Why Outdoor Ed
admin | February 18, 2015
Our world is becoming increasingly dependent on technology which can have many benefits and opportunities. However children and youth are losing touch with nature and missing out on the learning that takes place in the outdoors. One solution to keep students learning through experience and connected to nature is through Outdoor Ed.
What is Outdoor Ed (Education)? What reasons are there for why Outdoor Ed is important? Outdoor Ed is an experiential method of learning that utilizes all the senses. Primarily it takes place through exposure to the natural environment. Through a variety of activities and experiences, learning is centered on relationships concerning people and natural resources. There is a great need for kids to develop skills of problem-solving, communication, and teamwork – all reasons why Outdoor Ed can be greatly beneficial.
Covenant Harbor provides safe and directed experiential learning. Students interact with the natural environment in small groups performing tasks or completing activities. This hands-on approach provides a platform for students to wrestle with new challenges that naturally improves problem-solving skills. This group learning takes place free from distractions of technology such as television, cell phones, iPods, video games, etc.
The power of experiential Outdoor Ed is that it appeals to and involves the whole person. Audio, visual, taste, touch, and smell are all utilized together for observation, perception, and communication. Programs and classes take place outdoors in an intentionally engaging way. Participants dialogue and practice relating to both each other and their environment, building community, awareness, and compassion through the process.
Partnering with the teachers and leaders of each group, Covenant Harbor’s trained and experienced staff facilitate learning. They tailor each safe experience to the specific needs of the participants. Learning opportunities take shape through unique and fun challenges that create a sense of adventure. By working together to accomplish a goal, kids are able to build relationships in a community context. When a group completes a challenge, the experience helps them build confidence in facing bigger life challenges and developing their teamwork skills.
Outdoor Ed simplifies challenges into understandable chunks, allowing students to gain confidence in themselves and in each other with each experience. Covenant Harbor’s Outdoor Ed and ropes course programs provide these experiences to thousands of people each year, positively impacting the lives of students who participate.
For more information on Covenant Harbor program opportunities (including our Executive Initiative programs tailored for adult groups) and/or to schedule an Outdoor Ed experience for your group, please contact us at your convenience.
Blog Post by Peter Hatlestad