CONFERENCE SESSIONS

Find the sessions and descriptions listed here. Presenter bios are here.

GENERAL SESSIONS 
Women and the Assertiveness Trap: Strategies for Female-Identifying People and Allies Andre, Elizabeth

The Psychology of Risk and 21st Century Wilderness Program Participants

Bobilya, Andrew & Daniel, Brad & Faircloth, Brad

Outdoor Education in the 21st Century: Snowplow parenting, mental health, social media, and other cultural considerations Botting, Rachael
Ethics Code in Outdoor Education: A Grey Area? A Guide's Guide Jordan, Scott
Astute Assessment: A Tool for the Field Lewis, Patrick
Inclusion in Outdoor Education Meece, Darrell
How to Run OLTC to Develop Future WEA Outdoor Leaders Okamura, Taito & Shimazaki, Shinsuke & Marimoto, Kota
How to Select the Correct Leadership Style Phipps, Maurice
The Historic WEA Way: A Panel Discussion Phipps, Maurice & Daniel, Brad & Spencer, Steve & Schneider, Sarah & Tindall, Jeff & Whittington, Anja
Online Videos for Professional Portfolios Post, Jay D.
Raising Kids to Love the Wilderness: A Camp Program Progression Ribbe, Rob & Kiley, Ashley
Gender: Does It Matter?

Whittington, Anja (& Martin, Bruce)

PRACTICAL SESSIONS 
Identifying Program Effectiveness Botting, Rachael
Using Emotion Regulation Tools in the Wilderness Setting DePreter, Nick
Wilderness First Aid in a Winter Setting Dubbins, Luke & Fine, Tyler & Rogan, Dan
Winter Shelters 101 Hummel, Heidi & Buhsong, Ben
"How it's always been done" - Acknowledging Dogmatic Practices in Climbing Kramer, Lucas
Certified Outdoor Leader Implementation: Our rookie year of integrating COL into our existing staff training Odberg, Michael & Port, Jess & Hobbs, Will
The Most Important Outdoor Decisions: Gear and Food Tumilty, Emily
Conflict and Decisions 101 Zmudy, Mark H. & Odberg, Michael
PAUL TALKS 
Leader of the Day Might Not Be the Way Lewis, Patrick
33 Hours on a Ledge: A Snowball of Poor Decisions I Thought I'd Never Make Odberg, Michael
Developing Judgment Through "Type 2" Fun Potter, Cameron
RESEARCH 
Life-Giving Education: Investigating the Challenges Experienced by Educators Integrating Experiential Teaching Methods Berry, Daniela & Holland, Dr. W. Hunter
Gendered Experiences in the Backcountry Botta, Renee & Fitzgerald, Lynne
Understanding Beliefs and Confidence of Educators Participating in Experiential Wilderness-Based Professional Development Holland, Dr. W. Hunter
Urban Adolescents Connect with Natural Worlds in their Community through Urban Agriculture Livstrom, Illana
How Should We Grow Outdoor Spirituality of Participant in a Camp Program Okamura, Taito
STUDENT SESSIONS 
Engaging Youth from Hard Places Garcez, Gabriel
Creating Resiliency in Our Youngest Generation Wade, Angel

 

Session Descriptions

33 Hours on a Ledge: A Snowball of Poor Decisions I Thought I'd Never Make ⦵ = Paul Talks

Just two months on the job, but with 20 years of Outdoor Leadership experience behind me, I got myself in a serious predicament when scouting an uncharted climbing site in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It started with a desire to please and a narrow window of time to explore. It ended with an ill-prepared and untrained rescue crew finding me and assisting me in a self-rescue after 33 hours on a ledge. Poor decisions got me there. Good decisions brought me back unscathed.

Astute Assessment: A Tool for the Field. ⟁ = General Session. ⟁ = General Session

The Field Assessment Log (FAL) is a field-based assessment tool used to help develop accurate self-assessment in participants. The FAL provides observable assessment criteria for much of the 6+1 curriculum. This session will present the assessment tool and discuss WEA curriculum connections, tool strengths, and areas for further development.

Certified Outdoor Leader Implementation: Our rookie year of integrating COL into our existing staff training. ⚫= Practical Session

Searching for a training and credentialing strategy for the HoneyRock wilderness staff, we landed on WFR and WEA COL as the best credentialing fit for our emerging outdoor leaders. This was not a reinvention of training, but a purposeful redesign within our existing training schedule. It was not without bumps and bruises, but the positive outcomes for our leaders and campers were magnified in one short season. As a non-accredited program, we were the guinea pigs. We will take you through the journey. Come with your curiosity, your questions, your ideas, and your challenges. We will include some purposeful interaction to consider if WEA OLTC or COL training/credentialing might fit your training model.

