Outdoor Education Research & Evaluation Center

Update #7:
Links Added September, 2004 - November, 2006

James Neill
Last updated:
07 Nov 2006

Recent Links
(from most recent to least recent)

  • Onward Bound - The First 50 Years of Outward Bound AustraliaOnward Bound: The First 50 Years of Outward Bound Australia
    (Australian Outward Bound Foundation, 2006, Canberra, Australia)

    This book is an oral history of the people who contributed to the remarkable development of Outward Bound in Australia. The stories and accounts provide a snapshot full of colour, insight, perspective and memories. It is human account of an organisation's ongoing contribution to Australian society and includes many historical photos.

  • Outdoor Education Frappr MapOutdoor Education Around the World
    (a Frappr Map & Community Group)

    Welcome to outdoor education around the world! This is a zoomable map (based on Google Maps) to which you can add and find outdoor education people and organisations.  Includes shoutouts, photos, and Google forum. A great way to visualize and connect far-flung likeminds.  Use satellite view to get amazing detail.

  • Outdoor Education DailyOutdoor Education Daily
    (a virtual newspaper)

    How do you track news about outdoor education?  Try out this virtual outdoor education newspaper which contains the latest news, jobs, quotes, group postings, photos, and links from around the world.

  • Outdoor Education & The New World Outdoor Education & The New World(Montage) - 4m - 9 MB
    (James Neill, 2005, Wilderdom)

    A fast-paced montage-style video presents an inspiring yet disturbing series of outdoor education, people and nature images, intercut with cosmological,  evolutionary, historical, and environmental images, and quotes and graffiti.  In montage, there is potentially as much meaning in the transition between images as there might be in any single image.  Make of the suggested dilemmas and opportunities what you will...

  • Team building basics: A guide to getting going in the world of team buildingTeam building basics: A guide to getting going in the world of team building
    (James Neill, 2005, Wilderdom)

    A team is a group of people who come together temporarily to achieve a purpose.  There is no magic formula for "building a team".  Teams are organic - they grow and change - so make use of the opportunities that change offers.

  • Outward BoundHurricane Island with Outward Bound
    (Joshua Miller, 8 April, 2005, The Bowdoin Orient, USA)

    The past two weeks have been the most challenging of my life -- getting used to living with 14 people in the small space of  a 30ft schooner designed to be propelled by its two sails -- or its six oars.  The hours of rowing every day and the lack of toilet facilities has not been easy by any measure.  And yet, the last fourteen days were perhaps the most rewarding of my life as well.  The group, a motley crew, to be sure, included J.C., a 17-year-old Texan given a choice of Outward Bound or juvenile detention, and Leila, a 16-year-old from New Orleans who was on the adventure because if she completed it, her step-dad promised to buy her a car of "no less than $15,000," as she often reminded me.

  • Team Building Activity: Amoeba Race
    (James Neill, 2005, Outdoor Education Research & Evaluation Center)

    A simple, close physical contact group cooperation activity.  The group forms the three parts of an Amoeba: protoplasm, cell wall and nucleus.  Then the group travels, splits into two amoebas, and the amoeba have a race.

  • Jobs & Careers: Rick Curtis, Princeton University, USA: He's got a real career of adventureJobs & Careers: Rick Curtis, Princeton University, USA: He's got a real career of adventure
    (Art Carey, April 9, 2005, Philadelphia Inquirer, EEList Archives)
  • Rick Curtis has been director of Outdoor Action, a wilderness orientation program at Princeton University, USA for 24 years.  Once a student himself in the program, Curtis found himself hooked to adventure and intrigued by the potential of outdoor experiences.

  • Environmental advocacy study trip faces political harassment in the USAEnvironmental advocacy study trip faces political harassment in the USA
    (7 April, 2005, Antioch New England Graduate School, NH, USA)

    A group of master's students from Antioch New England Graduate School’s Environmental Advocacy and Organizing Program recently visited Louisiana as part of a field studies trip.  The class met with elected officials, petrochemical industry executives, union leaders, scientists, EPA officials, environmental activists, and members of polluted communities.  They also unexpectedly encountered off-duty police and sheriff’s department officers and corporate security officials who detained them because they took photos of industrial facilities from public roadways and sidewalks.  Following the group's visit, the group's community liaison officer, Willie Fontenot, from the Louisiana Attorney-General's Department, was asked to take early retirement or face a hearing and be fired.  Public action to support Fontenot is underway.

