Sojourn Manual

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Pre-event talk (High Five - then SMILE!)

As each Sojourn program begins we will always gather the group together to talk through basic details for the day. After welcoming the group, there are 5 key points that should always be included in this pre-event talk include:

1. ‘Sojourn’ overview

2. What to Expect Today

3. Challenge by Choice

4. Spiritual Intro

5. Logistics (restrooms, water, phones,…)

then…. SMILE – Take a Group Photo


After Enthusiastically welcoming the group, you’ll jump into these 5 points…

1. ‘Sojourn’ overview –

“Does anyone know what the word ‘Sojourn’ means?... It actually comes from the root word ‘Journey’. A journey is simply when you are traveling from one place to another. A Sojourn is ‘a short stay in a place while on a longer journey’. You can think of it as a layover in an airport for example. Your group is on a journey to _____ (through your season, with your co-workers, as a d-group, etc…) and today is going to be a Sojourn from that journey. You will be spending a short time with us here today, very likely doing some different things that are not part of your normal routine. It’s our desire that you gain some new insights today about yourself and/or your group to enter back into your larger journey with new perspective.”

2. What to Expect Today –

“How many of you have been on a ropes course before?....  With most groups there are some people with experience and others with no experience at all, so wherever you are on that spectrum, don’t worry! On the rope course there are low activities and high activities. Just like they sound, low activities take place on or near the ground and will give your group an opportunity to work through some challenges together. High activities, just like they sound, typically take place up off the ground and will give you an opportunity to challenge yourself and perhaps overcome some individual fears. - Throughout the entire experience we will be stopping from time to time to process what you are thinking, what you are feeling, and how some of these things might apply to life outside the ropes course.”

3. Challenge by Choice -

“I mentioned that you would each have an opportunity to participate in high activities.  I said that intentionally because here at Sojourn we operate under a philosophy that we call ‘Challenge by Choice’. This means that we DO want for you to challenge yourself today, but it’s going to be up to you to choose the level of challenge that is appropriate for you. At any point today you have the opportunity to opt out of any of our activities if you feel the need emotionally OR physically. Our staff are not going to make you do anything you don’t want to do and we ask that you all enter that agreement with us to not force anyone else to do something that they don’t want to do. Sound good?

You should also be aware that today is going to involve Adventure and, by definition, Adventure is not always safe. Be aware that if you have any Cardiac, Respiratory, or other physical limitations, then you should really consider what is wise for you to do today. Please let myself or your facilitator know if there are any medical issues that we should be aware of prior to your involvement and then just make good choices for yourself today.”

4. Spiritual Intro –

(Non-Christian group example)…

“I expect that you are all aware that you are on church property right now and I wanted to acknowledge that for a couple of reasons. First, because we often get questions about the church during programs so we always like to bring this up from the start.  Most people agree that there is a Spiritual component to our lives.  We all recognize the physical and emotional and social aspects of our life, but it’s easy to suppress the “Spiritual” and just suppress questions like ‘Why am I here?’ and ‘What is life really all about?’. Our goal today is not to answer these questions, but simply to make you aware that we firmly believe that there ARE answers to them. I know this is a place where they’ve been answered for me.  If you are searching yourself, this is a safe place for that - whether that be today or at some point in the future.  We’ve got resources available at our kiosks and our staff would consider it a joy to talk through any of that. 

The second reason I bring this up is because we recognize that this is not a Christian program today. If you are nervous about being on a Christian church property then I want to set your mind at ease and let you know that unless you bring it up, this will be the last spiritual conversation we have all day.”

5. Logistics for the day –

Finally.... Restroom locations, Lunch details (if applicable), Where do I put my stuff (cell phones, keys, etc…)? 

-- then SMILE

Lastly, we want to do a great job of documenting your experience today, so we’re going to take some photos throughout.  We’re going to start with a GROUP PHOTO in just a moment.  As we get into your experience, I’m going to be capturing some photos of your low ropes activities. I’m going to ask you all to keep your phones/cameras put away so you can focus on one another during that time.  Once we reach our high ropes activities, I’m going to focus exclusively on your safety and therefore leave any photo-taking to you, so please DO feel free to capture some photos of one another.  After our event, you can check the Sojourn Adventures facebook page to remember the experience.