Over the past decade the role of non-formal education/ overseas expeditions & adventure weeks has been prevalent in many government agendas worldwide and the development of many school curricular. To name just a few, we currently have: the UK “manifesto for learning outside the classroom” (2006), the Scottish “curriculum for excellence through outdoor learning” (2010), International Baccalaureate C.A.S. Programme, the American Curriculum “week without walls”, “challenge week” and the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award which has continued to grow, now operating in school in 140 countries worldwide.
What can Les Elfes International offer your students?
1. Provide adventurous activities built on a well-established foundation of professional and safe practices.
2. Inspire holistic personal development and an exploration of inter-personal identities through culturally diverse experiences.
3. Outdoor learning which enables young people to discover their true potential to be dynamic and prosperous in their future lives.
Not All Learning Takes Place in the Classroom
Outdoor adventurous activities provide a unique opportunity to frame learning experiences for students in which they have an opportunity to take risks, be self-reliant and to be physically challenged. A meaningful experiential learning opportunity should include all of these elements offering space for students to build confidence, break down barriers, begin to understand their own strengths in challenging situations and to form bonds with their peers to achieve extraordinary things. Through outdoor experiences students can develop holistically.
Holistic Learning at Les Elfes
- Developing communication skills – working in a team to find the right route while hiking or to belay effectively in rock climbing.
- Building courage and taking risks – supporting classmates in challenging situations and stepping out of their comfort zones. Students can leap off a bridge for the first time and swing 30m across a raveen or make their first turns on a red slope in skiing.
- Forming the basis for a balanced and healthy lifestyle – understanding the role and importance of physical activity for wellbeing and happiness and building lifelong healthy habits. Enjoying mountain biking or snowboarding and understanding that the outdoors provides opportunities for recreation, relaxation or even future careers.
- Being curious, creative and connected – developing a relationship with the natural world around us, exploring and being comfortable in wild terrain and finding new ways to enjoy being outside. Thinking ethically about our impact on the environment and having respect for and a principled attitude towards nature.
- Forming an active part of a camp community – caring for others, showing compassion, reassuring team-mates who are anxious or sharing knowledge and skills to help others progress. Taking an active role in creating a welcoming and supportive environment in the camp, embracing open-mindedness and meeting students from around the world.
- Building resilience, confidence and independence – being away from home students will need to manage their belongings, their timekeeping and dress themselves properly for the wild outdoors. They can build resilience in challenging weather or gain confidence in their own ability as they kayak further than they ever thought possible.
Growing through experiences
Upward personal growth (realising potential)
- Realising potential and increasing confidence in students (Beames & Scott, 2008), more able and confident in leading group projects, building confidence in expressing opinions (Ewert & Yoshino, 2011) & increased perseverance and resilience (Sheldon, 2009).
Outward personal growth (learning about others)
- Connectedness to others (Allison, 2005), being comfortable relying on others and allowing them to rely on you (Ewert & Yoshino, 2011), reflection of personal friendships and relationships (Allison, 2005).
Inward personal growth (learning about self)
- A sense of equanimity (Sheldon, 2009), reflection of ones values, self, life and career (Allison, 2005) and a deeper personal understanding of dealing with adversity.
Downward personal growth (learning about environment)
- Building an appreciation for the natural environment (Allison, 2005), linking classroom learning in geography and sciences to adventurous experiences (Allison & Higgins, 2002) and developing a personal investment in the natural world and learning in that field.
- Through challenging outdoor learning students can push their boundaries and explore further stepping into frontier adventure and building memories with the peers under the experienced guidance of our Les Elfes team.
Learn Even More with Les Elfes
Add these workshops/ focuses to your school field trip:
- language lessons,
- leadership courses,
- emergency 1st Aid,
- expeditions/ camping,
- bushcraft workshops or sustainable tourism workshop.
Contact Malko Alexandre Schraner for more information.