  • Adventure TravelVolunteer tourism on the rise: Adventure and humanitarianism can help change the world
    (Eve Conant, 8 April, 2005, Newsweek International, USA)

    For some altruistic travelers, vacations mean more than just a day at the beach.  The numbers of socially responsible tourists—and the opportunities available to them—are rising steeply.  Whether its helping with AIDS education in Tanzania, tsunami cleanup in Thailand, or wheelchair construction in Laos, there is no shortage of opportunities for travelers with a global conscience and a sense of adventure.

  • Outdoor education & genderClosing the gap: Women's Wilderness Institute works to bring girls and women to the outdoors
    (Pam Mellskog, 2 April, 2005, The Daily Times-Call, CO, USA)
  • The Women's Wilderness Institute is making a name for itself by making outdoor adventures accessible and palatable to girls and women who may otherwise fear venturing into what is commonly perceived as a masculine domain.

  • Risk, Safety, & Challenge in Outdoor EducationTeens want groovy, convenient exposure to risk experiences
    (Alex Hill, 3 April, 2005, Vail Daily, USA)
  • Today's teenagers grew up in the 1990's - and they like to be exposed to risk-taking that is safe and convenient.  This was the message of Michael Wood, an expert in teenage psychology, in his presentation to the Snow Industry Summit, CO, USA.

  • Mealtime for Western Climbers at Mandara Hut, Maragnu Route, Mt KilimanjaroClimbers bribing to get on crowded Kilimanjaro
    (Paul Redfern, 28 February, 2005, allafrica.com)
  • Accusations of overcrowding, protests about poor conditions for sherpas, and suspicions of corruption amongst Tanzanian officials are  undermining efforts by Western tour companies efforts to provide "gourmet" extreme expeditions up Mt Kilimanjaro.

  • Trekking to the top: Adventure-based learning & leadership programs
    (Jeffrey Gangemi, 28 February, 2005, Business Week)

    Business schools are increasingly making use of the power of experiential learning in outdoor environments to bring students into direct contact with real, challenging team work and leadership situations.

  • Get To Know You Sociometric QuestionsGet To Know You Sociometric Questions
    (James Neill, 2005, Outdoor Education Research & Evaluation Center)
  • A sequence of questions which help students to find out about one another, move around, and have fun.

  • Psygeist - on the psychological climate of the timePsygeist: Kiwis turn their backs on nature
    (Teresa O'Connor, New Zealand Herald, 6 March, 2005)
  • According to new research New Zealanders are turning their backs on the great outdoors in droves because they have become so urbanised they lack the confidence to tackle even the most basic activities like camping and tramping.

  • Outward Bound Thunder Bay, Canada closes after 35 years
    (Chen Chikki, The Chronicle-Journal, 7 February, 2005)
  • Once known as the world's most remote Outward Bound school, the Thunder Bay school has closed down after 35 years, in a cost-cutting move to help OB survive in Canada.

  • World Meal - Cross-cultural ActivityCross-cultural activity: World Meal
    (James Neill, 2005, Outdoor Education Research & Evaluation Center)
  • A World Meal consists of a limited amount of rice and beans.  This is the average meal for the average person on the planet.  Cook this for a group of others and encourage them in turn to cook a World Meal for others.

  • Adventure Therapy & Wilderness TherapyInvestigation of wilderness therapy, adventure therapy & experiential education practices in Europe, UK & USA
    (Paul Stolz, 2002, Report for Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, Australia)
  • Reports on wilderness and adventure therapy practices in the US, UK and Europe, based on site visits including the 2nd International Adventure Therapy Conference, Youth Intensive Program, Brathay Training Centre, REAL School, and Catherine Freer.

  • Kurt Hahn (1886-1974)10 Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound principles
    (Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound, c.1992)

    These 10 principles, which seek to describe a caring, adventurous school culture and approach to learning, were drawn from the ideas of Kurt Hahn and other education leaders for use in Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound (ELOB) schools.

  • List of outdoor & experiential education discussion listsList of outdoor & experiential education discussion lists
    (James Neill, 2005, Outdoor Education Research & Evaluation Center)
  • Email discussion lists are a free, simple form of internet-based discussion.  After subscribing to a list you will receive and be able to send email messages to all other members. 

  • Conferences, Seminars, & Training Related to Outdoor Education Theory, Research & DevelopmentMarch 15 workshop submission deadline nears for the 33rd annual AEE Conference
    (Association for Experiential Education, 2005, November 3-6, 2005, Tucson, AZ, USA)
  • Applications close soon for workshop presentations at the 4-day conference organized by the Association for Experiential Education.  Attracts ~1000 people.  Workshop-oriented.  This is the largest gathering of mostly US outdoor & experiential educators.

