Association for Experiential Education (AEE) - Rocky Mountain
Conference Workshops

 Conference Workshops


Empowering Women and Girls on the Water

Hannah Flagg

Three Hour workshop

This three hour workshop, will bring you to Watson Lake, where we will be addressing key questions in regards to empowering females while on the water. Some of these questions include: How can one empower females on wilderness trips no matter what their physical and mental capabilities are? This workshop will be discussing different ways one can teach females and what approaches can be taken. Empowering Women and Girls on the Water will be focusing on the world of canoes and how paddling has transformed and empowered countless amounts of females through wilderness trips.

Thanksgiving and Tracking - The Path of Connection to the Natural World

Antonio Dixon and Misty Blakesley

Three Hour Workshop

We will explore tracking-humanities' original observations and explanations of the world-and words of Thanksgiving to increase our awareness and appreciation of Nature. Through mindfulness, movement and pattern recognition we will look at how concentric circles of connection can help encourage discovery, healing, growth and resiliency for individuals and communities. Participants will engage in a variety of connecting to Nature activities and discuss the educational and therapeutic benefits of inviting the natural world into our everyday lives.


Single Track as a Solution

Matt Dunlap and Andrew Fortini

Three Hour Workshop

This workshop is an introduction to trail advocacy and trail building. By attending this workshop attendees will gain a basic understanding of the legalities involved with accessing land for the use of recreation, and more specifically gaining access, and keeping access, to trails. As outdoor educators, adventure educators, and outdoor recreationalist, it is important for us to take part in protecting the land and trails that we use. This workshop will also examine the socioeconomic and environmental impacts that a trail system can have on a community, and will provide information on how to get involved.


Hitting the Slopes-Snow Sports in Schools -From Syllabus to Splitboards

Dr. Christine Rochester

Ninety Minute Workshop

Significance, Value, Innovation and Theoretical Foundations
It's not just a ski trip. Students can have life changing perceptual awareness alterations. Educators will get an example of how to run a successful class that offers students a variety of ways to be creative and develop skills of their own selection. Example of how to assess student work will be developed in the workshop. The importance of developing fitness before the trip will be made and examples given.


Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT): a self-help tool for kids, teens, and educators.

Maria LiPuma

Ninety Minute Workshop

Imagine having a problem nag at you, and being able to ease your anxiety and relax just by tapping your fingers lightly on areas of the body. EFT is a form of acupressure that uses a gentle tapping technique to stimulate acupuncture points on the face and body, which balances the energy system and relieves stress and pain. This is an experiential workshop; no prior experience is needed. This workshop will inform and instruct educators and give them the ability to apply EFT on themselves and teach it to their students, thus supporting and encouraging them, and improving learning environments.


Addressing the Hidden Curriculum of Adventure Education: Solutions for the Future

Erin Lotz

Ninety Minute Workshop

The concept of a hidden curriculum in adventure education was introduced in 2012 to the AEE community. This workshop will recap what was found to be the messages that are conveyed within our field - whether we want them to or not. More importantly, we will collectively unearth hidden curriculum existing in workshop participants own programs and discuss solutions to remedy issues created by a hidden curriculum. Additionally we will celebrate the subtle aspects of what we do that create positive impact. Join us to vision programming that is inclusive and forward thinking.


Aesthetic Experience and Social Justice: Cultivating Connection and Transformative Leadership through Outdoor Adventure Education

Dr. R. Lee Frazer, Lionel DiGiacomo, & Eva Altermatt

Ninety Minute Workshop

"Aesthetic experiences," as a variety of educational reformers and philosophers, from Sir Ken Robinson to John Dewey, have discussed, entail whole-body experiences of beauty, profound enough to dissolve boundaries between self, others, and the environment. For this reason, aesthetic experiences offer novel ways of perceiving the world which have the potential to deepen social connections and disrupt harmful biases we hold about others and our place in nature. Working with this, come examine how aesthetic experiences in outdoor adventure education might be used to advance these things and other democratic ways of living and learning, including social justice.


Experiential Education for the Future: a panel discussion


Ninety Minute Workshop

In this dynamic roundtable discussion, expert experiential educators with a cumulative century of experience will respond to moderated questions. Areas represented include 1) the experiential education and special education symbiosis, 2) how placed based education must prevail in standardized curriculum, 3) the place for environmental justice in higher education, 4) striving for diversity in experiential and adventure education. Participants should come with questions for this rich discussion.


