Testimonials from our Adventure Education students at Fort Lewis College

“I chose Adventure Education because…”

Spencer Lewis
Tyler, TX
Major: Adventure Education

I chose Adventure Education as my major because I enjoy the outdoors, as well as teaching others. There have been several experiences that I love, but what has made me so engaged within this degree was definitely the block semester. During this semester I was not only learning outside the classroom, but I was learning new ways to teach new topics. I also was learning in a environment that was new and I loved what I was learning the whole time. I plan on working for Outward Bound or NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School), and at wilderness therapeutic camps. I also love the size of the Adventure Education program. The AE program feels like a family. Most of the time when AE students walk into a classroom, other AE people know their names and are eager to see them. I had no idea that by declaring AE as a major, I would find my second family. Most Adventure Education people are uplifting and encouraging to others. We are constantly building each other up to be the best to all of our abilities at this degree.

Ross McWilliams
Fort Collins, CO
Major: Adventure Education

I chose Adventure Education as my major for two reasons. First, I love doing almost any outdoor-related activity, so the major naturally fit my interests and personality. Second, after working at an orphanage in Kenya for six weeks during the summer prior to coming to Fort Lewis, I developed a passion for education. I hope to use the non-traditional educational techniques taught through AE to develop educational opportunities for children in Africa and other impoverished areas. The best part of the program is the level of attention that the professors give to each student. I really feel that I am someone who is known to the department as well as listened to on many issues. Also, I value the many friends I have made through the AE program. In addition to the AE degree I am pursuing, I am also looking at minoring in Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies. I feel that these two fields will pair very nicely and match my future goals well. Ideally, I want to utilize the skills I learn through my AE degree to promote peace through education in conflict zones around the world.

Jeffrey Horvat
Arvada, CO
Major: Adventure Education

I chose Adventure Education as a sort of alternative to traditional teacher education. I am passionate about nature and education and believe an adventure setting is capable of providing an exceptional learning experience. The AE program offers students an opportunity to take on the role of educator, in both the classroom and the great outdoors. The multi-day expeditions are always an exciting challenge, but I’ve grown to appreciate the challenge brought about by teaching my fellow students. I feel that the opportunity to teach at the college level has prepared me for a future in the field of education. I have applied for and am currently waiting to hear about a possible job and internship with the Telluride Academy, a highly respected outdoor education school. Beyond this internship I hope to attend graduate school, but may end up in Antarctica guiding clients and photographers on expeditions. I feel that Adventure Education and Fort Lewis College in general has opened up an almost endless array of opportunities for me. Now the challenge is deciding which opportunity I will take!

Skyeler Congdon

Grand Junction, CO
Major: Adventure Education

I chose Adventure Education as my major because I believe in the power that wilderness experiences possess to inspire personal growth and catalyze social transformation. The best part or experience of the program for me has been working with remarkable people, both faculty and students. The backcountry trips I’ve been on with AE have been a blast. One favorite was 10 days on the Green River with a solid crew during the Block Semester. Riding my snowboard off the summit of Engineer Peak might be my favorite outing, but there are too many to name! I specialize in leading international trips. Last summer I led trips to Ecuador and the Galapagos. This fall I hope to return to Asia to lead trips that balance service learning with adventure!

Will Marsh
Anchorage, AK
Major: Southwest Studies
Minor: Adventure Education

I went to a small high school in Alaska. From day one, I’ve been an outdoor kid. My parents in their younger days were totally outdoor people, so our whole family loves to do things outdoors. I just grew up with that and have been doing it for my whole life.  At Fort Lewis, we don’t have teacher aides who grade the class work and teach the class. I like the student-teacher ratio here, and the quality time with teachers.It’s all individualized, I feel you can talk to professors about anything. They’re always helpful. If you need to spend time in their office, they’ll be there. This kind of environment makes you feel good about what you’re learning. I love exploring. I love seeing what’s actually here and not just reading about it. Now every time I go up into the mountains, I think about the things I’ve learned in class. It’s pretty great.

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