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Full Value Contract

The Full Value Contract (FVC) is one of the foundational concepts of Project Adventure. In each of our programs, we ask that all participants agree to honor a FVC.


All versions of the Full Value Contract ask the group:

  1. To understand and/or create safe and respectful behavioral norms under which it will operate.
  2. For a commitment to those norms by everyone in the group.
  3. To accept a shared responsibility for the maintenance of those norms.

The essence of the FVC is that all people have the right to be valued – their opinions, thoughts and feelings. This valuing includes physical safety and emotional well-being, as well as the notion that valuing oneself is as important as valuing others.


The Full Value Contract serves as a structure for creating behavioral norms that everyone in the group agrees to follow, and that everyone in the group agrees to work on maintaining throughout the life of the program/workshop/group. This norm-setting process establishes an atmosphere of caring, feeling connected, efficacy, and feeling valued. This atmosphere is critical to being able to fully value oneself and others while participating in the group process. This process allows each group member the opportunity to think about the group and about his or her own role and behavior within it. In essence, the Full Value Contract is a group contract.

 The chart at the top of the page lists commonly used FVC language. However, many groups find it helpful to create their own set of norms or Full Value Contract that they will follow and adhere to while working together. There are many advantages of doing this, the most important of which is that it is their creation and in their own words. This drives greater ownership, responsibility and accountability for adhering to the Full Value Contract. There are a variety of processes or ideas for doing this as well.

 As facilitators, it is our responsibility to offer the type of Full Value Contract that is most appropriate and effective for each group we work with within the associated context. There are a number of ways to establish a Full Value Contract. To simplify, let’s consider three basic categories – pre-determined, co-created, and group-generated.

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Pre-determined FVC

Some examples are given in the chart at the top of the page

The pre-determined FVC is established by someone or something other than the group itself, be it the practitioner, program, curriculum, or institution (school, camp, business, etc.). A pre-determined FVC is typically a set of three to six manageable behaviors communicated with positive language. Examples of pre-determined FVCs can be found in many of Project Adventure’s publications, e.g.,  Adventure Curriculum for Physical Education and Exploring Islands of Healing, and Adventures in Business or in the chart at the top of the page. These examples offer a general guideline for appropriately introducing a pre-determined Full Value Contract for each group. Furthermore, each book demonstrates the way in which to bring this type of FVC to life. Simply stating the terms of a FVC and moving on is not enough.

 A pre-determined FVC is most appropriate for, yet not limited to, programs in which time is limited or the forming stage of the group must be accompanied by check-ins and celebrations to be effective. While this type of FVC can be efficient and quickly establishes norms, buy-in may be limited due to the lack of ownership in the development of the concepts. It is essential that a group agrees to the behavioral norms and commits to the responsibilities of upholding the FVC. A pre-determined FVC provides the structure for a safe space initially while the group further develops the FVC (see co-created FVC) or generates a new  FVC entirely (see Group-generated FVC).

Co-created FVC

A co-created FVC is one where the group members are invited to build upon a pre-determined FVC defining the concepts in their own terms or words. This process empowers the group to have more ownership in creating the Full Value Contract while they work within the safe FVC structure introduced by the facilitator, program, or organization. There are many ways to invite co-creation, some examples are seen in the following activities:

    • Pi Charting (High School ACPE)
    • Full Value ESP (Creating Healthy Habits)
    • Full Value Speed Rabbit (Middle School ACPE)

Once these activities are conducted, the group can put the newly established behavioral norms they identify into practice. As the group works together over time, they can change and modify these norms based on the feedback they give themselves.

Group-generated FVC

A Group-generated FVC represents the essence of the Full Value Process. At its fullest expression, a Group-generated FVC invites participants to engage with one another to reflect and agree upon the norms of the group without any, or limited, structure. It typically engages a group that is ready to care, develop, and own the responsibility of their own Full Value Contract. However, it is also an effective tool for creating buy-in early in a group’s development. Most groups fully appreciate the concepts, behaviors, and values being expressed when they come directly from within the group and its members, and therefore they feel more connected to their FVC. Consequently, they are more motivated to live and maintain the terms expressed by the group. Some examples of a Group-generated FVC are:

    • The Being
    • FVC Visual Representations
    • FVC Cards

Considerations for Full Value Contracts

Below are a few more considerations regarding group norms and the Full Value Contract:

    • The FVC is an opportunity to practice healthy behaviors within a group setting to further explore the meaning and effectiveness of each FVC concept or behavior. The focus should be on practice, rather than being perfect. There must be opportunities for failure and mistakes, as well as success for participants to learn which behaviors are most effective and desired in their group. For example, in order for a group to learn how to ‘Be Here’, both focus and lack of focus and presence and lack of presence must exist within the group. Likewise, to learn how to ‘Be Safe’ there may be moments where the experience feels completely safe, while at other times feels less safe. It is the opportunity to process the experience that will determine effective and desired behaviors.
    • Norms exist whether they are spoken, written, drawn, or acted out. Norms are the generally accepted behaviors in any group spoken or unspoken, written or unwritten, formal or informal. Be aware of the informal norms and draw attention to them so the group may determine whether or not they are healthy for the group.
    • The FVC, regardless of type, is most effective when reinforced through consistent check-ins, celebrations, and goal setting.
    • The FVC is intended to support Challenge by Choice – the choices of each individual, risk taking, goal setting, and ultimately participants choosing to be their best selves.
    • The FVC is an opportunity to actively experiment, play with, or try on new behaviors.
    • The FVC is an opportunity for every individual to reflect on their own value system and behaviors as well as imagine, dream up, and empower their best and most authentic self.


The Hundredth Monkey includes many activities that introduce, reinforce, or utilize the concept of Full Value Contract exceptionally well, e.g., a group’s commitment to creating and maintaining a safe environment. A few examples are:

    • FVC Stock Market
    • Don’t Break the Ice
    • Sonic 2 (aka Sonic and Tails)
    • Traffic Signs

Full Value Flow (activity sequence)



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