The Way of Circular Harmony: Social and Environmental justice through Balance, Presence, and Connection

Anja Pfeffer

Ninety Minute Workshop

In this highly interactive workshop, participants will explore energy as a dynamic exchange with themselves, the natural world, and their community. They will learn circular martial arts techniques and feel how imbalance and balance offer continuous movement and opportunities for change. The exchange within this group will help create the actual workshop. A variety of exercises will invoke questions about (inter)connectedness and responsibility, groundedness and flexibility, mindfulness and openness. As a group, we will discover and discuss our ability to "dance" with vulnerability and imbalance.


Journey of the Words: A look at the current landscape of text

Todd Conaway

Ninety Minute Workshop

What do we expect of the work our students do? When it comes to experiences and reflective writing, where and how is it created and presented? Who is the audience? Is the reflection shared? Should it be shared?

This presentation follows the story of a field journal created in 1983 at Prescott College and the journey of a student who became a teacher. The story offers us a look at how we use words to document learning and the many places those words can live in the year 2014.


Journey into Connectedness: Environmental Justice through the Lens of Horses

Anja Pfeffer and Paul Smith

Three Hour Workshop

This workshop will be held outdoors at Juniper Well Ranch (approximately 20 minutes outside of Prescott). Transportation is provided. Please wear appropriate footwear and clothing. You will be on your feet and in close proximity to horses most of the time. They will be our guides as we explore the concept of interconnectedness. Instead of doing something to them, we will learn to be with them, become part of their community, and look at nature through their eyes. You will leave with an increased awareness of yourself and your surroundings, improved communication skills, and an even deeper ethic of care.


Application of Experiential Education Theory in Sense of Place Activities

James Eater III

Three Hour Workshop

This is a workshop designed to introduce people to the skills and techniques needed to build and maintain trails on public lands in the Untied States. Trail work can be very in depth, skill oriented, and hard to grasp quickly. The workshop is designed to emphasize the effectiveness of experiential learning using a non-traditional medium.


Making college a successful experience for veterans

Roy Smith

Ninety Minute Workshop

This presentation is designed to make our educators aware of the issues facing our veterans as they enter college, and the remarkable opportunity our community of outdoor educators have in facilitating a different outcome from the current dire statistics.


Reimagining the Field: Experiential Education in an Urban Environment

Renee Daniel, Alice McKusick and Ecca Dibble

Ninety Minute Workshop

Reimagining the Field: Experiential Education in an Urban Environment explores the facets of experiential education in an alternative setting. During September of 2013 in Los Angeles, CA, the Social Justice & Human Rights Master's students of Prescott College participated in an urban field orientation. Students enrolled in the urban field orientation interned at local non-profit organizations, studied urbanization and globalization, and explored themes of justice, home, and community. Through exploring the structure and content of this course, presenters will elaborate on the ways in which principles of experiential education combined with critical theory in order to work towards social justice. This presentation will encourage viewers to reconceptualize space by considering urban settings as a "field" in which experiential education works to create a more just world.


Experiential Education for a Just World

Peter O'Neal

Ninety Minute Workshop

Through an introduction to the Colorado Outward Bound School's ASCEND Program, executive director Peter O'Neil will address the character traits like grit and tenacity required to not only complete these courses, but to design and teach them. Attendees will learn the value of experiential education for students of ALL backgrounds, and the importance of character development in addition to academic proficiency. Mr. O'Neil will also address the significance of outdoor experiential education, how instructors in this field can make a difference, and what this means for social justice.


Identity and Leadership - The Importance of Critical Cultural Awareness within Adventure Education

Hannah Marshall

Ninety Minute Workshop

To create socially just experiential education environments, it is vitally important to consider identity through a critical lens. Addressing identity within the context of power and place, we will focus questions such as: What shapes my understanding of self? How is my identity shaped in relation to culture, society, and place? What kinds of self, group, and social awareness support broadly inclusive practices in adventure education? This workshop will discuss the ways dominant power structures are reproduced within adventure education. This workshop will provide a framework for analyzing ones own identity, as well as implementing such discussions within groups.


