There are some activities and places that can lead you to a journey of reflection and self-learning, like hiking in Lapland
Vilma Koskinen, Tiago Lopes & Dagmar Plasman
There are some activities and places that can lead you to a journey of reflection and self-learning, like hiking in Lapland. It naturally created fears, some apprehensions and raised questions. “Am I strong enough to climb this fell? Do I have everything that I need? Will I storm out leaving intensively with people that I barely know?” From 18th of September until the 22nd of September of this year, the AdEd group that started in 2020 went on a five-day hike in Lapland in the Ylläs-Pallas national park. The group left from the Southern Finland a few days before the hike for preparation and skill learning for the upcoming adventure and stayed in Lapland a few days after the hike for reflection and maintenance. The group got to know each other better, learnt new skills and became more aware of each other’s personalities which will improve our group dynamic and learning environment for the years to come.
The hike was completely breath taking; both metaphorically and sometimes actually. The five days where intense but also so much fun and something we would do all over again. We learnt many skills that will help us with the rest of our studies. Technical skills where emphasized on this trip but social, environmental, and safety skills were also addressed. The trip to Ylläs-Pallas national park brought the group together. The hike helped us bond as a group and created a sense of genuine community. The group has started to learn their strengths in the outdoor environment as they also learnt new skills.
Hiking Day Two. The Summit and Wind Can’t Stop Us (Photo: Tiago Lopes)
Hiking day two. Wind in the Face (Photo: Laura Järvinen)
Teamwork was a concept we had to learn quickly. As a class we were thrown into the deep end, we had barely known each other for a month, and we were off on our first expedition. We had to rely on and trust in one another. This as an idea was rather daunting yet everything went smoothly. As a group we bonded, learnt from each other and taught one another. The group is now rather close and ready to face most obstacles together. A takeaway was the successful social connection between our class; we all created a deeper connection by respecting each other as leaders and fellow students. Communication skills were very important to solve differences and to have a healthy environment for learning in every group.
Independent Hiking Day. Team Rainbow Prepared for The Rain (Photo: Tiago Lopes)
To maximize the learning, the challenges were built based on different zones – comfort, flex and danger – where the participants would swing between the comfort zone and the flex zone but very seldom in the danger zone to. This was a way for us to see and reflect our own abilities and limits and to prepare us for the studies ahead of us. Based on these pillars we learned new knowledge and skills every day during our expedition. Progress was made every day. On the first day the instructors would be responsible for leading, pacing, navigation and planning the day. Afterwards, all the students were given a chance to lead, navigate and as a group we would also plan our day and make decisions regarding our teams. All of these culminated in a full day independent trip on the last day which we need to plan, organize and execute a full day trip.
Outback Bread Making Workshop. Never Getting “Hangry” (Photo: Sasha Calvey)