Leadership Studio Programs

Specialist High Schools Majors Certifications (SHSM): To meet the growing need for certifications for students in the SHSM, we also offer customized certification programs:

  • Communication
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Risk Management
  • Customer Service
  • Group Dynamics
  • Health and Safety
  • Leadership
  • Sports Leadership
  • Ethical Considerations
  • Group Dynamics

Identity and Community: We also offer interactive experiences about Identity and Community with curriculum links to the new Social Studies program. Educators, please contact us for details.

Astronomy Experience: Have you seen the stars in Muskoka? What leadership lessons can be learned from supernovas, shooting stars and constellations? You'd be surprised. A delightful way to end a day in the Studio, this powerful experience concludes with a giant outdoor campfire, hot chocolate and smores.

Breadmaking Challenge: Our culture has almost lost the art of hand-kneaded, wood-oven-baked bread making. We have set out to change that. In fact, we have developed an experience that will teach a simple, yet profound, change-making process while baking and eating fresh bread.

Bridge Challenge: In this hands-on Leadership Studio foundational activity, we not only build a bridge, we also discover the skills necessary to be bridge-building leaders.

Coaching 101: Coaching is different than mentoring, and it is proven to be one of the most important tools a leader must have in their tool kit. This one-day session covers the basics of how to set up a coaching relationship that will yield personal and professionals benefits to leaders of all ages.

Coffee Tasting Challenge: The ability to “truly notice” is a key leadership capacity. This could involve noticing a colleague's lack of participation, an untapped opportunity or a social justice issue that could be addressed in this generation. Coffee lovers and haters alike will develop a new appreciation for the nuanced differences of history, aroma and flavour in the simple coffee bean and its glorious end product - a freshly roasted, perfectly ground and lovingly French Pressed cup of java.

Core Strengths/Inner Critic: We all have an inner critic. It’s that little voice that tells us what we cannot do and mocks us when we seek to step up or out. We also have a powerful ally against this insidious inner critic: core strengths. We can learn to use these strengths to tell the critic to stand down. This transformative experience involves simple art projects and powerful conversation.

Darts: A fun tournament experience that explores key components of goal setting and, more importantly, hitting targets!

Demokratia: Democracy is something we sometimes take for granted and often misunderstand. Explore the roots, challenges and possibilities ofgroup decision making in this highly engaging activity.

Dogsled Challenge: This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fly across frozen terrain behind a yelping team of sled dogs. With a huge emphasis on mental agility and physical stamina, the experience builds confidence and communication skills. Participants will learn to manage a team by earning trust and communicating wisely. Along the way, they'll discover personal strengths they never knew they had.

Doorways and Obstacles: Patterned after the old-fashioned Snakes and Ladders game, this experience is designed to help students discuss the factors and forces that help them be successful and the ones that might pull them down if left unchecked.

Drum Circle Challenge: This fun and creative experience demonstrates that there are stages a team must progress through before they are ready to perform consistently and brilliantly.

Fire Rescue Challenge: The chaos of complete darkness, flashes of orange flame against the walls, dense smoke, loud noise and only seconds to find the occupants trapped in one of the rooms. Split-second decisions are the norm, but not just any decision; the right decision can mean the difference between life and death. In this fast-paced experience, your team will enter a simulated burning building wearing Turnout Suits, dragging hoses, and trying to remain in radio contact with your chief. Your task? Rescue the occupants and extinguish the fire, all while preserving your own lives.

Gender and Generations: This is a lecture and discussion workshop on the differences and synergies of gender and generational diversity and inclusion.

Group of 7 Art Challenge: Tom Thompson and the Group of 7 were influenced, but not inhibited, by the art world of their day. Daring to believe there was something distinctive about Canada and themselves as Canadian artists, they started a movement that would become iconic. Set in a reproduction Group of 7 art camp overlooking Lake Rosseau, this spectacular adventure combines the ability to truly "see" and reproduce while reflecting on the power of influence and persistence.

Hansa: The Hanseatic League was an economic alliance of trading cities and their merchant guilds that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe. As the leaders of your cities, you must keep the promises you made to your electorate and help your fellow politicians keep theirs, recognizing there may be alliances and scandal along the way! Communicating well, a global focus and a trusting environment are the keys to Rise of the Hansa.

