Outdoor youth to develop positive relationship with
Outdoor development and education provides opportunities for youth to develop positive relationship with the environment, with other people and most importantly with themselves by interacting with the natural world. The relationships they make are important for their well-being. The outdoor development and education engages students in active learning experiences on natural settings that are outside the classroom. By working in these environments, people develop the skills and understandings to move safely around outside while valuing a good relationship with the natural environment around you and promoting the positive use of natural environments. The best thing about the outdoors is you can undertake anything out there, there are no restrictions compare to a classroom setting. The outdoors offers unique educational outcomes for students. It provides things like direct personal contact with nature; this can be achieved by outdoor recreation and nature experiences. This helps a person’s overall health. It supports your personal health and wellbeing, and it teaches ecological literacy. The outdoor programmes offer adventure and risks, this means youth are put into challenging and unfamiliar environments that are very different to the classroom setting that their used to. There are unique sets of rules in nature, natural consequences and authority people are spending very little time in the outdoors and because of this there is an increase in obesity and physical activity. There is a lack of understanding about the outdoor in today’s society, which is resulting in damages being caused to the environment and echo system. Needs Assessment.The group that I choose to focus on is teenagers between ages 12-15. They are attending the local youth club and have just started secondary school. This is a difficult time in everybody life because we all go through changes. People are trying to discover who they are and is looking for their true identity. At this age most people are going into secondary level and fall into a ‘category’ of people, such as the ‘smart kids’ or the drop-outs. If a child makes the wrong decision it could be life changing for them, they could end up in the wrong gang and being involved in crime. They can experience bullying and a lot of peer pressure at this age. Unfortunately, the education system in Ireland is really focused on the academic side of things. Everything is about the results you get in your exams and how well you perform in class. If you do not achieve good enough grades, you are shouted at our made fun of. This is where education through the outdoors come in. outdoor education is specifically there to cater to everyone needs. There is no pressure put on you, and you choose what you want to do, at your own risk. If you choose to climb at tree, and you fall off well that was your own choice and nobody is to blame but yourself. This is a great way for the youth to understand there can always be consequences for your actions. At this age youth think they know best and don’t listen to advice there given from there family or friends. Session 1 activity1I will spit the group in two halves, and ask both groups to stand at either end of the playground. One-half of the group has to turn their back to the other group so they cannot see the others. One-half of the room has to take one shoe and the other half of the room has to guess who owns the shoe. When the person guesses the shoe owner correctly they have to tell us all something about themselves that the class didn’t already know. This is a great icebreaker because it is fun to do so therefore, everyone is in a good mood, it easy to do and it gives the class a chance to get to know each other better because they all have to reveal something personal about each other. Session 1 Activity 2The group has to go out and collect 20 items that are commonly found in nature, such as leaves and nuts. All the participants are divided into groups. Everything the group gathered is placed on a sheet and one person at a time can look at the items. Then they all have two minutes to write down everything they think they saw on the sheet. This activity is a great team building exercise, it gives them all an opportunity to work as a team and communicate with each other. Session 1 Activity 3 The group has to think of an animal such as a dog or cat, anything! They cannot say the word of the animal; instead, they have to act it out. Then one by one everyone will guess the animals to see who was right. This exercise is a great way to use your imagination, everyone will be in the same boat, they will all feel awkward at first but they should all help each other through exercise, which would show there all developing well as a team and have built a friendship with each other. Session 2Activity 1The group will all be divided into groups of six. They have to say something they all have in common. Preferably, put people together that do not really know each other, this is a great way for them to get to know each other. Make sure to observe how they are doing in this activity. If you feel someone is uncomfortable talking about this change the topic to something more positive. The whole point of this group is for everyone to enjoy him or herself and not feel pressured so therefore it is important they do not feel pressured into anything. At the end of the exercise, the aim is that each group will realise what they all have in common because they all will have made a list out of all the things they have in common. The aim is that people who never spoke to each other will start a conversation and make new friends. Session 2 Activity 2 I will gather everyone around in a circle. I will divide the group in to groups of 2. . Partner A has to share a personal experience with partner B. This has to be a negative experience they encountered during some stage of their life. The reason it has to be a bad experience is so they can both discuss this experience together and come up with all the positives outcomes of this situation. It is important to make clear to them that it is ok if they do not want to share a personal experience they can make up a bad situation in case they feel pressured or uncomfortable. The purpose of this exercise is to show them there is always a positive ending to most bad situations and it is important to stay positive and seek the help and support you need. By doing an exercise, they will be using empathy, because they have to be empathetic towards each other’s problems. They will work as a team together to figure out all the positives in the situation. This will develop their communicating skills too because they have to discuss the issue and solve it together. By discussing the solutions to the problem, they learn new ways of coping with situations and maybe they could be introduced to other services that are available to them that they did not already know.Session 2 Activity 3 For the purpose