Conflict and Decisions 101. ⚫= Practical Session

When things get awkward or challenging in life, what can we do? There’s no App for that! On top of that, in a world of digital and social media overload it seems we are actually less connected than ever, not more connected than ever! Leaning into tough situations that are emotionally awkward whether alone or with others requires a bit of skill, finesse, and judgment. Come discover the fun of practical role-play to learn a set of basic conflict resolution and decision-making skills and tools that can be used whether on the trail during your next expedition, or in your life outside the context of outdoor leadership. Relationship development and maintenance skills will also be discussed.

Creating Resiliency in Our Youngest Generation. = Student Session

America may be in the midst of a mental health epidemic for our youngest generation. Mental health organizations report peaking youth suicide rates, and a 60% increase in depression rates from 2009. Creating resilience in Generation Z may empower challenge course professionals to create a space that is adverse experience aware, student-centered, problem-based, and promotes collaborative learning. Facilitators can create a tailored outdoor experience utilizing Great Expectations Training, adventure education, and human development research. 

Developing Judgment Through "Type 2" Fun. ⦵ = Paul Talks

Yes, judgment is important - but how can we (and our student trip leaders) get MORE judgment? Is it a personality trait? Is it only a function of maturity and experience, or can the development of judgment be expedited? This session will present the importance of challenging, "real-life" leadership opportunities in the development of judgment in student trip leaders. A brief overview of student development theory will lead into an interactive presentation on how to develop judgment as outdoor leaders and leader-trainers. Curriculum design, risk management techniques, and evaluative components will be covered as part of the presentation. 

Engaging Youth from Hard Places. = Student Session

Experiences of beginning an outdoor adventure outreach program. What it takes to engage youth from hard places. Three core lenses an outdoor educator can keep in mind to promote success when educating youth from hard places: base needs, permissible vs mandatory actions, and measuring success. We will discuss how to truly engage them, whether you have an hour or years with them.

Ethics Code in Outdoor Education: A Grey Area? A Guide's Guide. ⟁ = General Session

This session is designed to develop the conversation of the development of an ethics code in the field of outdoor recreation and education. The WEA has a long history with the development of judgment-based curriculum that guides professionals with the best intentions of gaining outdoor recreation outcomes. With that said, what is judgment without an understanding of culture's ethical philosophy? The concept of ethics is implied but not openly discussed in the six core competencies. The term ethic is mentioned only twice in literature about WEA curriculum, one in reference to the natural environment and once referring to a work ethic. Many other professions are guided by ethics codes. Phycologists and physicians both have ethics codes. In Australia, outdoor recreation professionals adhere to a written code of ethics. Jasper Hunt has outlined ways that ethics interact with our field. The foundation for a discussion has been set. This workshop will first provide a history of how the field of outdoor recreation has pursued positive ethical judgment since the time of Kurt Hahn. Then it will review Robert Sternberg’s Model for Ethical Decision Making. Finally, participants will use the Sternberg model to interact and discuss where ethics fit into each of the WEA core competencies. 

Gender: Does It Matter? ⟁ = General Session

This session will share current research from the Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership’s special edition titled ‘A Critical Exploration of Girls’ and Women’s Experience in Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership.’ In this workshop participants will examine challenges, barriers, opportunities and viable solutions to support female involvement in outdoor recreation. This session will help practitioners make informed decisions (based on research) to support female involvement in outdoor recreation.

Gendered Experiences in the Backcountry. = Research Poster

This study examined the self-reported issues women experience while long-distance backpacking, noting particular attention to gendered challenges and the strategies employed to handle these issues. Using data collected from backpackers who hiked on average 88% of the 220-mile John Muir Trail (JMT) in 2015, a secondary data analysis focused on questions asked of self-identified women regarding issues on the trail such as inappropriate or threatening conduct from men, menstruation, and health and hygiene. Qualitative comments revealed two key themes: the presumption of masculine dominance and gendered physical challenges for women in the backcountry.

The Historic WEA Way: A Panel Discussion. ⟁ = General Session

When people ask how WEA courses are different from other organizations’ courses, how do you answer that? If you already work for another organization like NOLS or Outward Bound and want to teach a WEA course, how do you know the different kinds of things we do on WEA courses? The idea of this panel discussion is to try and gain a consensus as to what is common practice for WEA instructors and leaders which can be incorporated into future trainings.

"How it's always been done" - Acknowledging Dogmatic Practices in Climbing. ⚫= Practical Session

Dogma is fundamentally integrated into the learning process. As instructors, we lean on "incontrovertible tenets" to help us build a case for further learning. Dogma may also be one of the biggest culprits to continued practitioner/instructor ignorance, resulting in detrimental, false, and sometimes even dangerous understandings. How can we identify dogma in our own practice? How do we decide when it is time to dig deep and evaluate if the dogmatic tenets we hold to still pass muster? This session will be spent discussing the previous questions, through participant offered examples. We will strive to create a tool that will identify a pathway to evaluation and then a review of our practices that relies on critical thought processes.

