As The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE) has grown, so have the skills and knowledge of our expertly trained and credentialed staff members. Take Wesley Hawkins, WFR, for example; a young man who grew up in the Southeast and eventually landed in Georgia where he attended Georgia College and State University.
Majoring in outdoor education with a minor in business administration, Wesley was given a class assignment that brought him to NCOAE for a site visit back in 2014. That trip resulted in Wes becoming an NCOAE intern, assisting with our outdoor programming, and eventually working his way up to lead instructor.
Fast forward to 2023. Wes is now our Director of Course Management and Logistics. He’s responsible for managing all course-related needs, such as transportation, gear, and food, and he makes sure our staff and students are prepared before heading out on their expeditions. He also supervises and assists staff on our backcountry wilderness courses as needed.
Shortly after Wes settled in for the upcoming summer season, we pulled him away from his duties to answer a few questions for the latest post in our Meet the Team series. Here’s what he had to say: (more…)
This is the last post in our four-part series on trends to be aware of in outdoor and adventure-based experiential education. In Part 1, we covered DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion). Part 2 focused on restorative practices. And Part 3 called attention to trauma-informed learning.
Here in Part 4, we’re wrapping up the series with a call for action about stewardship.
According to research from Pennsylvania State University’s Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management and the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, 13 percent of people who regularly participated in outdoor recreation activities prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, stopped doing so once nationwide lockdowns went into effect.
At the same time, that 13 percent was offset by 20 percent more participation coming from people for whom the researchers say were likely entirely new to recreating in local, state, and national parks.
In New England alone, according to an article published in the journal for the International Association for Society and Natural Resources, overall recreation visitation increased by a whopping 61 percent during the summer of (more…)