It should be clear by now that working with and mentoring children and teenagers is kind of my thing. For D’mitry, kids aren’t much different to adults because everyone tends to react the same when a tiny little T-rex screeches at them but for me, working with youth is something I get super excited about. I was stoked about my work with kids at home and, as it turns out, I’m just as stoked when that work transfers to another country. It also turns out that places like Stillwood Camp and Conference Centre are also stoked about working with youth. That made life a little more awesome when they decided to hire me after an email interview of five questions, four of which weren’t actually questions but rather statements. Remember this picture? Well, that was this same interview almost a year ago. I’d say it went well.
For the past six months D’mitry and I have been living the dream hanging from trees, coaxing kids through high ropes courses and climbing walls, paddling across lakes, pretending to be professional (sometimes Olympic) archers while instructing without demonstrating and, more often than anything else, lifeguarding. But what is it all for?
Philosophy with Mon and D’mitry: outdoor education is super important because it teaches you multiple things all at once, both academically and intrinsically, while also improving your sense of self efficacy and expanding your comfort zone. In short, you learn a lot about yourself and the world around you while also sneakily learning some academic things while you’re at it. There is no down side. It’s good for your physical, mental and academic health. Add in Stillwood Camp and Conference Centre and you can also add spiritual health to that list. Compliment a high energy lifestyle, full of crazy exciting things like jumping off a platform approximately 20m off the ground onto a zipline, with the calm of daily devotions and suddenly kids are physically, mentally and spiritually in tune, not to mention ready to sleep for a solid few days. It’s a win for the child because they had heaps of fun, for me because they learned so many super important things and for their parents because there is no parenting achievement greater than having a sleeping child.
As winter approaches and D’mitry and I retreat to our usual winter domain of skiing as much as humanly (dinosaurly?) possible, think about how awesome outdoor education is. While you’re at it, do a little reducing, reusing and recycling. Healthy environment makes outdoor education possible and increases the number of dinosaur habitats. Both are very important.
A super big thanks to Stillwood for employing me, showing me a good time and not complaining when I took pictures of D’mitry on the low ropes course and outdoor climbing wall.