  • Physical Activities for GroupsMirror Image: Physical warmup & get-to-know-you activity
    (James Neill, 2005, Outdoor Education Research & Evaluation Center)

    Involves people in pairs, with one person mirroring the actions of the other.  Stimulates self- and other-awareness.

  • Adventure therapy: State of the profession
    (Lee Gillis, 2005, 4-6 February, 2005, Keynote address to the AEE Therapeutic Adventure Professional Group, USA)

    Gillis offers a critical, historical, and solution-focused view of the current state of the adventure therapy profession, suggesting it will need to foster research and theory in particular, in order to survive and thrive.

  • Risk, Safety, & Challenge in Outdoor EducationMPs urge a £30m boost for outdoor school trips in England
    (BBC News, 10 February, 2005)

    A UK education committee is calling for a "champion" to promote outdoor activities and has asked a teachers' union to revoke its advice to not run trips because of fear of litigation if a child is injured.  "We have to get away from the culture of fear that has grown around school trips and introduce some element of common sense". The committee praised efforts in some other countries to provide outdoor learning.  For example, in Denmark, schools based in forests "used the natural environment to stimulate pupils" and "experience a carefully monitored element of risk".  Also see: Teachers stand firm on school trip guidance
    (The Independent, February, 2005)

  • Team building activity: ZoomTeam building activity: Zoom
    (James Neill, 2004, Outdoor Education Research & Evaluation Center)

    A group tries to create a unified story from a set of sequential pictures.  The pictures are randomly ordered and handed out.  Each person has a picture but cannot show it to others. Requires patience, communication, and trying to understand from another's point of view in order to recreate the picture sequence.

  • Surviving the elements: Camping in the winter can be fun if you're preparedSurviving the elements: Camping in the winter can be fun if you're prepared
    (Rob Andrejewski, 8 February, 2005, The Ithaca Journal)

    "There's something I need to get out of the way right now," Chris Arthur, an instructor with Cornell Outdoor Education (COE) told the eight of us assembled before him. "You are going to get cold. There's a myth that you don't get cold when you winter camp, but that's just not true. Our job is to help you minimize the cold and to deal with it intelligently."

  • WilderWiki: Open content "living simply in nature" database
    (James Neill, 2005, Outdoor Education Research & Evaluation Center)

    WilderWiki is an interactive, online space with the theme "living simply in nature".  In Wiki, anyone can edit and contribute.

  • Physical activities: Chicken StretchPhysical activity: Chicken Stretch
    (James Neill, 2004, Outdoor Education Research & Evaluation Center)

    A surprise physical warmup activity.  Demonstrate 3 different stretches which, when put together, turns each person into a chicken (hen) and the group into a clucking and squawking chickenyard.  Very funny, works with any age.

  • Outdoor & adventure education injury/fatality rates and comparative statisticsOutdoor & adventure education injury/fatality rates & comparative statistics
    (James Neill, 2005, Outdoor Education Research & Evaluation Center)

    There is no comprehensive source of accurate figures about injury and fatality rates in outdoor and adventure education programs.  From the pot pourri of statistics and expert/critic opinions, however, some general observations can be made.

  • NOLS - National Outdoor Leadership School: News, Research, & HistoryWord-of-mouth marketing firm does pro bono promotion for NOLS
    (PRweb Press Release, 14 January, 2005)

    The National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS, USA) has gained a pro bono BzzAgent word-of-mouth marketing campaign.  NOLS is the renowned wilderness experience and leadership organization founded in 1965. The 12-week marketing program will engage the efforts of 3,000 volunteer "brand evangelists" across the USA in an effort to raise awareness of NOLS among outdoor enthusiasts, corporate executives, educators and aspiring leaders.

  • American Camping Association - ResearchYouth development outcomes of the camp experience
    (Philliber Research Associates & the American Camping, 2005)

    This study examined the claims that camps provide positive developmental experiences for young people.  Effects on 10 main outcomes were measured and categorized in terms of personal identity (e.g., self-esteem and self-confidence), social skills (including making new friends), leadership skills, physical and thinking skills (e.g., adventure experiences and environmental appreciation), and spiritual/value development.  Effect sizes of pre-post-followup change reported by campers and parents were small (~.1), whereas observed changes by staff were small-moderate (~.3).  These findings are consistent with estimates of camp program effects in previous research (Hattie, et al, 1997; Marsh, 1999).

