Big plans for Outdoor Education Week in Margs

Year 10 students Zac Waterhouse, Louise Dumpleton, Darcy Rochford and Kiera Haworth practise outdoor survival skills, learning to make fire, gather wood and cook tasty jaffas.
Year 10 students Zac Waterhouse, Louise Dumpleton, Darcy Rochford and Kiera Haworth practise outdoor survival skills, learning to make fire, gather wood and cook tasty jaffas.

Local schools and businesses in the Margaret River region will be celebrating Outdoor Education Week with a variety of events to encourage all to venture outside.

Margaret River Senior High School outdoor education teacher Stuart Kupfer Hollis said the school would be promoting the benefits of active participation in the outdoors with all classes, both lower and upper school.

Mr Kupfer Hollis said outdoor education was prevalent at this time as it addressed the growing obesity issue in society by encouraging children to be physically active.

He said it also encouraged students to try something new, develop personal skills and allow students to better understand their local environment.

Kupfer Hollis said the children clearly loved learning outdoors.

"You can see what it fosters - teamwork and self-management," he said.

The outdoor industry in the region is heavily linked according to Mr Kupfer Hollis, with strong relationships existing between the school, the Department of Parks and Wildlife, Explorus Adventure Learning and the Margaret River Climbing Co who all provide educational resources for students.

“It is by all working together that we ensure the youth of our school get the best possible education with respect to the outdoors and foster accountability in the role they will play with respect to their own environment in the future,” Mr Kupfer Hollis said.

Explorus Adventure Learning director Nicky Hanson said that people were inextricably linked to nature so it was important they understood it.

“There are also the obvious benefits of being active outdoors – reducing obesity, aiding the development of motor skills and, most importantly assisting the development of good mental health and undertaking healthy, calculated risk taking and problem solving,” she said.

Explorus will be celebrating this week by running an eight day adventure learning program for year 10 students from Bunbury Catholic College, including a five and a half day expedition where students will bushwalk, canoe, abseil, rock climb and complete a high ropes course.

National Outdoor Education week runs from October 26 to November 1.