Just last week, Thurmont Middle School came up with all forty members of their Peer Ambassador Program. This program is designed to pick students who aspire to be leaders in their grade and in their school. The entirety of their school day was spent at ThorpeWood – half the time at the lodge doing team building, communication and leadership activities and half of the day at the farm doing Equine Assisted Learning.
Though middle school aged kids often seem a bit young to grasp the deeper teachings of Equine Assisted Learning, this elite group of students clearly showed their aptitude for seeing the underlying lessons about communication and teamwork. In our end-of-session discussion, one seventh grade girl had some insight into how her behavior affects others as she observed how her hyper silliness was off-putting to our horse Glampi. She made the connection that her fellow students often reacted in similar ways when she was being too much for them to handle. She noted that to communicate better with those around her, toning down her energy helps.
After hearing more great insights like that one, the day wrapped up as the kids boarded their bus back to school. The teachers in charge of the group promised to keep the conversation going on the bus – making sure to drive home the lessons on communication and leadership learned during the day.