Creative Blog Post #3 – Environmental Education: Grade 11 Camping Trip
After reading “Canoe Pedagogy and Colonial History: Exploring Contested Spaces of Outdoor Environmental Education” by Liz Newberry, an experience that I had with environmental education popped into my head. This experience is my grade 11 camping trip, where my physical education teacher took my class and the grade 10 students to Echo Lake Provincial Park for one night. Being that there was a lot of students he invited a few parents to join us on our trip as chaperones.
When we first arrived at Echo Lake, we all had to set up our tents, which I found to be quite entertaining as some of my fellow classmates tents kept on collapsing. Once our tents were set up our teacher split us up into small groups so that we could begin with the activities. Some of the activities that we did during our trip were; canoeing, geocaching, and a nature walk. These activities were led by my teacher and a few people who work at the park.
The first activity that I got to do was geocaching. My group and I would walk around the park searching for little boxes, using a gps to find them. The scenery was beautiful, as we were surrounded by trees and plants. Next I got to go canoeing. I enjoyed spending time on the water and looking at the wilderness that surrounded me. In the “Sound of Silverbells,” the narrator has a similar experience with wilderness (nature). The narrator describes the scenery; “The woods dance[d] with colors of wildflowers, nodding sprays of white dog wood and … pink froth of redbuds…” (Kimmerer, 2013, p. 218). When we think of wilderness (nature), we tend to think of the beautiful things we see around us (plants, trees, animals, lakes, clouds, sun, etc.). We describe “[w]ilderness as … a space of rejuvenation, of peace, of wild danger, of inspiration, of adventure” (Newberry, 2012, p. 33). We tend to ignore the negative impacts that we have on wilderness because of our actions. We believe that the wilderness is a place to relax and go on adventures, such as my camping trip experience. We tend to forget that wilderness is our home; wilderness surrounds us. I believe that it is our job to take care of our environment (wilderness), while we continue to enjoy its beauty.
I enjoyed going on my camping trip (canoeing, geocaching, nature hike), but I feel like we did not respect our environment as there was a lot of litter everywhere when we left. Our teacher did not encourage us to clean up/ pay back the environment for the time we got to spend there (relax). I believe that in order to make sure that future generations can enjoy the wilderness, we need to step up and look after it (nature).
Newbery, L. (2012). Canoe Pedagogy and Colonial History: Exploring Contested Space of Outdoor Environmental Education. Retrieved March 2, 2019, from https://cjee.lakeheadu.ca/article/view/1112/653
Wall Kimmerer, R. (2013). Sound of Silverbells. In Braiding Sweetgrass (pp. 216-222). Canada: Milkweed Editions.