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ENJOY YOUR SUMMER Powered By Docstoc
                                                                              Look at the trees, look
           President’s Welcome…………………………….Page 2                              at the birds, look at the
                                                                              clouds, look at the
           Letter from Northern                                               stars... and if you have
           and Southern Chairs……………………………..Pages 3 
                                                                              eyes you will be able to
           Howard Bell Award Winner……...…………….Page 4                          see that the whole
                                                                              existence is joyful.
           Conference Wrap Up…………………………….Page 5                               Everything is simply
                                                                              happy. ~ Osho
           Teaching Article.…………………………………Pages 9‐10 
           Advocacy Update………………………………..Page 9 

     In June, as many as a dozen species may
     burst their buds on a single day. No man
     can heed all of these anniversaries; no man
     can ignore all of them. ~Aldo Leopold                          YOUR
                 Conference Info
              2010 Northern Fall Conference  
                     November 5‐7 
                                                         If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade
              2010 Southern Fall Conference  
                                                         of grass springing up in the fields has power to move
                    November 12‐14  
                                                         you, if the simple things of nature have a message that
               2011 Statewide Conference                 you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.
                     April 29‐May 1                      ~Eleonora Duse

Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education   Summer 2010                                 Page 1
                                                           A Message from the

                                                            AEOE President

                                              It’s hard to come back from an AEOE conference and not
                                            feel re-energized, affirmed, and ready to take on the next big
                                         challenge in environmental education. This year’s conference
                                     was no different. Soaking up the sun and swimming in the ocean
                                 between workshop sessions and evening activities, I know I certainly felt
refreshed upon returning home. In these troubling economic times, it feels good to host a conference
so full of passion, energy, and creativity. I hope you all feel the way I feel as we enter the days of

Most of us are, no doubt, wrapping up our school year seasons of outdoor school; while some of us are
just beginning to ramp up with the increased summer tourism and traffic. As we look forward to
enjoying our summers, there are a few things on the horizon that need your attention.

In the past few weeks, the No Child Left Inside Act (NCLI) has seen a 19-person increase in its co-sponsor
list and over 70 new coalition members. The Coalition is now up to 122 House co-sponsors. The NCLI
Coalition would like to thank the thousands of coalition members across the country for making phone
calls, writing emails, and telling your legislators as well as other organizations that getting kids outside is
important to our healthy future. To stay informed and learn how you can help the NCLI Coalition,
please visit:

I’m sure that you’re aware of the oil disaster currently destroying fragile ecosystems along the Gulf of
Mexico. It’s being called a spill, however, as it was pointed out to me the other day, that’s a misnomer.
A spill leads one to believe that there is a finite source that will eventually stop. The truth is: we don’t
know how much oil is in this reservoir. We don’t know how long this broken pipe will continue to dump
hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil into the gulf daily. This is a tragedy of epic proportions and I
encourage you to keep a close eye on the events surrounding this catastrophe. The National Wildlife
Federation has an on-going, updated website devoted to the disaster here:

On a positive note, we are getting closer to the NAAEE 2010 conference, happening in Buffalo, NY this
year, September 29th – October 2nd (for more information, visit: Earlier this year,
AEOE was selected to host the 2012 conference in Oakland, CA. If you are interested in being involved
in the planning and executing of this conference, please contact me directly:

As always, I thank you for your support and interest in AEOE,

Ryan Brennan

Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education    Summer 2010                            Page 2
       A Letter from the Southern Chair

Hello AEOE! My name is Carrie Bryant and I am excited to take on the
role of Southern Chair. I started in the field of environmental education
way back in 1998 at the Orange County Outdoor Science School.
Currently, I am the Director of Outdoor Education at Pathfinder Ranch
in the San Jacinto Mountains.

I was thrilled to see so many passionate and enthusiastic members of
our organization at the Spring conference. Thank you, Steve Morris and
Coleen Ryan, for creating a well organized and fun experience for
everyone in attendance. It was great to reunite with old friends and meet new
friends at the conference. To see so many amazing and dynamic people gathered together is always
inspiring. I hope you left the conference full of fabulous ideas, feeling refreshed and newly motivated.
I will be looking forward to seeing more of our members at the Fall Conference at Camp Surf near San
Diego. What could be better than beach camping and sharing ideas by the ocean? Most of our
conference communications are now coming by email so keep an eye on your inbox for more
information as our next conference approaches.

