Mission: Resilience Challenge Course GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021) - National Park Service

Mission: Resilience Challenge Course GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021) - National Park Service
National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior

Mission: Resilience
Challenge Course
GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021)
Mission: Resilience Challenge Course GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021) - National Park Service
Fruita Middle School 6th graders on a field trip at Colorado National Monument
Photography by: Casey Hawley

Mission: Resilience logos
Logos by: Brad Sutton
Mission: Resilience Challenge Course GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021) - National Park Service
Mission: Resilience
Challenge Course

National Park Service
Beta Version
May 2021


Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Resiliency Rappel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
The Power of Presence Mindfulness Hike. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Super Hero Self-Portrait for Self-Awareness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Strengths Through Hardship . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Geology Giant Jenga . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Web of Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Adversity Maze . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Adapting Optimism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Appendix A: Example Summary of Day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A-1
Appendix B: Example Teacher Ranger Teacher Curriculum. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . B-1
Mission: Resilience Challenge Course GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021) - National Park Service
To help with life’s hurdles, we designed   if a specific activity does not directly
an in-park adventure experience for        connect to your park resource, we
middle schoolers to develop resiliency     hope that it might spark an idea that
skills. This mission will strengthen       would work for your circumstances.
students’ mastery of six resiliency
tenets while leveraging the power of       How to Use this Catalog
your unique park resources to foster
                                           Depending on your park resources,
mental health. Completing Mission:
                                           there are many ways to use this catalog.
Resilience will reveal students’ own
superpowers, giving them tools to          ●● If you have a Teacher Ranger
thrive in the face of challenges. Help        Teacher or a gateway community
the next generation of stewards view          with a local school district, you can
your park as a place of healing.              partner with the schools to teach
                                              the curriculum during the school
                                              year. Their in-class learning can
Background                                    culminate with a visit to your park
Mission: Resilience! was developed            at the end of the school year.
using the six tenets of resiliency         ●● If following a year-long curriculum
created by University of Pennsylvania-        isn’t feasible, you can still host an
Positive Psychology Center: self-             amazing field trip for students at
awareness, self-regulation, mental            your park. To prepare students and
agility, strengths of character,              enhance learning, the field trip can
connection, and optimism. This                be accompanied by a pre-site at the
catalog contains eight challenge              school.
course activities that highlight each
of the six tenets of resiliency in a fun   ●● You can treat our framework as a
and interactive way. The catalog was          catalog of activities and use several
designed to be adaptable, affordable,         of them for a stand-alone Jr. Ranger
and accessible to all park units. Even        Day or a Healthy Parks Healthy
                                              People day.

                                                                                         Fruita Middle
                                                                                         School 6th
                                                                                         graders at
                                                                                         photo: Casey

                                              National Park Service – GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021)   1
Mission: Resilience Challenge Course GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021) - National Park Service
The budget is also scalable, depending     Regardless of how this framework
on how you use the framework. A bare       works for your park, the end result is
bones version of this framework can        the same. This framework builds skills
be executed with very little investment.   useful for all humans – kids and adults
(See each activity for suggested           – and highlights that parks can be a
materials.) Using a more robust            place of renewal and refuge for healing.
version of the framework provides          It also has the potential to bring
a great opportunity to partner with        underserved communities to your
your Friend’s Group or Association so      park, strengthen the community, and
they can contribute to this meaningful     inspire the next generation of stewards.

 Six Resiliency Tenets
 These activities are built around the six tenets of resiliency as defined by the
 University of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology Center (https://ppc.sas.upenn.

             Self-Awareness – The ability to pay attention to your thoughts,
             emotions, behaviors, and physiological reactions.

             Self-Regulation – The ability to change one’s thoughts, emotions,
             behaviors, and physiology in the service of a desired outcome.

             Mental Agility – The ability to look at situations from multiple
             perspectives and to think creatively and flexibly.

             Strengths of Character – The ability to use one’s top strengths to
             engage authentically, overcome challenges, and create a life aligned
             with one’s values.

             Connection – The ability to build and maintain strong, trusting

             Optimism – The ability to notice and expect the positive, to focus
             on what you can control, and to take purposeful action.

                                              National Park Service – GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021)   2
Mission: Resilience Challenge Course GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021) - National Park Service
Station 1
Resiliency Rappel
Resiliency Strengths                        Materials
Self-Awareness, Self-Regulation,            ●● Static Climbing Rope
Strengths of Character, & Optimism          ●● Belay devices
Objectives                                  ●● Trained belayers
Students will:                              ●● Harnesses in adult and youth sizes
                                            ●● Helmets
●● Test their own self-awareness, self-
   regulation, strengths of character,      ●● Gloves
   and optimism while rappelling            ●● Materials for belay station anchors
   down a rock cliff.
●● Reflect on strengths of character        Pre-visit suggestion
   and how they leveraged trust and         Discuss with students about challenge
   connection during the activity           by choice. This activity is optional
   with the instructor, leader, belayer,    for students that want to challenge
   and knots.                               themselves and their resiliency.
●● Express how they showed tenets
   of trustworthiness as a partner to       Set-up
   other students.                          Students would be lowered down
●● Have an opportunity to reflect           by a trained belayer that is secured
   on what they have learned                to an anchor point. While students
   throughout the day and apply             are waiting for their turn to rappel
   those skills to a real-life adversity.   one instructor would teaching kids
                                            important climbing knots they will
                                            use for the activity such as the figure
                                            eight follow through.

                                                                                        Climbing rope,
                                                                                        photo: Jean
                                                                                        via Creative

                                               National Park Service – GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021)   3
Mission: Resilience Challenge Course GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021) - National Park Service
Please note: This activity is designed      K – Knots: Check all the knots in
to be adapted and modified for your         the system. Make sure that knots
unique park site. It is crucial to have     adjoining two ropes in a double-rope
trained rock climbing instructors           rappel are correctly tied with enough
to facilitate a rappel station. It’s        tail.
suggested to partner with a trusted
local climbing gym, guide service, or       E – Ends: Confirm that the ends of
park SAR team to ensure safety.             your ropes are on the ground or that
                                            they reach the next anchor. Confirm
Resources on belaying kids:                 that your system is closed with knots
                                            at the end of your rappel lines.
●● Rock Climbing with Kds | The
   Climbing Guy                             S – Safety Backup/Sharp Edges: Use
●● How to Rappel: Climbing Skills |         an autoblock backup and check to
   REI Co-op                                make sure that you aren’t going to
                                            rappel over any sharp edges.

