How to Prepare for Ski Camp

Attending ski camp gives participants a feeling of excitement and freedom. However, you need proper planning and preparations for the event to be successful. Participants need appropriate, weather-friendly, and fitting gear for the ultimate ski camp experience. Here are things you will need to prepare for the ideal camping experience. 

 Get the Right Gear

You don’t have to break the bank to attend ski camp. If you don’t already own ski gear, you can always rent equipment before the event begins. Purchasing your own ski gear where possible is, however, the best decision you can ever make.

With your ski equipment, you can easily go ski camping anytime you are ready. Remember, renting equipment on arrival at the resort can be a tedious task that you don’t want to go through. Having your own gear eliminates the possibility of not finding the right equipment size. Avoid borrowing ski gear as much as possible if you want good fitting ski gear.

Remember, the proper fit is necessary for safety and learning reasons. It’s worth noting that there are hardly any shops that will help you adjust borrowed ski equipment. Commit yourself to buy ski gear to maximize your experience at the ski camp. 

Dress in Layers

Many ski camps happen during winter. You want to dress in layers to keep yourself warm. Some of the basic clothing items you will need to protect yourself from the cold include:

·         Base Layer 

Choose thin or medium socks and thermal underwear. These will not only keep you warm, but they will also draw moisture from your skin to keep you dry. Find silk, wool, and technical synthetic fabrics with wicking technology. Stay away from cotton because it holds moisture against your skin which makes you feel cold.  

·         The Insulation Layer 

For this category, choose flannels, fleece shirts, turtlenecks, sweaters, and vests. Include appropriate pieces to protect your face, such as balaclavas and neck gaiters. If the weather becomes extremely cold, you may want to double up the insulation layer. Always choose pieces made from wool blends, wool, or synthetics.  

·         The Outer Layer 

Choose appropriate clothing items that will bar snow and wind while ensuring you stay warm. These include waterproof pants, jackets, mittens, and gloves. Ensure the jacket sleeves are long enough. Further, make sure there will be sufficient overlap between the jacket and the pants. 

 Always Wear a Helmet

Both children and adults should have a proper and well-fitting helmet. Helmets are usually lightweight, warm, and comfortable. They come in handy to prevent and reduce the chances of getting injured while skiing or snowboarding. 

 Protecting Your Skin and Eyes 

To keep your eyes protected, you will need good quality goggles. These will help you stay safe from wind, glare, and the sun. They aid your visibility when you are skiing down the slopes and are a must-have for the ultimate experience.

Remember, snow reflects sunlight powerfully and campers are likely to suffer sunburns during the skiing and snowboarding process. Pack enough sunscreen, apply and reapply when necessary, preferably after two hours of skiing or snowboarding. 

Nutrition and Hydration 

Skiing while hungry or poorly hydrated can be a daunting task. The human body requires sufficient water and food to operate appropriately. Sometimes campers will be overly excited to ski such that they will hardly feel thirsty for hungry. Still, taking breaks from ski camo activities to refuel the body is critical.

Camp organizers should ensure that every camper has enough snacks to last them the entire ski camp season. Some of the snacks you can pack for your child include nuts, cheese sticks, granola bars, and dried fruit.

Include complex carbs and proteins to keep the campers well re-energized, warm, and strong while skiing. Remember, winter ski camp activities can burn over 500 calories per hour making the campers feel weak. Therefore, taking water and snack breaks is essential for campers.

 Hand Warmers

Hand warmers are cheap must-have items during extremely cold weather. You can get

disposable hand warmers in ski or resort shops or sporting retail stores. Hand warmers are designed to fit well in mittens and gloves for more warmth. You can wear hand warmers all day long and dispose of them at the end of the day.  

