More and more individuals, families and outdoor organizations are going to great lengths to enjoy wilderness experiences in our national forests, but with this exploding trend, how are we addressing the impact on natural resources? What does the future hold for outdoor recreation areas and natural setting outdoor classrooms?
As professional members of the outdoor industry, we are constantly trying to increase the numbers of programs and the number of students who participate in outdoor recreation and adventure programming endeavors. We look for course areas that are pristine — mostly because no one else is visiting those areas — yet. But the reality is this: If we are researching an untouched course area for our organization, you can bet there are a hundred others doing the same thing.
As educators and outdoor education administrators, we know that in order to appreciate and protect a natural space, have to engage with it. To be shaped by the beauty of the outdoors, you must be given the opportunity to live in it. How can you appreciate and protect something you’ve never engaged with or seen?
The outdoor industry has been working with the (more…)
The heat index read 110-degrees. Clouds were building, preparing to light up the sky with electric current and release rain by the bucket loads. It was still summer, yet parents were starting to ask questions about school, course loads, teachers and materials needed to start the year. Year-round schools were already weeks into the fall semester. It’s sad on many levels to think that the season for fun in the sun was coming to a close.
For students enrolled in The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education’s Education Without Walls (EWW) program, stepping out of the woods and back into the classroom is a time for them to test their new skills, to experience their new powers and to celebrate the success that accompanies effort and accomplishment.
It’s distressing to be wet for days on end. Watching lightning light up the inside of the tent can be paralyzing. Hanging off the edge of a 200-foot rock wall makes the brain spark and flutter. In the end, however, these are the experiences that can never be taken away by tensions and frustrations at home, in school and in the community at large. It’s these experiences that give our students the (more…)