  • Outward Bound: History, Philosophy, Theory, ResearchOutward Bound USA "circles the wagons" by merging 5 out of 8 chartered operations

    (Outward Bound USA press release, Yahoo News, 25 January, 2005)
    In an effort to "circle the wagons", OB in the USA has has merged 5 out of its 8 chartered OB operations.   This brings together three traditional "wilderness-style" OB schools: OB West,  the Hurricane Island OB School, and the Voyageur OB School, plus OB USA Inc and Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound.  The merger leaves the 2 urban-style schools, the New York City OB School and the Thompson Island OB School, plus 1 traditional "wilderness-style" program, North Carolina OB School, as independent chartered OB operations.

  • Physical Activities for GroupsPhysical activity: Seed ® Flower Stretch
    (James Neill, 2005, Outdoor Education Research & Evaluation Center)
    Fun physical warmup.  In a circle, everyone starts as a small seed (crouched, hunched), then slowly sprouts and grows, eventually flowering towards the sun (tippy toes, arms outstretched).  Repeat, getting faster each time, leading eventually to seeds in unison jumping into the air and letting out loud "ahhhs"!

  • Cross-cultural ActivitiesCross-cultural activity: Hello in Different Languages
    (James Neill, 2004, Outdoor Education Research & Evaluation Center)
    This is a fun, warm-up, cross-cultural activity.  The group tries to come up the word(s) for "hello" in as many different languages as possible.

  • Indoor Ice ClimbingIce climbing can offer a cool challenge
    (Richard Moore, 28 November, 2004, Sunday Herald)
    Ice climbing is a fringe adventure activity that is becoming more accessible.  The Ice Factor is the biggest indoor ice climbing wall  in the world. In its first year, 20,000 people came to use the climbing walls, and another 4,000 to climb the ice wall.  There are few activities or exercises that can prepare you for ice-climbing.  It is physically exhausting and mentally baffling – but likewise there are few activities that can match the sense of accomplishment - you are, after all, scaling a vertical sheet of frozen water.

  • Team Building ActivitiesFairfax campground brings wireless to the wilderness
    (David Cho, 26 December, 2004, Washington Post)
    There is a growing trend towards parks in the USA installing wireless internet access.  Some argue that visitors will be overly drawn to their glowing screens, others say it can increase quality recreation time by allowing people to get work done efficiently whilst in remote locations.  The phenomenon is driven by advancements in luxury mobile homes, with owners increasingly requesting internet access.

  • Wilderness & EducationFive issues to be considered in team building
    (Darwyn Linder & Susan Ledlow, 1999, Arizona State University)
    A team is a group of people who share a common name, mission, history, set of goals or objectives and expectations.  Team building is the process of creating, maintaining, and enriching the development of cohesive groups of people. Team building exercises can be helpful for developing c
    ohesiveness, roles and norms, communication, goal specification, and interdependence.

  • Adventure Therapy & Wilderness TherapyAdventure therapy helps mentally ill teenagers
    (Mick Bunworth, 6 December, 2004, TV Program Transcript, ABC Online, Australia)
    The benefits of pushing body and soul to the limit in adventurous activities has, for some time now, been considered a healthy tonic for the pressures of a busy life.  But a clinical psychologist with a passion for the outdoors has found those benefits now extend to the treatment of teenagers suffering mental illness.  It's called Adventure Therapy and in some cases it's replacing prescription drugs and counselling.

  • Physical Activities for GroupsKey statements from "Physical Activity & Psychological Benefits: A position statement by the International Society of Sport Psychology"
    (International Society of Sport Psychology, 1992, The Physician & Sportsmedicine)
    During the 20th century, human beings substantially reduced the frequency and intensity of their physical activity.  This situation has significantly negatively affected individuals and societies.  On the positive side, the process of exercise brings about both short- and long-term psychological enhancement and  mental well-being.  Physical activity has a positive causal effect on self-esteem and aerobic activity can reduce anxiety, depression, tension, and stress, and can increase vigor and promote clear thinking.

  • Team Building ActivitiesTeam Building Activity: All Aboard!
    (James Neill, 2004, Outdoor Education Research & Evaluation Center)
    A classic teambuilding activity in which a group is challenged to physically support one another in an endeavor to occupy an ever diminishing space.

  • PsygeistOutdoor education in the new world: Reflections on my first semester teaching outdoor education at the University of New Hampshire
    (James Neill, December, 2001, Outside the Box)
    Outdoor education has a vast potential to become a revolutionary educational movement which helps to transform the way people relate to themselves, society and the environment. The Sept 11 incidents highlighted some major problems in the world and increased my resolve to help students studying a profession which can make a difference. Many people seem to have forgotten that outdoor education emerged in its modern form during the last major world conflict - World War II.