Choosing the Perfect Ski Camping Site 

Once you arrive at your ski camp destination, take time to identify the right campsite. Assess the spot for the following: 

  • Wind Protection. Ensure there’s a natural wind barrier such as a hill or trees. These will enhance your camping experience. 
  • Don’t Camp on Vegetation. Always set camp on bare ground or camp directly on the snow. 
  • Water Source. Establish whether there is a water source on site. If there isn’t any, what other options do you have? You may need the proper equipment to melt snow.
  • Avoid camping below or on a slope that is likely to slide
  • There should be some distance between the camps to guarantee privacy
  • Avoid setting up camp beneath limbs or trees
  • Set up camp near landmarks. This will help you locate the camp amid a snowstorm or in the dark
  • Where possible, find a site that offers direct exposure to sunlight. This will help you warm up fast 

Best Skiing Destinations in Switzerland 

Switzerland is a beautiful country, complete with numerous ski camping destinations. There are various factors to consider before you and your team of campers begin the skiing process. For instance, do you have young campers in the team? Will it be safe for them and the rest of the team? Are there any lifesavers on-site?

How costly will the entire trip be and will you afford it? Will you want to try other activities apart from skiing such as ice skating, hang gliding, tobogganing, or curling? Will you want to engage in other activities once darkness sets in? Once you have found the appropriate answers to these questions, you will be in a position to choose your destination accordingly. Here are some of the destinations you may want to consider for your ski camp. 

Verbier

Verbier is located in Southwestern Switzerland along with the canton of Valais. The destination is a ski area and holiday resort in the Swiss Alps, recognized among the premier ski resorts across the world. Some areas in Verbier are covered in snow throughout the year. Choose Verbier for a fun-filled and unpretentious atmosphere.

There are restaurants where you and your team of campers can enjoy the exotic local cuisine. French is the main language in Verbier. However, you don’t have to understand or speak French to have a great time in Verbier. This region lies amid a sprawling and high technology network of gondolas and cable cars.

These will connect you and your team of campers to various unique satellite resorts. In the 2018 World Ski Awards, Verbier was named the best ski resort in Switzerland. While lodging services can be expensive, you can still find affordable services for you and the young campers. 

 Gstaad

Gstaad is an elegant region situated along the larger ski area of Saanenland. It lies at the western area of the Bernese Oberland. While you can get affordable lodgings in Gstaad, you will need a plan B. Often; accommodation in Gstaad is fully booked during the skiing season. There are numerous things to do when in Gstaad apart from skiing down the snowy slopes. These include shopping, music festivals, and relaxing as you watch people. Camp organizers can even hold new language training sessions in the evenings.

This will help the campers get a basic understanding of the main language in this destination. While in Gstaad, you will get a chance to marvel at the alpine architecture and unique interior decorations. Interior decorations range from woodsy and baronial decorations which you can find in both the affordable and pricey hotels.

There are numerous skiing opportunities in Gstaad both for adults and students. Whether you are a beginner or an intermediate skier, you can participate in skating. It’s important to mention though, that, the slopes here can be hard and difficult to navigate.

 Zermatt

 Zermatt allows you to experience Switzerland from the foot of the Matterhorn mountain. The mountain ascends 14.692 feet above sea level and has an amazing pyramid shape. Many camping enthusiasts flock Zermatt each year and the destination is always a hustle and bustle of activity.

The region remains to be among the greatest ski resorts in the world. Strict building rules in Zermatt have played a huge role in protecting the culture and historic characteristics of the region. Campers can engage in skiing and snowboarding activities throughout the year.

Zermatt is also popularly known for having long ski runs complete with terrain for diverse skill levels. Children aged up to nine years travel on the mountain lifts free of charge. However, they have to be accompanied by an adult who should have a free Wolli card and a multi-day pass. These should have one-year validity.  

 Finally 

There are many camps in Les Elfes where you and your students can explore in your next ski camp. If you are a parent, don’t hesitate to prepare your child for ski camp. While the idea of being away from your kids can be frightening, it’s always good to let the children explore on their own. This not only exposes them to diverse cultures and practices, but it can help them gain great life skills. 

Dear Parents

Fantastic news, Les Elfes Winter Camp is around the corner. I am sure you have been pondering where to send your loved ones for a fun-filled experience in the great outdoors, well look no further. Simply put, skiing and snowboarding in Verbier are amazing.

Our Winter Camp brings children from all around the world together, gets them up onto the slopes into the clean air and daily life is a congregation of activities and zest.

Here are 5 reasons why Winter Camp is the right choice:

Exercise!