How Should We Grow Outdoor Spirituality of Participant in a Camp Program. = Research

The purpose of this study is to clarify how to develop the outdoor spirituality of early adolescence involving summer camp including wilderness trip. The past studies showed that sense of nature of the outdoor leaders affects the environmental knowledge and attitude of the participants. Okamura and Post (2019) reported the outdoor spirituality of Japanese outdoor leaders using the Q-Methodology and classified the construction of their spirituality as self-development, relationship with others and higher power, and aesthetics of nature. However the discussion pointed that the result was influenced by traditional classification of the educational outcome rather than their wilderness experience. Marsh (2007) showed outdoor spirituality of backcountry enthusiasts using Means-End Analysis and reported eight values; transcendent, increased awareness, connection to others, sense of fulfillment as most frequently, and eight consequence; focus, reflection, tranquility, appreciation as the most major. In this study, the construction of outdoor spirituality reported by Marsh was applied to sampling the outdoor spirituality of the participants. The subject was the 12 students who participated in 9-day residential camp including 4-day wilderness trip. To clarify the outdoor spirituality of participant, the Experiential Education Evaluation: 3 E Form developed by Backcountry Classroom Inc. based on Means-End theory was administered at the end of the course. The student was asked the types of outdoor spirituality from eight values and chose the experience which they felt the spirituality from eight consequences by Marsh, then they described the activity which they experienced the spirituality. The 3E Form showed that participants experienced all types of outdoor spirituality more frequently during the wilderness trip than residential program around camping ground and these spirituality was acquired through challenges, sharing with friends, and introspective experiences. The result suggested that we should introduce wilderness trip in residential camp to grow participants’ outdoor spirituality rather than residential outdoor programs.  

How to Run the OLTC to Develop Future WEA Outdoor Leaders. ⟁ = General Session

WEAJ has started the registration of organization members and the recognition of OLTC based on the alliance agreement signed with WEA in 2018. To help OLTC students to learn effectively and move to the COL without financial and educational demerit, WEAJ created original and local regulation which the COL curriculum is divided into basic and advanced curriculums, and the OLTC can cover the basic curriculum. In 2019, three OLTC courses sponsored by Encourage Inc., Shinshu Outdoor Project and Kobe YMCA who are organization members of WEAJ and one COL course run by backcountry classroom Inc. who are accredited by WEAJ were held. One student took advantage of this system and stepped up from OLTC to COL. This workshop will create a better way of OLTC as the entry model to develop the WEA outdoor leader based on reviewing each OLTC and COL course and in-depth interviews of students of OLTC and COL courses.

How to Select the Correct Leadership Style. ⟁ = General Session

Judgment is key in selecting the correct leadership style so how is this achieved? First, you diagnose the followers' readiness levels, then you adapt the leadership style that fits. Lastly, you communicate that style accurately and sensitively. This session will show you your personally favored style using the Expedition Leader Style Analysis Inventory (ELSA) and you will practice "using" all the styles in some case examples. Where does Situational Leadership fit into Transformational Leadership? How do group dynamics affect readiness levels? All will be revealed in this interactive session.

Identifying Program Effectiveness. ⚫= Practical Session

In this session, we will discuss how to do develop, implement, and utilize program evaluations to strengthen your programs, enhance your marketing, and grow your organization. You will be provided with practical tools for developing your own effective evaluations and learn how to engage a yearly assessment process that engages employees and ensures long term organizational development.

Inclusion in Outdoor Education. ⟁ = General Session

What does it mean for an outdoor education program to be inclusive? Why is inclusion important in outdoor education? In this session, we will discuss how the inclusion of individuals with different abilities, different socioeconomic status, different sex and gender, and different ethnic and racial backgrounds can be beneficial for all of our participants. We will consider what greater levels of inclusion would look like in our programs, and generate strategies we can use to increase inclusion.

Leader of the Day Might Not Be the Way. ⦵ = Paul Talks

This talk is an attempt to provoke discussion on the use of leader of the day as an effective leadership learning tool. I will share concerns and questions on my experience with LOD feedback, what the feedback may suggest about leadership, and potentially most concerning what lessons prospective leaders may take from the feedback.

Life-Giving Education: Investigating the Challenges Experienced by Educators Integrating Experiential Teaching Methods. = Research Poster

Research examining the influence of experiential wilderness programs on a range of outcomes is well documented. However, there is little research focused on the use of these types of programs for professional development for educators. Utilizing the Experiential Learning Theory (Kolb, 2014), this research investigated the North Carolina Outward Bound Educators’ Initiative (NCOBEI) to examine the challenges participants experienced integrating experiential teaching-methods within their school settings. Our findings indicate that further resources should be allocated towards establishing a positive transfer-climate in schools which the educators return.

The Most Important Outdoor Decisions: Gear and Food. ⚫= Practical Session

This session will explore the many opinions that outdoor professionals have in regard to gear and food on a wilderness trip. I will give an overview of HoneyRock’s tried and true methods of outfitting and feeding over 250 students who go into the wilderness each summer. The session will also provide an opportunity for a round table discussion about the best practices, struggles, and importance of trip gear and food.

