Academic journal article Adult Learning

Designing Residential Wilderness Programs for Adults

Academic journal article Adult Learning

Designing Residential Wilderness Programs for Adults

Article excerpt

Designing Residential Wilderness Programs for Adults, by Michael Day and Ellen M. (2006). Melbourne, FL: Krieger Publishing Company. ISBN 1-57524-261-3. Hardback, 150 pages.

In Designing Residential Wilderness Programs for Adults, Michael Day and Ellen M. Petrick bring their extensive outdoor programming experience to bear on an often discussed topic in adult education, "How can practitioners best design adult education programs in which adults change in deep and lasting ways?" They discuss this question through the lens of adult residential wilderness programs. Particularly, Day and Petrick detail the philosophical background, planning, and execution of these programs in light of their own experiences as wilderness program facilitators. The book both describes the residential wilderness adventure and provides a guide for program planners of residential programs.

Chapter One explores the definition of wilderness as unsettled lands, preserved land, and land that is of nature as opposed to of civilization. In Chapter Five, Day and Petrick describe Thorean's technique of sauntering, or taking observant walks, as an important method of involving adults in wilderness. Wilderness settings are important to residential programs, because they free individuals from the daily responsibilities of life, illustrate the connections of participants to the land, and encourage wonder and reflection. Day and Petrick call this "reawakening the spirit."

Though initially off putting due to its pop psychology connotations, the section discussing reclaiming the inner child may be one of the most unique and revealing parts of this book. …

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