Its no secret skiing and snowboarding is a fantastic unofficial workout, from improving cardiovascular health to balance and core strength, skiing and snowboarding is a great way to work your body hard and have fun. Many of these skills can cross over into other sports away from the slopes, from skateboarding to waterskiing.

Exposure to diversity

At Les Elfes we can have up to 50 different nationalities, incredible, we don’t expect our campers to be best friends with everyone but this cultural exposure is a great environment for kids. Over the years many kids have met at Les Elfes and stayed in touch over the usual social media channels and remained friends ever since, visiting each other in their respective countries.

Independence

It is an important part of child development to allow them the opportunity to learn how to make good decisions for themselves. Winter camps are the perfect environment for children to start shaping their personalities and start gaining some independence.

When the safety net of parents or siblings is gone, children are allowed to take charge, of course, our dedicated staff supervise closely and are supportive, but the day to day things that mum or dad usually take care of will be completely in their own hands.

This will allow your child to learn more about themselves. Talk to any parent who has sent their child to Les Elfes or any camp for that matter, and you’re sure to hear about how they came back with new amazing changes.

Self Esteem

Perhaps you have a child who is a little shy, and needs a little self-confidence boost? The first day at camp, a little like school can be an overwhelming experience.

But by putting your child in a new environment, it will allow them the experience of learning to adapt and before too long they will be making new friends and trying out new activities. This overall experience of adapting to a new situation and doing well brings about a higher level of confidence.

Leadership

When it comes to developing leadership qualities, the camp is a great place to learn. Whether it’s skiing or snowboarding, your child is learning how to be a leader. Through their everyday experiences, they are learning how to follow someone’s lead and also perhaps how to step up and be one.

There will be times of adversity on the slopes, and during the week our staff will present challenges to the kids learning how to take the lead teaches your child how to be a more rounded individual. Your child will learn how to function in a group and learn valuable lessons about right and wrong, how to listen and make informed decisions.

It is therefore easy to identify winter camp as merely a place where children can learn a skill, there is so much more to it than that and I hope this can give you an insight into how much further a child’s development can be. I cannot underestimate that our team of staff who mainly are working here all year round, nurture and support the kids every step of the way.

From Winter to Summer children are having an amazing time, and we strongly believe it is an investment for there futures. If you need any more info do get in touch info@leselfes.com I wish you all a good month ahead. 

Adam Brook

About Les Elfes

We’ve launched a new website!

While working through the launching of our new website, we thought it might be an ideal time to go through the things that we do as one of the world’s premier summer camp, winter camp, spring camps. We will endeavor to go through each of the services that we offer, and answer any questions about who we are, and what we do. Each section will contain links to the restructured web site that we have condensed after operating for more than 30 years.

Les Elfes is a camping facility that was launched in the year 1987. By partnering with professionally qualified and experienced staff, the camp has managed to organize and offer the best adventurous activities. There are stringent safety measures in place to ensure both students and their minders are safe throughout their stay. Thousands of students and teachers flock Les Elfes every year for an exciting camping experience.

One interesting thing about Les Elfes Switzerland is: campers are taken through various experiences customized to encourage personal development. The facility is specially designed to ensure that attendants feel at home away from home. While here, you can participate in a wide range of activities.

These include summer based activities, winter-based activities, day and night activities, as well as learning activities. Les Elfes prides itself on having an international setup which sets it apart from the rest. Students visiting Les Elfes will have an opportunity to learn new skills. These include; mountain biking, snowboarding, a wide range of sports, skiing, as well as new languages. Students will also be exposed to diverse cultures and have the opportunity to make new friends.

The facility which started with a small chalet accommodating 100 students annually has since transformed. Today, there are three campuses in Les Elfes capable of accommodating more than 5,000 students from different nationalities annually. Unlike in the past when the facility only specialized in outdoor sports, students can now get diverse skills.

These include; career orientation and mentorship. Leadership training programs, how to protect identity while browsing through the internet, and etiquette lessons. The facility is open to the public from December through to October. Some of the students who camped at Les Elfes would later return as employees at the camp.

