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New Leadership Class

ROPES COURSE  U.S. Air Force Servicemembers navigate one of the ropes courses at the Pretty Lake Adventure Center, Kalamazoo, Mich. Aug. 21, 2010. The 110th Airlift Wing service members were participating in the Adventure Centers’ Leadership training course. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Sonia Calbaugh/Released)

ROPES COURSE U.S. Air Force Servicemembers navigate one of the ropes courses at the Pretty Lake Adventure Center, Kalamazoo, Mich. Aug. 21, 2010. The 110th Airlift Wing service members were participating in the Adventure Centers’ Leadership training course. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Sonia Calbaugh/Released)

ROPES COURSE  U.S. Air Force Servicemembers navigate one of the ropes courses at the Pretty Lake Adventure Center, Kalamazoo, Mich. Aug. 21, 2010. The 110th Airlift Wing service members were participating in the Adventure Centers’ Leadership training course. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Sonia Calbaugh/Released)

ROPES COURSE U.S. Air Force Servicemembers navigate one of the ropes courses at the Pretty Lake Adventure Center, Kalamazoo, Mich. Aug. 21, 2010. The 110th Airlift Wing service members were participating in the Adventure Centers’ Leadership training course. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Sonia Calbaugh/Released)

THE WALL  U.S. Air Force Servicemembers work the wall challenge course at the Pretty Lake Adventure Center, Kalamazoo, Mich. Aug. 21, 2010. The 110th Airlift Wing service members were participating in the Adventure Centers’ Leadership training course. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Sonia Calbaugh/Released)

THE WALL U.S. Air Force Servicemembers work the wall challenge course at the Pretty Lake Adventure Center, Kalamazoo, Mich. Aug. 21, 2010. The 110th Airlift Wing service members were participating in the Adventure Centers’ Leadership training course. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Sonia Calbaugh/Released)

WALL CLIMB  U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Travis Kowalski navigates the wall climb at the Pretty Lake Adventure Center, Kalamazoo, Mich. Aug. 21, 2010 while 110th Airlift Wing Service members watch from below. The 110th Airlift Wing servicemembers were participating in the Adventure Centers’ Leadership training course. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Sonia Calbaugh/Released)

WALL CLIMB U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Travis Kowalski navigates the wall climb at the Pretty Lake Adventure Center, Kalamazoo, Mich. Aug. 21, 2010 while 110th Airlift Wing Service members watch from below. The 110th Airlift Wing servicemembers were participating in the Adventure Centers’ Leadership training course. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Sonia Calbaugh/Released)

Battle Creek -- On Saturday August 21st 25 individuals from the 110th Airlift wing had a unique opportunity to grow their leadership abilities at the Adventure Centre in Matawan Michigan. Set on over 250 acres and back in the woods ¾ of a mile sits the Adventure Center. The Adventure Centre is a nonprofit organization that caters to all ages who want to become more connected with themselves and grow as a team. The Adventure Center has worked with thousands of individuals and hundreds of different organizations including many sports teams and Universities, but on this Saturday morning the 110th took the opportunity to build on the leadership skills that we have learned over the years.

The members participating represented a wide range of career fields around the base and also incorporated a wide variety of experience in the guard with individuals ranging from just over a year in service to over 30 years. The day started out with a short introduction from the two facilitators from the Adventure Center and quickly developed into a few large and small team building exercises that challenged the communication skill set and the ability to work in different size groups. It wasn't till the facilitators started bringing out the rock climbing harnesses and helmets that most people got a little nervous. After a short hike the participants made it to a 30 ft tall ropes course. Each individual worked as a team to cross a series of obstacles balancing on items as small as a ½ inch wire. This event also gave a few individuals the chance to try the ropes course while wearing a blind fold during many of the obstacles. After a well deserved lunch we were brought to a cement pad where for the first time many of us were introduced to Yoga. The instructor taught different stress releasing techniques that can be used at home and also in the work place. After feeling relaxed and refreshed we were then asked to break into teams with the challenge of figuring out how to move people from the ground over a 16 ft wall with a set of rules on how this task was to be performed. The day ended with a climb up the Adventure Center's 45 ft. rock climbing wall.

Each exercise that was accomplished that day coincided with events that they deal with on a daily basis in their work environment. We might not be 45 feet in the air climbing a rock wall listening to others help by calling out foot holds, but this does directly translate to being able to listen and work together in an organization to meet a common goal. This experience gave everyone in attendance a chance to learn a little about themselves, key aspects of leadership, trust, and allowed members to meet people who they normally might not interact with on the base. Everyone walked away learning something that they will be able to take away from this exercise and apply to their civilian and military careers improving the organization for years to come.

For photos, see the album labeled "New Leadership Class" under the Photos menu.