High Ropes Challenge: This trust and confidence-building exercise enables people to face their fears and choose their own level of personal and team challenge. Whether on the giant swing, team or challenge course, the insights gained from this experience will be easily transferrable to facing new fears, taking on new challenges, and pushing yourself and team beyond what they thought possible.

Learner – Judger Trail: The questions leaders ask others and themselves determine the path they go down and, often, the destination they arrive at. Learn the difference between “learner” and “judger” questions and the power of mobilizing people to stay in “learner”. Based on the ground-breaking work of Marillee Adams, PhD, this insight and the questions you take home with you will forever change the way you think.

Low Ropes Challenge: This team-building experience brilliantly accentuates the unique strengths of your team members, while clearly demonstrating that success is only possible through genuine collaboration and trust. The experience and learnings are both more challenging that they look.

Marble Star: This Eagles Flight Inc. simulation reminds us that one of the most challenging parts of leadership is knowing how to balance results and relationships, talent and trust, tasks and people. This experience gives the opportunity to practice this balance. The insights are often transformational.

Mime Challenge: 70% of the work of a leader is communication. We all spend vast amount of time talking and listening, but very few people are good at it. Forced to communicate without words, leaders must focus their energy on finding fresh ways to engage and interact. Learn the power of a single core idea and the secrets of a successful interaction.

Mirror, Mirror: Is it what is on the inside or the outside that counts? Before you answer too quickly, consider your own life experience and the norms our media and organizations promote.

Mole: This fast-paced and challenging experience forces team members to communicate and cooperate in a way that few short exercises can. Can we move the mole through 'his' tunnels from one port to another, thus ensuring the transfer of information needed to break the spy ring? Only those skilled at communication and execution, who don’t crash under pressure, can.

'More Than One Way to Ring the Bell': Life and leadership rarely proceed on an orderly trajectory. This rock-wall climbing exercise quickly and powerfully demonstrates that sometimes leaders have to go sideways or even backwards to achieve our mission: getting to the top of the wall and ringing the bell.

NascarPitcrew Challenge: NASCAR racing has emerged as a leading example of “team-based” execution. Today’s crews demonstrate highly-planned activity during each and every pit stop. While assuming the roles of a typical NASCAR pit crew, participants will get plenty of opportunities to hone the skills crucial to team execution.

Nova Valley: In this Eagles Flight Inc. fun team-building experience, you create the village of your dreams and discover the values, needs, pathways and silos of your team or organization along the way.

Paintball: Moving in silent squad formation requires new levels of team awareness, communication and discipline. And, let’s be honest, paintball is just a fun way to think about teamwork, strategy and communication!

Pauline Johnson Poetry and Paddling Experience: Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake - which means 'double- life' in Mohawk) is a Canadian icon. Her First Nations chief father and English mother built a home with two front doors, so European visitors, coming by carriage, could come in one and Native visitors, coming by canoe, the other. Their house became a bridge between two worlds. When Pauline's father died and they had to leave this family home, Pauline decided to become the bridge, herself. As a poet, writer, speaker and activist, she truly was a woman before her time. Pauline used to camp just around the corner from the Studio, writing poetry on the river now renamed "Shadow River" after the poem she wrote while canoeing. Through simple paddle making and poetry exercises, leaders will explore many of the lessons from her life, including a call to build bridges.Please note: this can be done as a half-day experience at any time of year without the paddle making, or as a two-day spring, summer or fall experience that includes making paddles.

Penny University Experience: Early coffee houses in the UK were called Penny Universities. Patrons purchasing a cup for a penny were exposed to lively debate and fascinating new perspectives from the broke intellectuals who frequented the shops. Many sociologists and historians argue that every important political, social, philosophical or art movement from the 17th century developed in a coffee house. Learn how leaders can re-create this kind of culture in their own school, department or organization.

Pirate Adventure Challenge: What child, after hearing stories of Jean Lafitte, Mary Read & Black Beard, has not secretly wished to be a pirate? Here’s your chance to battle it out with other ships to maximize your company’s profits and be the ship that carries the most gold within your month of sailing the crystal blue Caribbean waters. There are many obstacles in life and work that seek to re-arrange our best laid plans. In this experience, you are given a closed time frame to maximize results while achieving accountabilities.

Polarity Management: A discussion-based exploration of the power of identifying and managing polarities.

