Pali Institute Outdoor Education represents many firsts for our students; for many, their first time away from home, their first time camping, and for this generation, their first experience without a digital connection. Of all the benefits of Outdoor Education, there are five that consistently rise to the top.
Pali Institute is all about community. From the students traveling together on the bus, to sharing cabins, to the variety of groups that rotate through activities, students live and work in teams. Making new friends at outdoor education is not uncommon. While they may have, seen these same students at school for years, they may not have gotten to know them personally. It also allows teachers to see their students in a different light and think outside the box.
- Expectations and Standards
Teachers and students are always surprised to see how heavily they are involved with the program. They do all of this while immersed in a field-science program that asks them to draw on prior knowledge to interact with a variety of environments, weather, and physical challenges of a mountain environment. The supportive community and the new, exciting setting, students consistently rise to these standards and expectations.
As camp progresses, students act on refined memories of the experience. Students connect to the program, the curriculum, their new environment, and each other. By the end of the week, their sense of protection and preservation shows in their development for the studies.
Ask a student about their outdoor education experience and themes emerge about hard work, being outside, having fun, and great food experiences. For many, this is a new culture that differs greatly from their home and school cultures.
After returning home, students can not stop talking about outdoor education as the high point of their school year. They talk about their cabin group, the curriculum, and every detail about the mountain weather. They’ll tell you about the best meal they ever ate and the deer they may have seen during their trip. And very often, they ask to come back every year.