Friday, August 19, 2011

LEAD Program Costa Rica

LEAD--Leadership Experience Awareness Development 

Raft, Sleep Behind Waterfalls, Zipline, Organic Farm, Surf, Volcanoes, + 20 hours of Community Service, Team Building, and a Scavenger Hunt throughout the 10-day Adventure

July 16th --------- Arrive and Stay in Central Valley (La Condesa Hotel)

Today you will be met by your CRR representative at the gateway airport in Orlando FL. From here it will be a three hour flight to the capital city of San Jose. When the group arrives at the airport they will be met by the rest of the CRR staff. At the first hotel we'll begin with ice-breakers to get to know everyone. Next we'll go over rules and regulations for the week and what kind of adventure and fun to expect during the next 10 days. The LEAD kids will also be given two different projects which they will begin working on. The first is their mini-camp with the local kids and the second is their visit to the orphanage. We will be participating in four different projects but these two will be developed and worked on each evening by the LEAD members where they will come up with activities for how they plan to operate the mini-camp and their visit to the orphanage.

Leadership Skills Applied - Public speaking, conversation, organization, planning, interpersonal 

Transformative Learning Experiences - International travel, cultural experience

Become Aware of - Compare/Contrast Costa Rica vs US,  interaction with other LEAD members

Relfection in order to Develop - Experiences of first day (travel, first impressions), expectations

Journal Topics - One page on First impressions of people & place and how it feels to be away from home. 

July 17th --------- Visit University of Peace & Travel to Pacific Coast (La Cusinga)

After a good night sleep and a hearty breakfast our Leadership group continue on to the United Nations University of Peace. Here the students will spend the morning getting a tour, history, and lectures from some of the  UN professors from all over the world on an introduction to world issues and what leaders of the future can bring to the table to make the world a better place. 

After our visit to the University we will be on our way to the southern Pacific and staying in one of Costa Rica's best ecolodges. The ecolodge is called La Cusinga and comes with a great story of a US man who moved down in 1972 and was able to pioneer much of the conservation projects that now make Costa Rica one of the epicenters of ecotourism on the planet. In the evening we will be spending time reflecting on the time spent at the university and each student will have time to journal. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Leadership Skills Applied - Conflict Resolution, 

Transformative Learning Experiences - World renowned United Nations University of Peace, Understanding of an Ecolodge

Become Aware of - World Issues, Cause and affect of Peace/Conflict, Conflict Resolutions, Environmental issues

Relfection in order to Develop - Leadership, Peace, Responsibility

Journal Topics - How you feel about the world issues we learned today. Do they make you sad, motivated, discouraged? How leaders can help?

July 18th --------- Community Service & Surf Classes (La Cusinga) (4-hours Service)

We will wake up to the sounds of the waves of the Pacific crashing just below. When staying at La Cusinga you have some of the best views of the Pacific you can find. With 200 acres of primary rainforest, it is where the jungle meets the sea. In the morning we will be taking part in our first community service project which will be a total of 4 hours. Each child will be making a biodigester food bin for a local family or school. We'll present them and then teach the importance of what can be done by composting food scraps.

In the afternoon we'll hit the beaches of the Pacific and partake in a surfing class done by the local experts. Surfing will be the beginning of the adventure side of the trip. We'll finish our day on the beach, with a Sunset Dinner right on the Pacific. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Leadership Skills Applied - Service, Public Speaking, Teamwork, Organization, Self-confidence 

Transformative Learning Experiences - Serving the community, learning a new skill(surfing), appreciation nature(sunset).

Become Aware of - Importance of composting, local school environment, fun in the outdoors.

Relfection in order to Develop - Service, living sustainably, compare/contrast CR schools to US

Journal Topics - Free writing and difficulties of surfing. What was it that motivated you to get up after falling down so many times or what is it that made you get up so many times. Ways you can use the community service project to help back home?

July 19th --------- Hike to Cave & Waterfall Rappel include Team Building (Sleep Behind Waterfalls)

After two days on the beautiful Pacific we will make our way inland. We'll drive for one hour and then it is the end of the road. The hiking will begin. This is an intense hike that puts everyone to the test. We'll hike for around 2 1/2 hours in the morning to reach a beautiful organic garden. Here the feast will begin with some of the best tasting fruits in the tropics and we'll learn some great lessons on organic farming. After our short rest in the organic garden we will continue to one of the most beautiful places you will find in all of the tropics. Here the students will be sleeping behind three beautiful waterfalls tucked away in one of Costa Rica's most hidden canyons. The real adventure will begin when we take on the 150ft waterfall. This is a rappel that again will put the kids to the test when they are asked to walk off the edge. It is an amazing experience that builds confidence like no other adventure we have. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Leadership Skills Applied - Motivation, teamwork, self-confidence, fortitude, commitment, and diligence 

Transformative Learning Experiences - Completing the hike, rappelling

Become Aware of - your strength of mind, character and resilience; permaculture

Relfection in order to Develop - Teamwork, fears, strengths and weakness

Journal Topics - Free Writing...

July 20th --------- Hike to Pools & Travel to Turrialba (Espino Blanco Lodge)

Today we will head out of the Cavern but we will first visit some more waterfalls. These are some of the best waterfalls in the area because they are home to pristine swimming holes where everyone can just relax for awhile after a few days of hiking. 

