Dramatic transformation happens at the end of a dramatic arc that has built the participants up to a change. A dramatic transformation happens as a result of an intense and concentrated experience. While dramatic arcs are often associated with fiction, they can happen in experiences of a profound confrontation with reality, too.
While wilderness trips can have characteristics of some sex parties where transformation happens through repetitive exposure, the long and demanding trips orchestrated by The National Outdoor Leadership School offer transformation through dramatic means, where anticipation and confronting a challenge in a focused time frame changes the participant. My moment of letting go at the end of a week-long sea kayaking trip, as recounted in the section, is an instance of dramatic transformation.
Other obvious examples of experiences of dramatic transformation include meditation and yoga retreats. Even a week-long conference can also produce dramatic transformation if it puts you in touch with ideas and people that you otherwise don’t have exposure to, opening you up to new possibilities and ways of seeing the world.