F.U.N.N. and Karl Rohnke

The Spokesperson Newsletter from September 23, 2020

Hello Facilitator Friends,
The world is a little less Funn this week… I am sad to report the passing of Karl Rohnke.  It’s hard to find words that describe who this amazing man was, and all that he did for experiential facilitators around the world.  Even if you haven’t heard his name before, if you have ever facilitated or participated in activities such as Group Juggle, Hoop Pass, Mine Field and countless others, his work has influenced yours.  He was one of the founding fathers of adventure education as a profession, and really paved the way for people like me to have an intentionally full and successful career in experiential facilitation.
My Facebook feed this week has been flooded with fellow facilitator friends sharing amazing stories about Karl, and how he influenced everyone’s life.  I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all of them and the comments that follow.  
Karl and I have written letters back and forth to each other for years.  The first Karl Rohnke workshop I ever attended was at an ACA conference. It was before I started Training Wheels, and it was the first camp conference I had ever attended. I remember thinking, ‘oh my gosh, I can actually have a career teaching games to others!’ after seeing him and Faith Evans present their workshop.  Afterwards I mailed him a Paper Beach Ball and shared with him how we were using it in our adventure therapy program.  I knew he’d be able to see 10+ other ways to use it.  I was FLOORED when he wrote me back.  I mean, he was this big author-dude who was famous in my eyes, and he took the time to hand-write me a letter back.  He was approachable, authentic and genuinely cared about others.  We exchanged letters back and forth for decades…  I will miss writing letters back and forth brainstorming games, sending each other fun finds and props, talking business and hearing all of his amazing stories. He was a mentor and friend like no other. I will miss him so incredibly much. I have no doubt that he is already enjoying his new adventure. They have no idea how much Funn they are about to have!  So Play on, Karl… I love you and all that you are to the experiential community.Best wishes for an intentionally F.U.N.N. week. 

Have fun out there, 

Michelle        Michelle CummingsOwner/Trainer/Big WheelTraining Wheels  www.training-wheels.com