AEE eNews Update July 2009
- 37th Annual AEE International Conference Announcement
- Hong Kong OB is Pursuing AEE Accreditation
- AEE Accreditation Program Updates
- AEE Accredited Program Profile, Derek Tenney, Pali Institute
- Member Profile: Tom Holman, Southeast Missouri State University
- Outdoor Foundation - Please Identify Youth for the Youth Advisory Council
- Prescott College Awards First Ph.D.s in Sustainability Education
- Wilderness Therapy Symposium at Naropa
- 2nd Annual Outdoor Leadership Research Symposium (OLRS) - CALL FOR ABSTRACTS
- Journal of Experiential Education Call for Papers
- Call for manuscripts! The Thresholds in Education journal
- Update from GLC, by Sandy Newes
- Sargent Center Update
- AEE Annual Election for Board of Directors
- Nominate An Outstanding Individual or Organization for an AEE Award
Registration is open for the 37th Annual International AEE Conference which
will take place October 29 - November 1, 2009, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Check out the list of workshops or download the brochure.
There are a number of ways to get to the 37th Annual International AEE Conference in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, October 29 - November 1, 2009.
1) Fly into Montreal (Cost of flight from Atlanta, Georgia $378, approx 2.5 hours)
2) Fly into Boston, MA (Cost of flight from Atlanta $210, rental car $39/day, driving time approx 5.5 hours)
3) Fly into Syracuse, NY (Cost of flight $240, cost of rental car $33/day, driving time approx 4 hours)
4) Fly into Burlington, VT (Cost of Flight $319, cost of rental car $32, driving time approx 2 hours)
On June 1, 2009, the U.S. government will implement the full requirements of the land and sea phase of WHTI. The proposed rules require most U.S. citizens entering the United States at sea or land ports of entry to have a passport, passport card, or other travel document approved by the Department of Homeland Security. For more information please go to www.GetYouHome.gov
Hong Kong OB is Pursuing AEE Accreditation
By Shawn Tierney, AEE Accreditation Program ManagerAEE welcomes one of the leading adventure education programs in the world back into the accreditation program with the announcement from Outward Bound Hong Kong (OBHK) of their commitment to pursue AEE Accreditation.
According to OBHK Safety Manager Aaron Funnell, the OB program in Hong Kong has a very diverse base of operations, including sailing of small and larger boats (67 foot is the maximum length vessel), sea kayaking, and hiking, both in Hong Kong and several other destinations throughout Asia including high altitude trekking in Tibet and winter mountaineering in Japan.
OBHK has two separate established facility sites in Hong Kong, a small fleet of support vessels, a ropes course and a
rock wall that was the first rock wall built in Asia - in 1973. OBHK supports approximately 35,000 participant days
per year, with about 40 full time instructors plus seasonal staff. More information about OBHK can be found at:
For more information about the AEE Accreditation program, please contact Accreditation Manager Shawn Tierney at (303)
440-8844 x16 or firstname.lastname@example.org
AEE Welcomes Accreditation and PR Intern
We are so excited to have help with research, marketing and outreach to accredited programs, and assisting with our public relations timeline and library. Please welcome Merix Cunningham.
Born and raised in Boulder, Merix has always enjoyed the Rocky Mountains. After heading to the Midwest to study French and Religious Studies at DePauw University in Indiana, she came right back! She spent a few years working in sales and marketing for a software company that applies GIS technology to community planning before she started working toward an MBA in Global Management at Thunderbird in Arizona. Home for the summer, Merix joined AEE as their accreditation intern.
After having spent time abroad in France and the Czech Republic, Merix has a great appreciation for exploring European cultures, and has a zeal for international travel in general. When she is not working or traveling, she is out enjoying Colorado with her husband Brian, and their golden retriever Bosco. Passionate about music, she plays the piano and is currently trying to learn how to play the guitar.
