Oftentimes after a successful outdoor adventure, at least one smiling student comes up to me and says, “Man, I wish I had your job.”
Well, of course you do. As far as you know, I’m getting a paycheck for camping, climbing, paddling and exploring in some of the most beautiful spots on earth. That part’s true. As outdoor education instructors, we get to work with others who share that passion for the wilderness. We love the job and we can’t think of another occupation that would be half as satisfying.
But there’s a lot that goes on before you can go out and bag that dream job. And just looking the part isn’t enough to get you in the door and on the trail.
We want to give you some preliminary — quick and dirty — career tips for those who are serious about becoming an outdoor educator, experiential educator, and/or an adventure educator. Throughout the year we will revisit this topic with additional tips and offerings from the experts here at The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE).
Here are a few of the basics for obtaining that sought-after outdoor educator position, starting off with a short rundown of high-level skills and certifications you’re going to need to get started: (more…)
No doubt about it. The wilderness is an absolutely inspiring place to visit. However, we certainly can’t be hanging out in the forests or atop the mountains all the time.
So how do we stay connected and inspired? One excellent way to remain in contact with nature is through books — allowing words to describe an outdoor setting we recognize or dream of visiting. Sometimes it takes stories of adventures gone terribly wrong, followed by survival and then successfully returning to civilization to tell the tale. In other instances, humor guides stories of travel and adventure in surprisingly inspiring ways.
As you’ll see below, the staff here at The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE) has assembled a list of books and stories we make for a great summer reading list — one that can inspire even the most temporarily sedentary reader among us. Included with each recommended read is a suggested pairing — not for beer or wine but a Course or Training offered by NCOAE. (Note: Clicking on any of the book covers below will lead you to that book’s page on Amazon.com.)
We hope you’ll enjoy these books as much as we have:
Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
The Alaskan wilderness and homesteading in the 1920s sets the stage for this beautifully written book that explores what is real and what lives in our imagination. An old couple living and trying to thrive in brutal conditions build a child out of snow. When looking out the window the following day the see the snow child is gone, and tracks leads from the spot it was built into the nearby wilderness. Faina (the snow child) is an incredibly strong female character that defies everything you would think about a child living alone in the wilderness. This is a story about beliefs and the transformation of individuals and community. And a bonus is the description of a frigid climate that will keep you cool on the hot nights of summer. Best paired with (more…)