Teacher and coach, Mike Anderson, wants to give his students a new lesson. One that finds them experiencing new outdoor activities and establishing a passion and respect for the outdoors like he holds.
Anderson has started the Outdoor Adventure Club at Grinnell High School in Grinnell, Iowa, where he teaches special education, physical education and coaches boys track and football. He's certainly use to an active lifestyle, teaching and coaching over 20 years between Iowa and Ohio, and before that serving in the Air Force/Air National Guard.
The idea for the club actually originated with some students.
"I had some interest by students in such a program last spring. I did a lot of research during the spring and summer about what it takes to start up a program. After my research, I became more and more excited. I love being in the outdoors, have been a Boy Scout leader for many years, and wanted to find a way to get kids interested and experience the outdoors instead of sitting at home playing games, texting or hanging out on the corner."
Anderson has always loved being outdoors, which he says started in the scouts and grew when he was in high school, working as a YMCA counselor teaching outdoor activities. He says he loves to backpack/camp, canoe/kayak and climb, "when my body allows it," exploring and hiking in areas of the country that are new to him.
He wants to pass that enthusiasm on through the Outdoor Adventure Club, designed to offer outdoor recreational and leadership opportunities to students.
"This club is perfect for students who love to expand their horizons and go above and beyond a normal classroom setting. The students are provided with the opportunity to develop leadership, growth, and team building by actively getting involved in the learning experience."
The Club has gone canoeing three times and Anderson says he plans to introduce students to more of the local area outdoor opportunities, along with trying to organize one trip/service learning experience a month that will take place on the weekends during the school year, and one long trip in the summer. Various activities will include camping, backpacking, canoe/kayaking, fishing, skiing, survival skills, and more.
The Outdoor Adventures Club is not a school-sponsored activity. It's open to any student regardless of their socioeconomic background, however, Anderson says many students have signed up, but don't have either the financial means or equipment to participate BPS Altoona recently donated items to help the Club and Anderson continues to look for ways to help more students be involved, and get INTRODUCED t,o the great outdoors through the Grinnell High School Outdoor Adventure Club!