Setting the tone and creating expectations is a key element in outdoor education programs. Different programs use various methods to achieve this goal. I like using the Full Value Contract concept or a slight modification of it. According to Schoel, Prouty and Radcliffe (1988) the Full value contract has three main components. The components are:
• Agreement to work together as a group and to work towards individuals and group goals
• Agreement to adhere to certain safety and group behavioral guidelines
• Agreement to give and receive feedback, both positive and negative, and to work toward changing behavior when it is appropriate (p.95).
I will ask participants to write down the behaviors that they want in their community/group and how they are going to help each other out in maintaining those behaviors agreed upon. Then, I’ll ask them to sign the paper if they have agreed and committed to those norms/behaviors.
Do you use expectations setting/agreements/FVC in your programs? What kind?