WinShape Wilderness team members are the heartbeat of our organization. We wanted to take some time to capture what fuels them for coming into work each day. Watch this video to get an idea about why we do what we do, and why we want to share it with others. Click here for the video!
Amy Davis joined the Wilderness team in early 2013. After having spent many years in sales and events, and guest services at WinShape Retreat, Amy now brings her time and talents to our Events team on the administrative side. Amy received her Business degree from the University of Georgia.
In her spare time, Amy can be found at the nearest beach, running, hiking, traveling or connecting with friends overseas. Amy has been married to her husband Rob for almost 21 years, and has three spunky daughters Mary Grace, Annie, and Frances.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is written to reflect five basic needs that humans have. It is the belief that all humans need to be taken care of very specific ways, whether they recognize it or not- in order to be productive, happy, and healthy, and ultimately “give back” to society.
The hierarchy seems to be written for the individual, as one person spends their whole existence trying to climb the ladder though conquering one level of the hierarchy at a time- starting with physiological needs and extending all the way to Self Actualization. Though when you read them in the context of the team, they hierarchal stages begin to take on a whole new meaning, one that involves great responsibility and dedication to one another.
Each level on the hierarchy: physiological needs (food, water, nourishment…), Security, Community and Belonging, Self-Esteem, and Self Actualization (learning, advancement and progressive thought), has the can be supported by healthy leadership, management, and team principals. Team members often function at their best when they have these needs taken care of, they produce better work; they have a desire to give back. Mind Tools writes “Good leaders recognize that if they’re to build productive and highly successful teams, they need to understand and look after the needs and well-being of team members…. when followers know they’re being looked after by their leader, they’ll usually give all their best in return” (Mind Tools, 2013).
As a leader, manager or team member, you have a responsibility to take care of those around you. When everyone on the team begins to function with the same mentality of care for each other that Maslow’s hierarchy suggests, teams are sure to be healthier, happier and more productive.
Mind Tools. (2013). Maslow’s hierarchy of need building a happier, more satisfied team. Retrieved from http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_92.htm
Our team recently returned from an experiential learning program in Grand Teton National Park. With a total of 2,594.6 miles hiked, (which happens to 313.6 more miles than the Appalachian trail), proper nutrition was a non-negotiable. Our WinShape Wilderness Guest Experiences team spent many hours in the test kitchen to produce a perfected combination of granola bars, trail mix, fruits, and protein-based wraps for the trail. It was wonderful thing to see a hiker, tired and weary from long miles on the trail, not only be refueled, but also be truly refreshed by the food in their pack.
The right stuff going in, has a positive impact on your next moves. Not only that, but it keeps you comfortable, satisfied, and ready for the next thing. And when these three components are working in synergy, you have better odds of performing and focusing on the task ahead. Whether it be food for an adventure on the trail, or participating in team health training for a day in the office, getting the right fuel is important.
Raise your hand if you are the type of leader that has a team with great talent, great potential and great people, but just can’t seem to produce great results. This is the classic quandary with today’s leaders – to manage and motivate team members in a way that produces results and at the same time create an environment that team members want to work in.
WinShape Wilderness’ Leading Teams was created to help leaders and small leadership teams figure out a solution to these types of challenges. One of the ways in which we think it happens is by focusing on the talents and strengths of each leader and team member. So that is why Leading Teams spends a lot of time discovering leadership styles, but diving into Marcus Buckingham’s Standout personality assessment. Then we give leaders time to experientially practice their skills. Leading Teams is a blend of classroom instruction and hands-0n application.
One of our methods for putting this learning into practice is through allowing participants to build a “Rube Goldberg” Invention. A Rube Goldberg invention is basically a complicated way to perform a very simple action. In our case, the action is popping a balloon. Teams choose from a variety of tools and gadgets to put their inventing skills to the test and pop the balloon by instigating one small action. This activity is designed with purposeful restraints on resources, time and and information. Leaders must tap into their own strengths, balanced of the strengths of others around them to perform the objective of the challenge.
Experiential Learning is our passion, one of the ways we accomplish that is through the use of the Challenge Course. We have three separate courses at WinShape Wilderness all featuring a variety of on-the-ground and off-the-ground elements. Because of this, we are members of an organization called the Association for Challenge Course Technology, or ACCT. This organization keeps us up to industry standards, fuels our creativity and gives us a platform to share our ideas. Team member Mark Suroviec, responsible for challenge course equipment and safety, is also our creative brain on the team. Mark was recently quoted in ACCT’s monthly newsletter, Parallel Lines. Mark and our team members attended the ACCT annual conference and were able to teach other members about some of the cool initiatives we have going on at WinShape Wilderness. One in particular is called “Post Modern Rock Paper Scissors”- a variation on the old favorite.
“Group members shared many of their favorite tricks, tools and variations on activities. Mark Suroviec of Winshape Wilderness shared this great no prop activity he calls “Post-Modern Rock, Paper, Scissors” which he uses as an icebreaker, as way to explore the value of creativity, or to spark reflection on values and different points of view.” (Stanchfield, 2013)
The objective? “ To play Rock, Paper, Scissors with ANYTHING except for Rock, Paper or Scissors! Instead they have the freedom to choose anything they can think of. (Elephant, Lion, Crying Baby, Bulldozer, TNT, Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich, Godzilla, Volcano, Black Hole, Peace on Earth, etc.). Two of the people in the group will play against each other, while the third person will act as the judge to determine the winner. “(Stanchfield, 2013)
This icebreaker is great for groups of all sizes and never seems to disappoint due to it’s creativity and hilarity. Thanks for the great ideas Mark, keep them coming!
Stanchfield, J. A. (n.d.). Facilitators toolbox: 10 key components of great facilitation. . (2013). Parallel Lines, 13(2), 18.
We had the pleasure of having the 7th grade class from Brentwood Academy, one of our all time favorite groups, join us in producing our very own Harlem Shake video. Brentwood was able to spend a day and a half on the challenge course and we kicked off their time here by filming this video. Thanks for all of your crazy antics Brentwood! Check out the video HERE!
Stephanie Morris is our Programming Assistant for Administration. She joined Wilderness in the Spring of 2012, after spending time as the student director at the Berry College BOLD Challenge Course. She earned her B.S. in psychology from Berry and holds many certifications including: First Aid and Small Craft Safety from the American Red Cross and a Wilderness and Remote First Aid certification for the professional rescuer.
New to the Rome community, Stephanie is still finding ways to plug in, but would welcome any one over for a movie party. She enjoys hanging out with her local church community and keeping in touch with her family, who is spread out from coast to coast.