Youth Exploring Self (YES)
The Chrysalis Adventure team believes success is more than just achieving a goal. More importantly, it is learning about yourself and understanding how your actions affected the end result. Youth Experiencing Success (YES) Program was created for children struggling with life skills and character development.
The following are examples of session designs for a pre-determined service period:
Skill Development Sessions
Skill Development Sessions are designed to allow participants to practice skills that have been identified as needing improvement. The Brain Game is an example of an experience requiring participants to work as a team to complete a task, such as haltering the horse. Teams of three people link arms and the middle person ‘the brain’ is the only team member allowed to speak. Team members on each side are not allowed to move without specific instruction from “the brain”. Another experience that results in the practice of teamwork as well as using critical thinking skills is the Course of Possibilities. Using items in the arena, participants are asked to create a course they will then lead the horse through. Teams are asked to identify what significance the course has for them as well as think of what each part of the course represents. For the horse to be led through the course without hesitation participants need to exhibit focus, confidence and clear intent.
Character Development Sessions
Character Development Sessions are focused on the development of positive character traits such as having an optimistic perspective and self-confidence. The Weight of Our Thoughts experience is split into two parts. First, participants are asked to brainstorm and write positive/uplifting words on pieces of paper and negative/hurtful words on rocks. The items are then placed into two buckets. With a partner, participants are tasked to lead the horse while being responsible for each bucket. Whether a team chooses to carry both, one or none of the buckets is up to them. To be an optimal partner for the horse, participants must have focus, confidence and clear intent.
Personal Reflection Sessions
As participants become more comfortable around the horses and facilitators, experiences allowing personal reflection are incorporated. Painting the Horse is an experience where participants are provided the opportunity to freely express themselves by painting the horse. Participants are encouraged to open up to their judgement free and accepting horse partners in Share Your Story. Participants are given as much time as desired to stand beside horse partner and share a situation, feeling or idea that is weighing on him or her.