Dear Editor: I was saddened to learn that Project Adventure is closing. For the past five years, I have taken my Montessori School of Covington middle school students, grades seven and eight, to Project Adventure for a team building and communications workshop during the first week of school.
Each year, a trained PA staff member has led my small group of students through a variety of problem-solving activities using the low ropes equipment scattered throughout the Elks Club Road campus. Through the activities, such as figuring out how to work together in order to move each group member from a central platform around a rectangle of suspended ropes an arms length away, my students have gained knowledge that will help them in the classroom and in life. They’ve learned that there are times when they will need help and times when they can be of help to someone else. They’ve learned that people are more successful when encouraged than when criticized and that we all make mistakes. They’ve learned to keep trying, not to give up in anger and frustration.
Through our annual visit, my students and I have also learned about the important work done through PAs residential program. We’ve seen the students as they take breaks between classes, and we’ve heard from our workshop leaders how much more challenging the activities we do are for those students with poor anger management and communication abilities.
We’ve also heard the stories of how many PA residents learn to respect, trust, encourage, and be honest with themselves and others, skills that allow them to turn their lives around, to go from committing crimes and being a drain on society to completing school and becoming functioning and productive members of their communities.
I’m saddened that Project Adventure will no longer be available for my students. However, I know that the greatest loss is for troubled youths, their families and communities in Georgia.