Inner-Sustainability: Find Inner Resilience and Become a Change Agent for the World

Ariel Rubin

Ninety Minute Workshop

Come explore ways in which we can seek to know ourselves and thus become the change agents we wish to see in the world. Through a series of group activities, mindfulness experiences, introspection tools, visioning and collaborative fun, we will discover ways of practicing self-care, uncovering our hidden inner resilience, and rising to our truest brilliance. If we seek to create sustainability in any social system, we must draw upon the inner sustainability latent within ourselves. Come learn about the intersection between systems theory and eastern philosophy. Be the change. Look inside. Manifest your brightest potential.


Butte Creek Restoration & Education Project- restoring our connection to the heart of PC campus.

Guy Whol

Ninety Minute Workshop

- This interactive place-based workshop is intended to expose participants to the value and the current status of riparian zones in the Southwest and Prescott, AZ in particular. In the workshop we will learn about the history and conceptual framework for the Butte Creek Restoration & Education Project (BCREP). In addition, participants will get to engage and contribute to the ongoing restoration efforts in the following areas/landscapes: physical, biological, social-political, and cultural. Come to witness and experience the transformation of the creek at the heart of our campus.


Challenges and Ethics: Experiential Social Justice Education Across Boundaries of Power and Privilege

Zoe Hammer, Mary Poole and Ernesto Mireles

Ninety Minute Workshop
Panelists will present on our years of work teaching social and environmental justice theory and practice in field settings, working collaboratively with impacted communities and organizations. Presentations describe challenges we have experienced and focus on lessons learned regarding pedagogy and the ethics of working across boundaries of power and privilege in settings where organizers and communities are building grassroots power and creating new visions for social transformation. The panel with be informal and group discussion-based, inviting workshop participants to share their own challenges, questions, and experiences.


Teaching Justice in Expeditionary Learning

Robert Zinni and Charles Mentken

Ninety Minute Workshop

Engaging young adults in relevant, rigorous, and active learning about the complex social issues our society faces is vital work. Only by exposing high school students to complex issues such as immigration, energy and health care, can they develop the awareness that will be necessary for them navigate their futures as active citizens who desire to create positive social change. Come learn and experience how a local Expeditionary Learning high school successfully does this transformative and powerful work.


Mindfulness in Experiential Education: How a student's personal growth leads to their potential.

Peter Kearns

Ninety Minute Workshop

This workshop aims to help instructors support their student's process of personal growth during adventure/ experiential based programing. Through emphasizing fundamentals associated with mindfulness, we can more effectively raise student personal awareness, catalyze personal growth, and impel individuals toward their greatest potential. During this workshop, attendants will be presented a cyclical process by which students (and ourselves) navigate challenges and opportunities; giving instructors increased skills/ awareness when facilitating student transformation. By approaching adventure programing with integrity, we have greater success when overcoming adversity outside the classroom, and those witnessing will become inspired to make positive change in their own lives.


Restorative Practices and Talking Circles in Educational Settings

Michael Hayes and Nico Kladis

Ninety Minute Workshop

The benefits of educational practices that focus on social and emotional learning in our students such as character based education, mindfulness practice, nonviolent communication, restorative justice, council, and talking circles is well established. Additionally, research on mindset illustrates that, with intention, these skills can be developed over time. Yet, community-based development of communication skill sets and systems is lacking. The goals of this workshop are to examine whether communication skills and systems are foundational to the success of educational effectiveness and to practice a basic framework for communication within groups, classrooms, organizations, or schools.


The Inclusion of People With Disabilities in AE

Joey Iosue and Whitney Schuette

Fifty Minute Student Workshop

In this workshop we will explore the current state of adventure education in regards to the inclusion of people with disabilities. There currently are several programs that make this a priority. We will take a close look at the different models and techniques that are used to make the inclusion of people who have disabilities a reality in adventure education. We will also spend time talking about etiquette and appropriate language, where disability can benefit mixed ability groups, and the need for training and attention to inclusive-accessibility practices within adventure education.


Language, Body Language, and Our Intentions

Paul Cappadonna

Fifty Minute Student Workshop

This workshop will focus on language, body language, and our intentions. Through the duration of this workshop, we will partake in activities that will show the importance of our intention within the words we use, and how our body language can effect, and even change the outcome of the programs we facilitate.


