ERIC Number: ED207744
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Oct
Reference Count: 0
The Recognition and Management of Burn-Out.
Staff burnout is a major hazard in outdoor wilderness education programs. Most susceptible are younger, first-time, idealistic, highly educated, overcommitted individuals who find difficulty in separating work from their private lives. Symptoms of burnout include decreasing concern, commitment, and enthusiasm; minimizing physical involvement with children through absenteeism, socializing with staff, or seeking managerial promotions; breaking down of the team concept among staff; exhibiting depressed behavior; deteriorating physical health; developing personal problems at home; creating emotional distance between the individual and the child; and maladaptive behavior by children in response to staff anxiety. The high risk, confrontational nature of adventure education, demanding work schedules, limited advancement opportunities, high staff turnover, friction between staff and supervisors, tenuous program funding, and substandard wages are among the causes of burnout. Recommended preventative approaches include reduction in successive days worked, rotation of positions and teams, weekly meetings, regular physical exercise, seminars on burnout, recognition for commendable work, establishment of mutual peer support systems, and involvement in organizational goal setting. Individuals should be aware of their personal motivation, contribute to open communication, and recognize that front-line involvement might be only two to three years maximum, to be regarded as a developmental position in their careers. (NEC)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Wilderness Education Programs
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference for Experiential Educators (Portsmouth, NH, October 1979).