Panthers in the W.I.L.D.
Mission Statement: Our goal is to develop the next generation of leaders by providing adventure-based experiential education opportunities for students that advance personal responsibility, character growth, and community engagement.
Purpose: Our purpose is to provide students with the opportunity to explore the outdoors in safe, meaningful ways. Students will learn to be good stewards of the environment and gain appreciation and respect for the natural world.
WILD represents the 4 core education program goals:
- Wilderness Conservation – Students will learn to take personal responsibility for protecting the environment through conservation.
- Initiative through Service – Students will engage others through environmental service.
- Leadership Skills – Students will develop leadership skills as they participate in safe and meaningful adventure-based experiential education.
- Development – Students will develop character as they are challenged individually and as a team, while they problem-solve and work together, through meaningful outdoor learning experiences, such as, canoeing/kayaking and/or backpacking.
Outdoor Education Course Description
The Outdoor Education course is a high school elective designed to promote an appreciation for the natural world and to foster a love for the outdoors and adventure-based activities. This outdoor education course provides a comprehensive introduction to outdoor activities including hiking, backpacking, camping, paddling, cooking outdoors, and survival skills. Students will learn how to manage risks, manage outdoor safety (First aid/CPR and Paddlesport safety courses), develop outdoor living skills, and develop leadership skills. Most importantly, students will learn to appreciate and enjoy the outdoors while not leaving any trace of their time in the environment (Leave No Trace Basics workshop).
- Understand historical and social contexts for outdoor recreation.
- Cultivate an understanding of how outdoor adventures intersect with environmental sustainability.
- Learn and practice how to:
○ Navigate using a topographic map, compass, and natural features
○ Prepare and pack for outdoor trips, including weather forecasting
○ Assess, manage, and mitigate risk outdoors
○ Identify and enjoy regional flora, fauna, and wildlife
○ Select and set up a campsite, camp kitchen, campfire, etc.
○ Manage water safety, paddle, and kayak
○ Outdoor cooking skills, food safety
○ Leave No Trace
○ Safety – water and First/Aid CPR
○ Useful knots for the outdoor environment
Each semester course offering will allow students to obtain a 2-year First Aid/CPR/AED certification and participate in a 3 day/2 night outdoor field trip. Fall semester courses go canoe camping in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. Spring semester courses go backpacking on the Foothills Trail along the Chattooga River on the GA/SC border.
A special thanks to REI for providing tents for our program. Additionally, we would like to thank the Peachtree families and individuals who donated funds to purchase equipment for our program. Without you, this program would not be possible! THANK YOU!