Following the first anniversary of the opening of our Outdoor Leadership Centre at St. George’s Park, we recently held our first annual associate day on-site. This is a compulsory event for GRA associates as it provides us with the chance to update associates on business developments, contribute to their personal development and, above all, thank them for all their hard work during the year.
Our network of associates, a valued part of our facilitation team, deliver on a wide range of GRA programmes from conference energisers to multi-day leadership and team development courses. Growing a dependable network of associates from scratch in a new geographic region was one of the first challenges faced when we opened the new centre in Burton-upon-Trent, but we now have an excellent team of ten associates to complement our permanent staff.
The day began with a business update from senior trainer, Joe Mackintosh, followed by a briefing on the VitalSmarts platform- Crucial Conversations, Crucial Accountability, Influencer and Change Anything- as well as two of our other licensed development programmes; Action-Centred Leadership and Situational Leadership II. The aim was to provide our Associates with a deeper understanding of these concepts and how we embed them into our experiential leadership and team development programmes.
The second part of the morning was dedicated to training and assessing associates how to access, inspect and run the Powerfan challenge. The Powerfan is similar to a simulated parachute jump where participants are attached via a harness and step off a ledge at the top of our 40ft tower. All of our high ropes instructors hold the ERCA traditional ropes course instructor award, however specific training is required to operate the Powerfan. The training and assessment was undertaken successfully with all associates now able to run this activity as well as having great fun attempting it for themselves!
Following a complimentary lunch, Andy Norton, Operations Manager at the Outdoor Leadership Centre, ran an archery refresher. Associates took it in turns to coach one another on how to achieve a perfect 10. Although all of our associates who are qualified to run archery have attended training from Archery GB as part of their agreement to work for us, they still participate in an annual refresher.
The final session of the day saw the associates tackle a new problem-solving challenge here at the Outdoor Leadership Centre, the flagpole. In the flagpole challenge, participants have to create, install, and raise a flag and pole, all while keeping themselves, and the materials, out of the exclusion zone.
All in all it was a very successful day with both our associates and GRA staff benefitting from a development day and excited to keep up the good work moving forward.
Our Outdoor Leadership Centre at St. George’s Park provides you with a unique setting for developing high performing teams and leaders. Our state-of-the-art facility and experienced facilitators will create a fun and challenging experiential training environment suitable for all participants and abilities.