Privilege and Alienation: Mental Health, Class, Race, and Gender in Experiential Education

Normalizing the Body Class

Fifty Minute Student Workshop
This workshop will address the ways that social structures of privilege around mental health, gender, race, and class affect participants of experiential education programs. Students will present on theory drawing from critical race studies, queer and gender studies, the mad pride movement, labor studies, and working-class perspectives to analyze how experiential education settings may recreate or challenge hierarchical power dynamics. Questions to be explored: who does EE serve, are all bodies equal, what does cultural competency look like, and how can EE be used as a tool for liberation? Concrete skills, tools, and facilitation tips will be offered.


Social Inequality Portrayed in Outdoor Literature

Jamie Wathen, Kelsey Eans, and Jack Howick

Fifty Minute Student Workshop

Outdoor magazines and textbooks can portray a lack of cultural, gender, and setting diversity. These portrayals can have a negative impact on adventure-based activities by deterring people from participating in these programs. Come to this workshop to gain an awareness of the social inequality that is reinforced in adventure literature. You may also be interested in the complimentary workshop, Social Inequality in Outdoor Programing: Characteristics of Outdoor Leaders Today.


Creating Safe Space in a Risky World

Loryn Cummins and Hattie Tehan

Fifty Minute Student Workshop

In our workshop, Safe Space in a Risky World, we will discuss, brainstorm, and present modes of interfacing with various populations in the back country: in an attempt to insure a supportive environment where risk can be taken. In a community that values risk and the lessons it can introduce it is our responsibility to create safe spaces for a multitude of populations, so that the world of adventure education can be made more accessible and have a positive impact on more lives.


The interview process: How to, and how it relates to social justice

Brian Andersen

Fifty Minute Student Workshop

As a young outdoor professional how are you going to present yourself to potential employers and do certain stereotypes work in your favor or against you. In this field many times the interview process is slightly different than attempting to work at a bank. This workshop will go through several models that companies use to interview their employees, how to conduct yourself to give yourself the best chance of success and how the interview process relates to social justice.


Guiding Disabled Students into Optimal Experiences

William Robinson and Kailey Mckenna

Fifty Minute Student Workshop

Attendees will leave the workshop with the understanding that sometimes students with disabilities may be limited by their educator. They can be limited both mentally and physically, therefore not giving them the outdoor experience and growth they need and deserve. The workshop will allow the attendees to find the best approach in customizing their plan to overcome the obstacle of reaching optimal levels of growth for each participant.


World Action Collective: Theories & Methods of Contemporary Activism

William Heineke

Fifty Minute Student Workshop

This workshop will give audience members the opportunity to analyze, understand, and, if they so choose to, use a new form of activism based on the integration of critical social and psychological theories, two years of grassroots activism experience, and seeing what a small group of people can do to create a more just world.


The Red Tent Expedition: Celebrating and Honoring Womanhood in the Outdoors

Rosalie Whatley

Fifty Minute Student Workshop

Welcome to the Red Tent: A beautiful fabric sanctuary where women gather to share wisdom and inspiration. In the workshop we will learn about the Red Tent Temple Movement, and then focus on how we as educators can bring the concept of the Red Tent into the wilderness - ultimately creating authentic empowered leadership for female clients and students. We will connect to and reflect on our own lives, using activities that can be transferred into an educational setting and that support the initiative of creating a woman-honoring culture.


Adventure races: A model for inclusion

Robert Mason

Fifty Minute Student Workshop

Ever been in a race? This workshop will have participants designing a race that will require skills most of us do not have! You will learn about adventure races and the current model they follow, as well as ways to add to this model to promote strengths of people with disabilities. Come with jogging attire, water, and an open mind! No race is experience needed! All participants are welcome, and the course is accessible to all.