  • Wilderdom Vignettes1 in 10 bird species could vanish by 2100
    (Dan Vergano, 13 December, 2004, USA Today)
    Another symptom of humans' unsustainable lifestyle is that bird species are struggling to adapt to the pace of change.  New estimates indicate that about 10% of all bird species are likely to be extinct by 2100.  The most direct causes are habitat loss, hunting and climate change.  What can be done?  Expand and connect up natural habitats and replace hunting with ecotourism are some practical suggestions.

  • PsygeistThe adaptational challenge for 21st century humans
    (James Neill, 2004, Outdoor Education Research & Evaluation Center)
    It is very possible that there are amazing far distant futures for homo sapiens and what may evolve beyond.  It is also very possible that our species’ future will be much shorter and less enviable than expected.  What happens during the 21st century will be critical.  What kind of world will the projected 10 billion or so people inherit in 2100?

  • Outdoor Education Resource LinksThe Outdoor Network closes its doors after 15 years
    (Rick Curtis, 20 October, 2004, outdoored.com)

  • The Outdoor Network was the best known North American outdoor industry information resource for 15 years.  However, it lost focus through several changes of ownership, a dwindling subscriber-base, and faced competition from a variety of new websites. This article provides more detail about the life and times of The Outdoor Network.

  • Adventure Travel - DogsleddingDogsledding: A winter wilderness experience
    (Clarke Canfield, 9 December, 2004, IOL: Travel)
    Throughout much of human history in cold climates, dogsledding and dogsled racing was better-known than downhill skiing.  Now dogsledding is reemerging as a form of adventure tourism in North America.  Mushing excursions range from $25 for a 20-minute jaunt to $6000 for a trip to northern Greenland.   Mahoney, who once lived in the Yukon Territory bush mushing dogs and wrangling horses, says her customers "love dogs and are looking for outdoor adventure".  One of her young clients adds, "It's a lot better than school".

  • Wilderness-based Rites of PassageTime out for fatherhood & boyhood: Executives head for the bush with their sons
    (Simon Canning, 8 December, The Australian)
    Boys have a biological need for several hours of one-on-one contact with males each day.  Yet modern culture has fathers spending surprisingly little time with their sons.  In a recent "Pathways to Manhood" program, a group of high flying Australian bank executives spent a weekend hiking and camping in the bush to bond with their sons. For some, it was the most time they had ever spent together.

  • Icebreakers, Warmups, Energizers, & DeinhibitizersIcebreaker: Have You Ever?
    (James Neill, 2004, Outdoor Education Research & Evaluation Center)
    Active, fun group activity to explore and celebrate the rich diversity of people's past experiences.  Works well with large groups.

  • Outdoor Education ThesesThe effects of 3-day adventure-based camping programmes on the perceptions of Singaporean pupils' life effectiveness
    (Susanna Ho, 2003,
    Masters thesis, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)
    345 year five students (including a control group) from four Singaporean primary schools completed the Life Effectiveness Questionnaire before and after participated in a three-day adventure-based school camping programme.  The effect size was similar to the changes reported in the findings of previous meta-analytic studies outdoor education programmes with school students (.21), whilst a control group had no differences. Implications of the findings in the context of Singapore schools were further discussed and specific areas of future research were recommended in this study.

  • Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, Florida, USAEnvironmental education: Nature centers just unnatural
    (Steve Scauzillo, Pasadena Star News, 3 December, 2004)
    Nature groups pour millions into buildings that sit alongside building-less nature preserves.  Too often, these so-called nature centers are nothing more than banal buildings that advertise politicians' names and are stuffed with useless paraphernalia.  Nature centers must be alluring, hands on, interesting. Or they shouldn't be built at all.

  • Peace & Experiential EducationPeace Corps leaves lasting mark: Volunteers carry on service at home
    (Kevin Duggan, 20 November, 2004, The Coloradoan)
    The Peace Corps is advertised as "the toughest job you'll ever love."  In its 43 years, the toughness of the job hasn't stopped thousands of mostly young Americans from joining for a chance to travel, experience life in a foreign country and help others. But local veterans of the Peace Corps say the desire to serve does not go away when the adventure ends.

  • Team Building ActivitiesEverest warming: Greener mountains of the future?
    (MountEverest.net, 17 November, 2004)
    Global warming is affecting our mountains, the polar areas and the oceans.  Only a few decades from now we'll be paddling to the North Pole and scaling green Seven Summits.  Research shows that by 2020, the snows of Kilimanjaro may exist only in photographs, and by 2050, the Arctic Sea may be completely ice-free during summertime.

