Cleveland Zephyr Outdoor Academy offers nature-based leadership education.
I just finished Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods and am simultaneously overcome with the need to act, and paralyzed by indecision on how to proceed.
Before leaving camp for the day we talked about habits, competence, style, and life outside of our comfort zone.
Today was a day of deep conversations. I was told that initially I was “hard to read,” which came as no surprise. It’s not the first time I’ve heard that, and I think it has something to do with having been a lawyer. The whole idea that you don’t want ’em to see you sweat.
The trip became just as much a journey inward as it was a trek through the wilderness. Separated from technology, I found myself contemplating My Self.
The substance of our course has been astonishing. We’ve covered so many different topics, in such a dynamic environment. We’ve been able to tease lessons out of the day’s events, blending the day’s experience with education. And that, I believe, is the magic of experiential education.
I was the first one up after a full 8 hours of sleep. A parent of two children, I rarely get a full night’s sleep. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I waited for my tent-mates and the rest of our crew to wake, and looked up at the mountains that would be our home for the next 10 days, reveling in the peaceful tranquility of the forest.
I woke at 6 a.m. after a night spent tossing and turning. Nervous, I guess, about what was to come. Was it guilt about leaving my family for a week? Self-doubt? Just plain excitement? I’m still not sure. But I didn’t sleep well.
I did my morning yoga routine in my hotel room, and dutifully reported to the hotel lobby at 7 a.m. where I met 7 of the people with whom I would be spending the next 10 days in wilderness.
Boarding the train at 5am, I wasn’t sure what was in store for me over the next 10 days. I wasn’t nervous so much as I was excited. Excited for the unknown. Excited for an adventure. It had been too long.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – when you think of Cleveland, “nature” is probably not the first word that springs to mind. Nonetheless, I will continue to try to find places to commune with nature near “the 216.”
“Nature” is probably not the first word that comes to mind when you think of Cleveland. You’re more likely to think of a rust-belt, industrial city. Or maybe LeBron James. But if you spend a little time here, you’ll learn that there’s a lot of ways to get outside within 60 minutes of downtown.
Using nature as our classroom, the Cleveland Zephyr Outdoor Academy teaches leadership and basic wilderness survival skills. You’ll apply these skills as you lead your course-mates and work as a team to create a transformative, experience-based educational expedition. Whether it’s…
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