Camp Confluence and Partners for Youth Empowerment.

5 07 2017

sara3By: Sarah Worl     Photos: Marty Oppenheimer and PYE Global

With support from our Instructor Development Funds, I was able to attend Camp Confluence, organized by Partners for Youth Empowerment (PYE) in Whidbey Island, Washington. Camp Confluence was a 6-day gathering of camp directors, lead facilitators, and staff that are involved with camps based on the Creative Community Model. The Creative Community Model was developed by PYE over decades of youth summer camps across the globe. In their own words from the PYE website:

“With arts-based practices and leading-edge group facilitation strategies, Creative Community Facilitators cultivate environments in which people can realize their potential. By embracing positive risk-taking and free creative expression, youth and adults alike open up to new possibilities. Research shows that creative expression—in a supportive setting—nurtures qualities like empathy, teamwork, and problem solving, while also fostering joy, hope, and the desire for a meaningful life”

At Camp Confluence we talked a lot about the “Emotional Arc” that a camper experiences from the day they enter camp to when they leave, and how to support that transformative experience with community agreements, plenary activities, supported creative risk-taking, free time, nature time, and more. I appreciated the emphasis on the camper’s experience and curating the week’s activities to support their journey.

We also spent a whole day talking about how to further Equity and Anti-Oppression in all levels of our summer camps; from camp staff demographics, to camper recruitment, to food and sleeping arrangements, to incorporating explicit community agreements around equity in the beginning of the camp. It is rare that I am in a space of people so committed, honest, and eager to talk about Anti-Oppression in their institutions and programs and I am very grateful to have participated in those conversations and to emerge with a greater awareness of actions I can bring back to my work. I am looking forward to my upcoming outdoor recreation and summer camp season to see how I can incorporate bits of the creative community model into my work.

I’ve learned a lot of very practical facilitation skills from the PYE trainings and camps I’ve been involved in over the years. I’ve also witnessed many young people and adults (including myself) overcome old stories of fear and self doubt as we explore our creativity, connection to ourselves, connection to others, and connections to nature together in a supportive environment. I believe many of you that work with youth know what I’m talking about when I say that those moments of witnessing youth light up with hope, joy, and connection are what keep me coming back to this work, and giving me hope for the present and future. I am so grateful to be a part of the community at the River House Outdoor Program; a community that is so committed to fostering these types of magical and transformative experiences for youth and adults.

P.S and Fun Fact: A local summer camp hosted by the Oregon Country Fair called Culture Jam is based on the Creative Community Model and brings in facilitators that have led PYE camps across the U.S and internationally. The River House supports Culture Jam each year with a couple days of outdoor play at Fern Ridge! PYE also offers facilitation trainings in the Pacific Northwest each year- check them out at www.pyeglobal.org.  Their website also contains many great summer camp and youth program resources!

-The River House Instructor Development Fund (IDF) is an investment in our staff to seek extra training and experiences that can be brought back to their work and personal lives to help enrich experiences for both participants and instructors.

sara2

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Who says Skating is an Urban Endeavor?

16 03 2017

NORTHBOUND | Skateboarding on Frozen Sand 4K from Turbin Film on Vimeo.

Skaters and artistic expression go together like peanut butter and jelly.  This new video from the frozen Norway coast continues to push what can be skated and how to beautifully film it.          “It’s cool to be somewhere where the eagles want to be.”

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Lovely Penny Arcade

11 04 2016

Just as it seemed music videos were dead, along comes OK Go and their brilliance in film making.  This new video from Jane Bordeaux for the song Ma’agalim is nothing like the OK Go films, but still has a certain Rube Goldberg quality to it.  It is beautifully created and matched well with the music.  I have no clue what this song is about but Trust it’s Lovely.

What does this have to do with an outdoor blog?  Nothing, and I hope it makes you smile.

Ma’agalim – Jane Bordeaux from Uri Lotan on Vimeo.

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Creating and maintaining an Adventure Journal.

12 01 2016

forest

Happy New Years!

A new year is a popular time to start or restart a journal.  Journals record all types of life experiences including: dreams, gardens, birding, inner thought diaries, weather conditions, travel logs and so on.  Journaling is often prescribed for inner reflection and meditation.  It can be used to record everyday life, or saved for momentous moments and trips. Read the rest of this entry »





This is COLOSSAL

28 12 2015

If you are bored at home during the holiday break then get lost in the site- thisiscolossal.com.  The brilliance that pours out of the mixed art pieces is astounding.   Take a look and find inspiration.  I’m not very artistic but can recognize creativity and craftsmanship and most things posted to this site are wonderful. It’s a beautiful world of visual artists, performers, craftsmen, and designers.  Check back often as it’s updated every day and can take you to new universes or may even inspire your own project.

