May 2014 Archives


We received this unsolicited feedback from a participant at our Beyond Basics-Advanced Challenge Course Skills workshop last week.

We decided to share this with you because the participant really captured the essence of High 5, our passion for the work and the experience we strive to co-create with all our participants.

Dear Jim,

I had a great time coming out to High 5 and the experience has stayed with me. I feel it is important to speak up when work has been done with excellence, as we so often only give customer feedback when something should be fixed. I loved that Beyond Basics was a more focused workshop emphasizing skills that are more likely to be needed. Liz and Ryan did an excellent job, letting us learn by experience.

Your team has created a welcoming atmosphere that I think is vital to continued strength in our industry. I loved the emphasis High 5 places on work with teambuilding participants and in workshops. I see this importance in the fact that even the executive director works directly with clients. Too often we imply that grants, sponsorships and other necessary funding are higher priority by moving the most experienced people to do this work exclusively.

It was wonderful too to hear about some of the powerful work your team has been doing with the same clients over time. As the balance of adventure programming is shifting to pay for play companies, I am so glad we have an organization like High 5 putting highest quality, intentional, educational programming out in the world.

Thank you for the work that all of your team are doing at High 5,

Thank you for noticing and for all the practitioners out there who are also putting out high quality, intentional, educational programming! High 5's to you!

All the best,

The High 5 Team!

There is still space in our June 5-8 Beyond Basics Workshop. Call today to sign up! 802.254.8718 or 877.356.4445 or email

High 5 Adventure extends our sincere thanks to The Jack and Dorothy Byrne Foundation for their financial support to build capacity with our Edge of Leadership program.

Edge of Leadership has been developed based on 35 years of experience working with educators and youth. The mission is to connect students and teachers and empower them to develop and sustain leadership teams within their school in an effort to effect positive change.

Youth engaged in Edge of Leadership find their voice and decide on a problem they want to tackle within their own school or community. Given the right tools and opportunity, we believe that student leaders are a powerful resource for bringing innovation and positive influence to the school community and to the lives of others.

Thank you to The Jack and Dorothy Byrne Foundation for sharing and supporting the Edge of Leadership vision.

Bay Path College Students Leadership Program

Bay Path College is a small women's college located in Longmeadow, MA. For the past seven years they have been bringing students to High 5 for a 3-day leadership development program. The focus of the program has been to create strong connections among students, develop leadership skills and thereby increase retention rates at the college. Here's a snapshot of this year's program.

A select group of seniors and first year students visited High 5 for 3 days this week with somewhat different goals. Seniors-To celebrate and have a culminating experience and to pass on any advice/ thoughts to the new class ; First Year Students-To begin to think about how to be leaders amongst their own class and for the whole school.

What transpired exceeded my expectations.

This was a group that was somewhat timid and with a lot of fear when it came to trust and heights. While we began very slowly, I was quickly reminded of the power of our work.

Half way through the program on day 2 we paused to do a group reflection activity. Seniors had taken anonymous questions from the first years, and thought of some advice to share on how to look ahead. The whole group had been through the smaller section of our Voyageur course the day before, but spent the second morning separate... the seniors climbing to the end of our Voyageur course and discussing their experiences and views on leadership, while the first years, with many anxious looking faces, learned to belay and take care of one another.

When asked to address the first year students on what advice they had, one senior shared this thought: "Make sure you live for every moment of your experience. Despite any attempts to slow it down, college will go by quicker than you can imagine. All you can do is take every experience you are offered while here and give it your best, give people your best and take all from it you can. If you do that you won't think about how slow or quick it went, but how great it was".

Going off with the first year students for the afternoon, I kept in mind how I and others in our field get to be a part of so many moments that make strong and lasting memories. The impact of the thoughts shared by the seniors and the power of adventure education helped us keep our focus and energy, and the transformation from fear to comfort and then trust was remarkable for this group of young women. What a wonderful experience for all of us.

Thanks to Phil Brown and Laura MacDonald (High 5 staff) who contributed greatly to the experience these girls had all week. May their words, tears and hugs last in our hearts and remind us for future programming how positive and encouraging our work can be.

Submitted by Liz Moore and Jim Grout


On behalf of the entire team at High 5, congratulations to the these newly certified Challenge Course professionals.

Level 1 Certification -
· Nicole Cambridge

Level 2 Certification -
· Raychel Setless

· Tony Sendra

· Brian Divelbliss

· Jay Plantillas

Challenge Course Manager Certification -
· Donald Padrick

· Josh Anderson

· Austin Paulson

Learn more about certification...

Recent Comments

  • Rachel Sampson: I would like to try this but can't find where read more
  • Jen Ottinger: Hi Ryan! Great words to live by. read more
  • markcollardinc: Ryan, I saw Michelle Cummings present this exercise earlier this read more
  • markcollardinc: Ditto! We - Ryan, Nate and me - all reading read more
  • markcollardinc: Hey Ryan, why is this activity called Ubuntu CIRCLE when read more
  • higherbeing: Love it! read more
  • Wes: Hi Ryan. I am currently looking into establishing a physics read more
  • Ryan McCormick: Thanks Nate, I love this activity and find useful in read more
  • Nate Folan: Right on Ryan! This activity is very effective. Thanks for read more
  • Ryan McCormick: Well, it depends on the size of the group. With read more