Late last year, the staff at Cape Fear Academy in Wilmington, North Carolina, asked for our help in creating a unique and meaningful 10-day, outdoor and adventure-based out-of-country expedition for a handful of its high school students.
In particular, Cape Fear’s educational leaders were looking for a diverse destination that would enable their students to immerse themselves deeply in a new culture — an adventure that would extend far beyond selfies, social media, suntan oil, and sand — and which would reinforce the school’s own values and curriculum. Known for designing and leading custom outdoor education programs for private and independent schools, we were happy to help!
The original Cape Fear Academy was established in 1868 as an independent school for boys. After closing in 1916, the school was reestablished 52 years later in 1968 with the commitment of “forging capable young adults with skills, confidence and resilience to take risks, solve problems and overcome challenges.”
So, it was with that focus in mind that the school asked us here at The National Center for Outdoor and Adventure Education (NCOAE) to custom design an expedition for nine of the school’s students, along with a chaperone from the school and three NCOAE field instructors. Their destination? Ecuador.
Our staff prepared an itinerary that incorporated the school’s objectives of instilling confidence, facing challenges, taking on informed risks, and solving problems. After all, those missives mirror the (more…)
Well, it’s official. We’ve just wrapped up and put a bow around another successful season of adventure-based programming in the Pacific Northwest, with all of our expeditions originated from our base of operations in Maupin, Ore., alongside the wild and scenic Deschutes River.
And, of course, we here at The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE) are already making big plans for next season’s explorations of the Pacific Northwest. Our custom trips feature a range of course options to fit every organization’s or adventurer’s schedule, all set against the background of some of this country’s most breathtaking terrain — the rugged and remote Cascade Mountains. During your trip, you’ll be guided through deep canyons, hike along alpine meadows, traverse cold-mountain streams, explore cascading waterfalls, and enjoy remote mountain passes.
For the 2022 season — in addition to custom programs for schools, youth organizations, and other groups — we continue to offer a range of (more…)
In recent weeks, we’ve all been hearing more and more from parents, educators, and even the nation’s top disease experts on the impending opening of schools across the nation.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has suggested that school districts developing their plans for campus reopening should find ways to offer as many outdoor activities as possible. Fauci said that could include everything from outdoor classes, to recess, and lunchtime.
Plans for just when and how schools will reopen are being formulated and fine-tuned, and the consensus seems to be that being outside is the safest place to be during the instructional day. As states start to mandate returns to school, safety and quality of education are at the forefront of design.
Obviously, you’ll get no argument about that from those of us here at The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE). And we have some suggestions. But first, here are the questions we are hearing most often from you.
Why move outdoors?
Doctor Fauci already told us that spending time outdoors is safer during times of infectious diseases, and we’re puzzled why some schools forget that being outside is often best for our physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Studies have shown that, in districts with high numbers of second language students, learning outdoors is (more…)
The outdoor industry uses the term “shoulder season” to indicate times of the year when we’re less busy. With the exception of the snow sport sector of the industry, for many companies and outdoor outfits, that time starts in October and can stretch all the way to May or early June.
The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE) has diligently devised, implemented, and executed programs over the years in order to reduce the economic effects of the shoulder season. For us, this means employing many of our staff members year-round. That means our participants have the opportunity to experience adventure-based recreation and personal growth & development programs throughout the year. That’s because we offer opportunities that fit our client’s “shoulder season” schedules. And by expanding our season, we can travel to more diverse locations around the U.S. and abroad.
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel, read only a page.” ~ Saint Augustine
On those many occasions when schools, clubs, organizations, or companies ask us to come up with an adventure/education excursion for their group, we don’t reach into a cabinet and pull out a cookie-cutter version of a wilderness outing. Instead, we break out topographical maps, weather charts, time-tested notes from adventures past, permits for numerous routes, and we add a lot of imagination to the occasion.
The sole purpose within our Custom Programs Division is to make sure your organization experiences an adventure that meets and then exceeds your most specific objectives. And we start out by using our ears.
We carefully listen to what it is you want to achieve, and then we begin planning that experience from the ground up. No matter the size of your group, we’re here to present an experience of a lifetime for each of your organization’s guests, students, or employees.
Our objective is for our participants to come home safe and tell stories to their friends and acquaintances that sound more like fiction. Really good fiction! The only difference is you’ll have the photos to back up your stories. You dream of an experience, and we dream too! Need proof? Take a look at (more…)
You don’t have to look at a calendar to know summer is quickly drawing to a close. Look at the traffic in your hometown. Notice anything different? How about the roads leading to and from local or regional shopping malls and big box stores? With most kids and their parents hitting the stores — or the Internet — in order to get properly outfitted for the school year, the telltale signs of the fall semester are all readily available.
What’s equally important as preparing for a new school year is planning ahead for personal end-of-year adventures that can keep you motivated over the next three-and-a-half months (or in the case of spring semester adventures — eight-and-a-half months) of textbooks, term papers, quizzes, and preparing for 45-minute lectures.
With some wise planning and a vow to battle procrastination, you can have a pretty good notion as to how you’re going to spend your next holiday or seasonal break from the classroom. And by having all your ducks in a row way before the end of the year, you’ll be rewarded by having that much more time to daydream about the adventure ahead.
As for group programs at the end of this coming academic semester or year, private schools and public school districts all across the nation have already designed and implemented (more…)