Welcome to the rappel station!
Our first order of business is to discuss
safety for this station:
B.R.A.K.E.S. from Climbing.com
Prior to rappelling, you should check
every aspect of your system.
B – Buckles: Check the buckles on
your harness. Make sure they are snug
and that all appropriate straps are
R – Rappel Device/Ropes: Check
that the carabiner attached to your
device is locked, both strands of the
rope have been loaded correctly in
the device, and the rope is properly
threaded through the rappel anchor.
A – Anchor: Confirm that the anchor
is strong. If it’s a tree, make sure
it’s alive, large enough to hold your
weight, and that it has a good root
base. If it’s a boulder, ensure that it
is not going to move. If rappelling
off bolts or gear, confirm that they                                                                   Rock climbing,
are suitably strong enough. Double-                                                                    photo:
check that any webbing or cord isn’t                                                                   Littlefield
damaged or too faded.

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Mission: Resilience Challenge Course GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021) - National Park Service
You will need to lean on all the              ●● Knot tying instructional videos
resiliency skills that you have learned          can be found here How to Tie
during the school year and throughout            a Figure 8 Knot for Climbing -
the challenge course today as you                Everything You Need to Know ||
successfully navigate this rappel. You           REI - Bing video
will need to trust your belayer and the       ●● Knot instructor will be conducting
equipment that they will safely get you          a safety check on each student
to the bottom of the rappel.                     prior to going to the belay station.
Consider how being prepared for a
stressful situation can make it easier.       Reflection
and less stressful. If you are confident in   Reflection can happen with a smaller
your knot tying ability and you have a        group at the base of the rappel or can
partner double check your work that           wait until the end for a larger debrief.
could reduce fear or anxiety around           ●● How did it feel to back off the edge
trusting that the knot will hold.                of the cliff and trust your rope and
Procedure                                     ●● How did you overcome any fear that
●● Lower students with a trained                 you felt before or during the rappel?
   belay instructor that is secured           ●● What did you do to regulate your
   to an anchor point. Another                   fear / anxiety?
   instructor would teach kids
   important climbing knots used              ●● What did it feel like to put your feet
   during the rappel such as the                 back on the ground?
   figure eight follow through while          ●● How did you stay positive and
   students wait to rappel.                      optimistic during the activity?
                                              ●● What role did trust play in the

                                                                                          down, photo:
                                                                                          Eric Fischer

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Mission: Resilience Challenge Course GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021) - National Park Service
Station 2
The Power of Presence Mindfulness Hike
Resiliency Strengths                     If possible, it is suggested to introduce
Self-awareness, Self-regulation,         and practice some of these activities
Optimism, Connection                     (ex. Collective Breaths; Mindful
                                         Movement) in the classroom with the
Objectives                               students prior to the hike.
Students will:
●● Understand what mindfulness
   is and practice being mindful in      Depending on number of students,
   nature.                               group is split in half and hike is
                                         staggered with a ranger leading
●● Use their senses to connect to the    each group. The ranger guides the
   present moment.                       mindfulness bingo and other activities
●● Reflect on how to incorporate         with the students at each stop of the
   mindfulness into their daily lives.   hike.
                                         These activities are designed to be
Materials                                adapted for your unique park site:
●● Mindfulness Bingo Sheets
                                         ●● Pick and choose the activities that
●● Clipboards and Pencils
                                            work for your group size, hiking
●● Nature Journals                          trail, time limits, etc.
                                         ●● Use the example mindfulness
Pre-visit suggestion                        bingo sheet on the hike or design
Classroom lessons “Active                   your own!
Listening: Mindfulness in Nature”
and “Mindfulness Activities” (see
classroom curriculum in appendix).

                                                                                     Santa Monica
                                                                                     Mountains National
                                                                                     Recreation Area,
                                                                                     photo: Connar

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Mission: Resilience Challenge Course GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021) - National Park Service
Activity                                    ●● Take a moment to check in and
                                               notice how you are feeling. Are you
Introduction and Settle In                     excited, calm, or neutral about
                                               going on this hike?
*This strategy is inspired by the
Breathe for Change Settle In activity, 3    ●● If your eyes are closed, gently open
Collective Breaths. For students who           them and if you’d like, share one
aren’t comfortable participating in            word with the group about how you
the breathing exercise, allow them the         are feeling in this moment.
option to just observe.                     ●● Ask students to share other ways
                                               to pay attention to the present
●● As students gather, distribute              moment during the hike. Some
   supplies (ex. pencil/clipboard with         prompts could be: “How do you
   mindfulness bingo sheet and/or              notice the world around you? What
   nature journal).                            tools do you have to observe what is
●● Welcome students to their                   happening right now?”
   mindfulness nature hike.                 ●● Encourage students to focus on
●● Mindfulness means paying                    the five senses during the hike.
   attention to what is happening right        (For example, “We look around.
   now or in the present moment, in a          We use our eyes. We listen. We use
   non-judgmental, curious way.                our ears.”)
●● I know we are all excited to be here     Transition
   together and to get started! Before
   we begin our hike, I want to take        As we start our hike and walk to our
   a few moments to settle in and           first stop, use your senses to mindfully
   prepare our bodies and minds to          notice your surroundings and look for
   be in the present moment for our         items to complete on your bingo sheet*.
   experience together.                     *Option to use each stop to complete
●● I invite you all to come together        a ranger-guided mindfulness activity
   in circle. Bring both hands to           on bingo sheet.
   your heart or rest your hands
   comfortably on your thighs or by         Stop 1
   your sides.                              What did you notice as you were
●● Once you are there, choose an            walking? (share out)
   object to focus your gaze on or you
   can close your eyes, whatever feels      Ranger-Guided Mindful
   most comfortable for you.                Movement
●● As you settle in, begin to pay           For students who aren’t comfortable
   attention to your breath. Notice         participating, allow them the option
   how each inhale, and each exhale         to just observe.
   moves through your body.                 To come into the present moment: let’s
●● Let’s take 3 collective breaths          take a moment to pause, feel your feet
   together. Inhale, exhale. Breathe in;    and listen to the sounds around you.
   breathe out. Inhale, biggest breath of   Now I invite you to do some mindful
   the day; exhale, sigh it on out.         movement to get in touch with our
●● Feel the bottoms of your feet            bodies while we are in nature.
   on the earth and listen to your          Invite students to find a spot and pick
   surroundings.                            a mindful movement pose: (model
                                               National Park Service – GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021)   7
poses for students and/or use image of            into the earth. Bring your shoulders
pose on the bingo sheet)                          back and down, chin slightly lifted,
●● Mountain Pose                                  your eyes can be focused on one spot
                                                  for balance.
●● Tree Pose
                                             ●●   Deep breath in, deep breath out.
●● Get creative! Allow students to
   invent their own pose inspired by         ●●   Mountains reach tall through your
   their surroundings.                            peak!
●● Hold poses and breathe naturally          ●●   Trees, perhaps grow your branches
   for two minutes.                               and sway them in the breeze.
                                             ●●   Body is strong, breathing deep.
Facilitator instructions for poses:
Poses can be practiced in a standing         ●●   Now, release your pose and slowly
or seated or lying down position.                 bring your hands to your heart or
Whatever is most comfortable for the              by your sides, keeping your eyes                 Mountain pose,
                                                  focused or closed. Take 3 breaths,
students.                                                                                          Mount Rainer
                                                  gently open your eyes, and take a                National Park, photo:
●● Plant your feet flat onto the ground,          moment to notice how you feel.                   NPS
    hips width distance apart.
                                             ●●   Invite students to silently reflect on
●● Lift your chest and relax your                 how they feel, share with a partner,
    shoulders down your back.                     or the whole group.
●● Mountain Pose: Bring your arms to
    your sides with your fingers spread      Transition
    wide.                                    As we walk to our next stop, use your
●● Tree Pose: Bring your arms to your        senses to continue to mindfully notice
    sides with your fingers spread wide.     your surroundings and look for items
                                             to complete on your bingo sheet.
     ○○ Plant one foot firmly on the
        ground, opposite foot can rest       Stop 2
        against inner ankle or thigh
        (to protect the knee joint, avoid    What did you notice as you were
        resting foot on the knee). Both      walking? (share out)
        feet can also stay planted on the
                                             Solo stop option A
                                                                                                   Tree pose, Mount
     ○○ Bring your hands to heart center     Find a comfortable special spot to sit by             Rainer National Park,
         or if you are feeling steady, you   yourself.                                             photo: NPS