Les Elfes is the brainchild of Nicole and Philippe in collaboration with other partners and has its headquarters in Verbier. Up to 100 staff works in various fields in Les Elfes more so during summer. 

Summer Camps

Les Elfes summer camp allows campers to explore the outdoors, learn independence, self-reliance, and development, and meet new people. The summer camp is classified into three age groups to help you choose the best camp for the children. They also help the children to connect with their peers from different countries. The three age groups are:

The Discoveries Age Group 

This camp is designed for campers aged between 6-19 years old to give them the ultimate first camping experience. Campers in this age group will be under the supervision of committed staff who guide and take care of the children’s development. Campers in this age group are divided into small groups to make them manageable.

Their instructors take them through a wide range of activities fit for their age group. Some of the activities in this category include: treasure hunts, mountain biking, rock climbing, natural hikes, mini-Olympics, mini-golf, team building, paddle boarding, kayaking, tennis, orienteering workshops, banana boating, football, table tennis, art classes, labyrinth adventure park, sports day, and cooking workshops among others. 

Explorers Age Group

The explorers’ age group caters for campers aged eleven to fourteen years. There are more interactive and challenging activities. Supervisors prepare campers in this group to get out of their comfort zones and become more independent. Activities in this group include mountain biking, rock climbing, nature hikes, trotinettes, mini Olympics, kayaking, mini-golf, team building, paddle boarding, tubing, football, tennis, swimming, orienteering workshops, banana boating, table tennis, sports day, and wakeboarding. 

Pioneers

The pioneers’ age group caters for campers between the ages of 15 to 17 years old. It’s the most challenging category which encourages students to push their boundaries and attempt new things. Campers in this category are not only energetic but also vibrant and there are numerous activities to cater to them. 

Summer Camp Activities

During summer, the weather is friendly and there are many activities at Les Elfes to engage in. These are customized to meet the needs of each camper regardless of their age. They include paddle sports, lake activities, and mountain activities. Campers can also enroll in private lessons and optional courses. 

Summary

Les Elfes is an adventure-based summer camp that offers more than 40 different outdoor activities. Campers will have the opportunity to learn a new language and discover the history and culture of Switzerland. They will also create unforgettable memories and lifetime friends from different parts of the world.

Winter Camps

Les Elfes winter camp runs from December all through to the end of April. There are between 1 to 4-week long winter camp sessions both for children and teens aged between 6 to 17 years old. The facility is committed to creating a balance between outdoor skiing activities and indoor activities, especially during severe snow sessions.

Some of the indoor activities include learning a new language. Outdoor full day activities include snowboarding and ski lessons. There are both snowboarding and full-ski lessons in Les Elfes which offer comprehensive evening activities and an apres-ski program. There is a wide variety of kid-friendly winter activities for campers to choose from.

These include building igloos, sledging, torchlight hike, ice skating, disco, building a snowman, and hockey. The youth camps at Les Elfes offer child-friendly activities and are located in the heart of the scenic Alps. 

Summary

Les Elfes Switzerland offers a wide variety of child-friendly activities for campers to engage in. There are both outdoor and indoor activities. Campers can engage in indoor activities in the evening or during extreme snow.

Spring Camps

The spring camp in Les Elfes Switzerland provides allow campers to engage in adventurous activities. Accommodation is available in both Verbier and Zermatt campuses. Campers will engage in various activities in the Les Elfes spring camps such as language courses.

They also get a chance to visit some of the popular organizations and cities in Switzerland. This enables them to appreciate the history and culture of the country. Campers will be under the strict supervision of experienced counselors, instructors, and mountain guides. 

Summary

Spring camps provide students with an opportunity to traverse through popular cities and organizations in Switzerland. This provides an ideal opportunity for the students to learn the country’s history and culture.  

Ski Trips

The fully supervised ski trips at Les Elfes Switzerland run for an entire week. Students visit various popular mountain resorts. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced skier, there are experienced snowboard and snow ski trainers who guarantee safety. The ski trip program has been in existence for more than 20 years.

