Outdoor Education

Mentor the young person in your life…

Nature flows in beautiful, subtle rhythms: the cycle of the day, of the moon, of the seasons; the life cycles of plants and animals. All these rhythms are expressions of the same basic pattern, and that pattern is also found in how humans grow and learn.

In today’s world, it is more vital than ever that we are mentoring youth in nature. One can learn many of the skills we feature on this web site, but what does it all really mean if we are not passing on these arts to our children?

Whether you are mentoring a kid in the neighborhood or a class of students, you will need tools to help you. We hope our section on Outdoor Education inspires and informs you on your journey as an outdoor educator.

Identifying Animal Tracks

Nature Activity: Animal Footprints

All animals leave footprints, or tracks, including humans. We may not see the animal. Most come around while we sleep. Lucky for us, they leave behind many different signs of their passing. This nature activity will teach you how to read a very important sign. Running Deer will teach it to you. When I was […]

The Natural Learning Cycle

The more you study and learn about the natural world, the more you realize there are natural cycles in every living system. And the more time you spend attuning to these natural cycles, the more you realize that aligning with them greatly enhances your ability to live in balance. The most obvious cycle is the […]

Encouraging Children with Authentic Praise

At the heart of mentoring and educating children is knowing the youth that you are with.  Encouraging children and honoring their achievements is a foundational component of all of Wilderness Awareness School’s programs. It feels good to be heard, to be recognized, and then to celebrate amongst your peers. We like a good party.  Students […]

Storytelling For Inspiration

Simply put, storytelling inspires. The success of any activity, particularly one involving mental focus, is greatly aided by starting with a story that inspires the students to immerse themselves in the upcoming experience. In my time at Wilderness Awareness School, I have watched many mentors as they preface a game or exercise with a personal […]

The Art of Questioning

At Wilderness Awareness School, the art of questioning is one of the most basic – and profound – learning tools that we work with. Whoever it is that is doing the asking, questioning is one of the ways that we can drive our senses to become more deeply involved in what we are experiencing. It […]

The Wilderness Walkabout

“The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” –Marcel Proust A fire 10 years previously had killed most of the trees in the open pine fir forest and cleared the underbrush. We were following the scattered tracks of a small group of elk which were meandering […]

The Human Blueprint

Rediscovering the Nature of Learning “It’s not dripping!” my daughter said expectantly. I drilled another half inch into the large Sugar Maple in front of the house. “Hmm, doesn’t seem to be flowing yet. Maybe it’s not ready today,” I said, a little uncomfortable after having drilled into the trunk of this living being. “We […]

Trailing Animals: Outdoor Activity for Children

Trailing an animal or person through a landscape is one of the most fun and difficult tasks that one may undertake. It is a great outdoor activity for children. Trailing is fun for everyone, and a great way to get young people interested in tracking as a study. It is exciting to follow a fresh […]

Nature Activities: Eagle Eye

If you take part in a program with one of the schools that uses the Art of Mentoring model, Starting Story, Nature Names, Four-Directions Classroom, Animal Calls, Fire-Keeper, and Eagle Eye are the nature activities or nature games that you will probably encounter first, as these set the tone for the learning to follow. They […]