Wilderness Lifeguard for outdoor instructors

How many of you go for a dip in a beautiful waterfall after a long day of hiking?  Or, jump in the water after a day of paddling?  Are you trained as a wilderness lifeguard? Is someone in your group trained? AEE, ACA and WEA all have standards for waterfront safety and swimming activities in the backcountry.  However, the industry does not have a common agreement on a certification program for a “wilderness lifeguard”.  What do you think?  Do we need one? Would this be the next WFR?  I really like the program that Landmark has in place.

Dr. Leo McAvoy keynote at AORE 2009

Dr. McAvoy spoke about three trends in the field of outdoor education.  These trends are:

  1. The populations that we are receiving (in our programs) suffer from Nature Deficit Disorder.
  2. There is a professionalization of the outdoor leader (Academic degrees, certifications…).
  3. There is an increase of pressure on leaders to protect participants from all harm, leading to a water-down adventure experience. 

What do you think about these trends?

Expeditionary Learning School Outward Bound -River’s Edge Academy visit

My friend Sheldon teaches at the Expeditionary Learning School Outward Bound –River’s Edge Academy in St. Paul, MN.  He invited me to see the school and to talk to his crew about careers in outdoor education.  I left the school inspired!   I felt that I saw the ideal EL school; morning meeting (in a circle), small groups (crew), day’s agenda, interdisciplinary teaching and best of all commitment from both the faculty and the administrators.