The Benefits of Outdoor Adventure – Absolutely

The article Benefits of Outdoor Adventure by Randall Williams is so very well timed.  It comes at a time when there is an unprecedented availability of personal communication technology, interconnectedness, and use of social media.  All of these have infiltrated our society at every level, and are arguably taking over our society’s wakefulness.  There is that saying “a picture is worth a thousand words.”  Imagine how many words an experience that is within the picture? I know for me personally, there is nothing like being outside in nature and having a fun and exhilarating experience.  And, usually something that is exhilarating has a bit of risk and adventure. However maybe that is in part the way my generation thinks.

There have been countless articles in the media about a link between diet/eating habits, and activity levels in today’s youth.  In our schools, there has been the implementation of the “Healthy Schools” movement and the DPA (Daily Physical Activity) requirement.  Not only because my own metabolism has ground to a near halt, I have become so aware that there is a huge excess of food in our society, consumed and wasted. Promoting healthy living and play time outside is crucial for the health of our youth and for the future of our health care system.

At this point I am not saying one experience is better than another (social media/interconnected/electronic vs outdoor), it is really more about balance and not having one completely take over the other. I have heard many say that the availability and abilities of technology and interconnectedness are ‘sexy’ right now and the movement is only going to get more momentum. I would have to agree and it is hard not to get caught up in it. However, back to Randall Williams’ The Benefits of Outdoor Adventure, its a reminder that things and places that are natural and pure, will always be great for ALL types of learners to have genuine and authentic learning experiences. With all that said, I am lucky enough to be heavily involved in a Mini School program with a large amount of outdoor adventure excursions. I used lots of tech tools (because I love them!) and report about them to both the students and parents through interconnectedness, blogs and webpages. The marriage of the two, standing equally tall, is really a great thing.

To read the full article by Randall, go to
http://comment.rsablogs.org.uk/2011/02/14/benefits-outdoor-adventure/

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “The Benefits of Outdoor Adventure – Absolutely

  1. Nothing cements a relationship than sharing an adrenaline rush together. There is so much benefitsand fun to outdoor education that it should be a higher priority in today’s youth. What a great reminder.
    Della Fuller

  2. I couldn’t agree with you more! I work at an inner-city school for at-risk youth in Surrey and had the awesome opportunity to design and run an outdoor/hiking PE course in July for the past two years. Even though the students who participated in this experience were so at ease with technology, their initiation into the outdoors had a profound impact on many of them. At the moment I’m trying to find ways to integrate outdoor education into my curriculum throughout the year instead of a summer only opportunity. I would love to hear more about the mini-school you’re working in!

  3. Altitude, thanks for your reply. We actually just returned from a two-day, one night trip to Whistler where the snowflakes were almost as big as the palm of your hand! It was so amazing there was a 140 kids snowball extravaganza! The positivity from being on the slopes together with peers was truly amazing. To find out more about the Mini School program, you can go to the blog at:
    http://mcnairminischool.wordpress.com

    • Wow – sounds like you had an amazing time! After checking out the mini-school blog it looks like you’re doing a lot of really amazing activities throughout the year – inspiring! It’s encouraging to see that there are schools like yours that understand (and act on) the value of spending time in the outdoors. I will keep this program in mind as I begin to develop an outdoor curriculum at my school. Take care – jonathan

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