AEE Accredited Program Profile - Pali Institute, Derek Tenney, Director of School Programs
Pali Institute is an outdoor education facility in the San Bernardino Mountains of southern California. Its mission is to introduce experiential education to young people by providing progressive learning experiences that extend far beyond classroom walls.
“Teachers and administrators annually make trips to Pali Institute because we make learning as fun as going to camp,” said Derek Tenney, Director of Outdoor Education.
Pali Institute is in its 8th year of operation and 3rd as an AEE accredited program. They recently earned Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accreditation becoming the only outdoor education program that has earned that status.
Derek is in charge of the programs that provide experiential education to 4th through 12th graders in three major areas of education; 1) Outdoor, 2) Science and 3) Leadership. The program pulls schools from southern California and as far away as Las Vegas and Phoenix. Students stay on location from 3 to 5 days and the facility accommodates up to 400 kids at a time. Classes are tailor made to meet the teacher’s needs from a list of 40 class frameworks.
The most popular program and the signature strength of Pali are the leadership skills development courses including 2 high ropes courses and a rock wall.
Students have described participating in these courses as, “a truly a life changing experience.” Good examples of this type of element are their “power poles” which is a stand alone telephone pole with staples on one pole and climbing holds on the other. Climbing up either power pole requires bravery and balance and when students top out they have to stand on the narrow, high pole. To get down from the top, the student must perform a 30 foot leap onto a trapeze. It is incredibly intimidating, but kids get through it, to their and their teacher’s, surprise.
Said a teacher about the Pali leadership program:
“I did not think certain students would even try it let alone excel at it. And I was amazed that some students interacted the way they did in this program. I learned something about my students just as they are learned about themselves and each other.”
Students are encouraged to cheer each other on, which amplifies the energy. The atmosphere is fun and students are empowered to get up there and participate.
Pali Institute has weathered the economic downturn without losing numbers. Schools that had to cancel due to budget shortfalls were replaced with new schools. Derek attributes this to a dedicated sales force that promotes the program and in turn sustains the word-of-mouth promotions which is how the business really finds new clients. Principals love Pali Institute and tend to stay with them year after year as well as telling others about the program.
School administrators hear solid information on Pali coming from teachers in terms of student advancements in leadership and group dynamics that last throughout the school year.
When students are asked what stands out from their K - 12 educations, many say “Pali” was the most memorable. Often, each grade in a school (6th, 7th, 8th) does something at Pali each year and the kids remember what they did forever. Teachers most often mention that the program builds cohesiveness among students.
Derek and his staff not only try to make it fun, but he encourages them to create a fun working environment for themselves as well. Staff and students are encouraged to build a no-pressure atmosphere.
Like many programs, staff retention is a big challenge.
Derek spends a minimum of 2.5 weeks on staff training. A lot of that training focuses on building a fun atmosphere. Singing songs is pervasive, as are trail games played when moving from one spot to another. Kids may have fun at all times. Staff has been taught “tricks in a bag types of activities” and has college degree as well as summer camp experience. Pali retains its staff of 40 annually at rate of 60 and 75% which is very healthy for outdoor ed programs.
Derek attributes this success to consistency among Pali’s administrators, a light atmosphere on the employee side, and finding ways for the hard work to be rewarded.
Said Derek, “I encourage students and teachers to write thank you letters to the instructors so that they can realize the impact they are having on kids.” Letters that come in often say, “You changed my life,” or “You really encouraged me,” or even something as simple as “I will remember holding the frog forever.” When instructors read those comments it reinforces the good things they are doing.
AEE was goal was set for Pali - Derek came in a few months into it. Definitely a reinforcement of what we were doing well. Is this how we should be doing this? With our experience - reinforced validation of how we do things right. Recommendations were also good. They gave us more ideas on what we should be thinking about.
Pali also has a summer camp that provides 20 different types of experiential activities from water and motor sports to culinary and girl power.
Tom Holman, Ph.D, Southeast Missouri State University
I teach outdoor adventure recreation courses at Southeast Missouri State University in the Department of Health, Human Performance & Recreation. The best part about my job is observing my students enjoy learning. I just can't get enough of that! With experiential education, students of all ages seem to come alive and really get it and have fun in the process. That is what it’s all about.