It comprises of 6 skiing days complete with well-supervised apres-ski and evening activities. Campers will engage in a ski race, a barbecue, and a prize-giving show. Many parents and teachers opine that ski trips lack effectiveness as an educational component. However, experts say that ski trips are beneficial when it comes to instilling in students good and positive skills. 

What Students will Learn During Ski Trips?

Students will have a wide range of things to learn during ski trips. They include, how to collaborate in a group of other campers from various parts of the world. Further, an outdoor experience will help the students to develop great interactive skills.

Sports

Students will learn at least one new sports such as snowboarding and skiing. Mastering these sports is easier when the students are young. The ski trips will help familiarize themselves with ski equipment such as boots, skis, poles, and binding. They will also master timing and balance to help them master how to turn in snow slopes. 

Personal Development

Ski trips will help students enhance their skiing skills as well as develop group and personal development. This will go along way in boosting their interpersonal skills and self-confidence. 

Summary

Ski trips offer tremendous benefits to students by developing their positive skills.

Field Trips

Field trips at Les Elfes run from the beginning of May to the end of October. There are 7 different field trips in Les Elfes where students visit the camp’s privately owned campus located in La Tzoumaz in Verbier North. Supervisors will be available to keep the students in check throughout the trip.

Summary

Students and teachers can leverage the Les Elfes Switzerland field trips to learn more about the camp.

The Les Elfes Blog

Are you looking for tips about summer camps, winter camps, spring camps, or even ski trips? If you are, the Les Elfes Switzerland blog will provide you with all that information and more. Parents can find tips about camping, how to prepare their children for camp, and how to make travel arrangements. There are numerous tips for teachers and the students too. Feel free to sign up for the Les Elfes Switzerland newsletter to receive blog posts and updates when they’re available. 

Summary

The Les Elfes blog is your one-stop source of information. Whether you’re a teacher, a parent, or a student, there are numerous tips you can benefit from.

Contact Us

You can contact Les Elfes Switzerland through their telephone or fax numbers. You can also choose to send an email address, or fill in the form available on their website.

Summary

Get in touch with us in case of any questions, concerns, or even complaints. Our experienced staff will be on call to address your concerns to guarantee satisfaction. 

Top Things to Do for Your Schools Winter Ski Trip

Planning a school ski trip can be a difficult and time-consuming process especially when young children are involved. For the trip to be successful, teachers need to start preparing early in advance. In this post, we shall discuss how you can have a successful school ski trip activities getaway.

Accelerating and Easing the School Trip Planning Process

Risk assessment is one the most critical factors to consider when planning school ski trip activities. However, many teachers dread the idea of navigating through the bureaucracy involved. A great way of accelerating and easing this process is by delegating the planning process to a trip planning agent.

Teachers can then rest assured that the agent will handle everything from travel plans, pricing, and risk assessment. This enables them to focus on other important matters in the school. It’s worth mentioning that there are numerous ski resorts in Switzerland and the entire Europe region. Researching and finally choosing the best ski resort depending on your needs can be tedious.

Teachers can leverage the availability of some ski trip organizing agents to ease this task. Remember, agents, focus on researching and recommending the best resorts. Teachers get a wide variety of resorts to choose from depending on their needs and budget. This provides them with diverse choices, some of which they wouldn’t have known. 

Adopt Safety Measures

Parents are always reluctant to release their children for winter school ski trips. This is because there are numerous risks involved. How can teachers reduce the risks and convince parents that their children will be safe?

They can do so by adopting robust safety measures. For instance, teachers should ensure that each student has the ideal skiing safety gear. It’s worth noting supervision and safety standards at Leselfes are followed to the letter. If you opt to incorporate the services of a school ski trip activity planner, ensure they’re school travel forum members. The body is committed to enforcing the highest safety standards regarding school trips.

Dealing with a member of the aforementioned forum guarantees that all the safety and health concerns will be handled appropriately. For instance, students will get proper travel, accommodation, and various supplies such as ski safety gear. The safety gear is inspected and verified annually to enhance safety.

Students and teachers will also get extensive winter sports and travel insurance. Under this package, attendants will receive helmets while party leaders will get financed assessment trips. This will help them pre-check the state of the destination, suppliers, and accommodation before visiting.

