Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Roots to Shoots

During the weekend of March 23-25 I'll be attending a conference in Durango, CO at Fort Lewis College. It's be an incredible pleasure of mine to be volunteering my time to head the Fun and Fundraising sub-committee for this conference, as well as partaking in the workshop proposals sub-committee. This conference is better known as The Association For Experiential Education Rocky Mountain Regional Conference. The theme for this years conference is From Roots to Shoots : Experience The Solution.

(From The AEE Website)
Experiential Educators include teachers, camp counselors, corporate team builders, therapists, challenge course practitioners, environmental educators, guides, instructors, coaches, mental health professionals . . . and the list goes on. An Experiential Educator is anyone who teaches through direct experience.

The Association for Experiential Education (AEE) is a nonprofit, professional membership association dedicated to experiential education and the students, educators and practitioners who utilize its philosophy. We strive to:
  • Connect educators in practical ways so that they have access to the growing body of knowledge that fuels their growth and development
  • Publish and provide access to relevant research, publications and resources
  • Raise the quality and performance of experiential programs through our accreditation program
  • Increase recognition of experiential education worldwide

This post kind of gets in to where the heck I've been for the last week. Truth is, besides entertaining company from the East Coast while they're in town; I've been working diligently on the conference as we get down to crunch time. We're behind on our fundraising and registration goals, though that seems to be a common theme amongst all of the conference convening non-profits. 

But besides that, I'm excited and preparing to present three workshops as this years regional conference. Here's a bit of a closer look at what my workshops are about. 

Ultra-Experiential: Endurance Running As Outdoor Education
4 hour outdoor-field based workshop
Participants in this workshop will engage in a 1-hour lecture on Ultra-Marathon Running and learn how these events themselves can be used as Outdoor Education Expeditions. Participants will learn how these events are metaphorical in nature, and how the thoughts and theories of Dewey, Hahn and the Human Potential Movement (among others) actually teaches us how Ultra-Running is experiential and could be used as a new adventure/experiential activity. Participants should also be prepared to run/walk in the outdoors for a 2-Hour Period of time. The Lecture and activity will be followed by a debrief and reflective discussion on concepts learned.
The Blind Side
75 Minutes
Randy "Zip" Pierce is visually impaired and while that may limit some, Randy aspires to be the first visually impaired individual to summit all of New Hampshire's Four-Thousand Footers. In this workshop, "Sherpa" John Lacroix will tell the tale on how he and UNH Outdoor Education helped Randy begin his quest in peak-bagging. A photo journal and short videos will be displayed depicting Randy's epic journey. Attendees in this workshop will dive into the in's and out's of working with the visually impaired; with a focus on inclusion, ethics and social justice. A few hands on initiatives tie it together.
So You Want To Be A Guide?
45 Minutes
Being a professional guide is more then being an experienced weekend warrior. In this workshop, participants will learn the various intricacies of becoming a professional guide. Learn what professional certifications are recommended beyond your degree. Learn what to look for in a reputable guide company in order to protect yourself. Receive resume advice that will help you land that dream job.
I'm really excited about the opportunity to present at this years conference about three topics I'm incredibly passionate about. There is still room to register if this type of professional development interests you. We'd love to have you!