Our biggest challenge as experiential educators is being recognized as a legitimate model for teaching/learning. Our culture here in the US is so set on the traditional ways of teaching and learning that we have a hard time embracing experiential education. But I think that people practicing in the fields of experiential education are moving forward in some amazingly creative ways and showing the world what we know and how effective our techniques are.
I became involved in Experiential Education when Dr. Jasper Hunt was my advisor and mentor in graduate school. He is an amazing professor and models experiential learning in all he does. I got hooked early on experiential education in college as a biology education major but couldn't put my finger on what it was. Then Jasper helped me unpack all of it and got me on my way to where I am now.
My first experience with AEE was presenting a paper I did on some of my doctoral research with wilderness adventure and persons with disabilities through Wilderness Inquiry at the first SEER in St. Paul, MN. I found a sense of place amongst people that were likeminded and really excited about the same stuff that I was too.
I love the people that make up AEE! They are "salt of the earth" kind of folks that I have truly enjoyed learning from and getting to know. It is an amazing group of committed people that will always listen and help you out.
I stared volunteering with AEE by being on the conference committee for the 2005 Heartland Regional Conference in Potosi, MO as the auction donation coordinator. I went from that to council member of the Heartland region to vice-chair to chair for 3 years. I am still on the council and co-convening the 2010 Heartland regional conference in Potosi, MO again at the YMCA of the Ozarks. I love it!
During the current economic crisis, we are doing more with less and staying optimistic that the economy will pick back up soon.
This summer I spent 9 days in inter-city Houston, TX with 40 senior high youth serving the poor and homeless. We worked at a food bank, cut up produce at a shelter, made 1,600 sandwiches for kids for meals-on-wheels, served 400 homeless people breakfast in 1.5 hrs, played with underprivileged kids in a government housing project, and played BINGO with older adults at a nursing home. It was amazing to see the youth giving of their time, money and resources to serve others. Its my hope that they will continue to serve in their communities back home.
I also do teambuilding for mission trip teams that go out of our church. I recently did a day of teambuilding for a group going to Swaziland Africa with an organization called Heart for Africa - http://www.heartforafrica.org/ Its good to have a part in people going throughout the world serving others. That is what we are called to do!
The Outdoor Foundation Seeking Youth Advisors: The Outsiders
The Outdoor Foundation , one of the nation’s leading nonprofits working to connect youth with the outdoors, is joining with partners (including AEE) to build a first-of-its-kind youth council and community, called The Outsiders, to help create and shape youth-related outdoor programs. Through this effort, The Foundation will empower young people to use its collective voice to inform not only The Foundation’s work but also to help direct the broader outdoor agenda – adding a unique and needed perspective. Perhaps of most interest to youth and youth educators, The Outsiders will have the chance to earn coveted outdoor-related internships as well as cool gear from top outdoor companies such as Under Armour and The North Face.
The group’s first major project will be to shape the 2010 ‘Outdoor Nation’ – a global festival and summit in New York City’s Central Park that is for youth by youth. The Outsiders will be asked to spend a few hours each month providing feedback and guidance, primarily through a customized online platform. The Foundation hopes that this site will not only serve to shape national outdoor policies but also enable young people with similar outdoor interests to connect with one another and create a new community. Any and all young people ages 13 – 24 with an interest in the outdoors are welcome.
If you are an educator and have questions, please contact Christine Fanning at email@example.com. Interested youth should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and share in a few sentences why they would like to be an Outsider. The deadline for the founding Outsiders is August 15, 2008. Later this summer, The Outdoor Foundation will officially welcome the advisory council, which will begin to shape Outdoor Nation and other exciting projects.
