Resilience is becoming more important than ever for students to learn and develop as we live in an increasingly hard and fast world full of daily stressors. Resilience is the ability to steer through challenges and find ways to bounce back and thrive. We are born with the capacity for resilience, but it is not something that we have or don’t have, we work on it throughout our lives. Building resilience requires both inner strengths and outside supports.
Inner strengths include:

  • Self-control
  • Thinking skills
  • Confidence
  • A positive outlook
  • Responsibility and participation

Outside supports include:

  • Caring relationships
  • Positive role models

In an outdoor education environment, students are faced with various challenges. Some students may find a particular activity stressful, whilst others find just being away from home is hard. It is important to therefore understand and recognise the varying inner strengths of each student. In many ways, the adults on camp do this naturally, but we must remember that there is an important lesson in there for the student to develop their resilience. This means providing a caring situation in which students can exercise their inner strengths up to their individual abilities.  
Psychological theory suggests that coping strategies can influence the development of resilience and having a diverse range of coping skills enables healthy adaptation. In outdoor education, challenge activities are used to engage adaptive coping behaviour, leading to increased resilience and adaptability.
However during these challenge activities, we must also keep in mind that inner strengths and outside support are also required to build resilience. Outside support comes from the outdoor education instructors and teachers who act as role models, demonstrating coping strategies and from friends providing support. A student’s inner strength is also developed through the experience of going on camp through participation in all parts of camp life and accomplishing success in challenging activities, all aiding in the development of resilience.
Building resilience is a student outcome that we strive to facilitate at Garapine as we believe it is an essential life skill that students (and adults) cannot live without. Outdoor education is a great way to build resilience and we are honoured to be able to help in this process, leading to happy and healthy kids living a great life.