Experiential Education

Our revised Leadership Requirements & Guidelines, which go into effect on March 15, recommend including a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) component in leadership training for the amazing folks who volunteer their time & energy on behalf of the AMC. The following post, authored by the Ava Holliday and Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin of the Avarna Group, offers…

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Through experiential learning in the outdoors, teens participating in the AMC’s A Mountain Classroom program have an opportunity to explore their own leadership styles alongside their peers. The skills and experiences obtained during their time at the AMC follows them back home and to school. The foundation of teaching and learning about leadership skills is…

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Let me start by saying, “You gotta go.” If you’re a new Education or Leadership Chair who needs some help in organizing trainings for your Chapter, you gotta go; If you’re an experienced leader who will be teaching (or are interested in teaching) leader-candidates soon, you gotta go; or If you’re an experienced leader trainer…

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Like many who read this blog, I spend plenty of time in the outdoors, personally and professionally, and my mother frequently expresses concerns for my safety. I always assumed my mom was referring to the inherent risks involved with outdoor activities when she mentioned my safety — until recently. During one of our conversations, she…

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As Jo moved south on the Laugavegur trail in Iceland, the rain began moving off, slanting columns of water drifting east. The sun reappeared, but more rain could be seen upwind, sweeping slowly over the mountains. For now, things were fine, as a massive crescent rainbow filled the sky to the northwest. It was day…

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Often we get asked by folks, “What’s one thing people can do to make the outdoors more inclusive?” Despite the fact that we are diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) professionals, this question always seems to stump us. It stumps us not because we don’t have an answer; in fact, we’re stumped because we have too…

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When Rachel Freierman was 15 years old, she went on a 10-day backpacking trip with AMC’s Teen Wilderness Adventures (TWA) program. She already felt fairly comfortable in the outdoors. Her family went car camping. They backcountry skied. Still, Freierman had never backpacked before. “I was excited to push myself,” she recalls. Every outdoor adventure has challenges, and every kid arrives at those challenges with different levels of experience. Mix in unpredictable…

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In March, we started talking about communication. I asked us, as leaders, to reflect on these questions: Were we mindful of the “novices” in our community? Did we adapt our communication so those individuals felt welcome? If not, why not? How would we change our approach in the future? I recently returned to these questions…

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You are heading out for a day at the crag with some local participants, most of whom have never climbed on real rock before! It is an exciting time but there is a lot to consider including: Are your skills up to date? (For current training & learning opportunities with the AMC, click here.) How…

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  Part 2: Communication In the last installment, we discussed how people, or interpersonal skills, are an elusive component of leadership. As I mentioned before, the scope and complexity involved with these skills is hard to capture in a single word or phrase. Still, as leaders, mentors, facilitators, educators, or simply the intellectually curious, we…

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