         can raise your arms out to your     Guide students or allow them to
         sides or above your head and        choose their own solo activity:
         grow your branches.                 ●● Getting in touch with my senses: 5,
●●   Choose an object to focus your             4, 3, 2, 1:
     gaze on or you can close your eyes,     ●● Notice: 5 things I see, 4 things I
     whatever feels most comfortable for        hear, 3 things I feel, 2 things I smell,
     you.                                       1 thing I taste.
●●   We will be in our poses for             ●● Watch the clouds. Sit or lie down
     approximately 2 minutes.                   on the ground. Breathe in and out as
●●   Take a deep breathe in. Deep breathe       you watch the clouds roll by.
     out. Inhale, exhale.                    ●● Just “be” not “do” anything.
●●   Continue to naturally connect to        After the activity, have students write
     your breath and perhaps feel your       in their journal about the experience,
     feet or body grounding down growing     with prompts:
     your mountain or tree roots, deep

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●● I notice, I wonder? It reminds me     a partner or groups of three. We will
   of…                                   challenge each other to hike in silence
                                         and complete items on our bingo sheets
Solo stop option B
                                         or just observe our surroundings. When
This activity is based on Joseph Bharat one hiker in your group sees something
Cornell’s Sound Map strategy: Sound interesting, instead of speaking aloud
Map (sharingnature.com).                 about it, they can gently tap the
                                         shoulder of one or more teammates,
Guided Sound Map
                                         than point to the object and silently
●● In your journal, find a blank page    share the enjoyment.
   and mark an X in the middle – the X
   represents where you are sitting.     *This activity is based on Joseph
                                         Bharat Cornell’s Silent Sharing
●● When you hear a sound, mark on
   the paper to represent the sound. The Walk strategy: Silent Sharing Walk
   location of the mark shouldindicate   (sharingnature.com).
   the direction and distance of the
   sound from your seat.                 Closing at Trailhead
●● Tell students not to draw a detailed *This strategy is inspired by the
   picture for each sound, but to make Breathe for Change Closing activity,
   just a simple mark. Making simple     Seal the Connection.
   marks keeps the focus on listening
   rather than on drawing.               Guided “Seal the Connection” Circle
●● Invite students to focus their gaze   ●● Invite students to come together
   or close their eyes while listening       in a circle. Softly focus your gaze
   for sounds.                               or close your eyes, whatever is most
●● After completion, have students           comfortable for you.
   share their map with a partner and
   reflect.                              ●● To close our mindfulness nature
                                             hike, we are going to take a moment
Transition                                   to connect to our breath, as you
As we continue on our hike, we are           breathe, think about a time you
going to do a silent sharing hike* with      felt present or connected to nature,

                                                                                       Santa Monica
                                                                                       Mountains National
                                                                                       Recreation Area,
                                                                                       photo: Flickr public

                                             National Park Service – GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021)     9
yourself or others during our           Reflection
   experience together today. Visualize    ●● How did it feel to use your senses in
   that moment in your mind.                  nature?
   Reconnect to how this experience
   made you feel.                          ●● How is being mindful in nature
                                              similar or different to being mindful
●● When you have this clear vision in         in your daily life?
   your mind, look up to signal you
   are ready.                              ●● When did you feel present or
                                              connected to nature, yourself or
●● Let’s seal this connection with a          others today?
   collective, energizing clap together.
                                           ●● What did you learn about yourself
●● Reach one arm up and the other             through this experience?
   down. Take a deep breath in
   together; 1...2...3...clap! (or “pass   ●● How can you incorporate
   the clap” - each student claps             mindfulness practices at home, with
   around the circle).                        your school, or in your community?

●● Invite students to share what they
   visualized with the entire group.
   Popcorn style or go around the
   circle and take turns. Students are
   allowed to say “pass” if they don’t
   want to share.                                                                           Santa Monica
                                                                                            Mountains, photo:
                                                                                            Steven Friedman

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National Park Service – GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021)   11
Station 3
Super Hero Self-Portrait for Self-Awareness
This strategy is inspired by the Art       Once finished, collect the
of Education’s Social-Emotional            compliments and distribute to
Learning activity, “I am” Self-Portrait.   each student to read and keep. If
                                           completed prior to the self-portrait
Resiliency Strengths                       activity, students can draw on these
Self-Awareness                             compliments when completing their
                                           “I am” statements.
Students will:                             Activity
●● Gain self-awareness of what makes       Introduction
   them unique                             Here at (your park), many plants and
●● Identify at least two of their          animals possess unique adaptations that
   strengths or character traits           help them to survive. You might even call
●● Compare their personal strengths        them superpower strengths. Animal and
   to strengths found in nature            plants instinctively use these strengths in
                                           their everyday lives.
Materials                                  Briefly discuss examples of different
●● Art supplies (ex. colored pencils,      plant and animal adaptations through                Super hero self-
   markers)                                the use of props and visuals. (Ex.                  portrait, photo:
                                           Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Lion,                       Adeline Sutton
●● Optional: additional art supplies
                                           Coyote, Utah Juniper)
   (paint, feathers, buttons, etc.)
●● Blank pieces of paper or super hero
●● Clipboards
●● Completed self-portrait example
●● Printed list of unique strengths
   found in nature for reference
●● Plant/animal pictures and props

