Our accrediting professional organization, the Association for Experiential Education (AEE), has cited OLP’s Fieldwork component as one outstanding aspect of our unique curriculum – a learn-by-doing philosophy in practice. We believe that once students have experienced an activity and have been trained to deliver basic instructional techniques in that content area, it’s time to practice those skills in a real environment with real clients. Fieldwork provides OLP students hands-on opportunities to plan, implement and evaluate one-day technical skills and group development workshops for participating GCC, area school and community organizations. These workshops are led by OLP students with on-site supervision and support from OLP staff in content areas such as canoeing, rock-climbing, challenge course programming, skiing and snowshoeing and multi-modal eco-challenges. The community agencies that partner with OLP receive an adventure program at no cost, a valuable service for organizations that may otherwise not have access to these programs. OLP students and staff take great pride in offering a community service through adventure education.
Our community partners provide OLP with a participant profile and objectives for specific learning outcomes so that OLP students can design appropriate and relevant programs that meet the needs and goals of their specific client group. Site specific natural and cultural history and Leave No Trace practices are integrated into all fieldwork programs, allowing students to further develop modeling and teaching skills for environmental stewardship. Students debrief these fieldwork experiences with a shared process of peer and supervisor feedback to improve their teaching and leadership abilities. Fieldwork participants also provide valuable written evaluations for OLP leaders.