Outdoor Education Quotes
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you
didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail
away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore.
- Mark Twain
Currently, we have pseudoeducation; what we need is
Challenge is what makes men. It will be the end when men stop looking
for new challenges.
Change and growth take place when a person has risked themselves and
dares to become involved in experimenting with their own life.
Do you know a cure for me? Why yes, he said, I know a cure for
everything. Salt water. Salt water? I asked him. Yes, he said, in one form
or another, sweat, tears or the salt sea.
A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its
Men, like rivers become crooked by following the line of least
The value of experience is not in seeing much but in seeing wisely.
Life sure is easy on a raft, ain’t it Huck?
Security is when everything is settled. When nothing can happen to you.
Security is the denial of life.
The experience of helping a fellow man in danger, or even of training
in a realistic manner to be ready to give this help, tends to change the
balance of power in a youth's inner life with the result that compassion
can become the master motive.
Risk, there is no real living without it. Die we all must, but try to
knock all risk out of our lives and we lock ourselves tighter and tighter
into a safe, comfortable, deadly box, and we die too, without ever having
When it's getting dark, you're miserable and the task at hand seems
endless, then this is the time to dig your sense of humour out from the
bottom of your pack, wear it on your spirit and lighten your load.
The art of teaching is the art of answering questions and saying enough
but not too much.
Must we always teach our children with books? Let them look at the
mountains and the stars up above. Let them look at the beauty of the
waters and the trees and flowers on earth. They will then begin to think,
and to think is the beginning of a real education.
Risk is essential. There is no growth or inspiration in staying within
what is safe and comfortable. Once you find out what is best, why not try
May neither drought nor rain nor blizzard disturb the joy juice in your
gizzard! And may you camp where wind won’t hit you, where snakes won’t
bite and bears won’t git you.
A journey is a person in itself, no two are alike. We find after years
of struggle that we do not take a trip, a trip takes us.
Do not try to satisfy your vanity by teaching a great many things.
Awaken people’s curiosity. It is enough to open minds, do not overload
them. Put there just a spark. If there is some good inflammable stuff, it
will catch fire.
I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately, to front only
the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to
teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did
not wish to live what was not life; living is so dear; nor did I wish to
practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep
and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartanlike
as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave
close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms,
and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine
meanness out of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were
sublime, to know it by experience.
But if adventure has a final and all embracing
motive it is surely this:
In a very real sense, we are all adventurers. Conceived by chance in a
moment of ecstasy, born in pain, our living days are torn between the
aspiration of hope and exigencies of necessity. And on death we journey
into yet another unknown.
The most important education is that which leads to personal survival.
An adventure is simply a well planned trip gone awry.
A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy
but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the
That which ought and can best be taught inside the
classroom should there be taught, and that which can best be learned
through experience dealing directly with native materials and real life
situations outside the school should there be learned.
It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing
Let us start with an understanding of outdoor education which is not
bounded by common definitions. Let us imagine a pure, theoretical
elixir which has no detectable chemical qualities, a pure homeopathic.
When applied, it has infinitely perfect effects. All approaches to
human healing, growth and sustenance might strive to be as such, a
perfect supplement to human experience; so too might be the goal of
In my daily task I draw on my Antarctic experience. If the work is important enough I do not knock off because I feel tired; one’s
exhaustion point is a very long way past fatigue point. I think I
have developed a greater capacity for thoroughness and I am more
appreciative of the value of proper planning. Possibly the two most
valuable things my expedition years gave me were self-confidence and
persistence. Persistence allied with patience will overcome most
And what joy, think ye, did they feel after
the exceedingly long and troublous ascent?- after scrambling, pulling,
pushing lifting, gasping, looking, hoping, despairing, climbing, holding on,
falling off, trying, puffing, loosing, gathering, talking, stepping,
grumbling, anathematising, scraping, hacking, bumping, jogging, overturning,
hunting, straddling, - for know ye that by these methods alone are the most
divine mysteries of the Quest revealed?
As editor of Accidents in North American Mountaineering since
1974, Williamson warned that bad preparation, not the mountain or the weather,
causes deaths and accidents. "There's no such thing as bad weather,"
Williamson said. "It's weather. It's what you get." "The leading cause of
accidents is trying to stick to a schedule and trying to please other people,"
he added. "You don't climb up something you can't climb down."
The 'death consequence' removes all the other forces, the lesser
motivations. They fall away and then there's just that primary
motivation, which is staying alive. It's so pure.
can discover more in an hour of play than you can in a lifetime of
Walk into the woods. Keep walking. Walk off tracks. Do not
plan where you are going. Take whatever directions appeal in the moment.
Keep walking. When (without realizing) you are lost, look into the eyes of
the dragon, then your adventure begins.
First it is a
challenge. Secondly you have to learn to prepare meticulously, for your
life may depend on the thoroughness and extent of your planning. You have
to get off your tail and spur yourself to get going. You have to leave
your comfortable slot and go out where things are rough. You have to push
into the background the worry of the less likely hazards and make some
bold judgements about the more probable ones.
education is a recent phenomenon in the widespread business of teaching
and learning. Its emergence has, ironically, coincided with the decline of
the wilderness resource upon which it depends. This is not surprising
since the reason people now program “adventure” is because it is no longer
a normal part of life. Humans sought for millennia to subdue wilderness.
That process was dangerous, uncomfortable, and often fatal. Now that
wilderness seems to be conquered, humans miss the challenges the struggle
provided. They recognize the values provided by that struggle, values not
appreciated then and not now available in the normal course of life. So,
in compensation, they venture forth in growing numbers in adventure sports
and even program for their youth.