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Outdoor Adventures Indoors

Andrew Hepworth
Andrew Hepworth (1 post) Educational Trips Coordinator View Profile

ICS Educational Trips Coordinator Andrew Hepworth reflects on how learners take risks – and contemplates how they will continue to push boundaries during periods of confinement and beyond.

Amidst unprecedented confinement measures across the world, children and adults alike are defying the limitations of the indoors with aspirational outdoor-inspired adventures.

Knitted within IB education is the concept of providing students opportunities to take risk and provide service to others. These ideas have grown from its founding philosophy back in the 1960s and continue to be supported in recent experiential education literature, which provides us with developed pedagogical tools.

Duke of Edinburgh Bronze level Practice Adventure Journey Oct 19

We commonly approach risk through planning and undertaking adventurous journeys. The dictionary points to such journeys as “a course of action inviting risk” and most importantly having an outcome that is unknown. Physical and physiological questions often arise, such as: will we make it?, what if something goes wrong?, why am I afraid? True adventures help us develop resilience as we navigate these questions and go on journeys. 

In light of the novel corona virus, Spanish educator Gregorio Luri has described the world's current situation as an extraordinary “moral collective adventure”. We have been witnesses to astonishing examples of ordinary people embarking on adventures amidst the most ordinary settings, challenging the since implicit limitations of lock downs across continents. Elisha Nochomovitz ran 42Kms, which is the equivalent of a full marathon using his 7-meter balcony in Toulouse.

Opera singer Amy Jansen is currently in training to climb Everest in one day using her staircase, planning to attempt her particular ascent on the 16th May. You can follow along and take part in some of her training alongside her through her website.

Another example is how local Scouts in Madrid have taken on the challenge to collectively walk 1,588km on their balconies – the distance between their city and their sister Scout group in St Albans, England.

The materialisation of these apparently non-transcending adventures, which without doubt mirror the outdoors from the indoors, bespeak the significance we attribute to our natural surroundings, yet evidence how uncertainty and challenge can still be sought so close to home, even at home! As we slowly edge past these times and enter new territory, I believe that our campus and local environments will play a bigger and more significant part in educational experiences outside of the classroom in the coming academic year at ICS.

As we slowly edge past these times and enter new territory, I believe that our campus and local environments will play a bigger and more significant part in educational experiences outside of the classroom in the coming academic year at ICS.

One way we intend to walk in this direction is through the Duke of Edinburgh Award – an educational framework that brings together adventurous journeys and sustained service learning efforts, which offers young people a structured approach to designing and implementing adventurous journeys. The framework is a great way to recognise students’ achievements and can offer a building block for University applications. This challenge takes place in 144 countries and is recognized by Universities and Colleges worldwide.

The DofE progamme can start at any stage during Secondary school from the age of 14, so whether your child is a new candidate or an existing one, watch this space as applications for next academic year unfold.