Understand the Locality

When you’re going on a school trip, ensure that instructions in your destination are relayed in a language you understand. If they are in a foreign language, you could need a translator and finding one can be a daunting task. If you’re working with a ski trip organizing company, you could enquire whether or not they provide a reliable translator.

Some ski resorts provide translators especially when the instructions are in the local language. A translator can also play the role of a guide to show you around the region. For instance, there are professional, qualified, and experienced guides at Leselfes with a 1:8 guide to student ratio. The guides are conversant with diverse ski resorts in Switzerland. They are better placed to introduce you to some exciting school ski trip activities within the region. 

Choose the Ideal Accommodation Type

If you’re going for a sleepover ski trip, you may want to consider accommodation depending on various factors. These include your budget, the number of students and teachers attending the ski trip, and your destination of choice.

There are numerous accommodation options at Leselfes. Whether you prefer sole occupancy accommodation or tented accommodation, there is a wide range of options for everyone. You may want to know that every ski accommodation at Leselfes is inspected to guarantee quality. What’s more, attendants will get an onsite risk evaluation at no additional charges.

Identify School Ski Trip Activities for the Evenings

There are numerous school ski trip activities to engage in especially during the day. These include skiing, snowboarding, ice skating. The students will be occupied across the day. What then can the students engage in when the night sets in? Some of the apres-ski in-house activities on offer at Leselfes include quiz nights, karaoke, and dancing competitions.

Students can also take a dip in the heated pool over the watch of their teachers and guides. Other activities include: learning a new language, watching a movie, learning a new recipe, and sampling some of the local delicacies.   

Conduct an Analysis

There are various factors to consider before settling on a destination for your school ski trip. Begin by evaluating the composition of your group. These include their ski skills, the composition of the group, the preferred date of travel, and your budget. If a big percentage of your students are beginners, you may not need a resort with many KM of piste.

This is because you will end up paying for something the students will not use. If you have to travel during the school holiday period, choose to travel during Easter. Not only is it warmer then, but it’s also cost-effective. What’s more, you’ll still get great snow and quiet slopes during that time. 

Are there Educational Benefits?

Studies suggest that students are likely to benefit more from learning in an outdoor setting than in a classroom setting. May ski resorts in Switzerland are located in some of the most breathtaking albeit conventional regions in Europe. This provides an ideal environment for students to explore diverse cultures and languages.

Apart from skiing, there are numerous individual skills that students can master from going on school ski trips. These include interpersonal skills, discipline, and leadership skills. Students will also gain confidence, learn how to be patient and view the world from a different perspective.

Choose Your Preferred Mode of Transport

Your budget will determine your means of transport. While flying to your destination is faster, it could be too costly for the group. Where possible, consider traveling by train. Not only is it adventurous, but it is also cost-effective especially for groups. If you choose to fly to your destination, remember that flights can be costly depending on the season.

For instance, flights can be costly during the half term in February. This is why many groups choose to travel by coach which is more cost-effective. If you’ll be using a trip organizing agent, they will organize a door to door pick up and drop off. This will be a convenient arrangement for the entire group. By using a coach, the students will be able to view the beautiful scenery along the way. 

Have a Backup Plan

Sometimes there will be no snow in your preferred destination. If that happens, you should have a backup plan to avoid inconveniencing the group. By researching extensively, you will be able to understand the ideal months for traveling. You may want to consult your preferred agent.

Remember, school trip ski activity organizing teams understand the ideal resorts to visit. They also have alternatives in the event there is no snow in your desired destination. With proper planning, and by working together as a team, you will have a successful school ski trip.

Figure out the Menu in Your Preferred Ski Resort

In today’s age when many people are watching what they eat, food is a critical factor to consider. Many parents have restrictions when it comes to what their children feed on. For this reason, it’s important to establish the meals offered in the resort. Consider the needs of your group too.

Do some students require a special diet? Do you have students who are intolerant of some meals? There are numerous eateries in Leselfes that offer different meals depending on your needs. Whether you have vegans or vegetarians in your group, there is something for everybody’s needs. Get in touch with the resort and organize a healthy, friendly, and assorted menu for everyone.