Prescott College Awards First Ph.D.s in Sustainability Education
Prescott College graduated its first ever crop of doctoral students and awarded the first-ever in the nation Ph.D.s in Sustainability Education
Mary Lin, M.Ed., Director of Marketing and Public Relations
Prescott College, 220 Grove Ave., Prescott, AZ 86301 • (928) 350-4503 • email@example.com
For Immediate Release: Prescott College Awards First Ph.D.s in Sustainability Education
(May 9, 2009) PRESCOTT, Ariz. - Prescott College graduated its first ever crop of doctoral students and awarded the first-ever in the nation Ph.D.s in Sustainability Education this past Saturday, June 6. Graduates include: Dr. Janice Crede of Maple, Wis.; Dr. Henry Ebarb of Prescott, Ariz.; Dr. Jane Nichols of Cullowhee, N.C.; Dr. Terril Shorb of Prescott, Ariz.; Dr. Linda Edwards of Richmond, Va.; and Dr. Chad Thatcher of Grand Junction, Colo.
Each of the graduates presented on their thesis during a three-day Sustainability Education Symposium featuring renowned global thinkers Dr. Chet Bowers, author of, among other books, A Global and Ecological Critique (Complicated Conversation) (2005) and Mr. Jeffrey Ball, Environmental News Editor for the Wall Street Journal. The College also unveiled plans for the Journal of Sustainability Education. Ph.D. Program Cohort 2 students William Crowell, Jordana DeZeeuw Spencer, and Ming Wei Koh presented on the Journal, an online, open-access publication which will embody the multiple dimensions of sustainability, and present cutting edge scholarship and initiatives in this ever-evolving field. Presenters emphasized the importance of the Journal to demonstrating Prescott College’s commitment to being a leader in the field of sustainability.
Sustainability Education, a new and evolving field, focuses on preparing educators for no less than the task of educating others on the relationship between humans and the natural environment and developing practical skills for creating a civilization which honors the balance between them. Each student in the Ph.D. program at Prescott College is encouraged to, after rigorous research, define sustainability for him or herself and define how he or she will put it into practice in real-life situations. Graduates of a Ph.D. program in Sustainability Education may incorporate sustainability within another field or work directly as Sustainability Educators, in private, public, and non-profit settings. The scope of the topics which students in the program tackle is broad. The following Ph.D. Thesis Presentations give some examples.
Ph.D. THESIS PRESENTATIONS
The Butterfly Effect: Engaging a Curriculum to Help Heal the Community of All Beings. Dr. Terril Shorb shared research results of his case study of graduates of the Sustainable Community Development (SCD) Program he developed at Prescott College in 1996. The research offers glimpses into how the graduates used the SCD Butterfly Curriculum to help frame their work of sustaining their local communities.
Sustainability: Quality of Life for Artisans Practicing the Fair Trade Business Model. Dr. Linda R. Edwards presented on issues and opportunities for artisans and consumers defined by Fair Trade practices.
Sustainable Development Guidelines for a Desert Community that Meets the Needs of the Elderly and People with Disabilities. Dr. Jane L. Nichols presented on sustainable urban development and planning for community, using a neighborhood in North Phoenix as a model. Dr. Nichols is Assistant Professor of Interior Design and Gerontology at Western Carolina University, holds masters degrees in Design: Facilities Planning and Interdisciplinary Studies, and Gerontology, from Arizona State University. She brings over twenty years of practice into the classroom-studio, and holds officer positions in the Southern Appalachian Sustainable Building Council and the Interior Design Educators Council.
Population Control, Immigration Law, and Water Issues. Dr.Tony (Henry) Ebarb earned his B.A. in 1984 from Prescott College and J.D. from the University of Oregon School of Law. Has worked as a Judge Pro Tem for three years and a prosecutor for five years. Has lived in Prescott for 37 years and has been rumored (in his words) to be one of Prescott College’s “most prolific donors and fund raisers.”
Nature Immersion: A Model of Sustainability Education. Dr. Janice Crede’s research focuses on the human-nature connection and finding ways to reconnect people with the natural world. Prompted by her belief that Mother Nature is the supreme educator, she developed a nature immersion model of sustainability education which has proven to be extremely effective. She is currently employed as the Campus Sustainability Coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.