Pre-visit suggestion
As a class, have each student write a
compliment (this can be anonymous)
for each of their classmates. These
compliments should be based on each
student’s strengths, what they like
about them, and what makes them
Consider prompts such as:
●● You are...
●● You are good at...
●● I like how you...
                                              National Park Service – GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021)        12
Each of you also possess amazing traits         significance to some cultures, and we
and strengths that make you unique!             need not appropriate that practice.
                                             ●● Some ideas: I am courageous like
By recognizing your unique strengths,           the mountain lion, I am adaptable
you will start to become self-aware             like the bighorn sheep, I am rooted
and develop the superpower of                   like the Utah juniper, I am clever
understanding yourself.                         like the coyote.

Procedure                                    When time is up, encourage students
Distribute art supplies and paper or         that haven’t completed their self-
self-portrait templates to students.         portrait to continue to work on it at
                                             school or home.
Facilitator shares completed self-
portrait as an example.                      Reflection
                                             ●● How did it feel to identify your
Students can choose to use the                  unique strengths and traits?
superhero outline template or using
their own creativity, draw an outline of     ●● What are the benefits of knowing
their face.                                     your strengths and unique traits?
                                             ●● What, if any, plant/animal strengths
Time Constraints
                                                did you identify with?
If time is limited, facilitator can
time each section so the activity is         ●● Invite students to share their self-
completed on time. Ex. Students, you            portrait with the group and/or
have two minutes to brainstorm “I am”           invite students to share one of their
statements, now you have two minutes            “I am” statements.
to draw your self-portrait, etc.
                                             ●● Gallery walk: students walk around
                                                and view everyone’s self-portrait.
Using “I am” statements, have students
write a list of the things they like about   ●● Encourage students to put their
themselves, strengths, and what they            self-portrait in a place where they’ll
think makes them unique and amazing.            often see it to reinforce the positives
                                                they see in themselves.
If they need a nudge, suggest
something like “I am cheerful,” or “I
am creative.”

Students can also partner with another
student, each student then brainstorms
their partner’s strengths.

If students are still struggling to
identify their own strengths, invite
them to draw on nature’s strengths.

●● Preempt students calling animals
   their “spirit animal.” Ex. It’s
   wonderful to identify with an
   animal’s strengths as a simile                                                               Super hero self-
   or metaphor, but we need to be                                                               portrait, photo: Oliver
   culturally sensitive and realize                                                             Simpson
   that “spirit animals” have deep

                                                National Park Service – GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021)         13
Template 1

             National Park Service – GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021)   14
Template 2

             National Park Service – GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021)   15
Station 4
Strengths Through Hardship
Resiliency Strengths                       Set-up
Strengths of Character                     Select an individual or group
                                           connected to your park site. Ex:
Objectives                                 Civilian Conservation Corps, the
Students will:                             Buffalo Soldiers. (If possible, hold this
                                           activity in a location specifically tied
●● Understand the role of strengths of     to the history being shared.)
   character in an individual’s success.
●● Learn about historical figures          Using resources from NPS webpages,
   connected to park sites and draw        print a brief historical narrative,
   inspiration from them.                  divided into short paragraphs. Include
●● Reflect on their own strengths of       supporting photos.
   character                               Except for Part 1, place the story
                                           sections in different areas around the
Materials                                  activity site. These can be well-hidden
●● Typed historical narrative,             for increased challenge.
   divided into short paragraphs and
   numbered in order                       Place a sticky note on each paragraph
                                           with a clue to where the next one is
●● Historical photos                       located.
●● Sticky notes
●● Worksheet with inquiry questions
   [see included example]
●● Typed list of character strengths

                                                                                                       Masonry work
                                                                                                       at Colorado
                                                                                                       Monument by
                                                                                                       the Civilian
                                                                                                       Corps, photo:

                                              National Park Service – GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021)        16
Activity                                    Reflection
Introduction                                ●● What were the difficulties
Engage in a brief discussion with              experienced by the person/people in
students: What can we learn from               the story?
people of the past?                         ●● What made them successful?
Explain the role of national parks in       ●● How can we use our strengths of
preserving diverse human histories,            character to be successful?
with emphasis on your park site.

As a group, students receive activity
worksheet and Part 1 of the written
historical narrative, including photo(s).
A student reads the paragraph out

The clue included with the paragraph
leads students to find the next hidden
text and photos.

Each text is read out by a different
group member to complete the story.

Once the story is completed, students

●● Review list of character strengths to
   pick out those demonstrated by the
   story subject(s).
●● Come up with their own written
   definition or symbol for each
   character strength.

The group decides which strengths
were demonstrated by the historical

Students then pick from the same list
strengths of character they identify

                                               National Park Service – GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021)   17
Strengths through Hardship
Read each part of the story to uncover the lives and work of the CCC members. Answer each question
in the box below before reading the next parts.

                                 Part 1
                                 Location found: ___________________________________
                                 Why was the CCC program important for American families?


   Part 2
   Location found____________________________
   What are some emotions you think the young men
   of the CCC may have felt when they first arrived at
   Colorado National Monument?

   Part 3                                                Part 4
   Location found ______________________                 Location found _______________________
   Describe the types of skills the CCC may have         What were some of the hazards of working
   needed to work at Colorado National                   in the CCC program?
   ____________________________________                  _________________________________
   ____________________________________                  _________________________________

   Part 5
   Location found _____________________________
   Write one question you would ask a member of the CCC.