Creating a Service Learning Curriculum for Underserved and Underprivileged Communities

Marshall Masayesva

Fifty Minute Student Workshop

This workshop will focus on developing curriculum utilizing the service-learning model for use with underprivileged communities. Utilizing a collaborative/co-creative approach, participants will contribute their experiences and expertise in developing curriculum outlines for a weekend, week, and month long program. Professionals and students in the experiential education field will be able to share ideas and advice on what is effective as well as ineffective in service learning curriculum. Anyone who is interested in service learning with the intention of providing opportunities for underserved and underprivileged communities will leave the workshop with an applicable curriculum outline for utilization with their own program

Social Inequalities in Outdoor Programming: Characteristics of Outdoor Leaders Today

Shannon Porter, Emiliano Rodriguez, Christopher Martin, Eva Alternatt

Fifty Minute Student Workshop

This workshop will explore how the culture of experiential education is reflected in outdoor leaders. The common characteristics of outdoor leaders perpetuates an exclusive culture that intimidates prospective experiential educators and participants from joining specific programs. Discussion and critical analysis will bring awareness to unconscious prejudices related to class, race, religion, demographic, and gender. Group collaboration will allow for understanding of these exclusive cultural characteristics. Attendees should come to this workshop with an open mind prepared to discuss ethical issues. Additional perspectives on social inequalities in outdoor programming are discussed in the workshop "Social Inequality Portrayed in Outdoor Literature".


Whiteboard Sessions: A Tool for Creating Community

Paul Roberts

Fifty Minute Student Workshop

In this workshop participants will be introduced to a new teaching tool called "whiteboard sessions". Whiteboard sessions are a unique experience that allow equal participation from all students to express their own interests and inquiry. In this workshop we will examine the importance of community and connection in the classroom setting as well as in our daily lives. Participants will be asked to share life experiences and come open minded to actively participate in this learning workshop. Participants will experience and learn how to facilitate whiteboard sessions. Come tell us your story.

Mindfulness Based Practices for Emotional Healing

Kayla Marie Watson and Tre Neal

Fifty Minute Student Workshop

This workshop will focus on providing tools to outdoor leaders that will benefit focus groups (such as veterans) that have experienced traumatic incidents. This will be an interactive workshop progressing through several mindful centered activities such as yoga, journaling, meditation as well as the three phases of ceremony and ritual.


Experiential School Gardens: Cultivating Students and Communities

Eli McCutchen, Jake Raferty and Drew Herrick

Ninety Minute Workshop

This symposium presents school gardens as quintessential experiential education tools and social justice catalysts. School gardens are especially necessary and useful in urban communities that have little access to nature experiences or fresh food. This workshop will explore applications of gardens for school curricula, natural education, and community empowerment. Participants will learn how some teachers and communities currently use school gardens, and will co-create lesson plans for specific learning outcomes. This subject is of great importance for experiential educators as school gardens are not only resources for the body, but for the mind as well.


Who are you and why are you here? The Reformation of Rites of Passage Within American Culture

Galadriel Sardonicus and Chloe Erickson

Ninety Minute Workshop

Come de-mystify rites of passage in our society. Learn how to integrate self-actualization in to experiential education programs. Get excited about the transitions in to adult hood! Discover inspiration to spend your life doing what you love. "Who Are You and Why Are You Here?" is an interactive presentation and workshop that addresses some of the most important questions we can ask ourselves as we transition into adulthood. Come join Galadriel and Chloe in celebrating the rites of growing up!


Female leadership in AE: Utilizing The Red Tent to cultivate authenticity and transformation in wilderness settings

Bri Boertman and Rosalie Whatley

Ninety Minute Workshop

Invested in learning how to work more effectively with girls or young women during adventure-based programming? Throughout this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to explore holistic strategies designed to cultivate safe space, authenticity, and transformation while combating subversive aggression and bullying that can bubble under the surface among groups of girls.

Historically, The Red Tent is a sacred space where women gather to be their most authentic selves. In this workshop, which is an extension of The Red Tent Expedition Workshop, we will share ideas for peacemaking circles, rites of passage, and other methods for celebrating our feminine selves!


Moral Development and Theories in Experiential Education

Severin Piper

Ninety Minute Workshop

This workshop will combine a theoretical approach to moral development with practical applications through examining scenarios and assessing the ways in which experiential education promotes moral development. Addressing various theorists' work regarding ethics and morals, attendees will explore how they can be applied within experiential education. Attendees will gain an understanding of multiple theories on moral development enhancing their ability as teachers promote an appropriate level of moral decision-making and development. Presented information will be applied through interaction with fellow attendees to fully understand how these theories can be applied to their work.

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