The Airborne Challenge is a rigorous 48 hour experience designed to draw a clear distinction between productive and non-productive thinking patterns, between effective and ineffective problem-solving strategies, between constructive and destructive attitudes, between relationships that enhance growth and relationships that impede growth, and between persevering effort and the “try once and quit” approach.
The activities the Airborne Challenge incorporates includes initiative / high ropes activities, drill and ceremony, physical training, case studies / ‘real life” scenarios, community service, knot tying, and internalizing specially selected content designed to compare and contrast with their current thinking and their view of the world. Teens also attend large group sessions facilitated by an Airborne senior staff member.
Senior counselors have primary responsibility for a team of 8 – 10 teens. The senior counselor is aided by an assistant counselor. Overall, the teen to staff ratio is approximately 4 to 1. Figure 1 shows a typical weekend schedule for the Airborne Challenge. The Airborne Challenge is purposeful and fast paced.