a sense of place.

So I’ve been at the Audubon Center for the Northwoods for two months, but really it only feels like two weeks. Time flies here, partly because we’re so busy, and partly because I don’t own a watch. But the experiences I have had have been so amazing so far. It’s really a learning and growing experience that I need. Actually, I think everyone needs these kinds of experiences. Really.

I’ve been canoeing in the Boundary Waters and I’ve gone on a five day canoe trip down the Mississippi. I’ve met some incredibly nice and talented people, and some people who just aren’t the nice folks in the barn (including a farmer who hates educators and women). I’ve seen a Rendezvous of voyageurs and helped facilitate teambulding for a teachers retreat (where all the adults were older than me and far more experienced). I’ve challenged myself in more ways than I could count, both physically and mentally. I’ve climbed up a high ropes course without breaking down into a mess because of the height, and I managed to survive five days with a group of high schoolers in the middle of nowhere with no bathrooms and little sunshine.

I don’t want to leave. December is coming too fast. But everything happens for a reason and this has been a wonderful experience I will never forget. I don’t think fall block should be limited to Outdoor Education majors. Everyone should be given this chance. It’s amazing.

And that’s it for now. Quick update and nothing more. Hope all is well out there in space!

Fall Block!

So I’m going on hiatus for awhile since I’ll be off campus for four months doing the Fall Block thing (which means I’m in the middle of nowhere jumping off rocks and learning about trees and having a good old time being outside as much as I can).

Though I’ll leave you with a joke that I found hilarious and you’ll probably just think I’m a freak or something:

“Alice Algae and Freddie Fungus took a lichen to each other and now their relationship is on the rocks.”

Mwahahaha. Yeah, I’m probably the only one who would find that funny. GO NATURAL HISTORY! I’m a nerd.

Back on topic, you won’t see me for awhile so I hope you enjoy the beautiful fall season and the changing of the leaves and remember to live. It’s good for the soul. I’ll see you in January.

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.

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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.)

We are all a bit batty – Bat Education!

Yesterday was Blogathon day, and as you can see, I did not participate. I already had plans yesterday with my girl because two years ago I wrote her a letter asking her out. I don’t think she would have forgiven me if I ditched out on our plans to write in my blog every half hour.

Anyway, I did keep up on my Lee’s blog, which has always proved to be a large storehouse of information for paleo-nerds. Or, really, any nerd interested in the nitpickings of science. Sometimes I feel really smart when I read her blog. Other times… ha.

I wonder why she stays friends with me.

Anyway, it got me thinking a lot about my intentions when I first came to Northland. My plan was to major in Biology and slowly become a Bat Biologist. I love bats. I am a bat freak, I guess. My favorite are the flying foxes, named for their dog-like faces and large ears. They are true fruit bats, found in the Order of Chiroptera (or “hand-wing”). These true fruit bats are actually split into two groups: the Microchiropter (“small hand-wing”) and the Megachiropter (“large hand-wing”).
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