Outdoor passions

Earlier this year we had a planning meeting for the QCCC Mapleton Outdoor Education team and part of the process involved each team member sharing why they chose Outdoor Education as a career path.    

Mapleton's OE Team at a recent Search and Rescue simulation (all blood is fake).


As I’m still a relative newcomer to the camping and conferencing scene it was a fascinating insight into the passions of the team, coming as it did just a few weeks after getting my first real taste of the Outdoor Education (OE) sub-culture at the 9th National Outdoor Educators Conference.  I’ll post some of my notes and reflections from that conference another day.    

While I’ve extracted names, the quotes below are my notes of the primary motivators of some of the team members on the OE program at QCCC Mapleton.     

It may not be the highest paid profession going around (though it’s not bad!), but perhaps the real compensation for the role comes from being able to have a tangible impact on people – informing them, interpreting for them, challenging them and inspiring them.    

I have an adventurous nature to and have always wanted to see what was around the next headland.  I’m in the game for the relationships formed and the changes a lifetime in the outdoors have made on me.  I think that by taking a facilitator role, taking people into nature and away from the normal, it leads to genuine and at times life-changing reflection.    

Many times I have seen first-hand the impact OE has in transforming the mindset of people.  I have been convicted of this since experiencing it in many different ways at many different campuses, campsites and schools over the last 11 years, being involved in the profession of Outdoor education.      

Paddling on Obi Obi Creek. It's what we do.


 I’ve been around OE in various guises all my life, starting with Pathfinders and getting involved in the Duke of Edinburgh Award.  There’s simple things like three mates doing a walk and the potential that time has for relationship building.  It’s seeing transformations in kids as they move through a program. There is an impact on peoples’ lives.    

It started with the camps I attended when I was growing up.  It was iced (literally) by a three-day walk in the Snowy Mountains when the entire trip was about seeing God in our surrounds.      

Initially it was a way out of science study. Now my passion is working with disabled kids where they can still do activities and seeing what an enormous thing it is for them to participate.      

I like that it’s so hands-on.  I started out in Pathfinders.  Now I get to do things I enjoy, like hiking and canoeing for work, and share it with others.      

I needed a qualification and wanted to work in the outdoors.  And here I am!    

I grew up with high school camps which lead to being thrown into the deep end, leading a camp just after high school.  I chose OE because it’s all about spending time with kids and investing in relationships.    

It is not a job it us an adventure and a ministry.  And it’s better than selling insurance!    

I grew up in camping, living on-site and since have been through all the various stages of camping. I think it is a brilliant ministry and provides a place where all children can succeed in something.    

I was born near the bush and grew up in the environment. OE is not really about “winning” like organised sport is. Combining OE with a Christian experience is ‘incredible’.  It is not just about ‘running activities’. It is about interacting with others, building into them and showing them their value.   


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