Adventure Education uses human-powered outdoor pursuits to help people learn about interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships.
So, as an Adventure Education major, you will be leading backpacking expeditions, facilitating a ropes course, climbing rocks, ascending alpine summits, and paddling rivers for three reasons-first to learn the professional and technical skills to operate competently and safely in these environments, second to learn how to instruct others in these adventure activities, and third to learn how to frame these experiences so that your clients and students grow personally and professionally.
Adventure education is different than guiding and outdoor recreation. Your reflection on the outdoor experience is a necessary precursor to learning. You will learn how to help individuals and groups reflect and learn from their experiences in your Adventure Processing and Facilitation course and in the Adventure Leadership and Instruction course. You will learn how these processes and systems developed, and what kinds of programs utilize them, in your Foundations of Adventure Education course and the Adventure Education Philosophy and Theory course.
Human-powered outdoor pursuits such as backpacking, rock climbing, mountaineering and paddling are aligned with Adventure Education because they require some knowledge, judgment, decision making, and action from the individual or group, who often experience immediate feedback-success and sometimes failure-as the result of their actions and the environment. So, the results are at least partly under their own control. For example, if you begin to slip on an alpine glacier, you and your rope team must execute self-arrest procedures. Successfully stopping the fall is your feedback that you have properly learned some important skills, you knew how to use them, and you made the correct decision of when to use them. Your group discussion back at base camp that evening will likely include reflections about your learning, and maybe even how your growing competence in the mountains can be a metaphor for competencies you might pursue in other unrelated areas of your life, such as at school or work.
Careers in Adventure Education
Adventure educator, outdoor educator, program director, environmental educator, camp director, camp counselor, mountain guide, risk manager, wilderness educator, avalanche forecaster, avalanche educator, ski guide, river guide, instructor, firefighter, forestry, staffing director, entrepreneur, outdoor business owner, leave no trace trainer, park ranger, recreation planner, wilderness medicine educator, search and rescue, wilderness advocacy, and non profit administration.
- Adventure Management
- Search and Rescue
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