USAFA Adventure Based Learning Summer Session 1

For those of you who have been patiently (or not) waiting for photos from the first summer period of the field training programs, here they are!  Unlike the airmanship programs, which we have been covering for the last five years, this is this year’s version of “camping in the wilderness” has two components.  The EST focus is combat/survival related.  It is run by the Cadet Wing Training division.  The other part is team building and problem solving in a small group setting.  It is run by the Center for Character and Leadership Development.  Both teach leadership, but focus on different skill sets.  

We know the delay in posting of photos from this training evolution has been frustrating.  Please understand that because this is the military, anything that is new requires an approval process for what we can show and what we can’t.  As the academy sorts the kinks out of this new program, the approval time lag will disappear.  

For this first summer period, we have also decided to focus only on ABL.  There are two reasons for this.  The first and most practical reason is access.  ABL gives us the opportunity to capture photos of the most cadets in action.  EST does not.  Much of their time in EST is spent either doing things we cannot photograph, or doing them in locations we can’t get to.  Remember the E in EST stands for “Evasion”.   Taking pictures of people who are evading kind of defeats the purpose. 

ABL on the other hand is target rich for photos, and so that’s where we will be.  

So, let me tell you a bit about Adventure Based Learning.   The Class of 2022, led by approximately 300 1st & 2nd class cadets will take the training during the 3 summer periods.  The first period is just ending.  The training lasts 5 days and takes place in the Cadet Area (Academics); Ropes Course; and across USAFA Reservation (28hr Race).   The goal is to offer Cadets a challenging developmental experience that Involves Choice, Stress, Failure, Uncertainty and Risk vs. Reward.  

Here’s the Overview: 5 Days of ABL

  • 5x Days of Academics (Focus is on Interpersonal Leadership, Warrior Ethos, Teambuilding Skills)
  • 1x Day of Ropes Course (Lot of Pictures Here)
  • 2x Days of 28hr Team Challenge (Basically a cross-country adventure race, solving problems on the way)
  • 5 Day to Debrief / Reflect on ABL Experience

With the exception of the academics (not fun for pictures), we have lots of pictures to show you.  We will also have more to tell you in the blog during the 2nd and 3rd summer periods.  There are 3 sessions during each period and we will be there to cover all of them.   So, there you go.






Enjoy the photos from the 1st period. They have been uploaded in chronological order by groups.(3-1 if viewing from newest to oldest) Go to Galleries > Summer Programs > ABL/EST or click the link below.