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Contributed by Heather Hedges on 04/06/2012
Five students from the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies were selected to present as part of a Student Leadership Symposium at the International Conference on Outdoor Leadership in Estes Park, Colorado. All of the presentations were well attended, showcasing the quality of the RLS program at Ithaca College. Their faculty adviser, Christopher Pelchat, Ph.D., got many accolades for the professionalism displayed by the students.
GRRRLS GONE WILD
As two aspiring outdoor leaders, we have noticed that the field of outdoor education is highly dominated by men. At Ithaca College, in the Outdoor Adventure Leadership Major, we look around us and see something different: lots of women. In this presentation we plan to (1) hold a guided discussion about the presence of women in undergraduate outdoor programs around the country, (2) discuss how schools can begin to reach a more diverse population for enrollment, and (3) discuss what the future holds for student’s chosen career paths. We will do this by taking a look at popular texts used in the field and the classroom for commons themes and trends relating to women in the outdoor field.
IMMERSION: A SEMESTER IN THE WILD” FILM SHOWING AND DISCUSSION
In this presentation, an Ithaca College student thesis film entitled “Immersion: A semester in the Wild” will be shown. This documentary chronicles the four month Immersion Semester Program offered through Ithaca College. Eight students and three instructors spend four months living in American Northwest wilderness areas, including the San Juan Islands and the North Cascade Mountains. Opposite to normal college living, the group is pushed to its limits physically and socially.
CATCHING THE WAVE OF CHANGE: A CASE STUDY INTO TRYING TO CHANGE THE DEFINITION OF “NATURE” THROUGH OUTDOOR EDUCATION WITHIN URBAN CHILE
My immersion semester consisted of a month long research period where I studied and worked with a local NGO called Valpo Surf Project. Valpo Surf offers English, swimming, and surf lessons to at risk youth living in Valparaiso free of charge. Through a process of interviews and participant/active observation I worked to relate and see if Louv’s theory of “Nature Deficit Disorder” could be applied the same in Chile as it is in the United States.
WHEN GEAR FAILS
We put a lot of our trust in our gear when we enter the backcountry. Because of so many technical advances we have in equipment, we have grown to rely on our gear to the point that very few of us would survive comfortably in the backcountry without them. Survival skills are being publicized more and more but utilized less and less. To live comfortably in the backcountry would require much more education than this presentation, but this should give you the skills to stay warm and dry. Because of regional differences we will only discuss the most basic of skills.