Polonius Challenge: Shakespeare is recognized universally as a true genius. Whether your memories of studying the Bard are pleasant or terrifying, we daily hear quotes of his texts. In this experience, we focus on Polonius, father of Laertes and Ophelia, advisor to the court of Denmark. The play, of course, is Hamlet. “To thine own self be true.” These words are as laden with meaning today as when first penned. How can you be true to yourself if you don’t know who you are? Using the DISC Personality Profile, you will get to know yourself, and others, a little better. Then, your team will have a crack at rewriting and presenting a scene from Hamlet. The purpose is to correct the family dysfunction and keep poor Ophelia alive! No previous acting experience required.

Pyramid: This activity brings “pulling strings” to a whole new level. It sounds simple enough: pick up a bottle and move it to the edge without knocking it over. Four corners, eight strings.  Sometimes pulling, sometimes easing off. Is your team up to the challenge of the Pyramid? Conflict resolution can quickly become a main teaching point.

Raft Building: A team-building challenge that gets everyone out on the water and dependent on each other to get back to shore (available June – October only).

Sailing Experiences (3 levels available - Learn to Sail, Racing and Navigation): Techniques for maximizing a sailboat's performance are remarkably similar to maximizing a company's performance. Know your options, stay focused and execute well. Changes in the marketplace compare to wind shifts on the water. The ability to change tactics quickly allows you to capitalize on new opportunities. Successful execution requires the whole team to work closely together. Rapidly changing conditions require quick thinking and problem solving.

Innovation a la Seuss:Dr Seuss, master storyteller, model of innovation, beloved by generations, started with a challenge from a friend. In 1954, Life magazine published an article on illiteracy among schoolchildren, reporting that children were not learning to read because their books were boring. Geisel (later known as Dr. Seuss) took up the challenge. The result? The Cat in the Hat. Dr. Seuss used clever combinations of words and fanciful illustrations to create a playful story. In this experience, you will peek into the fanciful world of Dr. Seuss, using it as a springboard to our own communication, creativity and innovation.

Shackleton Experience: Ernest Shackleton is considered one of the greatest leaders of all time that never achieved one of his goals. When his ship got stuck in packed ice on the way to the South Pole, he had to revert to Plan B, then C, then D. This outdoor winter experience focuses leaders’ thinking on resilience, flexibility and contingency planning with strategies and principles that will be instantly transferrable to other contexts. Please note: this can also be done as a full-day to two-day winter exercise.

Sherlock Holmes Challenge: "Elementary, my dear Watson"... well, it is elementary when you know what to look for. In a world overrun with information, how do leaders know what to focus on? Even more challenging, how do leaders protect themselves from locking into one line of thinking that will preclude them from seeing other, potentially more important, pieces of the puzzle?

Celebrity Stockticker: In this fast-paced game of buying and selling celebrity stocks, participants discover how to read trends and take calculated risks.

Storytelling and S’mores: Nothing says camp like sitting around the campfire telling stories and eating s’mores. This deceptively simple experience has lessons for us all: overcoming a fear of speaking in front of others, mastering the components of an effective story, or discovering the organizational stories that will unite and motivate your team.

Strategic Planning Path: One of a team’s greatest challenges is finding fresh perspective. In this ‘thinking as we walk’ experience, we will examine your world from four different angles, as we discover there are more ways to think than we think.

Tea Tasting/Fahrenheit 212: How often have great plans stalled because of faulty execution? Sipping tea isn't just for old ladies. In this experience, leaders learn that just like black tea made with anything less than boiling water is inferior, executing at 211 or less just doesn't cut it either.

Trade Off: A social-justice-focused simulation in which participants trade items in what becomes a glaringly unfair market.

Trebuchet: A teambuilding activity that requires getting all the right pieces in all the right places and constant ‘tweaking’ to ensure you hit your target.

Winter Experience: Does it get any better than fresh snow and a pair of snowshoes? What if we were lost, had to build our own shelter and start a fire without matches? Resiliency, sharing knowledge and conflict resolution strategies suddenly take on a whole new meaning.

Voyageur: This is a  local history and team-building exercise using war canoes on the water (available June – October only).

Yikes: Race against the clock to solve the problems, find the keys to the locks, piece the puzzles and crack the code. Super challenging, super fun!

 

 

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