Posts Tagged ‘Experiential Education’

El Albergue grows into Organics/Sustainability

13/12/2014

Joaquín Randall, owner of El Albergue in Ollantaytambo, shares, in the recent video, the latest developments evolving around  experiential educational stays, sustainability, organics and cultural sensitivity at his lodge in the Sacred Valley of Peru.  Mountain Spirit collaborated a bit with Sr. Randall some years ago, so we can recommend a stay at El Albergue. Keep up the good Joaquin.

El Albergue, in Peru delivers a good stay, experientially based ed, and sustainability.

El Albergue, in Peru delivers a good stay, experientially based ed, and sustainability.

Small VT School Uses Debriefs to Foster Classroom Wellbeing

10/08/2012

Article on Bullying and Communication

Thanks to Laura Jean Whitcomb, publisher of Kid Stuff for letting us reprint this article about a ground-breaking move by a small school in central Vermont,  The Willow School. One look at the their website almost has me rethinking our departure for New Zealand this fall, and instead,  having our young son attend the school!

Outward Bound mandatory for all young people?

Like legendary Headmaster Dave Fowler at  Proctor Academy in Andover, NH where he pioneered incorporating Outward Bound principles of experiential education and community building into the school’s fabric in 1971,  it sure looks like the founders of the Willow School are doing the same thing for younger students. The article below covers what will hopefully be incorporated in many schools across the U.S. and abroad.   In New Zealand as well, (where we’ve been living), bullying appears to be a problem.

Proctor’s experiential model

I’m reprinting this article in hopes that it will fall into the right hands of school teachers and administrators.  During my 15-plus teaching years at Outward Bound, the debrief and reflection were key to a successful outcome for the students, and helped insure some strong “takeaways” that they could use as life skills.  In fact, Outward Bound Professional Development courses also incorporate these basic techniques (more…)

MSI Hosts Adventure Educator’s Sharing Symposium

06/07/2012

Learn and Share at MSI’s Symposium
Image: Participants in North Cascades, WA

Mountain Spirit Institute invites educators and interns to attend, share, and learn at the
Adventure Educator’s Sharing Symposium

WHERE: A Quiet, Rural Setting in the Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee Region
WHEN: Sunday, July 22nd, 2012
WHO: Open to Students, Teachers and Outdoor Educators and Interns..See more below.
COST: No charge. The Adventure Education Sharing Symposium is provided as a professional service by Mountain Spirit Institute, its staff, and its donors. If you wish, you are invited to make a contribution to the Mountain Spirit Institute scholarship fund.

WHAT: Experiential educators and adventure facilitators have creative and involving ways to help people bring the adventure home—to make connections between adventure experiences and our lives back at home, work or school. This symposium unites adventure programmers to share, learn, and apply some of our best practices regarding processing, facilitation, and transfer of learning in adventure education.

The Adventure Educator’s Sharing Symposium is responsive to the training and needs of each participant. By sharing, demonstrating, and talking about the processing and facilitation techniques we use in our various settings, the content, outcomes, and much of the structure of this day is co-created by participants, but with a little guidance toward the primary goal of an expanded tools-of-the trade repertoire for all participants. So, take an active role in your own learning and share your knowledge with others. (more…)

Ken Wylie Named to MSI Board

24/03/2012

Mountain Spirit Institute names Ken Wylie to Board of Directors

Ken Wylie

Ken Wylie, a veteran certified mountain guide from Cochrane Alberta, Canada with years as an experiential educator and program manager at Canadian universities as well as Outward Bound Canada and the Outward Bound USA, has recently been named to the board of directors at Mountain Spirit Institute based in the U.S. and New Zealand.  In addition to helping guide the U.S. organization, Wylie has plans to launch a  Mountain Spirit Institute Canada where he will create mountain programs based on the mission statement. Mr. Wylie and founder Randall Richards along with fellow board members are in discussions about also collaborating on mountain programs in the U.S,  New Zealand and possibly the Alps.

Says Wylie, “I am drawn to Mountain Spirit Institute because of the organization’s vision. MSI has the vision for the 21st century in my estimation, and is what I have been searching for in my career.” Adds Wylie, “The mountains are an experience that can change people’s lives, but are more often than not just another consumable, another peak to check off the list. What people need now more than ever,  is to connect and MSI helps them do that.” (more…)

Thompson Island Outward Bound

10/02/2012

Alex shares what he likes about his role at head of Thompson Island Outward Bound Center just outside of Boston, MA. USA.
The center is located on a beautiful island reachable by shuttle boat for students and the public. Go check it out, meanwhile here’s what Alex has to say about TIOBC.

Project Positive

06/01/2012

Graeme Dingle, New Zealand mountaineer does good

Graeme Dingle is fast becoming one of my role models, and I’ve never met the man. I intend to though. Maybe if I’m fortunate, we may collaborate on a co-venture project helping to connect people to the mountains, who knows. The more I learn about Mr. Dingle, the more I like and respect who he is, what he stands for, and what he’s accomplished in outdoor education.
Here’s an article from the Directions Magazine
By Laura Crooks

Inspiring New Zealand teenagers to reach their potential was a plan born during a trip to the Arctic by adventurer Graeme Dingle and partner Jo-anne
Wilkinson in the early ’90s.