                                             National Park Service – GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021)   18
Station 5
Geology Giant Jenga
Resiliency Strengths                       Some layers of rock are harder than
                                           others and over time erosion has
                                           worn away layers to create rock
                                           formations, canyons, sandy washes, etc.
Objectives                                 The landscape is changing and it has
Students will:                             overcome hardships— just like our lives
                                           change and we overcome hardships.
●● Learn the different layers of rock      It might look different over time, but it
   at the park and connect that to the     persists.
   layers inside themselves.
●● Identify several people who             Procedure
   support them.
                                           Players take turns removing a block
●● Give examples of ways to regulate       from the base of the tower and placing
   their thoughts, behaviors,              it on top.
   emotions, and physiology.
●● Discuss foundations of health           Continue removing blocks until the
                                                                                              Giant Jenga, photo:
   and wellness - mental, emotional,       tower topples.                                     Sara Sutton
   physical, spiritual strengths - and
   how they give us stability and

●● Giant Jenga blocks - option to write
   self-regulation techniques on the
   side of each block to use during
●● Different rock types to touch and
   feel and see (Ex. a piece of granite,
   gneiss, schist)
●● Picture showing layers of rock
   under the ground

Pre-visit suggestion
Classroom lesson “Geology and
Identity – Our Layers” (see classroom
curriculum in appendix).

Discuss the different types of rocks
and layers at the park. Some are on the
surface and some we can’t see. Rock
layers go down very deep, creating
layers of support for everything on top.
This Jenga set also depends on layers of
                                              National Park Service – GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021)          19
As the tower becomes unsteady,             ●● Option to practice “4-7-8
take a quick break to discuss how             breathing” technique to lower
life can sometimes become difficult.          blood pressure and relax. Take a
We need balance and support in                deep breath in for 4 seconds, hold
different aspects of our lives – mental,      it for 7 seconds, and breathe out for
emotional, physical, and spiritual – so       8 seconds. Do three rounds twice
we don’t topple. Have participants            a day or whenever you’re feeling
identify how they might be able to get        stressed.
that support.
                                           ●● Time allowing, reflect on four types
Play multiple rounds, if time allows.         of wellness (mental, emotional,
                                              physical, and spiritual) and
                                              brainstorm how to strengthen
Reflection                                    them. (Examples: mental – journal,
●● Layers of rocks at the park are like       listen to your favorite song;
   layers of ourselves. Some layers are       emotional – laugh/cry, cuddle with
   on the surface for anyone to see and       a pet; physical – take a walk, get
   some are deeper down. These layers         more sleep; spiritual – spend time in
   can change over time, like rock            nature, volunteer to help others)
                                           ●● Option to make reflection more
●● We might have layers that make us          active: Have each student find a
   react strongly to some situations.         Jenga block that has a tool for self-
   When we have strong feelings, we           regulation they like. Students bring
   decide how to respond to them.             their chosen blocks back to the
                                              group, and share what they chose
●● Brainstorm tools for self-regulation.      and why.
   Examples: Go outside on a walk
   to calm down, talk to a trusted
   person to unpack a situation. Listen
   to a favorite song. Deep breathing
   changes your physiology – exhaling
   decreases blood pressure and

                                                                                                      Visible layers
                                                                                                      of rock at
                                                                                                      photo: NPS

                                              National Park Service – GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021)             20
Station 6
Web of Life
This activity was adapted from             Materials
https://www.amnh.org/explore/              ●● Ball of yarn or twine
                                           ●● Pictures of 12 parts in the
                                              ecosystem with yarn attached so
                                              students can wear them around
Resiliency Strengths                          their necks: sun, human, rain,
Connection                                    bumblebee, flower, rabbit, soil,
                                              earthworm, grass, bird, tree, deer.
Objectives                                 ●● Cheat sheet with possible linkages
Students will:                                for facilitator.
●● Create a web of life illustrating how
   closely organisms in an ecosystem       Activity
   interact with one another.              Introduction
●● Understand that when something          Each player gets two pictures of an
   happens to part of the web, it has      organism in the ecosystem to wear
   an effect on the whole system.          around their neck (yarn is attached to
●● Connect the web of life activity to     each picture to form a necklace). Note:
   their community. When something         if group size is larger, each student
   happens to a member of our              should only get one organism picture.
   community, it can affect others.
●● Link resilience in an ecosystem
   to resilience in our community.
   Having support from people in our
   lives helps us be more resilient.

                                                                        Web of Life Activity,
                                                                        photo: Casey Hawley

                                              National Park Service – GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021)   21
Procedure                                   ●● Humans play a role in this web of
Stand in a circle. Have the player with        life. We also have our own webs
the sun picture start with the ball of         of relationships that support us.
yarn.                                          When something happens in our
                                               community, it can affect other
Have the player identify a picture held        people, just like in the web of
by someone else that uses the sun.             life. How could we be affected if
Toss the ball of yarn to that person and       something happened to someone in
explain how that picture interacts with        our community? (Give example:
the sun.                                       someone got sick, moved away,
The next player passes the yarn to
another student with a picture that         ●● An ecosystem is more resilient if
interacts with them (depends on or is          there is more than one organism
dependent on them). If the player gets         that it depends on for survival.
stuck, anyone in the game can make a           (Example: a bird can eat a worm
guess.                                         or a spider). People are also
                                               more resilient if we have a strong
Optional: have players get into
character when they have the ball of           community. Who can support us
yarn and act like their picture (bees can      when things are hard? Brainstorm
buzz, rabbits can hop, grass can sway in       as a group. (Teachers, friends, bus
the breeze).                                   driver etc.)

Continue until all pictures have been       ●● These connections to each other are
linked in the web.                             as important as the water we drink
                                               and the food we eat.
●● Choose one of the organisms in
   the game. Can anyone predict what
   would happen if it was removed
   from the web? Which other
   organisms would be affected?

                                                                                  Web of Life Activity,
                                                                                  photo: BLM

                                               National Park Service – GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021)   22
Web of Life
Examples of web of life linkages:
 Sun – linked to everything                Grass – deer, rabbit
 Human – linked to everything              Flower – soil, bee
 Rain – linked to everything               Deer – grass, tree
 Worm – bird, soil                         Rabbit – grass, soil
 Soil – flower, worm                       Tree – bird, soil
 Bird – worm, tree                         Bee – flower, soil

Example of cards for activity:

              Sun                                          Bird

                                    National Park Service – GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021)   23
Human                           Soil

Rain                       Grass

        National Park Service – GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021)   24
Worm                      Rabbit

Flower                            Bee

         National Park Service – GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021)   25
Tree                          Deer

