For those of us who have, do or will work in the field of outdoor education know the benefits but the research showing that has always been a little thin on the ground.
Recently the Outdoor Youth Programs Research Alliance released the results of their extensive nine-year study into outdoor education programs which in summary shows that it can lead to improved mental health and wellbeing in young people.
Apart from validating what we already knew, this research is essential to help key stakeholders plan more strategic investment into outdoor education focussing on the healthy lifestyle, outdoor learning and the positive youth development.
Nature Play in Queensland posted about the benefits of ‘outdoor learning’ which reinforces that ‘Outdoor learning has positive impacts for children – it works on their intrinsic motivation for learning, provides enjoyable lessons, increases creativity, and activates thinking outside the box. It also improves children’s health and well-being, social skills and behaviour, and furthermore has been proven to encourage better attendance, teamwork and to reduce bullying.’
You can read the post here.
The longitudinal study by OYPRA ‘delivered a control-tested outdoor youth program which evaluated whether participants showed immediate and medium-term improvements in welling compared to students who did not attend camp.’
With results showing that 16% of students showed reduced anxiety and 11% came away with increased confidence after and outdoor education experience, the health benefits demonstrate the benefits of attending ‘camp’.
I will leave the report to speak for itself but suffice to say, I have a big smile on my face knowing the impact that myself and my peers have given, are giving now and will give into the future.
You can read a summary of the report here.
Now it’s your turn.
What are your first-hand experiences of outdoor education on young people?
Leave a comment below.