Challenge Applications started training people in 1994. I was teaching PE at Visitation Catholic School in South Tacoma, WA, and enrolled in graduate school at The Evergreen State College. My passion for experiential learning was coming together. I studied at Evergreen at night and applied my learning during the day in the various classes I taught.
There was no softball, football and basketball in my PE classes. Instead I wanted to infuse authentic teambuilding. So the students were introduced to intitiatives and portable challenges in the gym. The middle school students went to Spire Rock to learn rock climbing, the pool at the local YMCA to experience "waterborne teambuilding" and our peak experience took us to the challenge course at SWELL on the Olympic Peninsula.
I took what I learned from my experience as a battalion training officer in the US Army and used it to teach parent volunteers how they could support our progressive PE program. I realized I needed to start an adult training program. A good friend asked, what do you call your business? Mmm...Challenge Applications was born. I began training others in these methods - youth ministers, dynamic pastors from surrounding churches; I even found myself in front of 30 faculty from Pierce College. Wow! These were exciting times.
Our early days focused on training people to use portables challenges and small group initiatives in various settings.
As I worked with diverse groups, I studied some of the best authors writing about organizational development: Jim Collins, Stephen Covey and Patrick Lencioni. I began facilitating professional teambuilding, leadership and strategic planning experiences. When I lived in the Pacific Northwest, my time leading programs for Boeing remain my most coveted corporate adventures.
I was fortunate that Evergreen gave me a wide berth when it came to my student teaching. I chose Northwest Trek Wildlife Park as one of my field experiences. It was there that Ron Rahovit, the park's education curator, introduced me to "environmental interpretation." This insight into non-formal education took my small group facilitation to another level.
I have personally trained with seven ACCT PVMs over the years.
We train clients across industries: schools, universities, businesses, churches, camps, military, social services, partnerships, etc.
- Virginia Beach Schools / The Adventure Park, Kema Geroux
- George Mason University, Susan Johnson and David Heath
- Pecometh Camp & Retreat, Jack Shitama and Megan Gibb
- Talbot County Social Services, April Sharp
- St. John the Beloved, Greg Boulden
- Spring Heights, Amy Mullins
- Pierce College, Linda Saarela