Basic Information

Integration has to be mentioned in the context of outdoor adventures because participants of different origins and with variable skills and habits work and live together as a group.

These contexts provide a social setting where people can meet each other. Meeting others and seeing how they act and react creates the opportunity to experience one other and to learn more about their character and personality. Experiential education is a great method and setting for intense group and integration experiences.

The process of living and working together does not always run smoothly and without conflicts. The reason for that is the kind of communication: just a small part of our personality, character and communication is visible. The Iceberg Model illustrates that in a very good way.

The Iceberg Model

Living and cooperating in an intercultural context with people of different origins and habits brings its own challenges.  Just a very small part of our actions is visible, as the Iceberg Model shows.

The part above the water illustrates the visible behavior patterns, words, gestures, clothes, food, and festivals.

Below the water illustrates the expansive, invisible part: values, feelings, attitudes, expectations, ethics, perceptions about respect, society and gender roles, and personal boundaries. These are the parts where people often clash with each other - where conflicts and misunderstandings start.

To make integration successful it is useful and necessary to make the hidden parts of the Iceberg visible. The more actions, values or perceptions move into the visible part, the more we can understand and relate to each other. This can change the connection to each other.

Practical exercises and interactions can make values and reasons behind actions tangible and visible. Experiential education is a great platform for that.


CVJM-Akademie gGmbH
Institut für Erlebnispädagogik
Im Dru­sel­tal 8
34131 Kassel

Tele­fon: + 49 (0) 561 30 87–506
Fax: +49 (0) 561 30 87–501

Funded by Erasmus+ "Youth in Action"

The website and the content was developed in the project "Treehouse Camps - a Method to Strengthen Key Competences and Integration in Youth Work".

Project duration: September 2018 - August 2021