Unification News for October 2003

Alaska Adventure Workshop

Blake Christopher Poland

"Hello Alaska!" About one hundred CARP and Second Generation leaders from around the world convened in Anchorage Garden Alaska for HJNís 1st annual Alaska Adventure Workshop, and I happened to be one of them.

My mission for the past 2 years has been working with CARP at the University of Maryland, so being asked to attend a CARP youth leaders workshop didnít seem that much out of the ordinary, even if it was in Alaska. Little did I know that this would not be a typical workshop. The W-CARP epistemology emphasizes that experiential learning should be the subject relative to cognitive learning. So instead of having a workshop full of lectures, HJN wanted to have a workshop full of experiential learning, in this case out in Godís expansive Alaskan wilderness.

Honestly speaking this is one of the most productive workshops Iíve ever participated in. While attending lectures are always beneficial, one doesnít absorb so much of the content many times. In fact it is through experience that a person will final "own" the content of a given lecture. Many brothers and sisters, myself included, have not been able to understand much of the value of Core Values up to this point, but through this workshop we all gained first hand experience. The focus on experiencing Core Values as opposed to theorizing about how to apply and experience Core Values is what made this experience valuable. Each day we made fulfilling a specific Core Value our goal, and then at the end of the day reflected on how well we lived up to that goal. It is difficult to summarize just how necessary HJNís Core Values are in creating success, except that I could see clearly how embodying Core Values contributed to our successes, and how not embodying them led to our failures as a team.

While the first three days of the workshop were good preparation for the outdoor expedition, it was the expedition itself where I learned the most and surpassed numerous limitations. According to HJN only 25% of the challenge in sports is physical, but that 75% of our limitations exist in our own minds, and I was absolutely amazed at how much truth is in that observation. As the expedition wore on my physical body felt more and more fatigued and by the third day our entire team was in a considerable amount of pain. Yet we persevered and continued to march forward. Even when we thought we would never complete our goal of seeing a glacier, our team marched forward and claimed victory at the mouth of the glacier. The bottom line was that no matter how much I or anyone else wanted to stop, we didnít. Through this I could realize just how many of my limitations exist solely in my mind, and I know the same is true when I encounter challenges as a CARP member or student.

As HJN said, there is a battle approaching and the second generation is not yet strong enough to win. There is no second place in war, only first. Overall through this adventure workshop I became mentally tougher and I learned that there truly are no shortcuts in accomplishing our goals and fulfilling our dreams. Through this training I believe that second generation will gain the strength to win any upcoming battles. Nature is a very good teacher in that way.

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