       National Park Service – GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021)   26
Station 7
Adversity Maze
Resiliency Strengths                              another. This is an example grid for
                                                  a team of 9-12 people. Note how it
Mental Agility, Strengths of Character
                                                  snakes forwards and backwards to
                                                  increase complexity.
                                             ●●   Recreate the grid on the floor with
Students will:                                    PA Pathway Mats or masking tape
●● Understand how being flexible and              (squares only). Make each square
   looking at things from different               about 18” x 18” (big enough for a
   perspectives can help to overcome              person to stand in).
   adversity in any situation.               ●●   Position an elevated box or chair at
●● Learn to rely on others for                    the finishing end of the labyrinth
   assistance and direction to navigate           for the facilitator to stand on.
   through adversities of life.              ●●   This is a team building game that
●● Work together as a team to safely              challenges teams to solve a problem
   navigate the adversity maze to save            very collaboratively. The team
   a plant or animal from extinction.             needs to discover a hidden path
                                                  through a labyrinth. The labyrinth
                                                  is represented by a grid on the floor.
Materials                                         The path is a series of connected
●● PA Pathway Mats with numbered                  squares traveling from one end
   spots. https://www.flaghouse.com               of the grid to the other. When a
   page 190 in the digital catalog.               team member steps off the path,
●● Masking Tape (if you chose to not              they will need to start again. To
   purchase PA Pathway Mats)                      make this suitably challenging, the
                                                  labyrinth is solved in silence. It
                                                  requires the team to support each
Set-up                                            other to succeed. Ultimately, it will
Please find a description of the game at          create feelings of euphoric success
The Maze play14.org                               demonstrating what the team
                                                  can achieve when members work
This game can be made to be rather                together.
hard, and thus potentially very              ●●   The team will have time before
frustrating. It’s important to be                 starting to solve the labyrinth to
conscious of the team’s stress level.             collaborate and produce a strategy.
Should the team become overly
                                             ●●   When the team begins to solve
frustrated, pause the game and allow
                                                  the labyrinth, no further talking is
them additional time to rethink their
                                             ●●   The team may not use any tools or
●● You will need a large, empty space             implements to solve the maze (Ex.
   for students to play.                          no breadcrumbs).
●● Draw a grid that is 5 squares, by         ●●   While the labyrinth is being solved,
   (team’s size - 2). Ex. for a team of 9,        only one team member may enter at
   that would be a 5x7 grid.                      a time.
●● Plot a path by numbering                  ●●   When a team member steps on an
   consecutive connected squares                  incorrect square, they must return
   from one end of the grid to                    to the beginning by FOLLOWING

                                                  National Park Service – GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021)   27
THE PATH that they have                 in danger of becoming extinct, the desert
   discovered so far. Should they          bighorn sheep have made a comeback in
   go wrong, they must stop and try        parts of western Colorado.
   again to retrace their steps to the
   beginning.                              A small population was reintroduced
●● When a team member exits the            to Colorado National Monument in
   grid at the beginning (following        1979. While more than 230 sheep have
   stepping on an incorrect square)        been sighted and monitored across the
   they are not allowed to be the next     public lands of the Grand Valley, about
   person to enter grid.                   40 bighorn sheep thrive in and around
                                           Colorado National Monument (2010).
●● When a team member successfully
   completes the labyrinth, everyone       The sheep have had to navigate not
   from the team must go through one       only a hot and dry climate with little
   at a time.                              water available but also predators like
●● The game is won when EVERY              mountain lions, diseases like scabies and
   team member completes the hidden        anthrax, hunting from early explorers
   path.                                   and more recently, an increase in human
                                           activities and development within their
Introduction                               Your mission is to safely navigate the
You may choose any animal or plant         Adversity Maze to bring your entire herd
that has a history of adversity to serve   to safety. There is only one way across
as the backstory. Desert bighorn sheep     the labyrinth with its knife edge ridges
is used as an example.                     and steep rock cliffs. Use the perspective
                                           of your entire herd to your advantage.
The desert bighorn sheep (Ovis
canadensis) of the Colorado Plateau
have had to navigate a maze of
adversity throughout its existence. Once

                                                                                                      Desert Bighorn
                                                                                                      sheep, photo:
                                                                                                      Rob DeGraff

                                              National Park Service – GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021)       28
Procedure                                     successful square or one row of the
●● Position the team at the start end of      maze.
   the grid.
●● Explain the rules as described in       Reflection
   Set-up section above.                   ●● What was your strategy and how did
●● Give the team 10 minutes to discuss        you create it?
   and collaborate on a plan to solve      ●● How did it feel when you were told to
   the labyrinth.                             stop and to go back?
●● When this time is up, remind the
   team that the game will now be          ●● What was it like working in silence?
   played in silence.                      ●● How did you change your
●● Stand on a chair at the finishing end      perspective or rely on the perspectives
   of the grid, facing the grid and the       of others to lead you to success?
                                           ●● What was it like to be in the labyrinth
●● Tell the team they may begin to            and how did you fight back on
   solve it.                                  uncertainty while in that moment?
●● When a team member steps
   on a correct square, state:             ●● How supported did you feel from the
   “CONTINUE”.                                team?
●● When a team member steps on an          ●● What did it feel like to complete the
   incorrect square, state: “STOP, GO         labyrinth?
●● When a team member is going back
   and steps on an incorrect square,
   state: “STOP, GO BACK”.
●● When a team member attempts to
   enter the grid two times in a row
   state: “STOP, GO BACK”.
●● It’s possible to make mistakes
   which will prevent the team from
   progressing. This can lead to a
   situation where the team feels
   they’ve tried all available options
   and are stuck. If frustration and
   stress is high, and they believe
   they’ve exhausted all options, give
   them a hint to unblock them.
●● Please note: To make the game
   easier you may: simplify the path,
   reduce the grid size, or allow
●● Tips for success: The students
   that are not in the maze can direct
   anyone in the maze with non-verbal
   communication, the students can
   talk while developing their game
   plan before anyone steps into the
   maze, and having each student
   not in the maze keep track of one

                                              National Park Service – GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021)   29
Station 8
Adapting Optimism
Resiliency Strengths                       Set-up
Optimism                                   Create four printed scenarios with
                                           multiple choice options related to
Objectives                                 behavioral or physical adaptations in
Students will:                             park wildlife.
●● Uncover the importance of               Sample Question: Colorado National
   optimism in the face of challenging     Monument has red rock canyons and
   situations.                             a hot desert climate. In order to thrive
●● Learn about adaptations that help       in this environment, what adaptation
   park wildlife to thrive.                will you develop?
●● Practice employing optimism while         A. Elastic hooves for rock climbing
   completing a task.
                                             B. Rock-breaking taproot
                                             C. Spiky armor
●● Art supplies—clay, feathers, pipe
   cleaners, paints, Legos, pencils etc.     D. Crystal-like urine
●● Clipboards
                                           Prepare a card for each species that
●● Handheld timer                          includes the name and a photo.
●● Four printed scenarios with
   multiple choice options                 Establish four separate stations where
●● Photos of all species used as           each scenario and accompanying
   multiple choice options                 photo cards are located.