Online Videos for Professional Portfolios. ⟁ = General Session

What makes a good video that you can add to your professional portfolio? You do not need thousands of dollars of equipment and a production team. We will cover easy steps to prepare, film, edit, and publish your videos. The session will end with a hands-on challenge to help you create your next video.

Outdoor Education in the 21st Century: Snowplow parenting, mental health, social media, and other cultural considerations. ⟁ = General Session

Like a fish that is unaware that she is swimming in 'water', culture has a way of defining our lives without us fully understanding how it is impacting us. In this session, we will explore important cultural trends that are impacting participants, staff, and even ourselves as outdoor practitioners. We will consider the influence of culture on every aspect of our programs, from registration to retention, and consider our role in shaping the culture of the future.

The Psychology of Risk and 21st Century Wilderness Program Participants. ⟁ = General Session

Outdoor adventure programs (OAPs) have traditionally embraced challenge, risk, and stress as tools for personal growth. Yet, there has been debate over the most effective way to encourage personal growth. This may be especially true for today’s youth (13-17 yrs.) and young adult (18-25 yrs.) populations. Rather than eliminate these traditional factors related to personal growth through OAPs, an optimal challenge experience would integrate these elements with positive psychological factors such as safety, security, and comfort. Adventure leaders need to be trained to recognize behavioral or cognitive manifestations of anxiety. In a time when one accident can put a program out of business, achieving the same or better results with less risk and/or stress will reduce potential liability connected to program design. This workshop will explore questions including: Are OAP’s perpetuating old notions of risk/challenge that are no longer as relevant for today’s participants? To what extent are challenge and stress useful as tools for personal growth with today’s participants? If participant characteristics are changing, how do leaders determine the most effective program design? Do youth and young adults today respond similarly or differently to programs that embrace challenge, risk, and stress as tools for growth? What is an optimal amount of stress that encourages personal growth? Are programs today primarily motivated by the most effective methods for promoting personal growth or are they changing their offerings primarily to hold or increase market share? Has helicopter parenting led to helicopter leadership of wilderness programs?

Raising Kids to Love the Wilderness: A Camp Program Progression. ⟁ = General Session

In today's world, deep immersion in the wilderness for youth is becoming more of a foreign concept. Like the every sport in the suburbs, leaders have learned you have to get them excited about it when they are young. HoneyRock has developed a multi-year wilderness tripping progression that helps campers enjoy and learn from the wilderness. We'll share the principles and practical skills learned at each step of the progression from 3rd grade through high school.

Understanding Beliefs and Confidence of Educators Participating in Experiential Wilderness-Based Professional Development. = Research

Continuing education programs for teachers have the potential to provide beneficial outcomes for both participants and their students (Norton & Watt, 2013; Stewart, 2014). Experiential wilderness-based programs are a unique form of continuing education because of their use of wilderness-based learning environments, outdoor-recreation activities, and experiential teaching initiatives. Research examining the influence of experiential wilderness programs on a range of outcomes (e. g. adjustments in behavioral conduct, pro-environmental behaviors, increased classroom culture; Holland et al., 2018) is well documented. However, there is little research focused on the use of these type of programs for professional development for educators. Therefore, utilizing the Experiential Learning Theory (Kolb and Kolb, 2005) this research investigated North Carolina Outward Bound Educators’ Initiative (NCOBEI) to examine if the program improved educators’ beliefs regarding the importance of, and their confidence in, integrating experiential teaching methods in the classroom. Additionally, we investigated if educators’ beliefs and confidence could successfully predict their future use of experiential teaching methods within their schools.

Urban Adolescents Connect with Natural Worlds in their Community through Urban Agriculture. = Research

Communities of color with a high incidence of poverty are disproportionately impacted by environmental issues (Hoff, 2007). However, these communities have been historically underrepresented in engagement with the natural world and left out of environmental movements and policymaking (Bullard, 2018). This makes it particularly important to involve the youth of marginalized identities in environmental learning, activism, and decision making. The opportunities in community-based nature engagement in urban spaces have been under-explored in the research literature. Moreover, the role of community assets and elders in these spaces has been largely absent from the educational literature (Yosso, 2005). This presentation shares the work of an urban environmental and agriculture internship program for urban youth of color - “Growing North Minneapolis” - as a unique space for near nature engagement and environmental judgment and decision-making to occur. Guided by community-based participatory action research, this single embedded case study examined the ways in which environmental learning and career development occurred in four internship garden groups in significantly different ways, each uniquely responsive to the group members’ identities. Participants will learn strategies that were found to be effective in our program. Themes common to multiple groups included intergenerational thinking, learning, and problem-solving, relevance, centering youth voice and experiences, dialogical discussion across diverse perspectives, movement, and relationship building. Themes unique to the groups included story-telling, debate, and centering issues of justice and injustice. These themes supported judgment and decision-making, particularly around environmental issues of importance to the youth’s lives and communities. Across all groups, learning happened organically in ways that were relevant for urban youth of color who are often left out of wilderness and environmental education. This work illuminates the opportunities in near-nature environments and community-based education, particularly for urban youth of color who are often left out of wilderness opportunities and marginalized in traditional educational spaces.

