Leadership is about enhancing one’s personal strengths, working effectively within a team and developing the characteristics of a leader best suited to your personality type.
To achieve these goals we interweave a combination of leadership workshops, group projects, team-building games, student leaders, role modelling and reflective practices.
These principles are interwoven into many aspects of our programs to create an environment that promotes personal growth so that every adventure, surf session, kayaking tour, pub night or student led meal become growth opportunities.
Throughout our leadership programs we scale-up the responsibility placed on our students to maximize ownership of the process and build independence as the program progresses. Our program leaders regularly meet with students to co-evaluate your leadership, reflecting on what worked for you and what you will do differently next time.
Leadership is taught through the following methods:
Our Leadership Workshops are taught in our outdoor classroom at Castle Park. They are experiential and hands-on workshops that are broken up with team games, challenges and journaling designed to get students thinking about new concepts on a deeper level.
The leadership workshops are taught by Irish Gap Year Directors Ryan Allen and Killian O’Kelly as well as Irish Gap Year Program Leaders and cover topics ranging through developing a Personal Mission Statement, to Non-Verbal Communication, to Problem Solving Skills and more.
Group projects are used to create a strong bond and healthy group-dynamic throughout the program. They are an excellent way to put into practice the topics covered in our leadership workshops and develop self-governance and personal responsibility amongst our students.
At the outset tasks set in the group projects are small in scale and achievable, however as the program progresses students will be challenged to set broader goals for themselves and the group.
Example projects are as follows:
- Mountain Rescue Challenge
- Lough Erne Challenge
- Wild Ireland Challenge
- Student-led Trip
Students will have several opportunities throughout the program to play the role of student leader, which sees each student in a leadership role, revolving every three days. As we progress through the program a student’s leadership style and role within the team will evolve and grow.
This allows students to play an active role in the development of their own education. When an experience is earned, it is more meaningful and beneficial. This process is known as self-governance and is a valuable life skill that you will take away from the Adventure & Leadership Program.
After your time as student leader, you’ll self-evaluate your leadership skills and reflect on the experience with your program leader, identifying both strengths and areas to improve.
Example of Student Leader Roles:
- Assisting Program Leaders on activities
- Preparing the group for expeditions and outdoor adventures
- Day-to-day management of the household (house chores!)
- Designing and executing projects in the areas of volunteering, outdoor adventure and cultural outings
- Small presentations on Irish history. On-site and brief, there are great peer-to-peer learning opportunities.