Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Programming Close-Up: Venture Outdoors

As the program year is well under way, we want to give you better insight into how our after-school program operates and what we will be doing together this year. The post "What's New for After-School" briefly explains the basic structure for our programming; check it out for more info! To sum up that post, our students get to choose between several activities offered throughout the week. The goal of this Close-Up series is to thoroughly introduce you to each activity and the partner leading it. Hopefully after reading these, you will have a better idea what awesome things our Brashear Kids get to do!

A local hike to the
Mt. Washington overlooks

Venture Outdoors

Activity Leader: Miss Maggie (from Venture Outdoors)

For the third year in a row, we are happy to have Venture Outdoors join us once again at ALEC! On Mondays, Maggie from Venture Outdoors takes us outside to enjoy nature, explore, and try really cool new activities. The students who have chosen Venture Outdoors always look forward to the each Monday to get outside and move while trying something new. We believe that the mission of Venture Outdoors is good for our students. We discover the outdoors together through hands-on activities and problem solving so that we better understand and appreciate the outdoors. 

What is Venture Outdoors?

Venture Outdoors is a member-supported local non-profit that aims to get people outside: "We believe that everyone deserves the chance to experience how incredibly fun the outdoors can be." To achieve this goal, they provide gear and guidance through volunteer trip leaders who share their experience and knowledge. They offer over 500 public programs a year including kayaking, hiking, biking, snowshoeing, fishing, and much more! 

Outings are led by trip leaders who know their stuff (like Miss Maggie and the recently trained Miss Christa and Mr Neal) to all skill levels so that everyone has a chance to explore the outdoors. In addition to public programs, Venture Outdoors also works with several after-school programs of all ages including ALEC and our neighbors at A Giving Heart. 

What we do outside

Activities with Venture Outdoors change every week. During our showcase weeks (read more about this change in the "What's new at after-school" post), two groups walked to Grandview Park to try out a geocaching course. 
Now that we have chosen our groups, we do more specific activities in our area. For example, at a bike rodeo we try out lots of different kinds of bikes through an obstacle course in a nearby parking lot. We have also made our own shelters out of sticks and leaves while in the wilderness.

Students get a chance to ride diffferent
kinds of bikes at the bike rodeo
We use supplies found in nature to
create things like shelters and a set for a fire

This last Monday, we went to Grandview Park to make Nature Art! We took pieces of nature, like sticks, leaves, and rocks, and combined them with flowers and cut-outs to make beautiful scenes in nature. Check out our creations below!

David and CJ work on their garden
complete with crops and security cameras!
Cayden and Ne'vaiya
show off their shelter
Kiyannah decorates
the trunk of a tree

Andrew's "Stick Village" 

When the weather doesn't cooperate, we stay inside but we still focus on the outdoors: we test the air quality, design our own parks, and draw our own maps. 

As you can see, we love all the activities that Venture Outdoors provides for us. Getting outside and moving is very important to us, so we can't be any happier to have Venture Outdoors with us again this year! 

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