Here at the waterfall we will be doing different activities to get the kids involved and observing the natural world around them. After the morning in the jungle we will hike out and make the drive to the Turrialba area where we will be staying in the Espino Blanco Lodge which happens to be another eco-lodge surrounded by nature. Some people call this place very luxurious camping which is why the kids love it so much. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Leadership Skills Applied - Organization, Planning, Creativity

Transformative Learning Experiences - Being in touch with the natural world

Become Aware of - Nature

Relfection in order to Develop - Nature and expectations for summer camp

Journal Topics - No journal today just briefing on how each member felt before and after the jungle experience. Recap on trip.

July 21st --------- Full Day Summer Camp Service For Locals (Espino Blanco) (8-hours Service)

Today is where community service meets FUN! We will be hosting a summer camps for locals kids in a village called Sitio de Mata. We will get to the village in the early morning and the day will be spent at the local soccer field and community center. The campers will be the younger kids of the village and they'll be doing games and educational activities designed by the LEAD kids. This mini-camp happens to always be the highlight of the trip for many students and without question a highlight of the summer for the local kids. 

In the evening we will have a camp fiesta with games and competitions for the campers. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Leadership Skills Applied - Organization, communication, time management, team work, execution of a plan, interpersonal skills, and enthusiasm.

Transformative Learning Experiences - connecting with children from Costa Rica

Become Aware of - lives of the locals

Relfection in order to Develop - thoughts, feelings of the day and the process

Journal Topics - Highlight of the day, how did local kids benefit, what could have been done more efficiently next time?

July 22st --------- Enter River Pacuare for full two day Team Building (Pacuare Tent Camp)

After a full day at camp it will be a full day on the river today. The Pacuare River is known by National Geographic as one of the top five commercially rafted rivers on the planet for it's scenery. Today the kids will begin from early morning learning about teamwork. We'll be sleeping overnight in the jungle giving us the opportunity to take our time on the river and focus on different life skills and team building topics. 

The evening will include different activities, plus our CRR story teller will induldge us with some of the ancient myths of the nearby indigenous Bribri and Cabecar Tribes. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Leadership Skills Applied - Teamwork, communication, motivation

Transformative Learning Experiences - The River

Become Aware of - What nature has to offer; the indigenous tribes

Relfection in order to Develop - Teamwork, indigenous lifestyle

Journal Topics - What does it mean to be a team member on a raft? How can this relate to the world working as a team to help with some basic problems of today?

July 23nd -------- Leave Pacuare & Travel to Arenal Volcano (Casa Luna Lodge)

Today you will wake up surrounded by tropical lush primary rainforest and the sounds of the Pacuare River. The topics of learning about today will involve the different environmental issues of the tropics and how it can affect the entire life system of Earth. The topics which seem much more real on the river are: Fresh water, soil degradation, climate change, and the amazing wonder of Biomimicry, getting kids excited to learn from nature and not just learn about nature. 

The group will be faced with a mock challenge today that will call for leaders to stand up and make decisions in order for the trip on the river to continue. This is a mock excercise that is run during rescue training. It helps find the leader in all of us who can make decisions when the pressure is on. 

In the evening we will be traveling to the Arenal Volcano.  We'll have a hearty meal with excellent views of the volcano. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Leadership Skills Applied - Teamwork, facing adversity/challenges, decision making

Transformative Learning Experiences - The River; Learning from nature not just about nature

Become Aware of - Biomimicry, challenges for leaders

Relfection in order to Develop - Types of leaders and challenges

Journal Topics - How do you feel that nature knows a lot about things that we have yet to figure out? Have you always respected nature? Can you describe the affect of different everyday things back home that might affect nature in a positive or negative way?

July 24rd --------- Service Project on Organic Farm & Zipline (Casa Luna Lodge)

The community service today will be a project geared towards reforestation. Not only will we be planting trees but also learning about the carbon cycle and the role trees in the tropics play in regulating climate. The project will be held at an organic farm where we will also learn about our food supply looking at it from a global point of view.

After the morning of working on the farm we will make our way to Costa Rica's top zipline. This is one with eight different cables that run 1km long and are strung 700ft above the rainforest floor. This is one of the top adventures that will put the kids to the test and challenge their fears. 

Leadership Skills Applied - Serving, Organization, Courage, Advocating

Transformative Learning Experiences - Reforestation and Zipline

Become Aware of - Importance of Trees, climate, food supply

Relfection in order to Develop - Advocate, Making a difference

Journal Topics - Were you talking a lot or staying quiet before the zipline?  

July 25th --------- Travel to San Jose and visit orphanage  (Airport Hotel) (4-hours Service)

Today we drive back to the Central Valley, San Jose area where we'll make one last stop at what makes Costa Rica so special- the people. The visit will be to a local orphanage that is home to teenage kids. This is a chance to stop-by and execute the second project the LEAD kids plan. We will are partake in activities, games, songs, ideas for education and ways they can help all planned by throughout the trip by the LEAD kids. We (the CRR team) take a step back in this event as the LEAD kids become incharge and orchestrate this event. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Leadership Skills Applied - Teamwork, organization, communication, public speaking, execution of a plan, interpersonal skills, and enthusiasm

Transformative Learning Experiences - Connecting with the kids from the Orphanage

Become Aware of - The less fortunate, ways to help others

Relfection in order to Develop - The whole thing!

Journal Topics - Sum it up for us!

July 26th --------- Fly Home!

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