April 13, 2008

AEE Conference Report (Day 1)

I'm back from the conference and I thought I would share a few thoughts and reports. Overall I learned a ton and re-connected with some former colleagues. Good fun. Here were the workshops I attended:

3 Props, 30 Activities (Chris Ortiz of High 5 Adventures)
I figured I had to go to at least one fun and games workshop! This one was interesting in that it focused only on activities you could do with tape, fleece balls and plastic circles. I'm going to try and scan the handout of all the games and share it with you here. Good fun.
For more information: Check out High Five's website including their books section.

Introduction to AEE's Accreditation Program
(Jed Williamson of the AEE)
I was really excited for this workshop since we're strongly considering starting the accreditation process in 2009. Jed is the editor of the Accidents in North American Mountaineering and helped write the accreditation standards. He was an amazing resource and I came away from the workshop hopeful that we're on the right track with our accreditation bid. Furthermore I was convinced that the process is a mature one that has real tangible benefits for us. Now I just need to pick up the standards manual!
For more information: The main AEE website, info on accreditation, or buy the accreditation standards manual.

Practitioner Certification - A Progress Update from ACCT
(Jim Grout of ACCT)
The practitioner certification program newly created by the Association for Challenge Course Technology is in the beginning stages. Responding to the recent legislation in Massachusetts and to industry trends the ACCT has developed a two level certification process for folks who work on ropes courses and a third level for course managers. This process seems much less mature than the accreditation process I mentioned above and is still in the development stages. Jim made a great point that training, review and outside input have always been good ideas, now all this is simply made more formalized. I also like that it is possible for experienced folks to 'challenge in' at any level. I'm not so sure about the lengthy portfolio requirement.
For more info: Check out the ACCT website, or buy their practitioner and builder standards.

Blog it - How free web tools changed our programs (by me!)
I had good turn out at my workshop which was exciting and a good dialog. Feedback was positive. Yay!

For more info: See the workshop wiki.

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