Sustainable Adventure Travel: A Catalyst for Creating Global Connections and Understanding. Dr. Chad Thatcher is the Director of the Mesa State College Outdoor and International Adventure Programs in Grand Junction, Colo. He holds a master's degree in Education and has taught adventure, experiential, and international education for the past seven years.
Prescott College offers a resident B.A. program through its main campus in Prescott, Ariz., as well as limited residency B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees. All programs emphasize student-directed, experience-based learning by doing, environmental and cultural awareness, and social responsibility. For more information please contact Mary Lin, M.Ed., Director of Marketing and Public Relations, 928-350-4503, firstname.lastname@example.org. More information is on the web at www.prescott.edu.
For the Liberal Arts, the Environment, and Social Responsibility
Wilderness Therapy Symposium at Naropa
Naropa University is pleased to once again offer AEE Members a 10% discount to the Wilderness Therapy Symposium in Boulder, CO. September 11 - 13, 2009.
Symposium participants share a love of the wilderness and a desire to work with the psyche and spirit. You will find a wealth of new information at the symposium and a fun, collaborative atmosphere. For more information or to register, visit the website.
Bringing together clinicians, wilderness guides, field instructors, program personnel, consultants, students, and university faculty to share specific skills through hands-on, experiential workshops, the Symposium provides a forum for the exchange and development of ideas and allows for sharing among the varied professional areas of the field of wilderness therapy.
This year, the Symposium will be held at the Millennium Harvest House in the heart of Boulder Colorado. This hotel and conference center has indoor and outdoor workshop spaces, will allow us to meet and sleep in one place, and provides a more centralized area to network and relax.
For more information or to register, please visit our website at http://www.wildernesstherapysymposium.org.
To download a brochure, register, or reserve a room at the Millennium, visit our website:
For questions, email:
Experiential Education Call for Papers!
Special Issue on Youth Development Through Outdoor and Adventure Education Programs
Principles of Positive Youth Development have long been imbedded in outdoor and adventure education programs and youth-focused articles are regularly included in the Journal of Experiential Education. However, the intent of this special issue is to condense the current understanding of youth development through outdoor and adventure programs and to provide a focused compilation of articles that can provide a foundation for continued work in this area.
Jim Sibthorp, Associate Professor in the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism at the University of Utah, is the Guest Editor for this issue. Inquiries and submissions should be sent directly to email@example.com in Microsoft Word. Submissions should be consistent with the Journal of Experiential Education’s Instructions to Authors included at the rear of this issue or available online at http://jee.lakeheadu.ca. All submissions will be peer-reviewed and accepted articles will be published in 2010.
Submission Deadline: September 1, 2009
For more information, please see the Volume 31, Edition 3 of the Journal of Experiential Education.
Call for Abstracts - 2nd Annual Outdoor Leadership Research Symposium (OLRS)
The symposium is held at the 2010 National Conference on Outdoor Leadership in Estes Park, Colorado, February 17-20, 2010.
Submissions to the 2nd annual Outdoor Leadership Research Symposium (OLRS) are now being accepted. Accepted abstracts will be published in a special issue of the Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership (JOREL).
OLRS is intended to provide a forum for practitioners and scholars to share recent and on-going research related to outdoor leadership. The symposium is being held in conjunction with the National Conference on Outdoor Leadership, sponsored annually by the Wilderness Education Association (WEA). The goal of this symposium is to help promote the development of evidence-based practice in the field of outdoor leadership. Submissions will be blind peer-reviewed and judged according to their relevance to the field of outdoor leadership as well as the basic quality of the research conducted. Presenters will have 15 minutes to present their research, followed by five minutes of questions.
