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Outdoor Education in Russia


On a paddling trip to Siberia in 2000, I was fascinated to find an outdoor ed centre (they called it in English a "Centre for Young Tourists") which had photographs of children engaged in various initiative tasks that looked very much like single ropes course elements.

I was wondering when Project Adventure had arrived in Russia, but the Russians I was with explained that these activities had been used since the Russian revolution as a way of working with young people to improve their morals!

Their English wasn't great and my Russian is almost non-existent, but they explained that the activities were adapted from the techniques used to cross rivers.  Since then I've talked to a few Russians and gathered a bit of information about outdoor education in Russia - but it's tricky, partly because, like everywhere, there's no one thing called outdoor education - there's a lot of separate things happening.

But one thing seems to be clear, and that is that outdoor education has been offered to young people in Russia for almost ninety years
- Jackie Kiewa, Dec, 2001