Facilitation and Programming General Sessions

Fear: Good, Bad or Ugly. – FP15

302C RCC February 7, 2020 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

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Chris Ortiz

Mark Twain said “courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of it”. Fear is a powerful emotion and is omnipresent in the high adventure industries.We will explore how it manifests itself in high adventure programming, how the body processes fear and how facilitators can recognize when fear travels down that slippery slope from good to ugly.

Learning Objectives:

The challenge course and other high adventure activities have the ability to introduce a person to fear and allow them to achieve tremendous growth of self-worth and courage. But they also have the ability to paralyze someone, crush them, demean them and destroy their self-confidence. Often times, the facilitator/guide is the only thing standing at the crossroads of growth and devastation and can guide our participants down a path that will help a group develop a strong bond and trust that can assist them as individuals when things get difficult. They can create an environment that allows for true choice and support of choice. Or… they can, often inadvertently, push participants into panic situations with little options but to persevere or suffer the consequences.

Anyone who has had a participant freeze in an adventure program or has witnessed a facilitator/guide inadvertently take away choice from a participant will gain an understanding of what is happening in the participants mind at that point. The background information comes largely from the work of Dr. Joseph Ledoux, author of The Emotional Brain.
Attendees will understand the fear processing portion of the brain and discuss how the body reacts.
Attendees will learn how memory and past experience plays a role in the process.
Attendees will analyze the fear response and how fear shows itself in the high adventure experience. They will also develop tools as facilitators/guides to react and prepare for it.