Conference brings adventure education professionals to Fort Lewis College campus

Lee Frazer, assistant professor in FLC's Adventure Education major, instructs students.

Lee Frazer, assistant professor in FLC’s Adventure Education major, instructs students.

There’s no better setting for outdoor education enthusiasts to gather than on a campus surrounded by inspiring mountain vistas.

That’s what the members of the Association for Experiential Education will get when the 2012 Rocky Mountain Region AEE conference convenes on the Fort Lewis College campus Friday, March 23, through Sunday, March 25. The AEE’s Rocky Mountain Region includes Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, and Sonora and Sinaloa, Mexico.

And for students in the Fort Lewis College Adventure Education program, it’s an opportunity to meet and work with professionals and practitioners in the field, as well as other students, professors, and educators.

“This is a a chance for students to get immersed in the professional scene of adventure education, because there will be people here from all over the region,” says Adventure Education Director and Professor Bob Stremba. “And it’s also a chance for adventure education students to present a workshop in front those people. They’ll get great experience and feedback.”

In the Fort Lewis College Adventure Education program, students learn how to lead, teach, and facilitate in a variety of settings that use outdoor and adventure environments, focusing on human-powered outdoor pursuits, including backpacking, ropes-challenge courses, rock climbing, mountaineering, and river running.

Thanks to FLC’s location between the southern Rocky Mountains and the desert Southwest, the program’s students are in the field about 40 percent of the time, some even spending seven-week blocks that include 21 days in the mountains, rivers and canyons of Colorado and Utah, learning about wilderness expedition planning, adventure leadership, and methods of teaching adventure education.

The AEE conference will feature speakers, student research presentations and poster sessions, and the announcing of annual awards for Experiential Leader, Organizational Member, and Rising Star of the Year awards. There will also be dozens of workshops, including telemark ski instructing, swiftwater rescue, and adaptive winter sports guiding.

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