of this activity, I will use the football pitch behind the centre. The reason I am going to choose the football pitch is for the space. It is important they have enough space to move around in and do the activity. In addition, if they do fall over the grass is soft and they will not get hurt. I am going to ask the group to go around collecting objects they find around the centre that could be used in this activity. I will give them 10 minutes to look for items. This will give them all a chance to explore the area and have some fun with their friends while still trying to achieve the goal. Once the objects are collected, I will ask them to put them in the middle and from a circle around the objects. I will place all the objects around the football pitch. While I was doing this I had asked them all to split into pairs, and told them to choose which one of them would like to wear the blindfold. I instructed them that one person has to wear the blindfold and the other had to lead the other person without knocking anything over. This games purpose is to focus on trust, effective listening and strong communicating skills. They must trust the person leading them otherwise; they will fail the task because they would not be able to walk without guidance by the other person. It is important that they have strong listening skills because they will have to walk around objects and not hit into them. Session 3 Activity 1 This activity will be based in the local forest. I will first ask them all to look around them and tell me what they see around them. I will gather them all around in a circle and divide them into groups of 4. I will direct all the groups to different parts of the forest and ask them to create a story based on the objects around them. It was totally up to them what they use and what story they are going to create. I will be monitoring all the groups by keeping them at eye distance from me and observing what they are doing at all times in case and accidents happen. This is a great opportunity for them to use their imagination and become creative. They probably never get the opportunity to this at home or in school, so therefore they might be a bit weary at first. It is important to encourage them and maybe start by telling them your ideas. I will give them all twenty minutes for the activity then I will ask them all to get together in a circle in again and we will look at every groups work. I hope at the end of this activity that everyone will be happy with their piece and that they had fun doing it, because that would mean they were developing their communicating , leadership and team work skills while still having fun!Session 3 Activity 2 This game could get messy so I will make sure to ask them to bring in old clothes with them before doing this activity. This activity is something different but very effective and fun. Before we go outside I will ask them all to put on their old clothes and tell them why I wat them. I will explain to them that we are going to be playing with a raw egg and it could get messy. Once everyone happy to go I will bring them outside to the football pitch. I will gather them all around in a circle and explain the game to them. I will divide them into groups of 3. I am going to ask them to go around the area and collect materials they think would help protect the egg when they drop it on the ground. The aim is to not break the egg. I will give them all 20 minutes to go around gather their materials and make the ‘cushion’ for the egg. This game will give them a chance to really look at the outdoors in a very different way. They are now looking for something that is a form of protection but yet soft enough not to break the egg. This will really challenge the group. They will develop their communicating skills because they will have to discuss what objects there going to use and where they think they will find it. Thy will all have to be given different jobs and have to work together to get the challenge done. Once the time is up, I will ask them all to gather around and drop the egg one by one to see whose team did the best. This should be really exciting and fun for them and there developing all the key skills unknown to them, which is great.Session 3 Activity 3For the purpose of this activity, I will be printing out puzzles that are available online and bring them into the group this week. I will divide everyone into small groups and hand them all out a puzzle each. Before they start, I will explain to them that the entire puzzle is different and that some of their puzzle might be in with either groups puzzle. This activity is going to really challenge them. The puzzle is hard enough to do not alone with pieces missing. They will have to use their communication skill that has really developed in the past few weeks to barter with the other groups to get their puzzle piece back. This will really show me if they activities have been working for them. They will also be using leadership skills, which have been used in previous games so it will be interesting to see if they gained more confidence in leading the group. This will show me if the activities I am using with the group are working or if I need to change things around.Session 4 Activity 1For this activity, I will be bringing them out into the local forest. I will hand them all a piece of marla and ask them to draw two faces on the marla and to use the leaves and piece of wood around them to use as part of their art piece. I will ask them to draw two faces on the moral. One representing what they think people see/believe about them on the outside and the other face to represent how they feel on the inside. The purpose of this exercise is to show them that everyone makes a prejudgement of everyone and as soon as you meet someone, you have automatically imagined what type of person they are, without getting to know the person. It is a natural instinct in a human. However, it is important to remember that everyone is different and that things are not always, like what they seem. They could be a very different person on in the inside. Once everyone has finished there work I will ask them to gather around and show the group what they done. I will emphasise if they feel uncomfortable doing that it is completely fine. I hope after this exercise the group will become less judgemental and not judge people by the way they look and try to see what is on the inside.Session 4 Activity 2 The purpose of this game is to discover the beautiful sounds that can be created by the natural objects in our environment. I will ask all the youth to go around for ten minutes gathering an object they think will make a cool sound. This will give them an opportunity to really use their imagination and use objects they probably never used before and try use it in a different way then there usually used for. Once everyone ash gathered there objects and is happy with what they have, I will ask them all one by one to make a sound with their object by rubbing