead. So I did it, as my legs still shook, I got to the other side and was lowered back to the ground safely without urine as a companion, yay!
This is what we call adventure learning at Camp Winning Ways: the use of the external environment, particularly nature, to learn more, not just about the world, but about ourselves. There is no text book, no formal examination, and no teacher to reprimand you when you're wrong. You learn through trial and error and you grow in knowledge and experience; your resolve is your examination and experience is your teacher. This is how we learn at Camp Winning Ways; even better, this is how we learn in the world. Let’s keep learning.
Author: Martie Mtange | Date Created2016-04-13 06:40:30 | Comments: 0