  • Mt. Everest (from www.npr.org/programs/ re/archivesdate/)Teambuilding Activity: Zoom
    (James Neill, 2004, Outdoor Education Research & Evaluation Center)
    A group tries to create a unified story from a set of sequential pictures.  The pictures are randomly ordered and handed out.  Each person has a picture but cannot show it to others. Requires patience, communication, and trying to understand from another's point of view in order to recreate the story's sequence.

  • Resilience & Young ChildrenBy 3-4 years a resilient child should be able to fend for itself
    (James Neill, 2004, Outdoor Education Research & Evaluation Center)
    Children evolved to have the capacity to be surprisingly independent at young ages, although they are quite vulnerable during the first year.  Rapidly, however, between the ages of 1 and 3, a child blossoms in physical coordination, mental complexity, language and major basic skills of life.

  • Adventure Therapy & Wilderness TherapyTherapeutic Adventure Network
    A resource website for adventure therapists in the South Pacific region.
    This site provides information and resources to practitioners, participants, researchers and others interested in the growing field of wilderness adventure therapy.

  • Environmental EducationOutdoor education key to tackling future climate change
    (British Ecological Society, 3 November, 2004)
    The British Ecological Society is warning that without making outdoor education a statutory part of every child’s schooling, the UK government risks undermining its ability to tackle important environmental issues such as climate change.

  • Physical Activities for GroupsPhysical activities for groups
    (James Neill, 2004, Outdoor Education Research & Evaluation Center)
    Physical movement and exercise is a critical component for health and well-being.  Physical movement promotes learning, for example by bringing more blood and oxygen to the brain.  These physical activities for groups focus primarily on providing a group with individually challenging physical activity (whether aerobically, anaerobic or flexibility/coordination).  If used as part of an experiential sequence, physical activities for groups can also help lay important foundations for the development of psycho-social qualities, such as resilience, relaxation and teamwork.  Or the activities can be used for good old fun!

  • Call for presenters: 14th National (Australia) Outdoor Conference
    (July 3-6, 2005, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Queensland)
    This conference is held biennially, usually attracting approx. 200-300 participants.  The focus includes outdoor recreation and outdoor recreation, especially developments in practical programming, industry issues, and academic perspectives.  The theme is "The Challenges we Face".

  • Excerpt from Dan Conrad's 1991 Kurt Hahn Address: "Reflections on Living with Respect"
    Dan Conrad gave the 1991 Kurt Hahn Address at the Experiential Education conference (USA), on behalf of his late wife, Diane Conrad, who died of cancer. Being in his own state of mourning facilitated insight for him into compassion towards deaths during the Gulf war.  Here's a timely excerpt.

  • Outdoor education in Singapore
    (James Neill, 2004, Outdoor Education Research & Evaluation Center)
    Singapore is a small island-country with a post-industrial lifestyle. Recognizing the need to provide outdoor experiences, the Singaporean government has supported the development of Outward Bound and government adventure activity centers for school students.

  • 2004 National Outdoor Book Awards
    (Ron Watters, USA, 2004)
    Reviews the top new outdoor books in 9 categories, including Nature & Environment, History, Children's, Instructional, and Classic.

  • Resilience & outdoor education: Overview of theory, research and practice
    (James Neill, 2004, Keynote presentation to the 1st Singapore Outdoor Education Conference)
    Developing psychological resilience is one of the most relevant applications of outdoor education in the  increasingly sedentary 21st century Western societies. This presentation explores theory, research and practice about the promising extent to which outdoor education can boost resilience.

  • Nature Activity: Solo Walk
    (James Neill, 2004, Outdoor Education Research & Evaluation Center)

    A group walks in silence, as a form of "physical meditation". Helps to calm minds and set tone, providing an initial personal and group experience in the outdoors.

  • What are the major recreation & leisure journals?
    (James Neill, Outdoor Education Research & Evaluation Center, 2004)
    A rough ordering of the main leisure and recreation journals, along with top journals from travel and tourism, is provided.  With the recent proliferation of journals it is becoming increasingly important to understand the relative scope, quality and scholarly kudos associated with different journals within a discipline.  Journal impact ratings are included where available.

  • Canberra Slow Festival
    (October 23 - 31, 2004)
    In 1986 the Slow Food Movement began in Italy as a protest against fast food, global standardisation and the fast-tracking of life generally. More recently, the principles of Slow Food - quality before quantity; pleasure over production; depth in preference to breadth; questioning speed for speed's sake; honouring and protecting local culture and traditions - have been applied to numerous other facets of life, including education, often by people with a sense of something missing in their own modern, hectic lives. Around the world more and more people are joining together to celebrate the benefits of life at a Slower pace.