Using Emotion Regulation Tools in the Wilderness Setting. ⚫= Practical Session

In this interactive workshop, participants will experience the emotional rollercoaster that students feel as they navigate their time at our outdoor education campus. Utilizing Yale’s RULER program and the tools of similar nationally recognized programs supported by CASEL, this workshop aims to help the participant who teaches teens (or who may work with youth in the future) develop a ritualized decision-making process when it comes to human interaction and understanding oneself. Get ready for fun indoors and out!

Wilderness First Aid in a Winter Setting. ⚫= Practical Session

This session will cover common cold weather first aid issues through both a lecture-based discussion and hands-on experience. Topics that will be covered include hypothermia, chilblains, frostbite, and hypo-wraps. This presentation will be presented by two NMU students who hold Wilderness First Responder certifications through the Wilderness Medicine Training Center.

Winter Shelters 101. ⚫= Practical Session

Come learn about some of the most efficient types of snow shelters and how to build them! This is a practical session that will include a brief rundown of all the shelters and their pros and cons and then we'll head outside to see if we can build some ourselves. Make sure to bring warm clothes for playing in the snow!

Women and the Assertiveness Trap: Strategies for Female-Identifying People and Allies. ⟁ = General Session

Female-identifying people face a double-bind in leadership positions—if they are passive, they are often ignored or considered to be a poor leader. If they are assertive, they are often considered to be domineering and abrasive. Male-identifying allies often have the most power to improve group culture to open spaces for women to lead in ways that are less-constrained by gendered expectations. Women can also experiment with strategies to navigate this difficult terrain. After summarizing research, we’ll explore various approaches. 


 

Presenter Bios

Presenters are listed below in alphabetical order by last name.

Elizabeth Andre

Women and the Assertiveness Trap: Strategies for Female-Identifying People and Allies

Dr. Andre is an Associate Professor of Nature and Culture at Northland College in Ashland, WI. She is a former Outward Bound instructor, past president of the Association of Outdoor Recreation & Education, and a part of National Geographic's 2007 dog sled expedition across Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic.

Daniela Berry

Life-Giving Education: Investigating the Challenges Experienced by Educators Integrating Experiential Teaching Methods

Daniela M. Berry is an undergraduate student at University of North Carolina Wilmington studying Public and Non-Profit Recreation. Her research interests include training program evaluation and how participants with mental health history are impacted in the residential camp environment. She hopes to begin a graduate program this fall to prepare for a career in youth development and outdoor recreation.

Andrew Bobilya

The Psychology of Risk and 21st Century Wilderness Program Participants

Dr. Andrew Bobilya currently serves as Professor and Program Director of Parks and Recreation Management at Western Carolina University. In addition, he is the Director of Training and Education at 2nd Nature TREC (Training, Research, Education, Consulting). Andrew has been exploring remote wilderness areas personally, with his family and as an instructor for various outdoor adventure programs and universities for over twenty-five years. He became formally affiliated with the WEA in 2003 and has been integrating the WEA curriculum into his coursework ever since. Throughout this time he has taken students on extended backcountry expeditions incorporating the WEA curriculum in locations ranging from from the Wind River mountains in Wyoming to the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area in North Carolina. He is currently planning to instruct a WEA course in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota in May, 2020. More recently, 2nd Nature TREC provided support for WEA's new training and certification program by co-authoring the Certified Outdoor Educator clinic curriculum and facilitating the first clinic in February, 2019. Andrew continues to seek adventure in backyard and remote wild places.

Rachael Botting

Identifying Program Effectiveness
Outdoor Education in the 21st Century: Snowplow parenting, mental health, social media, and other cultural considerations

Rachael Botting completed her master’s degree at Wheaton in 2015 and now lives with her husband in Three Lakes, WI. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate through Biola University, studying, researching and writing on the power of camp in the 21st century. In addition to research, Rachael leads HoneyRock’s transition programs for incoming college students (Wheaton passage). She is an avid skier in the winter and enjoys biking, running and swimming in the summer.

Ben Bushong

Winter Shelters 101

Ben Bushong is a junior at Northern Michigan University majoring in Outdoor Recreation Leadership and Management. He was born and raised in Gaylord, Michigan. He has endured a week-long endeavor into the McCormick Wilderness sheltering in hand-built quinzhees in temperatures as low as -40°F.

Brad Daniel

The Historic WEA Way: A Panel Discussion
The Psychology of Risk and 21st Century Wilderness Program Participants

Brad Daniel has been a college professor, wilderness trip leader, and field science instructor for over 35 years. He holds Masters degrees in Biology/Ecology, Outdoor Education, and Liberal Arts and Sciences and a PhD from Antioch University New England. Brad has been involved with WEA for over 25 years. In addition to being a WEA Certified Outdoor Educator, he is a Certified Interpretive Guide (NAI), Certified Environmental Educator (EENC), and Master Educator (LNT). Brad has been the recipient of many awards including two-time Distinguished Professor and 2001-2010 Professor of the Decade at Montreat College, and received EENC's Lifetime Achievement Award in Environmental Education. Brad's passion is using the outdoors to engage the heart, challenge the mind, and nurture the spirit. 