Why did you think New Zealand needed a specific programme to help the country’s youth?
I set  up the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre (OPC) in 1972 and I thought that was my  contribution to New Zealand in terms of young people. But it was really just the start, because I learnt so much about youth development through it and I got to thinking about the business of dealing with harder kids than those we met at OPC. I felt that for kids who had low confidence and low self-esteem, a one week experience in the wilderness wasn’t enough – it needed to be a continuum of things that really built on what had been learnt in that first period. I then set out to do the first continuous circumnavigation of the Arctic and in the Arctic you get a lot of very unusual communities – they’re very isolated and they live in such extraordinary circumstances where it’s light half the year, then continuously dark the other half of the year. They have very high rates of suicide, the kids don’t have too much to look forward to, and that started us thinking. But it didn’t really hit home until we got back to New Zealand – that here we lived in paradise and yet we had one of the highest rates of youth suicide, youth incarceration, dropouts from school unplanned teenage pregnancy – the works. The main catalyst was going to see Once Were Warriors – that was the thing that finally made us say: “Let’s do something about this”. So, Jo-anne and I invented Project K. basically. The Project K Trust grew into the Foundation for Youth Development (FYD) with nearly 20,000 young people in programmes each year. The FYD runs programmes for kids aged 5 – 18, and Project K is one of these. (more…)

We’ve Gone Ad Free

16/02/2011

 

Never Too Late to Stop Ads

We’ve been meaning to do it, but finally got around to it today. No more ads on this blog. In the spirit of being a nonprofit (Mountain Spirit Institute is indeed a non-profit) we thought this would be the better route. As editor, the ads never showed up on my screen, but I assume they were there. It was easy to put this task on the back burner because I never saw one. I hope they weren’t advertising for hosiery or wellness pills. I assume the revenue went to wordpress.com, as well is should. They’re a great company.  We’ll be paying for the privilege of an ad-free blog, and hope you’ll like it. Let us know what you think. And while you’re at it, let us know if you saw any hosiery ads or the like.
Enjoy,
R. Richards
PS: Your donations,  for this blog, or for helping to further our organizational mission is always welcome. You can donate here.

This Way of Life.. An Inspiring Film

09/02/2011

Don't Miss This Dose of Inspiration

The film This way of  Life is as inspiring as it gets. Filmed in the Hawkes Bay region of New Zealand’s North Island, this documentary is about a Maori family: a good and strong man and his wife who bring up their kids in the out-of-doors, raising wild horses. Peter, the father, is someone this writer admires for his steadfast adherance to what is right action in the midst of some people around him who act very badly.  We happened to pick up the movie at the library the other day, and were wowed by it.
A lot of what we strive for here at Mountain Spirit Institute is encapsulated in the documentary, and how this family lives their lives. No nature deficit disorder here. But the hardships, and even the new house where the kids get their own rooms, don’t sugarcoat the difficulties faced by the family.  We are about to bring a child into this world, and this film has added fuel to our fire to continue to head for the mountains. A cure for affluenza, for sure.

Director: Thomas Burstyn
New Zealand, 2010, 84 min.
Against the stunning beauty of New Zealand’s rugged Ruahine Mountains, Peter Karena and his wife Colleen instill in their children the values of independence, courage, and happiness. The family is poor in possessions but rich with a physicality and freedom within nature that most of us can only dream of. The children ride bareback, hunt, and play in the wild. Shot over four years, this film is an intimate portrait of a Maori family and their relationship with nature, adversity, horses, and society at large. Special mention at Berlin International Film Festival, 2010 Hotdocs, New Zealand’s Oscar shortlist.

You can learn a bit more about the family and the film on their Facebook page.
See the Movie Trailer

Bob Bloom Leads MSI’s Drumming Jamaica

19/12/2010

Mountain Spirit Institute teams up with Master Teaching Artist Bob Bloom
By Cindy Heath

Bob Bloom, of Storrs, CT will lead our Drumming Jamaica workshop February 7-11, 2011 at the Calabash House in Treasure Beach, Jamaica.

I first met Bob Bloom in the late 90’s, when I was searching for musicians to fill the program for a children’s entertainment series in Lebanon, NH.  Bob was on stage at a performing artists showcase, and I was immediately drawn to his energy and of course, his skillful drumming. I hired Bob on the spot, and he returned to our stage every summer thereafter, bringing drums for all to play.

Bob Bloom Leads Drumming Jamaica

Bob has been a busy guy, building a highly popular and successful interactive drumming and education program.  Here’s a snapshot of his accomplishments:

*Bob’s certification as a ‘Master Teaching Artist’ was awarded by the Connecticut Commission on the Arts in 1997.

*For over a decade, Bob served as a faculty assistant to Dr. Babatunde Olatunji for his “Language of the Drums” courses, and he performed as a member of Drums of Passion, Dr. Olatunji’s internationally acclaimed drumming and dance company.

*Bob served from 2007 to 2010 as chair of the Interactive Drumming Committee of The Percussive Arts Society, the largest percussion organization in the world.

I bought my first conga drum right around the time I met Bob, and started taking lessons at Dartmouth College – what a thrill!  There’s nothing like playing the rhythms with a group – I learned to play conga, bongo, clave and eventually steel drums – all without knowing how to read music. Turns out we feel rhythms at a cellular level, and drumming has all kinds of health benefits, including a positive effect on our immune system.

A highlight of my relationship with Bob was when he gave me one of his drums – a beautiful djembe. This is the one I’ll bring to Treasure Beach,

Calabash House, Treasure Beach, Jamaica

Jamaica for the Drumming Jamaica workshop Bob is teaching – perhaps I’ll learn some new rhythms, and come back from Jamaica a bit healthier and wiser.

As African music educator Olatunji said, “Rhythm is the soul of life. The whole universe revolves in rhythm. Everything and every human action revolves in rhythm.”

If you would like to join MSI in Jamaica, please check out the MSI website or call 603-763-2668

Changing Educational Paradigms

11/11/2010

Krag Unsoeld from Washington State, sent this video link to me yesterday, and I found it inspiring. Thanks Krag.