Sunday, August 15, 2010

e-Tour Bags Another PEAK

On Monday, we made a stop in Greensboro, NC for a PEAK training workshop at the local REI store. A crowd of nearly 30 participants represented a variety of local youth service organizations, from the Greensboro Children’s Museum, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, to Earth Fare and teachers from area schools.

It was an energetic and engaged audience, and we had spirited discussions about the “gray” areas of the Leave No Trace ethic, the situations where choices are not so readily black and white, but instead are shaded one way or the other by the variables of climate, season, time of day, environment, topography, group size, activity… and more. Our dialogue led us to a great discussion of the “authority of the resource.” As a consequence, we had an opportunity to talk about constructive engagement as an approach to teaching outdoor ethics. This approach appeals to our common interest in enjoying the out-of-doors, and seeks to promote a better understanding of user impacts and the skills and practices consistent with the principles of Leave No Trace.

From REI Greensboro

The group’s competitive impulses were aroused by a close match of “Step on it,” before the Super Durable Surfaces (SDS) pulled out a come-from-behind victory over the Awesome Possums. “Minimum impact match” proved to be an excellent activity for our brief half-time coffee break, and it set us up to revisit the seven principles of Leave No Trace at the end of the workshop. After the break, we spent some quality time trash-talking, and it was remarkable how convincingly each participant assumed the persona of his or her assigned trash role.

Many thanks go to Valerie and Kara, our terrific REI hosts, for their successful efforts in recruiting an enthusiastic group of participants. Thanks also go to the Earth Fare organization for providing the great breakfast and snacks.

Hoping (and expecting) to see you down the road,

Barrett and Peggy
Your 2010 e-Tour Team

e-word for the day: “equipped” (it's all about planning ahead…)

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