Lessons learned from week with teenagers

In the rocks

I've spent a week with students in France. There were 6 teachers taking care of them and I worked from the same location (using my faithful BlackBerry as a 3G Modem). There were 45 students or so, aged 17-19. There were a number of rules that helped to keep the whole thing in order. These rules can be applied quite verbatim to any large group that you have to harness for a workshop. Namely:
  1. Keep them busy

    Le Rieu Sec

  2. No alcohol allowed, no smoking allowed
  3. Fallback plans is a must have
  4. Do not allow for distractions
  5. Let them loose at times so that they will ask for permission and avoid big problems
  6. Provide various activities around a central subject matter
  7. Keep a close match with the timing
  8. Push them to achieve
  9. Recognize that not everyone is fit for a given activity, provide options and split groups
  10. Put fun in the process
  11. Tire them physically (walks, hiking, ...)
All in all, this was a great experience. These kids were a smart bunch and I enjoyed it very much.