As a graduate student pursuing a master’s in education, Rose Hendricks was interested in how youth educators can further their personal development through leadership training. This academic pursuit led Hendricks to NOLS Professional Training, through which she observed a Leadership Navigation Challenge (LNC) for members of the National Park Service’s GOAL Academy.
Having heard the LNC described as a “glorified treasure hunt,” Hendricks was initially skeptical. But with a client list that includes Google and Wharton Executive Education, the LNC has demonstrated efficacy in the business world. As the course got under way, Hendricks was impressed with how the unique course structure encourages evolution of group dynamics.
“[There was an] immediacy with which the game transitioned into reality for the participants,” noted Hendricks. “This sincere emotional involvement in the game and the team dynamic is precisely why the exercise served as such a powerful tool.”
While Hendricks’ interest in the course stemmed from her focus on youth educators, her reflections from the LNC illustrate a wider applicability.
“This experience was not just another banal professional training, but a real exploration into the deep-seated and often subconscious assumptions people make about themselves and others, which ultimately inhibit and confine personal and group growth and change.”
Hendricks earned her master’s in education last spring from Prescott College. She currently teaches high school in Teton Valley, Idaho.