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About:

Throughout Oregon’s outdoor schools, high school students often serve as cabin leaders and assistant field instructors. While engaged in outdoor leadership at outdoor school, High School Leaders also serve as a vital component to the 5th and 6th grade students’ outdoor school programs. There are multiple avenues for high school involvement in outdoor schools across Oregon. Outdoor schools are place-based and rooted in their respective communities. Therefore, Oregon outdoor school programs have the agency to recruit, train, and involve high school leaders in whatever ways work for their programs. The OSU Extension Service Outdoor School Program is seeking ways to actively support, at a statewide level, the recruitment, training, and evaluation of High School Leaders for 5th and 6th grade outdoor school programs, while also providing a transformative learning opportunity for participating High school students.

Why Involve High School Leaders in Outdoor School?

High School students benefit from the experience of leading and assisting at outdoor school - it is transformative for both the High School Leaders and the 5th and 6th grade students with whom they interact. Data shows that High School Leaders develop:

Critical equity consciousness - awareness of equity/inequity in everyday actions and their willingness to engage in solutions.

Oregon Department of Education Essential Skills/Graduation Requirements - including listening/speaking, critical/analytical, personal management/teamwork, and civic/community engagement skills (Read more at https://www.oregon.gov/ode/educator-resources/essentialskills/Pages/default.aspx).

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. (Read more at https://casel.org/overview-sel/). For high school leaders these are: leadership, collaboration, and communication skills.

Career and technical education skills provide students of all ages with the academic and technical skills, knowledge, and training necessary to succeed in future careers and to become lifelong learners (Read more at https://www.oregon.gov/ode/learning-options/CTE/Pages/default.aspx). For High School Leaders, these are skills relating specifically to the fields of Environmental and Natural Resources, and Human Sciences and Education.

"Having High School Counselors involved in outdoor school greatly benefits the 6th grade students, but also has big impacts on the high school students who participate. The high school and elementary school students build trusting relationships with each other which help them to develop greater independence, confidence, problem solving skills and an overall ability to work together to achieve a common goal. Many of the students share that the experience of being a ODS Counselor* has changed their lives for the better and given them skills they had not previously possessed. Several had memorable experiences when they were young at ODS and want to give that same opportu-nity to other students. Strong leaders are role models and our population of students need that desperately.”

- 5th/6th Grade Teacher

 

 

* Some programs that use high school leaders call them ‘ODS counselors,’ or ‘cabin leaders,’ or ‘student leaders.’

High School Leaders serve as positive role models for 5th and 6th grade students. Thereby, inspiring these 5th and 6th grade student to become future High School Leaders.

"High School Leaders are instrumental to many outdoor school programs, with over half of all outdoor schools reporting that High School Leaders have some level of responsibility at their outdoor school. “High School Leaders are who 6th graders most connect to at outdoor school, particularly those students who come from marginalized identities and backgrounds. We have many students from high poverty, and serve students from many different racial identities. To have High School Leaders that look like them is very powerful, especially since outdoor school staff are predominantly white.”

- 5th/6th Grade Teacher

“We would not be able to provide Outdoor School to our 5th and 6th grade students without High School Student Leaders.”

- Program Provider

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‎ ‎

‎ ‎

‎ ‎

‎ ‎

‎ ‎

‎ ‎

‎ ‎

‎ ‎

‎ ‎

‎ ‎

About:

Throughout Oregon’s outdoor schools, high school students often serve as cabin leaders and assistant field instructors. While engaged in outdoor leadership at outdoor school, High School Leaders also serve as a vital component to the 5th and 6th grade students’ outdoor school programs. There are multiple avenues for high school involvement in outdoor schools across Oregon. Outdoor schools are place-based and rooted in their respective communities. Therefore, Oregon outdoor school programs have the agency to recruit, train, and involve high school leaders in whatever ways work for their programs. The OSU Extension Service Outdoor School Program is seeking ways to actively support, at a statewide level, the recruitment, training, and evaluation of High School Leaders for 5th and 6th grade outdoor school programs, while also providing a transformative learning opportunity for participating High school students.

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