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Outdoor Skills and Exploration (OSE)

In the summer of 2021 World Story Exchange offered a new program for youth (9-14) called Outdoor Skills and Exploration (OSE). The program is developed and led by Scott McClure Miller and is based on his decades of experience exploring and appreciating wild, natural places - “The Great Outdoors.”

Students learn a series of skills to develop the confidence and comfort to explore the outdoors. Along with practical skills, students learn how nature works by doing basic scientific identification of plants, animals and ecological systems. Above all this program encourages kids to develop an ethic of respecting nature and finding peace in the beauty of natural places.

This combination of practical skills, scientific inquiry and ethics helps students understand their role as stewards of the land for future generations.

Each session included short, recurring activities providing structure for primary themes occupying the majority of each session.

Recurring Activities:

- Confidence: activities designed to build individual strength and preparedness

- Teamwork: activities requiring individuals to work together to be successful

- Respect for Nature: meditative time to open our senses and be at peace

Primary Themes:

Survival Skills: make a shelter, start a fire, find/purify water

Orienteering: use a compass and topographical maps to find the way

Clothing: what to wear for different seasons and activities

Backpacking: what to carry and how to carry it

Observation: employ the senses

Documentation: camera, notebook, sketchpad

Identification: what’s that called?

Ecosystems: how does all this work?

In 2021 the program was very popular and we were at maximum student capacity for 8 weeks. We look forward to running Outdoor Skills and Exploration again this spring, summer and fall of 2022.


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