                                                                                                      Clay figurines
                                                                                                      bighorn sheep
                                                                                                      and pinyon
                                                                                                      pine, photo:
                                                                                                      Alanna Smith

                                              National Park Service – GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021)        30
Place the photo cards face-down,             Reflection
with the corresponding multiple              ●● What was your strategy and how did
choice letter written on the back.              you create it?
Supply stations with art materials.          ●● Which adaptation surprised/
Materials can vary at each station.             interested you the most?
                                             ●● What can we learn from the
Activity                                        adaptations of these plants and
Introduction                                    animals?
Have students share what optimism            ●● Is there a time where you took a
means to them.                                  tough situation and found a way to
                                                stay optimistic through it?
Optimism is one of the tools that can help
us to thrive through difficult situations.   ●● What are some ways that you
We can think of it as an adaption- much         can remind yourself to maintain
like the adaptations that plants and            optimism in tough situations moving
animals have here at the park to help           forward?
them survive.

With the facilitator as time keeper,
the group moves through four mini
stations, spending five minutes at each

At each station, the group reads out an
environmental condition that requires
an adaptation. The group will select
an adaptation from a multiple choice
list that will help them move forward,
“choose-your-own-adventure” style.
Each adaptation corresponds with a
real plant or animal living at the park.

The group flips over the card labeled
with their chosen multiple choice
letter, revealing the name and photo of
their species.

Students work quickly together to
create a sculpture, drawing, poem or
painting depicting the chosen species.

When the five minutes are up, the
group moves on to the next station,
until all are completed.

                                                National Park Service – GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021)   31
Appendix A
Example Summary of Day
Logistics                                 ●● 10:00 – 10:15: meet, intro, divided
                                             into groups A and B
The challenge course was designed
to host about 70-75 students per          ●● 10:15 – 12:15: rotate through
day. From there they can be split into       shorter stations (group B) or longer
groups A and B of about 36 students          station (group A)
each.                                     ●● 12:15 – 12:45: lunch
                                          ●● 12:45 – 2:45: rotate through shorter
Group A starts with the long station.        stations (group A) or longer station
Students can opt-in and choose either        (group B)
the rappel or the hike.
                                          ●● 2:45 – 3:00: wrap-up
Group B starts with the short stations.
They are split into groups of about       Long stations
6 (if doing 6 stations of 20 minutes
each) or 9 (if doing 4 stations of 30     1. Resiliency Rappel
minutes each). Option for students        2. Power of Presence Mindfulness
to present/teach each activity to their      Hike
peers back in the classroom so all
students experience all activities in     Short stations
some manner.
                                          1. Superhero Self-Portrait (Self
Timeline                                  2. Strengths through Hardships
The timeline for this challenge course       (Strengths of Character)
is flexible. Longer stations could be     3. Geology Giant Jenga
1-2 hours long while shorter stations        (Self-Regulation)
could be 20-30 minutes, depending on
the depth of content covered. Below       4. Web of Life (Connection)
is an example of how the day could be     5. Adversity Maze (Mental Agility)
organized.                                6. Adapting Optimism (Optimism)

                                                                                             Swag options,
                                                                                             photo: NPS

                                             National Park Service – GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021)    A-1
Reflection ideas after each
●● Stand in a circle and students
   answer popcorn style if they are
   comfortable sharing
●● Have students write their answer
   on a post-it and put it on the wall to
   be displayed
●● Students can answer with their
   body (if you liked this activity
   stomp your feet; how did you like
   this activity - thumbs, up, down, or
●● Students independently journal

The Mission: Resilience logo and 6
related logos representing each tenet
of resiliency can become stickers
earned by students at the successful
completion of each station and could
be put on journals (see Wellness Hike
activity), t-shirts, hats, or water bottles.

   Swag options,
   photo: NPS

                                               National Park Service – GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021)   A-2
Appendix B
Example      Teacher
 Teacher Ranger            Ranger
                Teacher Curriculum     Teacher Curriculum

 Topic: Friday Folder Creation
 Learning Target: Students are introduced to mental health benefits of nature
 Materials: Class set of folders, and craft supplies
 Tennis ball (or something easy to toss), magazines or pictures

  Elements              Time      Detailed Steps and Materials
  Opening and           5 min.    Opening Circle:
  Welcome and/or                  Time Bomb Name Game:
  greet one another;
  Introduce target or                 1. Have students form a standing circle, with at least an arms length
  goal; Review                           between them.
  agenda; Set tone.                   2. Students will go around the circle and say their name.
                                      3. Then, saying a student’s name, pass them a tennis ball (or a
                                         stuffed animal, or whatever you have). They have two seconds to
                                         say another student’s name and pass it to them. If they do not
                                         pass it in enough time, they must sit.
                                      4. Rules:
                                             a. You must say the name of the person you are passing to.
                                             b. No passbacks.
                                             c. You only have 2 seconds to pass the object before you are

  Reading:             20 min.    Teacher Led Discussion
  Meaningful excerpt,
  poem, song, riddle,             Have students find a partner. Tell them to brainstorm a list of activities
  etc. tied to purpose            people do outside. Then, create a class list on the board for students to
  of crew session.                refer to.

                                  Then watch the following video on the benefits of mental health in
                                  regards to nature: https://youtu.be/RV5MEP3Bgkc

                                  Then, have students add any other nature activities to the list you already
                                  created. Have them vote on which activities they think have provided
                                  them a sense of calm or activities they would want to try for bringing a
                                  sense of calm to them.

                                  Introduce what Fridays will look like for the students. Tell them that a
                                  couple of Fridays a month, they will be participating in activities that will
                                  prepare them for an opportunity to have a deeper sense of connection to
                                  nature. They will take an End of the Year field trip to the Monument.

                                  Join the virtual meeting with the NPS at 7:50 am.. Use the following
                                  Google Meet Link: Google Meet They will be introduced to Sam, the
                                  park ranger that will be in and out of your classrooms (virtually) this year

                                               National Park Service – GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021)       B-1

Teacher Ranger Teacher Curriculum Example

                                  as they prepare for the EOY field trip. Teachers will hand out folders for
                                  students to keep that they will use to store Friday materials.

