Today, I spent the whole day with two buses full of teens up Mt. Washington, What a gift! I had the pleasure and privilege of accompanying skilled teachers in the act of taking children not only outside, but on great adventures that were challenging, risky and potentially dangerous, and it was an incredible success, except for the fate of a lost cell phone.
I commend you, teachers of Ballenas Secondary School!
As you may know, I am actively engaging myself in every form to make it more possible to provide children with adventurous outdoor activities that some may perceive as potentially risky, edge stretching, time consuming, expensive… and TOTALLY WORTH IT. Today I had the pleasure of accompanying incredible teachers who were not only skilled, but grounded and sensible when it came to Group Dynamic Management, Risk Management, Communication, Flexibility, Openness, Action Taking, Problem Solving, Giving of their heads, hands and hearts, and Loving what they do.
These self-less role models in our community REALLY DID make a difference for many youth today. One teen expressed that the last time he had taken a ski lesson, he hadn’t learned a thing and was overwhelmed, and seemed disheartened from the experience. Today, because of the time, effort and dedication of myself and other leaders, this teen not only overcame the basic hurdles of snow-plow and falling, but had the privilege and pleasure of getting two runs in down The Hawk (the old Green route) down Mt. Washington. It’s successes like these that truly make a difference.
I commend you teachers for feeling the fear and doing it anyways!
I wonder what more I can do to support more teachers to generate more opportunities for children to have quality outdoor adventures that leave a lasting impression? I asked one of the teachers what would help… he said:
“Funding is the biggest support… and support for the teacher with time and good quality staff. If an outdoor educator wants to plan an outdoor trip for their class, they need double the prep time to make it a successful adventure. It would take an extra planning block per week to make this happen, which is the equivalent of $14,000” ~ Anonymous.