The outdoors is an excellent means of transferable learning too. Overcoming challenges through outcomes focused on creating resilience provides children with remarkable opportunities for character building, creating personally meaningful experiences, and growing from stress responses into more self-confident individuals. Engaging in activities that require effort, occasional failure and setback, can teach children what it means to grow stronger from facing typical challenges in life. Outdoor adventure is that effective route to building self-belief and gaining the resilience to bounce beyond from a young age!
Our Head of Learning and Impact at Kingswood, Dr. John Allan, specialises in adventure learning and its influence on character development. With a Doctorate (PhD) in Positive Psychology and Building Psychological Resilience through Outdoor Adventure, Dr John has studied the results of actively engaging in nature-based activities. His research includes international journal publications, keynotes addresses, conference symposiums, and online teaching packages.
Dr John has created some fascinating studies that complement the basis of Bouncing Beyond. According to Dr John, outdoor adventure learning provides emotional stimulation and helps develop preconceived ideas of personal capabilities. It’s important to share the healthy influence of getting outdoors and into nature to build resilience.
“Resilience can be represented as a tight-rope we walk along throughout our lives. Developing a thicker rope will help us to maintain our balance as we face challenges which may unsettle us. Our ropes are made up of strands of skills that protect us from stress and promote learning. These strands can be developed by actively facing challenges and not being afraid to try something new. Sometimes this can mean getting it wrong and falling off our ropes. Getting back onto your rope and being more able to cope with future challenges is made easier if your rope is thicker.”
- Dr. John Allan, ‘My Resilience Tightrope’
Top tips for enabling children to thrive through schools-based Outdoor Adventure Education - Dr. John Allan
5 strands of resilience, and 5 steps for better balance - Dr. John Allan
Bouncing back from adversity? Here’s how to bounce beyond... - Dr. John Allan
With 11 outdoor activity centres scattered across the UK, from Devon to Northumberland, and a range of inspiring programmes for young people, Kingswood are experts in the field of resilience-building adventures. We even created a unique instrument called the Confidence Tracker, helping evidence the power of an outdoor adventure by following the trajectory of a child’s courage in their Kingswood adventure ahead.