A few weeks ago, we published Part 1 of this series, which covers what we here at The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE) view as the trending best practices to know about in outdoor and adventure-based experiential education.
- Here, in Part 2 of this series, we introduce you to Restorative Practices, and share how they’re incorporated in the programming here at NCOAE.
- For Part 3, we will shift our attention to Trauma-Informed Learning.
- And we’ll wrap up the series in Part 4 with a discussion on Stewardship.
At NCOAE we recognize the power of the outdoors and how it can shape the lives of those who participate in our outdoor education courses and wilderness medicine trainings. Take a backcountry teen expedition for example. By experiencing hiking, climbing and paddling, we see physical obstacles turn into (more…)
Outdoor and adventure-based summer camps for teens provide a life-enriching and world-changing experience for those who participate in them. These experiences, offered by accredited adventure-based experiential and outdoor education providers like The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE), offer a unique opportunity for teens to develop personal competencies in the following four areas, as well as technical outdoor skills that will last a lifetime:
Or, as we here at NCOAE prefer to present it:
Self + Community + Action = Impact
This formula for personal growth, development, and leadership sets us apart from a traditional summer camp, where backcountry experiences are electives and not the backdrop for everything that’s offered.
Parents of teens who choose to participate in our adventure-based summer camps often tell us their teens return home with much more than campfire-building skills. These parents report an increase in caring and empathy on the part of their teens, and a better understanding of the importance of sharing and giving. They also exhibit a greater willingness to stand up for what they believe in, taking responsibility for their actions instead of shifting the blame elsewhere. These teens have discovered that such qualities are essential for building a progressive society and making a positive impact on the world.
Outdoor and adventure-based summer camps experiences that take place in the backcountry create a sense of community and provide opportunities for intergenerational relationships. They help teens develop (more…)
A little more than three decades ago, two educators and researchers from Canada partnered with the Association for Experiential Education (AEE) on a groundbreaking book titled Safety Practices in Adventure Programming.
Simon Priest, Ph.D., and Tim Dixon, M.Ed., regarded at the time as among only a handful of leading experts in outdoor adventure education and leadership, penned what some argue was the first widely-published best practices for the outdoor education and adventure programming industry.
Known as the Red Book, due to its bright red cover, their work coincided with AEE’s foray into accreditation, inspiring outdoor education program administrators across the globe to adopt common approaches to the safety and well-being of their clients and staff while facilitating adventure-based programs.
And while it likely isn’t fair to suggest that best practices didn’t exist within our sector of the outdoor industry before Priest and Dixon’s Red Book, the publication of that forward-looking guidance saw the rapid adoption of such practices for our sector like no other. Fast-forward 33 years, and we find most all outdoor education or adventure-based programming operations pay close attention to best practices in the realm of safety and risk management.
In today’s post, I’m pleased to call attention to four areas with associated best practices for which all outdoor educators and adventure-based organizations should be aware. After hearing from college and university outdoor program managers, organizational leaders, and by performing research of our own, four themes rise to the top as trends and best practices in outdoor education and adventure programming to follow over the next year: (more…)