Friday, March 18, 2016

Outdoor Education

      From time to time in my posts I have mumbled about being involved in Outdoor Education. Three of us taught the program and Mike was the guy who had the passion for outdoors and developed the program.

      We covered things like food, clothing, shelter, safety, first aid, map reading,orienteering, cooperation and a few other good things to know when you're enjoying the great outdoors. The highlight of the course were the two field trips each class took. We would take one trip that involved backpacking and a second that involved cross country skiing or snowshoeing. Usually we overnighted in a rustic hostel or tented.  For November tenting we didn't go too far away from home.

     We usually had about 35 students with two teachers and a couple of parents for supervision. 

     The photos are from the top of Coliseum Mountain. The leader would start the hike and make numerous stops for rest and water. My favorite spot was to be the last. Of course , I had the little guys who were incredibly slow and out of shape. I got most of these little guys to the top. Going down was the same except worse. By this time the little guys were more fatigued and became fairly weak. Sometimes the feet had started to blister.They were slower downhill than uphill. Sometimes the other kids had been waiting on the bus for a long time before I got there.  

    I've talked to former students about this course. They enjoyed it but one stands out in my mind. One of these people became a lawyer and was on the library board with me. One day he told me that Outdoor Ed was the "funnest " course he ever took. His Mom and Dad never took him camping. He found it hard as he said I was a little short, fat kid with a big pack and it was hard but fun!"

    I think I was up Coliseum Mountain 17 times and the sister peak 12 times.

On top of coliseum before going down one of the teachers would tell the kids that they did a very challenging activity that day and to be very proud of what they did. We then asked kids to go to a separate spot and meditate on the activity for two minutes and then we started down.

We always carried the school flag and had the mandatory photo.

A happy group.