" How can I support you?" The power of group camping

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I sat there for thirty minutes trying to tie a hitch knot on my tent during a 10 day backpacking trip in Washington. This was an arduous trip with heavy loads on our backs. Long days could sometimes lend themselves to individual frustrations in the campsite.  For some reason, I could not grasp the knot. I tried and failed. I got frustrated and one of our instructors on our trip could tell. I was embarrassed that I was getting to worked up about a tiny knot. 

She came and sat down next to me, calmly and helped me walk through the steps of tying this knot. She was patient, humorous and completely understanding of the frustration I was feeling. She sat with me for twenty minutes patiently. But it was one key question she asked me that shifted everything. 

" How can I support you for your individual needs?"

This question helped me reflect and articulate exactly how she could help me. I disclosed to her that really small details with many steps have always been hard for me. After hearing that she approached the situation in such a way that completely allowed me to master that hitch knot. 

What Audra was exhibiting is the foundation of any good camping or backpacking trip. It means taking the time to ask another how they need help. It means taking an extra load of food on the trail because your friend's back hurts. It means waking up a little earlier to make sure the group camp site is clean. It means being kind and compassionate even on the hardest of hiking days. 

In work settings, home settings and any group setting for that matter we often stay silent about our needs because we believe they would be a burden to anyone else. We make up stories about how others will react by asking for help. However in the outdoors, you must rely on each other as a team. Tasks will not get done well or efficiently without communication and being open about needs. 

In those traditional settings we also often too quickly give people the advice we think will help them. It comes from a good place but maybe giving advice too quickly isn't what they need. What if instead you took a minute to stop to your co-worker, employee or partner and asked them how you could help them in the best ways for their needs. 

Imagine how your work or home life could change if you openly communicated your needs without fear of chastising. What would happen if your team new exactly how you could be supported and how you could support them in turn?It's easy to fall back on the idea that the world rests on our shoulders only. But in reality we evolved to function in groups, teams and communities where tasks were delegated on strengths and unique gifts that everyone brings to the table. 

Help your business or non-profit team with camping behavior on one of our retreats. Contact us with your team needs. 

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Cristina SchoolerComment