It’s worth mentioning that food varies from one country to the other in terms of preparation and style. However, there is no doubt that food brings people together. You may want to indulge in different types of cuisine to discover the culture and history of your school ski trip destination. 

Consider other Activities Students can engage in

Regardless of the duration of your trip, it’s impossible that your group will spend the entire day skiing. Figure out whether there are other school ski trip activities on offer at the resort. Some of these activities would include: taking a stroll in nearby towns and villages and reading competitions among the students. Some adults can go shopping while others mind the students as they play in the snow. 

Finally

After narrowing down everything that your group needs, select the best destination that meets everyone’s needs. Remember to adopt the ideal measures to guarantee everybody in the group safety. Further, skiing can be a tasking activity and teachers and other organizers should ensure that the attendees are well hydrated. This may be difficult especially because of the extreme cold temperatures. However, you should ensure that every participant has a drink, preferably water with them. 

5 Benefits of Outdoor Education Activities

Many schools today pay more emphasis on theoretical learning as opposed to the practical part of education. However, things are changing with some schools adopting outdoor education to offer an all-round learning system. Outdoor learning includes various things such as coursework. It also changes a student’s perception of various issues such as nature and stimulates students to think broadly. 

Why Should You Consider Outdoor Learning Activities?

Student’s brains are fascinated by the variety and many students are happy to explore the world outside their classrooms. Adopting outdoor learning activities encourages students to be more involved in their classwork. Further, engaging in outdoor learning activities helps students to connect with nature.

This plays a huge role in helping them to better understand themselves and other people. The best way of understanding topics such as sports, food, and the environment is through encountering them physically. There are numerous benefits of outdoor learning activities for students. These include;

1.       Improved Grades

Studies conducted on students in California in 2006 suggested that outdoor education enhances school grades. After being exposed to an outdoor curriculum, the students reported higher scores compared to students in conventional learning systems. These scores represented 72% of comprehensive assessments in all the subjects including attendance, science, and math. Another research as published the same year. It reported that students who engaged in outdoor learning activities had better developed cognitive abilities.

2.       Enhanced Health

Living a sedentary lifestyle has been associated with numerous health-related complications. This is why many experts encourage both the young and the old to move around to promote their health. Students who engage in outdoor learning activities are healthier compared to those who spend the entire day inside classrooms.

Students who participate in outdoor learning activities are safe from lifestyle diseases such as obesity. Unlike their counterparts, students who spend lots of time in classrooms are likely to suffer from various complications.

These include; anxiety, attention deficit disorder, and depression. The more time students spend in the natural environment, the more their senses dwindle both psychologically and physiologically. 

3.       Boosts Motivation

Children hardly derive motivation nor gain personal development from sitting indoors for a long time. Often, they will be fascinated by moving around and discovering new things. Studies conducted on Hollywood kindergarten learners showed that a big number of the students were interested in learning. This, according to the researchers was a clear indication that students want to learn in a more engaging environment. The studies later revealed that students learning within the conventional setting were more motivated after the outdoor learning was incorporated.

4.       Reduced Stress Levels

Serotonin, also known as the happy chemical is found in the blood platelets, bowels, and brains. This chemical plays a big role in making you happy while improving your wellbeing. Taking part in outdoor learning activities such as listening to the sounds of nature can trigger the release of serotonin.

Other activities that can increase the production of serotonin are; listening to music and marveling at the beauty of nature. The release of dopamine or the pleasure chemical is stimulated by repetitive actions. For instance, outdoor education activities such as: tracking the progress of plants in a garden daily.

5.       Better Perception of the Environment

According to this research conducted in 1999, researchers established by interacting with nature, students changed their perception of the same. This research supported a previous study conducted in 1977 that revealed that gaining knowledge triggers a change in attitude. With a better understanding of outdoor-related activities, students understand the environment better and become more responsible. 