Accepted abstracts will be published in a special issue of the Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership (JOREL). (For more information on JOREL please see www.ejorel.com )
Call for Manuscripts! The Thresholds in Education journal
From Cliff Knapp, Northern Illinois University
The Thresholds in Education journal invites manuscripts related to topics addressing school-based programs that get students outside and engaged in educational or recreational activities as part of the planned curriculum. Theme: No Child Left Inside: School-based Responses to Nature-Deficit Disorder.
Theme: No Child Left Inside: School-based Responses to Nature-Deficit Disorder. Issue editor: Dr. Clifford E. Knapp. The overall objective of this issue is to showcase the broad-based application of theory and/or practice in K-12 private and public educational settings. Articles should discuss theory and practice that include or extend beyond conventional environmental education or science-based activities (e.g. art education and nature, creating edible school yards, outdoor/experience approaches to language development). Submission deadline is August 1, 2009. Please request author guidelines from Jan Woodhouse (firstname.lastname@example.org ) or Cliff Knapp (email@example.com ).
Update from Group Leadership Council (GLC)
By Sandy Newes, Chair of GLC, Licensed Psychologist, Asheville, North Carolina
Hello everyone! This is Sandy Newes, Chair of the Group Leadership Council. I am really excited about a number of the things that AEE has been developing and I wanted to take a moment to bring a few things to your attention. I have been involved with AEE since 1997, and it is clear to me that the organization has put a great deal of attention to meeting the unique needs of our community in a number of really useful new ways.
First, have you had the chance to check out come of the new resources available online at aee.org?
I recently looked at it again and honestly, I was amazed. I immediately found information about grant possibilities that I have been able to follow up on, which can be hard to find for people in our unique field. This is real stuff! I am really excited about this and the other resources that are now available. The other great news is that they are the kind of resources that are accessible to both programs and individual members. Please take a moment and check out the “Resource” link for information about research, jobs, resources, upcoming events, product discounts, helpful reading, and more.
I also wanted to reach out to members about the benefits of AEE leadership. Have you personally every thought about it? To be honest, the relationships that I have developed through AEE leadership have become the foundation for much of my career, and I have also learned a TON about leadership itself; which serves me really well in a variety of contexts. This opportunity is open to everyone, and is a great way to get involved in not only AEE but the profession itself. I swear, it’s not that hard, and you don’t need to have years and years of experience to do it. In fact, AEE leadership can be super beneficial for you early in your career, and is a really amazing way to learn. It’s hard to go wrong!
How would I do that, you might be saying? Well! In fact, right now the Canadian group and the Schools and Colleges group are both looking for a co-chair and the NAALA group needs a chair. If none of these fit for you, please consider that there are a number of other ways to get involved. I would be happy to steer you in a direction that meets your interests, and I am sure that Kristen in the office would be as well.
Volunteer leadership with AEE is a nice way to give back, provides you with a great way to develop professional skills, looks great on a resume, and best of all, you meet people that change your life for the better.
Thanks so much!
Sargent Center Update
Submitted by Rob Rubendall
BOSTON – Lease contract discussions are underway between Boston University (BU), owner of the Sargent Center for Outdoor Education (SCOE) in Hancock, N.H., and Nature’s Classroom, the Charlton, Mass.-based non-profit environmental education organization, to offer educational programs at the site under the name “Nature’s Classroom at Sargent Center.”
Operating at 13 locations in the Northeast, Nature's Classroom, founded in 1973 at Potter Place, N.H., is a residential environmental education program for children in grades 4-8.
BU, which obtained the 700-acre property in 1930 as part of the acquisition of the Sargent School of Physical Training, announced in January that it will cease SCOE’s operations, which include conferences, retreats, instructional programs and summer camps under the aegis of BU’s Metropolitan College, effective August 31. Most SCOE employees will be laid-off as of August 31, although a few will remain to conclude the university’s business.
According to Nature’s Classroom, which plans to hire a number of current BU/SCOE employees as of September 1, continuity in maintenance and programming are priorities.
The lease arrangement will allow the university to continue its research and orientation programs, and for Nature’s Classroom to offer summer programs, conferences and cottage rentals at the site.