Our work with the Massachusetts State Police helps prepare their Police Academy Training Team for six months of training and development with each new class of recruits. Our goals with this group are twofold; 1.) to train them in challenge course technical skills so they can safely run the program on the Academy’s challenge course and; 2.) to work with them to shape their team chemistry to prepare them for the arduous six month training cycle. It is classic adventure education wrapped in the environs of law enforcement and military-like discipline.
In the spring of 2013 Jim Grout, our Executive Director, reached out to the team after the events of the Boston Marathon bombing. We received this response:
“Thanks Jim, it is times like these that we rely on trust, teamwork, communication and confidence to accomplish the mission and to bring us home safely to our families. The skills that you teach us on our challenge course are utilized during critical incidents like the marathon. Please know that you and High 5 are part of what makes operations like that a success.”
Each year since receiving this note, Jim uses it with students who attend our Edge of Leadership Summer Program. On their final day with us Jim reads this letter to the group, to convey to them that their work over the past three days to discover, develop and refine their leadership skills comes with some responsibility.
He asks them… “What are you going to do with those skills to make good things happen?” It’s always a very quiet and reverent moment as students ponder the implications of words they’re hearing; a powerful testament to power of the work we do.