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…)
Why We Need Trauma-Informed Learning
Time warp yourself back to early-February of 2020. We were a month into a new decade when news broke that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security had directed all flights from China be routed through one of 11 airports in the United States for enhanced screening procedures and possible quarantine.
A few months later, just as our nation’s students were preparing to end another school year, our country found itself in virtual lockdown.
While students of all ages may experience loneliness, anxiousness, and uncertainty, the global health pandemic caused by the virus named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes — COVID-19 — had an unequivocal impact on school-age youth.
From extreme levels of disengagement and isolation to the loss of school-based nutrition and healthcare programs, we’ve only recently begun to understand how bad it really was. As more children fall behind in terms of social and academic development, the more serious the case for trauma-informed learning and trauma-informed practices in education. (more…)
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…)
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…)
When shopping for human-outdoor equipment, keeping up with the Joneses used to be the norm. New skis, boots, boards, kayaks, apparel, bikes, wetsuits and more. Whatever your sport or pursuit of choice, you had to have the latest technical outdoor gear, whether that be the freshest technology, the most wicked new design, or equipment that’s sleek and half the weight of last year’s model.
But that was then, and this is now. And good luck discovering what’s the norm in today’s adventure sports world. Stroll into your favorite outdoor store, surfshop, bicycle store or paddleboard purveyor and your head will spin at the options available to outdoor recreation enthusiasts today.
And while the manufacturing side of the outdoor industry might try to sell us on the notion of a new norm, the participants themselves hold the upper hand. That’s because this is the best time to be an outdoor recreation enthusiast. The offerings are endless and the manufacturers in the field are treating us to new equipment that was unimaginable just a few (more…)