Nick Depreter

Using Emotion Regulation Tools in the Wilderness Setting

Nick DePreter is the Assistant Director of the John Dorr Nature Lab of the Horace Mann School. He has taught internationally and stateside for over 20 years both in and out of the classroom. A returned Peace Corps Volunteer, he uses the outdoors as a medium to bring people together and to help students find out who they really are on the inside. He lives in CT with his wife, son and dog.

Luke Dubbins

Wilderness First Aid in a Winter Setting

Luke is a senior at Northern Michigan University studying Outdoor Recreation Leadership and Management. He has his Wilderness First Responder, Wilderness CPR/AED and a certification to administer epinephrine through the Wilderness Medicine Training Center. He started working in outdoor recreation through Boy Scouts, being a camp staffer teaching cub scouts outdoor skills. Recently he interned at Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation back home in Illinois, where he worked mostly with hunting dogs. When he is not working or at school, he enjoys hiking and skating on the ponds.

Brad Faircloth

The Psychology of Risk and 21st Century Wilderness Program Participants

Dr. Brad Faircloth oversees the development and planning of research initiatives of 2nd Nature TREC. He is also involved in fundraising, marketing, community outreach and program evaluation and research. He is also the Director of Assessment at Montreat College and the department chair of Psychology and Human Services.

Tyler Fine

Wilderness First Aid in a Winter Setting

Tyler Fine is an Outdoor Recreation Major at Northern Michigan University. He has had many accomplishments in the outdoor industry including earning his Eagle Scout Award, becoming the president of the Organization for Outdoor Recreation Professionals and Working for a Forest Service Search and Rescue team. Tyler is thrilled to be a presenter at the WEA conference and looks forward to meeting you.

Gabriel Garcez

Engaging Youth from Hard Places

Gabriel is the Coordinator for Bear Adventures at Baylor University as well as the graduate assistant for the Outdoor Adventure Living Learning Center. He is currently finishing up a Master’s in Public Health and worked previously as a Recreation Coordinator for The Methodist Children’s Home in Waco, Texas.

Will Hobbs

Certified Outdoor Leader Implementation: Our rookie year of integrating COL into our existing staff training

Will teaches in the Outdoor Adventure Leadership major at Montana State Billings and serves as Vice-President of the WEA Board of Directors. He is currently working on the WEA credentialing system (with the rest of the Board) but focused on the COL and OLTC levels. Hunting and wandering in the woods and open spaces are becoming deeper and deeper passions.

Hunter Holland

Life-Giving Education: Investigating the Challenges Experienced by Educators Integrating Experiential Teaching Methods
Understanding Beliefs and Confidence of Educators Participating in Experiential Wilderness-Based Professional Development

W. Hunter Holland is a lecturer in the College of Health and Human Service at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Hunter’s professional background includes working for Alaska Mountain Guides Climbing School Inc., International Wilderness Leadership School, Ohio University, Oregon State University Cascades, Clemson University, and North Carolina Outward Bound. He completed his Ph.D. from Clemson University in Parks and Conservation Area Management. His personal interests include mountaineering, fishing, playing music, reading, and learning. 

Heidi Hummel

Winter Shelters 101

Heidi Hummel is a junior at Northern Michigan University from Duluth, Minnesota, majoring in Outdoor Recreation Leadership and Management. She has guided a total of five winter camping trips for the Boy Scouts of America at Northern Tier High Adventure Base in Ely, Minnesota, as well as participated in two staff training trips and led a third.

Scott Jordan

Ethics Code in Outdoor Education: A Grey Area? A Guide's Guide

Scott Jordan PhD, is an Associate Professor teaching in the Outdoor Recreation Leadership and Management degree program. Scott has extensive experience in the field of outdoor recreation where he has worked in the guiding industry, the aerial adventure industries, and higher education systems. This work has enabled him to serve the outdoor industry on a national level as President of the Board of Directors for the Wilderness Education Association and on the Executive Committee of the Professional Ropes Course Association. Through these associations, he participated in the development of an American national standard for zip line and challenge course construction and operations. Most recently, Scott’s research interests have turned to community planning in association with nature based tourism development in rural areas. In this regard, he desires to develop a sustainable model for nature based tourism and outdoor recreation for the United States. He also has recently completed a textbook on the zip line and challenge course industries and looks forward to it in print by the end of January. When not working Scott enjoys mountain biking and hikes with his wife Cathy and dogs Kraken and Cebolla.