 Community              15 min.   Student Activity:
 Activity/Discussi                After Sam’s introduction, have students decorate their “Friday Folders”.
 on:                              They can hand draw these, or if you have magazines available, they can
                                  create a collage. Have them stick to a natural theme, or decorate the
                                  folder with activities that bring them “calm”. The list on the board should
                                  give them inspiration. Make sure their names are on the folders and that
                                  you have a safe place to store them (lockers, classroom).

 Debrief/Reflectio                Closing Circle:
 n: Check-in on
 how the session                  If time, have students who are willing share what they decorated their
 went, including our              folders with.
 individual work,
 progress toward the
 target or goal and
 ideas for improving
 our next session.
 Next Steps:                      Finish decorating folder for homework, or during another advisory
 Teacher/student(s)               day when there is time.
 review important
 upcoming events
 and agenda items.
 Identify next steps
 for Crew (assign
 next crew leader, if
 students are taking

                                               National Park Service – GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021)   B-2
Teacher Ranger Teacher Curriculum Example

Topic: Resiliency and The Cognitive Triangle
Learning Target: Students become aware of their ability to monitor and regulate their thoughts,
feelings, and actions
Materials: Construction paper, scissors, glue

 Elements              Time      Detailed Steps and Materials
 Opening and           5         Opening Circle:
 Welcoming:                         1. Have students form a standing circle, with at least an arms length
 Welcome and/or                         between them.
 greet one another;                 2. Define resiliency: the ability to cope with whatever life
 Introduce target or                    throws at you.
 goal; Review                       3. Tell students you want them to reflect on the word for a moment
 agenda; Set tone.                      then they will have the opportunity to share what they think it
                                        means. Have an object ready for students to toss around to each
                                        other as you explore some of the following questions:
                                            a. What does it mean to be resilient?
                                            b. What are some character traits of people who are
                                            c. When is being resilient more challenging?
                                            d. Who do we know who shows resilience?

 Reading:             10-15
                                 Teacher Led Discussion:
 Meaningful excerpt,
                                    1. Tell students that we are going to watch a video that will help us
 poem, song, riddle,
                                       learn more about how our brains help us process our thoughts,
 etc. tied to purpose
                                       feelings and actions
 of crew session.
                                    2. Show https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcFmrVZ0e-I
                                    3. Open PPT on cognitive triangle use slides 2-4 to reinforce what
                                       was discussed in video.
                                    4. Tell students that we will be focusing on 2 resiliency skill areas
                                       today that have to do with self-awareness and self-regulation. Say
                                       that we will explore the other areas over time, and that all of these
                                       skills help build resiliency.
                                    5. Use a flower vs. weed analogy to frame a discussion on the power
                                       of our thoughts.
                                            a. No matter what is happening in the world around us. We
                                                have the power to choose the way we respond to
                                            b. Research shows us that if we can identify and name those
                                                negative thoughts that are triggered by uncomfortable
                                                events, then we have a better chance of regulating the
                                                feelings and actions that naturally follow those thoughts.
                                            c. The flower pot in the analogy is an event or situation. The
                                                seed is your thought in response. The stem/leaves are
                                                your feelings. The flower/fruit is your action or behavior.

                                             National Park Service – GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021)   B-3
Teacher Ranger Teacher Curriculum Example

                                 6. Review the negative thinking example about the social event (slide
                                    4).Then ask students to offer examples for an alternatively
                                    positive outcome (slide 5)
                                 7. Chart responses for whole class to see.
                                 8. Nature connection: sometimes when we get outside and into
                                    nature that can help us re-frame our thinking. There is research
                                    that shows that time spent in nature can help clear your mind and
                                    reduce anxiety.

 Community              20    Student Activity: Modified from the binder
 Activity/Discussi               1. Distribute flower cut outs
 on:                             2. Ask students to build positive thought flowers that represent a
                                    time they responded to an uncomfortable situation with resiliency.

 Debrief/Reflectio 5          Closing Circle:
 n: Check-in on
 how the session                 1. Invite students to share-out examples
 went, including our             2. Display examples or build a resiliency garden in your classroom or
 collaboration,                     in the hallway.
 individual work,
 progress toward the
 target or goal and
 ideas for improving
 our next session.
 Next Steps:                  We will revisit the idea of resiliency and how nature can help us be
 Teacher/student(s)           more resilient in the next session.
 review important
 upcoming events
 and agenda items.
 Identify next steps
 for Crew (assign
 next crew leader, if
 students are taking

                                            National Park Service – GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021)   B-4
Teacher Ranger Teacher Curriculum Example

Topic: Resiliency Continued: Your Brain on Nature
Learning Target: Students consider ways that they can leverage the healing power of nature to
improve their outlook.
Materials: Chromebooks if you choose for students to explore parks individually

 Elements              Time      Detailed Steps and Materials
 Opening and           5-10      Opening Circle:
 Welcoming:                         1. Have students form a circle, with at least an arms length between
 Welcome and/or                         them.
 greet one another;                 2. Revisit resilience definition and clarify: the ability to cope with
 Introduce target or                    whatever life throws at you.
 goal; Review                       3. Facilitate opener. It’s recommended that a peer advisor lead
 agenda; Set tone.                      the following opener.
                                            a. Can someone volunteer to share an example of resilience
                                                they witnessed over the last few weeks?
                                            b. Follow-up questions for facilitator
                                                    i.  What did it look like?
                                                   ii.  Who showed resilience?
                                                  iii.  What lessons can we learn from noticing when
                                                        people persist through difficulty?

 Reading:             10-15
                                 Teacher Led Discussion:
 Meaningful excerpt,
                                    1. Ask students to think about the cognitive triangle activity and
 poem, song, riddle,
                                       pose this questions:
 etc. tied to purpose
                                           a. Are there certain activities we can do or places we can go
 of crew session.
                                               to that might help us to shift our perspective from a
                                               negative place to a positive place?
                                    2. Generate lists to capture brainstorm
                                    3. Sometimes when we get outside and into nature that can help us
                                       reframe our thinking. Explain what you mean by reframe: the
                                       perspective shift helps you see your problem differently. There is
                                       research that shows that time spent in nature can help clear your
                                       mind by improving cognitive function. It’s easier to feel present in
                                       the moment and not attached to distractions like our screens or
                                       issues are causing negative thinking.
                                    4. While you are watching this video consider how spending time in
                                       natural places might help us reframe negative thinking?
                                    5. How can nature help us be more resilient?

 Community             10        Student Activity: Modified from the binder
 Activity/Discussi                   1. Distribute chromebooks or lead a whole class exploration of a
 on:                                    national park site at this website.

                                             National Park Service – GOAL Academy (Beta Version/May 2021)    B-5
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