Outdoor Experiential learning — the essential companion to the classroom

Being in environments that promote challenge-by-choice grows people

7 min readFeb 23, 2023
16 November 2022 — after our last hike together as ODAC teachers

People acquire self-knowledge outdoors in a way that is hard to replicate within the classroom walls. Even the seemingly mindless stairs training or fitness maintenance routines affirms baseline confidence that one can endure physical stress. What differentiates the outdoor experience from sports is not only appreciating what we have, but also being totally and fully immersed in a new environment where one is vulnerable and insignificant.

Surrounded by lush greenery, hearing the sounds of crickets, seeing all sorts of critters or potentially being assaulted by monkeys may not sound appealing to all. But that is the outdoor experience. If you are not careful, you get hurt. You have to learn to observe what is around you. You have to pack properly so you are prepared for terrain and weather.

Even prior to formally being in ODAC teacher, multi-day hikes in nature have always made me much more appreciative of ‘civilisation’ when I finally return to the city.

Let’s consider the outdoor experience in plain, candid terms:

  • Why pitch a tent and sleep on the ground when you can sleep on the bed?




Educator interested in data science, dance and full stack development