  • Psychological self-help
    (Clayton Tucker-Ladd, 1996)
    This online book reviews many aspects of self-improvement. It provides a system for analyzing any problem into its manageable parts and for planning self-change. It invites you to first carefully consider what you value and want to accomplish in life. It summarizes science's explanations of most human problems and lists promising ways of treating a wide range of unwanted behaviors and emotions, including about 100 self-help methods.

  • Old nature, new nature: Environmental activities for growing people & planets
    (James Neill, 2004, 1st ed., Outdoor Education Research & Evaluation Center)
    This 12-page booklet is designed to be a practical and inspirational primer for environmental activities which can be applied in diverse settings.  Activities focus on raising environmental awareness and developing eco-sustainable behavior.

  • Online survey: Independent family adventures
    (Kirstie Pelling & Stuart Wickes, 2004, Family on a Bike)
    This project is researching the phenomenon of independent family adventure

  • s.  Visit the research center, register your interest, complete the online survey and get inspired to hit the road with the tribe.

  • Article summary: Personal accounts of successful versus failed attempts at life change
    (Heatherton & Nichols, 1994, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin)
    In this study 100+ people wrote stories about their failed and successful attempts at life change (e.g., change in job, relationship, personal behavior, financial).  The characteristics of successful and failed attempts are described, providing a rich glimpse into the phenomenology of possibilities for human change.

  • Environmental Activity: Hug-A-Tree
    (James Neill, 2004, Outdoor Education Research & Evaluation Center)
    In a forested area, pairs take turns being blindfolded, lead to a tree (for touch and feel) and then lead away.  After removing the blindfold, the tree hugger tries to locate his/her tree.

  • Psygeist: Asia outstrips US in voracious natural resource consumption
    (Christian Science Monitor, 2 September, 2004)
    The ecological footprint (a euphemism used to refer to voracious human consumption of natural resources) is even larger in Asia than in the US.  Although Asians only consume about 1/5th of the US consumption per capita, the vast Asian population means that Asia in total consumes 5 times more natural resources than the US.

  • Personality & psychological profiling tools
    (James Neill, 2004, Outdoor Education Research & Evaluation Center)
    Personality and team role profiling tools such as the Myers-Brigg Type Indicator and 360 Degree Feedback introduce rich potential for growth to personal growth and team building programs.

  • Trust-building Activity: Slice & Dice
    (James Neill, 2004, Outdoor Education Research & Evaluation Center)
    A dramatic trust activity for a large group.  Group forms a gauntlet, arms out in front.  As a person walks down the gauntlet, people raise their arms.  Build up to people down running the gauntlet through a sea of chopping arms!

  • Risk management: The missing link
    (Paul Nicolazzo, 2004, outdoored.com)
    Describes a site-based risk management model which can be readily taught to staff.

  • Multi-Way Tug-of-War
    (James Neill, 29 September,  2004, Outdoor Education Research & Evaluation Center)
    Fun, physically demanding, competitive team activity.  Several teams pull against each other, requiring communication and tactics as well as strength to outmanoeuvre and win.

  • Why team building doesn't work and how you can build your team
    (Hildy Gotlieb, 2001, help4nonprofits.com)
    Argues that team building (and retreats) don't work because they fail to get to the heart of underlying problems.  Team building programs tend to focus on playing games, which participants dislike because they are contrived.  Successful team building efforts instead focus on recognizing underlying negative issues in workplace settings and involving participants in ways of cooperatively working on the tasks agreed to be most important.

  • Reviewing and re-enacting ropes course experiences
    (Roger Greenaway, 2004, Outdoored.com)
    The group processing principles presented in this article apply to most physical activities. In this article, the processing techniques are described in relation to ropes course activities - artificial outdoor challenges where people climb, balance, swing and physically and emotionally support each other.

  • Fear in a Hat: A group interpersonal understanding exercise
    (James Neill, 2004, Outdoor Education Research & Evaluation Center)
    Group members write personal fears anonymously on pieces of paper which are collected.  Then each person randomly selects and reads someone else's fear to the group and explains how the person might feel.  Fosters interpersonal empathy.

