GLBT Inclusion in Outdoor Education

So I posted a version of this awhile ago, but I just completed my seminar and I thought I would post my revised presentation “Inclusion of GLBT Youth into Outdoor Education” here for your reading pleasure. The biggest change was that I made it more personal for my place of work (the Hartley Nature Center) Feel free to comment and let me know what you think.

The seminar itself went well and I got very positive feedback. I had a powerpoint with it as well, but eh. Keep reading to see my thoughts on this subject.

Click here to continue reading this article.

Importance of Outdoor Play

A child’s need for free play is important to their early development. It’s even more important that this free play takes place outside where one can feel the grass between their toes, hear the wind through the trees, smell the moist dirt of the earth, and see the many wonders of the world.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen as much as it used to because of the fear parents have that something terrible will happen to their child if they so much as blink.

Children’s Outdoor Play and Learning Environments: Returning to Nature by Randy White & Vicki Stoecklin is a phenomenal article about why children need to be exposed to nature. They give in-depth research on biophilia and how to design outdoor play areas for kids. If you’re a parent, a teacher, or even a kid-at-heart, you’ll want to read this.

I think I’m going to go climb a tree.

(I apologize for the amount of posting lately. I’ve been doing a lot of research and I tend to blog about things I get excited about. We’ll talk about muttaburrasaurs at a later date.)

Creating safe spaces for Gay Youth

I’ve been doing more research for a seminar I’m conducting on Friday and I just thought I’d make mention of this because it’s such an important topic. Safe spaces (in schools and other organizations) are needed wherever you may be.

“Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender young people are increasingly visible in our schools. Why? Probably partly because young people in general are reaching puberty at younger ages than they did in generations past. And probably partly because sexual minority young people are growing up in the midst of a civil rights movement, feeling both an urgency and an increasing sense of community in their normal adolescent quests for identity and integrity. Recent studies have shown that, on average, lesbian and gay youth first become aware of their same-gender attractions at an average of 9-10 years old and first identify as lesbian or gay at an average of 14-16 years old. “

Safe Schools Coalition.

I’m currently talking to my boss about creating our Nature Center into a known safe space here in Duluth, MN. Wish me luck. It’s looking like it is very likely. Safe Spaces are simply places that acknowledge, actively support, and challenge discrimination for QLBT youth. I believe that more programs and organizations, including schools (from K-college), should be trained in having safe spaces and in knowing more about the unique individual needs of GLBT youth. It shouldn’t be that hard right? So why is it that so many places don’t feel the need to speak up about this? FIGHT! We need Safe Spaces.

Also, for more information on creating safe spaces and tips for organizations and communities who want to become more involved with the inclusion of GLBT youth, download this: Creating Safe Spaces for GLBTQ Youth: A Tool Kit. It’s a great document to have with you, very informative and helpful. Why not show your boss or head of your favorite organization?

Every step helps.

The presidential forum

Yesterday was August 9th, the day of the Presidential Forum.

It was, to say the least, incredibly insightful into the thoughts of some of our presidential candidates on some of the bigger GLBT issues.

I’m not going to go into what I really thought about it. I’ve been sick and therefore half asleep when I watched it, and I want to re-watch some of the key points before I attempt any sort of write-up. My head’s been full of fluff and the lack-of-breathing I’ve been doing has gotten to me. But, I shall give you this much.

Dana Rudolph, from the blog Mombian, wrote an wonderful commentary with her thoughts about the candidates here. It’s definitely worth a read whether you watched the forum or not because she goes pretty in depth on where each candidate stands.

Right. Give it some thoughts.