Outdoor Education and Children: A Formula for Success in School, By Trackers Northwest

The correlation between outdoor education and youth-related behavior and academic improvement has long been recognized and supported. However, researchers continue to flesh out this argument and identify benefits that apply to today’s children and adolescents. In recent years, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and Children & Nature Network (CN&N) have produced reports that conclude that youth who spend time outdoors often score higher on standardized tests.

The NWF’s “Back to School: Back Outside” report noted a wide range of academic benefits stemming from regular outdoor play, exploration, and learning. The study stated that those benefits include better classroom behavior, increased motivation and enthusiasm for learning, and stronger performance in social studies, reading, math, and science. The NWF report went on to identify that outdoor time led to reduced cases of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The CN&N study, titled “Children’s Contact with the Outdoors and Nature: A Focus on Educators and Educational Settings,” examined and noted the importance of recess, field trips, outdoor learning, and similar opportunities to academic achievement, increased responsibility, and higher test scores.

About Trackers Northwest: Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, Trackers Northwest offers survival courses and outdoor education to families, youths, and adults.


Three Things Children Learn at Summer Camps

September 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Summer camps have evolved from being a period of discovery and fun to being an integral part of children’s routines. During camp time, kids explore and evolve their understanding of the world around them.

Here are three habits that kids learn during summer-camp season:

— Positive reinforcement and focus: Summer camps can prove essential for a healthy self-esteem. For example, martial arts summer camps teach you the importance of focus and inner strength. They teach children to draw upon inner strength and fight with quiet determination.
— Adventure and exploration: Several summer camps focus on creative ways to explore the world around us. For example, Northwest Trackers reestablishes a village of people tethered together through land and family. Their summer camps enrolled more than 2,100 kids around the country last summer. “They get the chance to interact with their world in a grand way, an epic way,” says Tony Deis, founder of Northwest Trackers. This means kids get to milk goats, distill jams, and make their own wood carvings.
— Social and survival skills: Because they involve unusual settings outside the kids’ comfort zones, summer camps are essential to help your kids learn how to interact with strangers and develop survival skills in alien settings.

Summer Camps with Trackers Northwest

Giving kids a genuine opportunity to interact with nature, Trackers Northwest offers numerous summer day-camp options, as well as overnight experiences for children ages 4 to 18. Divided into small groups by age, participants choose from skill and theme-based camps, including “Elves, Rangers, and Wizards,” “Little House: The Wilders Homestead,” and “Stealth, Archery, and Wilderness Survival.” Other choices encompass fishing and a Counselor in Training Program. All of the staff and teachers have passed extensive background checks and possess expertise in a variety of outdoor skills such as fly fishing, archery, tracking, homesteading, boating, and survival preparedness. For more information visit http://www.TrackersPDX.com.

About Trackers Northwest: Founded in Portland, Oregon, Trackers Northwest has expanded to include locations in Eugene, Oregon, and in the California Bay Area. Founded by Tony and Molly Deis in 2004, the organization functions as a family wilderness school, offering classes in homesteading and wilderness survival.

Trackers Northwest Offers Immersion Program

A respected leader in outdoor education programs, Trackers Northwest acts as a wilderness college to teach students how to live connected to the land, operating a school that lasts a traditional academic year from September through June. The organization’s immersion program encompasses skills in outdoor survival and homesteading. Participants choose to enter one of two guilds, depending upon their interests. The Rangers Guild focuses on tracking, camouflage, and survival, while the Wilders Guild involves cultivating and harvesting wild plants, gardening, and homesteading.

The program entails participation in one to three core subjects, allowing individuals to partake according to their level of interest and availability. Classes take place on the 40-acre piece of forested land near the Bull Run watershed known as the Trackers Homestead, and students participate one, two, or three weekends per month, depending on their course of study.

About Trackers Northwest: A family organization founded in Portland, Oregon, by Tony and Molly Deis in 2004, Trackers Northwest focuses on outdoor education with a personal connection.

An Overview of Guilds Presented by Trackers Northwest

Trackers Northwest endeavors to bring families and friends together to form villages, societal groups who work together to reclaim forgotten skills such as outdoor living and survival. Toward that end, Trackers Northwest offers different types of guilds whose members perform unique functions.

The Rangers guild collects individuals who performing hunting and gathering duties for the villages. Rangers also scout and utilize tracking, awareness, and similar abilities to traverse the wild. If the Rangers are masters of land, the Mariners wield expertise over water. Together, Mariners construct boats that connect land and sea. They also fish and study sea life to achieve a better understanding of their territory.

Artisans seek to rekindle our interest in theater, crafts, and different types of music. They tell tales designed to remind us of the trials and tribulations of those who lived their entire lives in the wild, helping us understand where we came from. Finally, Wilders serve as village caretakers. From their guidance, the village can achieve a better understanding of the animals and plants in the wild.

To learn more about guilds and Trackers Northwest, visit www.trackersearth.com.

An Overview of Wilderness First Responder Certification

Presented by Trackers Northwest

The first Wilderness First Responder (WFR) classes were taught in 1985 by Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities, Inc., better known as SOLO. Today, WFR certifications are also offered by other organizations, but overall curricula remain similar for each.

A WFR course typically provides 70 to 80 hours of instruction over seven to 10 days. Topics covered vary by provider, but can include anatomy and physiology, how to respond to bites and stings, bivouac skills, burns, long-term patient care, and medical decision-making. The goal of Wilderness First Responder certification is to prepare an individual to provide care for an injury suffered hours or days from an ambulance. As a result, many outdoor companies require WFR certification for their employees. The certification remains good for three years, and recertification is possible through a refresher course. Evaluation for certification is done throughout the course, and there is a written test at the close. College or continuing education may even be available through certain course providers.

About Trackers Northwest:

Trackers Northwest offers outdoor classes and programs, including a Wilderness First Aid course, for adults and youths in and around Portland, Oregon.

Trackers Northwest on Oregon’s Coastal Tide Pools

Oregon’s coastal tide pools can be difficult to locate, but the search is worth the effort, as tide pools contain a variety of colorful, weird, and exciting marine plants and animals. Tide pools are created in Oregon’s rocky coastal areas when the tide goes out, leaving pools of water in holes and crevices.

The plants and animals in tide pools must be resilient, as they are inundated with a variety of environmental conditions, including salt water, fresh water, rain, sun, heat, and cold. They must be able to survive harsh ocean life, as well as extended dry periods.

Species in Oregon’s tide pools are so diverse that these tide pools are often compared to miniature rainforests. If you are investigating a tide pool, never remove anything from it, as the living plants and marine animals are fragile and die quickly when removed from their habitat.

The optimum time to investigate Oregon’s tide pools is an hour or two before low tide, which allows enough time for exploration. State parks are good places to seek out tide pools, as the parks are safe and easy to access. Avoid tide pools off the beaten path unless you understand the dangers involved in unfamiliar coastal areas. Attending a wilderness camp with experienced experts is one good way to view tide pools.

Founded in 2004, Trackers Northwest offers a number of exciting outdoor camps for kids ages four to 18. An Oregon Coast Expedition camp for kids aged 11 to 14 includes coastal harvest and fishing, marine biology, ancient survival skills, animal tracking, a kayak adventure, and coastal culture.