This past weekend, at Springwater Provincial park near Barrie, Ontario, I had the privilege of guiding children and teachers into the miracle of creation – this natural world that exists outside of our cell phones and black mirrors.
I had the opportunity to learn from Jacob, with his seeds of hope message, and a practical way to teach the next generation, and the current. about the life and heart connection between these tiny seeds and the sustainability of life on Earth.
I met Caitlin, a graduate student of the wonderful Outdoor Education program at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Here was a young woman, skills in every outdoor pursuit imaginable, just waiting for the chance to teach. Waiting for an education system to catch up
I got to teach once again with my “crazy” Bonnie who I have worked with for over thirty years, who has never lost her enthusiasm or passion for teaching outdoors. Here is an educator who wears her heart on her sleeve and lets her enthusiasm come out for wonder in every word. It made my heart heal.
When will we realize that it is punishment to put thirty healthy young bodies sitting on plastic chairs, behind plastic desks, reading from colonial history in textbooks for 190 days a year for six hours a day. And we call it “education“. Then, on their seventeenth birthday we “graduate” them, and say, “Good Luck!. Good luck finding a job. Good luck finding partner for life, Good luck managing your finances for retirement. We didn’t teach you any of these things, although we had a dozen years to do so, but Good Luck!”
And then we hand them the steering wheel, and say, “You know, we never really taught you how to drive, but … good luck.”
Perhaps, with School Boards taking the initiative from leaders like Superintendent Paula Murphy and staff like Sandy Clee and her team that support Outdoor and Experiential Education, perhaps we can nurture our children. Perhaps they will learn how to drive safely into the next generation.
Hope springs eternal, as it did at Springwater Provincial Park with a full generation “Singing in The Rain.”
Skid Crease, Caledon
Reading your articles brings joy and hope for my sole. I now live in one of the most beautiful places in Canada – Cape Breton Island. This brings all sorts of wonderful things into my life – a greater knowledge of our Mi’kmaq brothers and sisters, a whole new appreciation of winds above 160 km/hr, Gaelic, French, Dutch and First Nations/Metis all trying to live together in harmony, and scenery that is world class.
Bonnie’s personality and behaviour is contagious and so perfect to stimulate anyone to fall in love with the outdoors.