Ashley Kiley

Raising Kids to Love the Wilderness: A Camp Program Progression

  

Lucas Kramer

"How it's always been done" - Acknowledging Dogmatic Practices in Climbing

Lucas currently works as the Assistant Director Climbing at the University of Minnesota Duluth Recreational Sports Outdoor Program. He holds certifications through the Professional Climbing Instructors Association as a provider trainer for both the Climbing Wall Instructor course (indoor course) and the Single Pitch Climbing Instructor course (outdoor course). He is also a certified Single Pitch Instructor through the American Mountain Guides Association. Lucas serves as a board member of the Minnesota Climbers Association (state-wide) as well as the President of the board of the Duluth Climbers Coalition (city-wide).

Pat Lewis

Astute Assessment: A Tool for the Field
Leader of the Day Might Not Be the Way

Dr. Lewis is the current co-chair of the Commission on Outdoor Education and Leadership (COEL), a WEA Certifying Examiner, and Chair of the Department of Recreation & Leisure Studies at Ithaca College, New York.

Illana Livstrom 

Urban Adolescents Connect with Natural Worlds in their Community through Urban Agriculture

Illana Livstrom is the program coordinator of Growing North Minneapolis - an urban environmental and agriculture internship program for urban youth of marginalized identities. Illana is also a doctoral student at the University of Minnesota in STEM education, where she works with pre- and in-service teacher candidates in culturally responsive and interdisciplinary learning strategies. Her current research focuses on community-based STEM education and community-university partnership studies.

Darrell Meece

Inclusion in Outdoor Education

Darrell Meece received his doctorate in Developmental Psychology from Auburn University. Dr. Meece served on the faculty of the College of Human Ecology at Michigan State University for eight years. For the past 12 years he has been a faculty member at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he is a Professor in the School of Education. He is chair of the board of directors of Ivy Academy, a public middle- and high-school that follows an environmental education approach and is a partnership with Tennessee State Parks.

Kota Morimoto

How to Run OLTC to Develop Future WEA Outdoor Leaders

Kota Morimoto, BS, is the Camp Director of the Sense of Nature providing kids camping sponsored by Encourage Inc., branding and consulting companies. The company was registered in WEAJ organization member and started OLTC course in 2019. He had been instructor of Outward Bound Japan and mountain guide in Canada for 10 years. He loves rock climbing and mountaineering.

Mike Odberg

33 Hours on a Ledge: A Snowball of Poor Decisions I Thought I'd Never Make
Certified Outdoor Leader Implementation: Our rookie year of integrating COL into our existing staff training
Conflict and Decisions 101

Mike Odberg is Adventure Programs Manager at HoneyRock. As part of his position, he is responsible overseeing the wilderness and high adventure programs, as well as supervision of 5 GA's in the Outdoor Adventure Leadership M.A. program. He also provides supervision for retreats held at HoneyRock. In 1999, near his hometown of Duluth, MN, he launched Ascending Adventures as a wilderness/adventure outreach ministry of his church. Ascending Adventures later incorporated as a non-profit and grew as its own entity, introducing hundreds of people to their first wilderness and adventure experiences. From 2005-2011, Mike also was Outdoor Recreation Coordinator for the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, MN and from 2012-2014 operated a gap year program for young men. He also has taught Physical Education for 16 years. Mike earned his Masters degree in Physical Education-Pedagogy with an emphasis in Adventure Education in 2000 from the University of WI- La Crosse. He is married 25 years to his favorite adventure partner, Annabelle and has 2 adventurous girls. As a family they have done multiple wilderness adventures together and Erika and Bryn continue to expand their horizons in outdoor adventure and wilderness tripping in their young adult years.

Taito Okamura

How to Run OLTC to Develop Future WEA Outdoor Leaders
How Should We Grow Outdoor Spirituality of Participant in Camp Program

Taito Okamura, PhD, is the CEO of Backcountry Classroom Inc. providing outdoor education program for companies, professional sports cubs, schools and communities after 10 years’ university faculty. He founded Wilderness Education Association Japan in 2013 and served as the first president until 2019. He is also the director of Camp Hanayama, sponsored by Yoshonen Camp Society since 1969. He enjoys hiking in the Japanese wilderness with his students, friends, and family.

Maurice Phipps

The Historic WEA Way: A Panel Discussion
How to Select the Correct Leadership Style

Maurice attended a WEA professional’s course in 1982, then apprenticed with Petzoldt the following year on Paul’s last Teton Course. He has taught WEA courses for WEA, Brigham Young Idaho, Colorado State University, Western State College of Colorado and Western Carolina University. This has included courses in the Tetons, the Wind Rivers, the Collegiates, Rocky Mountain National Park, Yellowstone National Park, the Adirondacks, and the Blue Ridge Mountains. He was a WEA board member for 6 years and is currently a Presidential Council member. He is now retired and a Professor Emeritus at Western Carolina University.

Jess Port

Certified Outdoor Leader Implementation: Our rookie year of integrating COL into our existing staff training

 

Jay Post

Online Videos for Professional Portfolios

Jay Post has worked with non-profits, campus recreation, city parks & recreation, military recreation, ski resorts, and guide companies. His passion has lead him to higher education to help prepare the next generations of leisure professionals. He is currently teaching at Arkansas Tech University. He is a Certified Outdoor Educator and a board member of the Wilderness Education Association.

