Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Metaphors on the ropes course
What a great day again I had on the weekend when I was taking a group of young girls and their coaches through the ropes course at The Bishop Claggett Center. The girls were visiting from out of the country and they had 3 mentors or coaches accompanying them. Two of the girls could speak English and the rest communicated through an interpreter. It was not what happen with the girls but the comments made by the coaches during the processing period afterwards that made it such a learning experience for myself and the group.
The group had finished the day on a high level activity called the giants ladder. This is where 2 climbers have to work together with the support of the team to climb a giant ladder to the top rung. Pictures are available of this activity on the web page. One of the coaches explained through the interpreter how she had noticed that the rungs get further apart as they get higher. She thought this was a design flaw until I explain the design was intentional, creating the metaphor for living.
I went on to explain that the ladder symbolizes the struggles of life. The further you push yourself in life, the harder the challenges may be even though you have had prior experiences that you have learnt from. The higher you go on the ladder the more you rely on your team for support and help in getting achieving your goals. In life, the older you get the more you will rely on your family and friends to help you through and get what you want and need.
The metaphor was set and the smile came immediately upon that coach’s face. She had immediately become a fan of the metaphor and of the ropes course experience. I am so glad I do this job. Little pleasures like that make it all worth while.