it together or banging it on something. It will open there eyes to new ideas, and show them that an object has multiple uses. In addition, hopefully will make them value nature more. If I think, the group is enjoying the activity I might ask them all to come together and make a song using all the instruments they gathered.Session 4 Activity 3 I will divide the class into groups of six. I will hand them all a map, which has the first locations on it. This activity will give the group an opportunity to get to know each other. At every location, there will be box. On every box, there will be a riddle, which they will have to solve. Once they get the answer right, the box will open and they will get the map to the next location. This activity will give them an opportunity to use their leadership skills and to really take charge of the activity. This activity should encourage the quieter people in the group to take charge and excel because they might be good at map reading or solving riddles. I am going to give them thirty minutes to complete this activity.Session 5 Activity 1 • I will bring the group out into the woods. I will have a list of instructions and they will have to go around and try to find everything I have listed out to them. I will give them two minutes to look for every instruction. This will be a great way for them to explore there outdoors. Below is the list of instructions I will read out.. • Count something so that you know more about it after you have counted it than you did before you counted it.• Find objects that are: hard, big, high, dead, wise land use threatening soft, small, low, calming, sad, funny,ugly, important on poor land use, unhappy, happy,beautiful, unimportant off living wasteful useful.• . Find a place where water has washed away the soil.• Look for an object that has a geometric shape in its structure. Think about how that form is related to its function.• Find and bring back a sound that makes you feel; angry, sad, beautiful, afraid, happy, and tough.• Find an unpleasant odour. Can you describe the smell? Find an odour that you like? Describe it. Can you think about why some things smell good and others don’t?• See if there is anything, you can do to change something that makes you sad.• Describe something of power.• Find the oldest thing and try to guess its age. What are ways of determining the age of something?• Find an object that has the texture of:smoothroughslipperyshinySession 5 Activity 2 For this game, I will need a long rope and several blindfolds. I will ask the entire group to gather around in a circle and hand them all out a blindfold each. I will then hand them all a piece of the rope (that I have already tired the ends together of) and give it to the entire group. The goal of this activity is form them to make a square while there covered in a blindfold. As soon as the group thinks they have the square made, I will ask them to take the blindfolds off and they will all see there shape they have made. The purpose of this game is to show them the value of listening skills. How important it is to listen to instructions carefully and if you do not it will be evident on how you carried let the task. In this case, there will not be a square made if they did not work well together and did not listen to each other’s instructions. This will also show them that we all take our eyesight for granted and they will be put into the tough unfamiliar scenario of not being able to see. They will see how hard it is for blind people. Session 5 Activity 3Seen as it is the end of the day I figured I should do something light hearted. For the purpose of this activity, I will go out to the forest and set up an obstacle course. I will put a long rope around the trees and have bucket connected onto the rope so that it will be freely able to move up and down around the trees. I will then ask the group to come out into the forest and divide them all into groups of three. I will have four different obstacles made so that everyone has the opportunity to participate. I will have them all a bucket of water and will tell them to fill the buckets that are on the trees. They will have to manoeuvre the bucket through the trees using the rope. The first group with to get to the end of the obstacle with the most amount of water will win. The purpose of this activity is for the group to work as a tea. They will all have to work together to get to the end of the obstacle. They will also be using their communicating skills. They will have to communicate together to get the bucket moving and try to keep the amount of water in the bucket as they can. Session 6 Activity 1 For the purpose of this exercise, I will be using masking tape to create a large shape on the ground. I will mark the start and stopping points. I will put different objects that will make noise (such as branches, they make cracking noises once I stand on them) inside the shape I have created with the masking tape, and I will put twice as many letters of ‘X’ inside the shape. The ‘X’ pieces are mines, and therefore they must dodge these, if they do stand on one of these X’s the other teammate has to stand on one of the squeaky objects. I will ask two people at a time to put on a blindfold and try walk through the shape. Their only guidance through this activity is by vocal commands by their fellow team members. The main purpose of this game is communicating skills and trusting each other. These are some of the most important qualities every team should have. Session 6 Activity 2 The purpose of this game is to show the youth what challenges nature face on a daily basis. I will ask them all to act like an animal and to hide around in the woods. They can use the natural objects around them as camouflage if they want. This is a fun game but will also make them see how vulnerable animals can be in the wild because of people. It will show them how scary it can be for them there natural environment being damaged and their lives being put at risk due to peoples selfish reasons.Session 6 Activity 3 I will ask them all to break up into groups and look for different objects they recognise in around the area of the youth centre. They can take objects from the pitch the park or the forest. They must know the purpose of this object and the value that objects has for them. Once they all have collected five items, will ask them all to get back into their teams and explain to me why these are so important and what their purpose is. Sadly not a lot of youth goes outdoors and experience the wilderness anymore so I’m expecting them to come back with maybe one or two objects and might not be too sure what there uses are. The purpose of this activity is to show them and explain to them what all these objects do in the wild and what they contribute to the ecosystem and explain to them if they get damaged or extinct that a lot of the wildlife would die. This will make them look differently at the outdoors and hopefully make them appreciate it more.