Cameron Potter

Developing Judgment Through "Type 2" Fun

Cameron is a WEA Board Member and former Assistant Director of Outdoor Programs at Texas Christian University. He is now working as a Senior Learning and Development Consultant with the TCU Human Resources department.

Rob Ribbe

Raising Kids to Love the Wilderness: A Camp Program Progression

Rob serves as the Director of HoneyRock and as faculty in the School of Mission, Ministry, and Leadership of Wheaton College. His passion is to develop leaders for the Church worldwide and to see students and campers grow in character and commitment when they work together to overcome challenges and build authentic communities.

Sarah Schneider

The Historic WEA Way: A Panel Discussion

Sarah first experienced a WEA course in the late 1990s while at Southern Illinois University. She has spent the last 20 years working with Outward Bound in Florida and San Francisco, running aquatics and challenge courses for a variety of YMCA camps, and most recently as the Outdoor Adventures Coordinator at Texas A&M. A Wilderness EMT and WFR instructor, Sarah is also a current WEA Certified Outdoor Educator, member of the Board of Directors since 2015 and also the Treasurer.

Shinsuke Shimazaki

How to Run OLTC to Develop Future WEA Outdoor Leaders

Shinsuke Simasaki, MS, is the CEO of Shinshu Outdoor Project, Co. providing camping and outdoor education program for collage student. The company was enrolled in WEAJ organization membership and started OLTC course in 2019. He is the Chair of Outdoor Educator and Leader Development Committee of WEAJ and contributes to create the regulation of Japanese OLTC.

Steve Spencer

The Historic WEA Way: A Panel Discussion

Steve was a professor and coordinator of the Outdoor Leadership Program at Western Kentucky University from 1990 to 2019. He recently retired to the Ozarks. Prior to WKU, he taught at the University of Arkansas and the Missouri Department of Conservation. He coached football and taught in high school and at Missouri State University. He has been involved in teaching in environmental, outdoor and experiential education throughout his career. His administrative involvement with WEA has been as a board member and Presidential Council member. He received the Frank Lupton Service Award in 2007 and WKU received the WEA Affiliates Award in 2010.

Jeff Tindall

The Historic WEA Way: A Panel Discussion

A WEA Certified Outdoor Leader in 1980, a WEA Certifying Instructor in 1984 and a charter member of the association in 1987, Jeff has instructed numerous NSP’s and Professional Short Courses. He has served as Affiliate Representative for Western Illinois University and for numerous years on the Standards Committee. He has broad experience in wilderness and adventure-based programs working with a variety of populations and programs including adjudicated, treatment, and gang intervention. He has accumulated over 3000 days in the field over the course of his career. Currently on faculty at Western Illinois University he has led the semester long Environmental, Conservation, and Outdoor Education Expedition (ECOEE) for ten years. Awarded the WEA Instructor Award in 2011 he serves on the Commission of Outdoor Education & Leadership.

Emily Tumilty

The Most Important Outdoor Decisions: Gear and Food

Emily is originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma, and developed her love for the outdoors in Arkansas and Colorado. She has a Bachelors in Outdoor Leadership Ministries and is pursuing a Masters in Outdoor Adventure Leadership. Emily is passionate about wilderness programming and all of the components involved in sending out successful trips. She currently serves as the Wilderness Tripping Program Coordinator at HoneyRock and helps to oversee coordination and logistic and management of HoneyRock's long term wilderness programs. Her desire is to help students have a positive experience in the wilderness so they develop a passion for outdoor adventure.

Angel Wade

Creating Resiliency in Our Youngest Generation

Angel Wade is a Master Degree Candidate and Graduate Teaching Assistant at Oklahoma State University, focusing in Outdoor Recreation and Management. Certified as a Challenge Course Technology Level 1 High Ropes Technician, and Adaptive Recreation and Sport Specialist. Miss Wade is experienced in facilitating high and low elements, serving over +2,000 patrons. Additionally, she has collaborated on the research team project “Assistive and Augmentative Technology for Children with Down Syndrome” and presented on “Inclusion Literature” research.

Anja Whittington

Gender: Does It Matter?
The Historic WEA Way: A Panel Discussion

Dr. Anja Whittington is a Professor of Recreation, Parks and Tourism at Radford University. She teaches general courses in leisure, and specialized courses in outdoor recreation and wilderness medicine (with several extensive field courses). She also serves as the Associate Director of Women and Gender Studies where she supports curriculum and programming on gender equity. Her research focuses on girls’ and women’s experiences in the outdoors.

Mark Zmudy

Conflict and Decisions 101

Mark H Zmudy is an Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota Duluth who teaches academic courses in two majors, Physical Education Teacher Education and Environmental and Outdoor Education. Mark’s passion is incorporating outdoor nature-based education and activities during the regular school day for students of all ages, whether through physical education or through collaborations with other professional fields. Mark loves music and plays the guitar and harmonica; and he loves to cook with his iron skillets, whether on a camping trip or at home.