Adopting an Outdoor Learning System will help your students to:

  • Enhance academic accomplishment
  • Maintain an active and healthy lifestyle
  • Enhance higher-order learning
  • Encourages students and teachers to practice informal learning and teaching
  • Promoted creativity
  • Makes learning more interesting
  • Triggers, enhances, and inspires motivation
  • Presents students with more challenges, and 
  • Gives students a new perception of learning

Preparing for Outdoor Learning Activities

While outdoor learning is fun and exciting, you need to make prior preparations before embarking on your preferred activity. Figuring out whether any minors will be part of your group is especially critical. Here are considerations to make before beginning your outdoor learning activity.

  • Establish whether you will be engaging in an educational activity or fun related activities
  • Figure out what you want the students to gain after the activity
  • Determine how you will help the students to learn
  • Is your intended location capable of providing your planned activities?

Conducting a risk assessment will be necessary to ensure that the excursion will be a success. Here are some of the things to consider.

Weather changes and contingency plans

  • Costs involved and whether or not students will be ready to pay
  • Availability of food stores and sanitary facilities
  • Any special needs
  • The school’s policy when it comes to excursions and
  • Whether or not minors will be in attendance

Outdoor Learning Activity Ideas

Here are some of the outdoor learning activity ideas you and the students can engage in.

Nature Walks

Whether or not your school is in an urban area, there are numerous natural learning opportunities you can consider. For instance, identify areas where natural studies and physical activity is widespread and go for nature walks. You may want to structure the nature walks to incorporate scavenger hunts for instance.

Hand every student a checklist complete with natural items they need to collect. They can be leaves, rocks, flowers, bird feathers, or even wild fruits. Ensure they have a basket where they can keep the items they collect. Once the activity is over, you can converge and discuss every item.

Allow the students to ask all the questions they have about the items they have collected. If you are handling older students, you can have them focus on ecological factors. For instance, they could collect recyclable materials and litter during their nature walk.

At the end of the activity, you could converge and discuss the importance of proper waste disposal practices. Leverage on such discussions to instill in the children essential life skills.

Participate in a Charitable Cause

Collaborate with your students to identify local charities and discuss causes that can appeal to them. Once you’ve decided, lay down execution strategies. There are numerous ways of volunteering for charitable organizations. You could visit children’s homes, interact with the children, to learn from them and share life experiences.

Gardening

Gardening is an ideal outdoor learning activity for students. They will master various skills such as; patience, healthy eating habits, and gardening skills. Students of all ages can engage in gardening activities. Remember, children don’t mind getting their hands dirty and they will be happy to plant seeds and watch them grow.

To make the activity more worthwhile, choose edible and organic plants in which the children can convert into food once they mature. It’s important to mention that outdoor gardening may be a seasonal activity depending on your region.

You can ensure that your students don’t lose interest in gardening during the prolonged cold season. Start creating a planting program for the forthcoming season. Classify your students in groups and have them research different types of plants that are perfect for the climate. Make it interesting by encouraging the students to create meal plans they can use during harvest time.

Adopt Ordinary Work Spaces

Remember, engaging in outdoor-related activities doesn’t mean participating in a special activity or project. If the weather is conducive, students can complete schoolwork outdoors as they inhale fresh air and bask in the sun. You may want to create a workspace outdoors using a long table and desks. Chances are that the students will be happier and more productive outdoors surrounded by nature than they would be indoors.

Go to a Museum

Customize your visit depending on the student level. You will have various options depending on your locality. Some of the options could include natural history, contemporary art, agricultural and maritime museums, or textile exhibition centers. Leverage on the discounts offered in such centers, and ask for guides.

This way, the students will get more knowledgeable. Depending on the students’ age and the unit they are taking, you may want to visit local government centers. Still, you can opt to attend some committee or council meetings where students can learn more about local government functions.  

Go for Lunch

Eating together is an ideal way of socializing and bonding with one another. It’s also a great outdoor learning activity especially when students are learning about food and dining. Teachers can introduce students to local cuisine as they dine in restaurants that offer these foods.

They can even organize food preparation activities where students learn how to make these dishes from scratch. Before placing any booking in a restaurant, you want to confirm that prices just to be sure they are affordable. 

Finally

Choose customized outdoor learning activities for students to break up the monotony that comes with indoor learning. This way, you will help students develop confidence and connect with their course work perfectly. Both teachers and parents should encourage students to develop an interest in nature and other outdoor learning activities.