GENERAL INFORMATIONWhat kinds of things will we be doing?
Your team (s) of 8 to 15 participants will be guided through a series of multi-faceted challenges that engage the mind and the body for both the individual and the team. Each challenge typically takes 45 to 60 minutes, which includes a debrief after each activity. Activities range from warm-up ice breakers using portable initiatives, low constructed challenge course activities and in many cases may include a high element.
The EDGE corporate programs can range from being half-day to multiple days in length depending on the level of programming you choose. University, school and community programs generally last 4 – 6 hours.
A typical day begins with an orientation led by the facilitator working with your team. Orientation is followed by ice-breaker activities. As the day progresses, the challenge level of each activity increases. Lunch is in the middle of the day. Each activity is followed with a debrief.
The EDGE leads teams through a Team Development Course composed of numerous activities. Facilitators choose the most appropriate ones for each group. Only two of those constructed activities are considered “high ropes.” You will be advised in advance if your program will include a “high” EDGE experience.
The EDGE offers basic programming for teams who want to build relationships and have fun. Unlike recreational activities, The EDGE programs allow teams to become aware of their group dynamics thereby strengthening relationships between members.
The EDGE works with teams who face many different types of challenges. We offer the program that best addresses specific issues identified by each client. We are able to work with clients whose programs need to address special challenges.
While scheduling your program, your EDGE contact will work with you to determine the best activities for your group. We have sufficient activities for groups who want a physical challenge.
RESULTSWhat will my group get out of the day?
Results vary depending on the program you choose for your group. We will work with you to ensure that the results you hope to achieve are addressed through focused activities.
According to recent adult learning studies, participants who actively experience a concept will remember 80 percent of what they are learning. Adults remember 20 percent of what they hear, such as lecture-type training. They remember 50 percent of what they see, such as training that takes place in workshops and through reading.
Regardless of the program you choose, your group will benefit from awareness and a common language for discussing differences that lasts long after the program is over. Depending on the issues addressed prior to the program, your group will work on specific challenges and learn new skills and techniques for overcoming the challenges. We do guarantee that you will have fun no matter which program you choose!
The challenges at The EDGE offer educators a way to reinforce classroom learning through the use of an outdoor learning laboratory.
THE STAFFWhat qualifications does The EDGE have to work with groups like mine?
The EDGE is recognized as an experience-based Training and Development organization active in BOTH the experiential learning and challenge course communities. The EDGE is a member of the American Society for Training and Development. In addition, The EDGE is a participating member of the Association for Experiential Education, Association for Psychological Type and Association for Challenge Course Technology.
Corporate teams of 8 to 15 participants work with an organizational learning consultant. All of these facilitators have been trained to work with corporate, government, and non-profit groups and choose activities appropriate for the group. Facilitators for other client areas
The EDGE has chosen a core-group of organizational learning consultants who have a diverse collective background. They have real-world experience working in and with organizations of various sizes, from a wide array of industries, and with regional, national, and international focuses. Among the facilitators are those who have had formal training in facilitation, training, and education and have advanced degrees in organizational development and human resources.
CONSIDERATIONS FOR YOUR GROUPHow many people can be in my group?
Teams within your group will be made up of 8 to 15 people. The number of people we can accommodate from your organization, school or university varies according to your programming preferences.
Programs at The EDGE are not age specific. A team with different-aged people can create a rich experience.
Absolutely. We ask that you inform us of any special needs as early in the planning process as possible.
THE BASICSWhat should we wear?
For most activities at The EDGE, participants should wear loose fitting, casual clothing that they don’t mind getting dirty. It is a good idea to bring at least one more layer of clothing than you expect to need. We recommend pants or shorts, a casual shirt, and sneakers. Please do not wear open-toed or open-heeled shoes, large earrings, or long necklaces.
Safety is very important in everything we do. Closed-toe and closed-heeled shoes prevent a host of foot injuries and provide participants with the foot stability they will need for most activities.
We recommend you bring a rain coat or poncho, a hat if the weather is cold or wet, and a change of clothes. * We strongly recommend that you bring a water bottle.* In warmer weather, a hat for sun shade, sunscreen and insect repellent is advised.
Getting dirty is not guaranteed, but the possibility does exist. Through the course of the program, groups may be sitting on and touching things on the ground, sitting on and around logs, and after rain, walking through wet grass and paths.
We walk from activity to activity. Most terrain is flat but there is a gentle hill, a main trail and an open field. We make every effort to set a walking pace that works for everyone in the group.
Start times vary and are determined largely by the groups’ needs with some consideration for other programs at The EDGE. Most of our full-day programs begin between 8 and 10 a.m. Half-day programs generally begin in the morning or right after lunch.
The EDGE contracts with a caterer to provide lunches, breakfasts, and even snacks. The lunch menu ranges from box lunches to a variety of hot lunches. Similarly, continental and full breakfasts are available. The EDGE provides menus from which you can choose.
Coffee in the morning is a catering option you can choose to include. Whether or not you choose to provide coffee through our caterer, we recommend that you let your participants know before they arrive whether they will or will not be provided with coffee.
We strongly encourage participants to bring their own water in a container that each participant can carry with them on the course. Participants will have the opportunity to fill their water bottles during designated breaks and at water stations located within the course.
Because we have a wide array of activities, we can easily take activities indoors when the weather is too extreme to be outdoors. With light rain or snow, the group decides whether or not they’d like to be outside. In the event of lighting, we head indoors immediately for safety reasons. During the winter we follow MASON’s weather closure policy.
During the hot summer months, we encourage participants to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, and we work to keep groups out of the sun. Additionally, our facilitators work with groups to determine how often they’d like to take breaks.
Whether or not a person is comfortable outdoors, our programs focus on the people in the group and your goals for the day. We like to tell our participants that The EDGE programs are not Survivor—no one gets voted off. Nor are they Fear Factor. We believe in Challenge by Choice.
What is Challenge by Choice?
The EDGE simulates the real world environment by including all people in our activities in mixed groups. We try to model and teach about an emotionally and physically safe environment by making it very clear that each individual has the choice to choose how they fit into any activity and that they are in charge of themselves. We do not encourage people to sit completely out but instead find a way to challenge themselves by taking on a role that is beneficial to the group.
Safety is the most important factor in everything we do. We will do everything we can to prevent accidents and injuries. If someone does get injured, our facilitators are trained in first aid and CPR. We are prepared for handling injuries and illnesses. We ask all participants to fill out medical information before we begin the program to give us information on previous injuries and existing conditions. Additionally, we encourage participants to know their limits.
The EDGE is located within a 10 acre wooded piece of property, part of George Mason University’s Prince William Campus. This property was once part of large farm. Most wildlife is shy of humans and stay as far away as possible. We see deer, fox, wild turkey and numerous types of birds.
OTHER QUESTIONSThere are other challenge courses in the area. Why should I choose The EDGE?
The EDGE distinguishes itself by having the ideal mix of a cutting-edge outdoor challenge course with staff and facilitators who have expertise in group dynamics and organizational change. This rare mix for an outdoor education center enables us be the best at working with organizations like yours.
A corporate EDGE facilitator is assigned to work with your program coordinator to help prepare your team for your program and then to follow up after your visit. Recommended resource lists are available to all client groups.