Hiking and Orienteering

Helena, Meera, and Jessica

Students and faculty participated in an all-day hike in the Catskills, using maps, compasses, and orienteering skills to find their way along the trails. Often, deciding who would lead and which route they would follow led to conflict and, eventually, compromise and a solution. Noted one engineer: "My high point was orienteering. I was excited, nervous, confused, but we learned as a group."

Engineering Issues Addressed

Animated Frank
CONFLICT NEGOTIATION

"Hardest moment for me was handling potential conflicts. I had to find a way to change my role in the situation and make things better for the group."

"In orienteering, the most discussion came from the greatest conflict."

"I saw how I handled conflict better...took it less personally."

"I won't walk around with blinders on as much for now I know exactly how others feel when someone acts like that."

"I learned to try to be more patient, and not get frustrated so easily when someone has a conflicting personality or idea."

Group Meeting
DECISION-MAKING

"The most frustrating moment occurred during the orienteering because everyone in our group wanted to be leaders and people were going in separate directions. It was difficult for us to be dependent on each other because we all wanted to feel that we had an important/special skill."

"I learned that I can follow and be a part of the decision-making process at the same time."

Planning Together
TEAMWORK

"The group worked like a well-oiled machine."

82% of the female participants felt that their teamwork skills improved as a result of the 1998 hiking and orienteering (an increase from 76% in 1996).

100% of the male participants felt that their teamwork skills improved as a result of the 1998 hiking and orienteering (the same result as in 1996).

Sarah and Scott
LEADER/FOLLOWER

"I learned not to be so afraid to take the lead."

"I learned that sometimes I can be a leader and I will succeed. Sometimes, not right away, but if I fail at first, I can still succeed with the help of others."

"I learned how to follow. I am always used to taking charge and giving orders. This time, I learned how to take orders."

Initiatives Raft Building High Ropes
Gender Discussion Hiking and Orienteering Participants Photos