Here are a few of my favorite post:


The Motions of Kayaking and Canoeing Recorded through Light Painting on Canadian Waterways

http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2014/12/water-light-painting/

canoe


Pouring a Thermos of Hot Tea at -40°C Near the Arctic Circle

http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2015/12/pouring-a-thermos-of-hot-tea-at-40c-at-sunset/

tea


The Force of Nature: A Series of Sculptures That Depict Mother Nature Hurling Planet Earth in Circles

http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2015/08/force-of-nature/

world


Newly Restored Photos of Shackleton’s Fateful Antarctic Voyage Offer Unprecedented Details of Survival

http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2015/12/newly-restored-endurance-photos/

shackleton

 


A 100-Year-Old Church in Spain Transformed into a Skate Park Covered in Murals by Okuda San Miguel

http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2015/12/skate-church-okuda-san-miguel/

church


Table Topography: Wood Furniture Embedded with Glass Rivers and Lakes by Greg Klassen

http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2014/07/table-topography-greg-klassen/

table


San Francisco-Based Company Builds Guitars From Recycled Skateboard Decks

http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2015/07/san-francisco-based-company-builds-guitars-from-recycled-skateboard-decks/

guitar

 

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A New Look at the Springfield/Eugene Bike Paths

6 05 2014

Hello and Happy Bike Month! River House staff celebrate in a variety of ways–by teaching Bike Safety Education classes in the 4J school district, by biking to and from work, and by playing on bicycles in our free time as much as possible. We have folks who eat, sleep, and dream all things Bike Polo, friends who spend their weekends at Cyclocross races, and coworkers who tour the state, country, and the globe by bicycle.

We aren’t the only ones who love bikes, though, and I wanted to find out how others show their love of traveling on 2 wheels.  Meet Dan O’Donnell. Dan has been a bike commuter for 37 years, and has been an artist all his life (whether he admits it or not).  He spends much of his free time on the bike paths in town journaling, writing songs, and making art.  He kindly showed me these 7 beautiful renditions of different views from the bike paths and rides in the Eugene/Springfield area, and I couldn’t stop talking about them for days.  If you follow the yellow road on some of them, he’ll take you on a lovely ride through the area–much of it on our paths, some of it on low-traffic roads. You’ll cross the Willamette, parallel the McKenzie, ride through Dorris Ranch, and see views of Mount Pisgah (to name a few highlights).

Dan combines his love of the outdoors with art on a regular basis. He loves “to get wild” with primary colors and pastels.  He’ll go out on a hike one day, and the spend the next day mapping it out. While out on an adventure, his brain is constantly working to memorize details about the area. He especially loves to draw details in architectural structures like the bike bridges and Matt Court. When asked what he hopes people get from his work, he simply says, “A bike ride.”

Thanks Dan, for sharing your art with our community. I know what I’m doing this weekend!

Michelle Brown

 

Maurie Jacobs Park (off River Road) to Dorris Ranch (Springfield)

Maurie Jacobs Park (off River Road) to Dorris Ranch (Springfield)

Dorris Ranch (Springfield) to Crescent Road (North Eugene)

Dorris Ranch (Springfield) to Crescent Road (North Eugene)

Crescent Road to McKenzie View Drive

Crescent Road to McKenzie View Drive

Clearwater Park to North Bank Bike Path (through Glenwood)

Clearwater Park to North Bank Bike Path (through Glenwood)

Dorris Ranch (Springfield) to North Bank Bike Path (E. Springfield)

Dorris Ranch (Springfield) to North Bank Bike Path (E. Springfield)

View of Knickerbocker Bridge, Mt. Pisgah and Moon Mtn.

View of Knickerbocker Bridge, Mt. Pisgah and Moon Mtn.

View of Hendricks Park from North Bank Bike Path

View of Hendricks Park from North Bank Bike Path

 

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Backcountry Film Festival Coming to Eugene!

16 01 2014

On Sunday January 19th at 7pm, the Backcountry Film Festival is making its way here to Eugene! Traveling worldwide, the goal is to raise money “for local organizations working on advocacy, snow safety, outdoor education and SnowSchool programs.” (Winter Wildlands Alliance)  Oregon organizations benefited are CAT-Trips for Kids, based in Eugene, and Educational Recreational Adventures, based in Portland.

The details: 21 and over are invited, $10 per person. Read more about the festival here: http://goo.gl/oICDYW

And, for your viewing pleasure, here are a host of previews of just some of the films that will be featured. If this won’t get you hooked, you might just have to join the River House for some winter wonderland adventures.  Yeah, that should do the trick.

Valhalla

Bolton Valley

Bigger, Braver

Breaking Trail

Morning Rituals

Youth

Nokhoi Seekh: In search of the Wolverine

Strong

Take the Ride

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