  • Environmental education in New Zealand schools: Research into current practice and future possibilities
    (New Zealand Council for Educational Research and Waikato University, 2004)
    This research, presented in four volumes, looked at current practice in environmental education in New Zealand schools using a range of methods – a literature review of national and international practice [vol. 2], a national survey of schools [vol. 3], and eight case studies looking at schools where environmental education is a strong focus [vol. 4]. Vol. 1 provides the key findings from each of the research components. It's clear from the report that for environmental education to provide immediate and lasting benefits, there needs to be a whole-school commitment to planning and integration, rather than relying on one or two enthusiastic teachers to drive environmental change.

  • So you want to be an adventure therapy worker?
    (Seeking Active Employment, Queensland Government, Australia, 2004)
    Adventure therapy workers use outdoor recreation activities to help people develop as individuals and solve personal problems. The work can be particularly demanding and you’ll need a degree such as social work or psychology,  excellent skills in counseling and the ability and qualifications to lead a range of outdoor recreation activities.

  • Sensual Awareness Inventory
    (James Neill, 2004, Outdoor Education Research & Evaluation Center)
    An eco-therapy exercise adapted for a group setting.  Participants identify what experiences give them pleasure through each of their five senses, then share and discuss this with the group.

  • About group games & activities: What's all this group game stuff?
    (James Neill, 2004, Outdoor Education Research & Evaluation Center)
    We have been playing games since the dawn of human civilization.  Today there are innumerable games for helping us to understand how we think and behave.  In playing games we also make new aspects of ourselves apparent to others,  an important part of learning to be with others.  In the right time and place, games can provide fun, challenging, catalysts for personal and group healing, learning, and growing.

  • Words & nature: An eco-poem
    (James Neill, 1998, Outdoor Education Research & Evaluation Center)
    Explores the idea that words were the first technology which interceded between humans and direct experiencing of nature.  Suggests that the path back to the mythical Garden of Eden might occur via new language which tells our story of connection and  disconnection.
    Excellent teachers: Exploring self-constructs, role and personal challenge
    (Roger Vallance, 2000, Paper presented to the Australian Association for Research in Education)
    Who are the excellent teachers, and what do they look like? This empirical report is based on self reported data about the characteristics of excellent teachers in the Australian Catholic schooling system.  Four common characteristics emerged: Excellent teachers were: 1) organized; 2) focused on whole person; 3) loved the students; and 4) were committed to the students.

  • International Outdoor Education Research Conference
    (July 6-9, 2004, LaTrobe University, Australia)
    Access the abstracts and full-text of most of 35 papers presented to the 2004 International Outdoor Education Research Conference, under the theme "Connections and Disconnections".  The papers exhibit a particular focus on environmental, qualitative, socially critical, and post-modern aspects of research and practice in outdoor education.

  • Fun Group Activity: Wink
    (James Neill, 2004, Outdoor Education Research & Evaluation Center)
    Energizing 10 min. group activity. Adds suspense, physical exercise, and fun. There are runners, catchers, and a winker.

  • What are the extreme sport participation rates in the USA?
    (The Outdoor Network, 3 August, 2004)
    The 12 most popular extreme sports in the USA are Inline Skating, Skateboarding, Paintball,  Artificial Wall Climbing, Snowboarding, Mountain Biking, Trail Running, BMX Bicycling, Wakeboarding, Roller Hockey, Mountain/Rock Climbing, Boardsailing/Windsurfing.

  • Adventure therapy: Exploring the healing potential of the outdoors
    (Kaye Richards, Brathay Hall,
    Provides a rich overview which highlights significant questions about what adventure therapy is, where it comes from, where its going, and some of the diverse aspects of adventure therapy which deserver further exploration.  Richards paints a picture of an international, diverse and growing field which overlaps psychotherapy, adventure experiences, and ecopsychology.

  • UK college offers degree in surfing
    (Associated Press, 30 July, 2004)
    A college in Wales is offering a bachelor's degree in surfing, saying it will help Britain grab a bigger share of the world's multi-billion-dollar surfing industry. It includes modules on coastal conservation, customer care, "management of risk", "surf entrepreneurship" and "surf destination planning" -- plus improvement of students' own surfing skills. Surfing in Britain is growing in popularity, but it is  difficult to estimate how many people the sport will employ in 15 years' time.

  • On the importance of asking questions
    (Julius Sumner Miller, 1967, Preface to "Millergrams" - Book II)
    On the vital importance of asking questions, rather than assuming to know.  Eloquently champions the flame of enthusiasm that can be kindled when we ask questions, contemplate, discuss, experiment and meditate on questions.

  • New content update #6: Outdoor Education Research & Evaluation Center
    (James Neill, 31 August, 2004, Outdoor Education Research & Evaluation Center)
    Summarizes new content (articles, resources, links) added during the 5 months April-August, 2004.