When asked, “Why are you taking Outdoor Adventures?” most students reply, “It is the greatest class ever!” How often do you hear a secondary student tell you their P.E. class is the greatest class ever? Think about your old high school P.E. class and your P. E. teacher, “Coach”. Remember the days when a ball rolled across the gym floor and the coach would yell, “Dodge Ball!” Dodge ball AGAIN and this is the 25th day in a row. P.E. classes all across Texas and now in 9 different states hear a different calling, “Archery Tournament!” Yes, archery AGAIN for the 25th day in a row. YEE HAW! Students can’t wait to get to P.E. now. Schools offering the Dallas Ecological Foundation’s (DEF) Outdoor Adventures (OA) have seen their P.E. programs grow by 39%. Waiting lists are building in counselor’s offices for students wanting to get into P.E. Allen High School (near Dallas) has over 600 students enrolled in OA. OA is taught in 200 schools in nine different states with over 20,000 students enrolled in the course this year alone. The OA curriculum offers Hunter Education, Angler Education, Archery, Boating, Camping, Hiking, Orienteering, Survival Skills, Outdoor Cooking, and CPR First Aid. Schools can use the curriculum as a P.E. credit, local school credit or a supplement to Ag. Science Wildlife Management course. Thanks to generous donations by Wayne Bisbee and Bisbee’s Fish and Wildlife Fund, OA will be able to reach more schools and impact thousands of youth! So, why would the Bisbee’s Fish and Wildlife Fund support a P.E. program? First, OA introduces youth, who are not involved in the outdoors, to hunting, fishing, wildlife conservation and shooting sports. OA changes student’s lives and ensures the future of hunting and fishing in America. In order to ensure the future legacy of these traditions, the youth of America must be taught. “Indeed, one of the greatest challenges for increased participation in hunting, shooting, and fishing is how to reach and involve individuals who are unfamiliar but interested in these traditions. One way is to market to youth or other individuals from non-hunting/ shooting/ fishing families or backgrounds.” Mark Damian Duda, Martin F. Jones, Andrea Criscione, The Sportsman’s Voice: Hunting and Fishing in America (State College: Venture Publishing, 2010), p. 209. Once the OA students are taught these traditions, they get excited and want to participate in every activity in the curriculum. Another supporting reason to promote OA, is the curriculum can be taught in any public or private school in America. The OA curriculum is aligned to the National P.E. Standards and more specifically the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. These are the educational standards a teacher must follow for any course. Furthermore, the entire OA curriculum is aligned to the Common Core Standards that are used by most states. An example of a P.E. standard includes the teaching of skills that can be used for a lifetime. Skills taught in OA that can be used for a lifetime include: hunting, fishing, archery, boating, orienteering, survival skills, camping, hiking and much more. It is easy to see why students want to take OA. The DEF is also proud to announce that the OA curriculum has been aligned specifically for the Kentucky P.E. Standards, Kentucky Core Academic Standards. Thanks to the National Wild Turkey Federation Kentucky State Chapter, the DEF is promoting Outdoor Adventures Kentucky to any school in the state of Kentucky. The OA Kentucky curriculum will allow schools to adopt the program and weave the lessons directly into the P.E. classes. This is the first state specific OA curriculum outside of Texas. The DEF is excited about the potential to offer every state their own OA curriculum. The OA program is unique and there is no other far reaching wildlife conservation and outdoor skill curriculum like it. Every conservation group has some youth education element. Most are one day shooting events, hunts or conservation days at a sporting goods store or state park. The few youth programs offered to schools are limited to a few days or one week. OA is a 180 day curriculum. Students are taught the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. As a former high school Biology teacher, I can verify the North American Model is not taught at the high school level, unless you are taking Agriculture Science classes. BISBEE’S CONSERVATION JOURNAL Q2 • 2015 23 Ecological Foundation’s and Bisbee’s Educational Interests by Scot McClure, D.E.F.
Bisbees Conservation Journal Q2 2015
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