Please contact me if you would like to get involved in AEOE or have any questions about the southern
council at

Enjoy your summer!
 Carrie Bryant

“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult
who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.” –
Rachel Carson

       A Letter from the Northern Chair
AEOE Friends,

It was great to see all of you in Malibu. Big thanks to Steve Morris,
Coleen Ryan, the AEOE team and the countless volunteers who made
it such a great conference. The foundations of friendship and
mentorship will continue to build our world of outdoor and
environmental education, the greatest community going.

Speaking of building, we are currently building a team to help put on the
2011 Spring Conference which will take place April 29th - May 1st 2011 at
Westminster Woods in Occidental, CA. It's a big task but a great team makes it
easy. If you are looking to expand your involvement in outdoor and environmental education then join
us on the Northern Council. If you are interested, contact me at

As the school year draws to a close and the dawn of our beloved summer awaits we celebrate the
champions of Environmental Education. Amongst the dark cloud of a struggling economy we
persevered. While many of our friends lost their jobs and programs had to be creative to stay afloat, we
stayed true to the ideal that children belong in the outdoors. All over our great state you placed an
ember of the wonder and magic of nature in the hearts of children of all ages. May that ember spark a
passion for the outdoors that no price tag can contain. You are heroes!

See you in the fall,
Jymn "Scooby" Meier

Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education   Summer 2010                        Page 3
               2010 Howard Bell Award Winner
                                Lisa Curnett
The purpose of this award is to give recognition and pay tribute for
outstanding achievements and contributions as a leader in the field
of environmental and outdoor education. The award was presented
at the Statewide Spring Conference in Malibu. This year’s winner is
Lisa Curnett who has served the field for forty years!

Lisa Curnett’s Howard Bell Award Acceptance Speech (read by Mark

Oh my…Oh my goodness…I am absolutely stunned to hear this…My first
thought is…who me? Why me??

And my second thought is…oh dear…I can’t even be there…It’s my nephew’s
marriage & like you wonderful people at this conference, my family is gathering from far & wide…So I
am SO sorry to not be there and so incredibly grateful for this honor.

I have tears in my eyes as I realize that I have been one of the lucky ones…to know so early what I
wanted to do…

Like the young man who is reading this, who delivered a pizza to Camp Cambell in the redwoods &
looked around at people celebrating & honoring the earth…and knew in his heart that he was in the
RIGHT place…a place where he could use his education and teaching skills to inspire…

I knew forty years ago as a 15 year old cabin leader volunteer at Jones Gulch that I had found my

Nowhere else in this society, in its mad rush to develop & cement over all the places I loved, had I found
people who would stop to listen to the bird song… People who could find joy in the feel of the sun on
their skin or the taste of fog or the smell of the ocean breeze… People who could notice the earth
speaking…in the giggles of excited children or in the beauty of the cotton floating off the cottonwood

I’d found people who dared to remain sensitive…and who could find ways to spark reverence for the
earth in others. Well, I knew that I had found the foundation for the rest of my life.

How lucky we are! We Outdoor Educators…

And how incredibly lucky I’ve been to know some of you. People who inspired & mentored me…Tim,
Marshall, Steve, Steffani, Kara, Pat Crocker…the list is long…

And I have spent 40 years in awe of all of you… Interns who would go on to become movers and
shakers in the field… Talented people who make the music rise in others… People who can track deer
or light a fire with a bow drill & coach others to success… People who can turn a science standard into
a game that opens the mind of a child from any background… People who can tell a story that can
calm a rowdy crowd or spark an ember in a disaffected heart…

I believe I have met some of the best people on earth! And I have been able to witness the incredible
creativity that emerges when one keeps their heart young.

Thank you all of you for what you do.

And as the young man who is reading this often says…go out and love your life!
Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education   Summer 2010                        Page 4
Spring Conference Wrap-Up
By Coleen Ryan
Photos by Michael Charnofsky

It was Sunday, the end of another great AEOE
Conference weekend. Hugs were given,
smiles traded and waves in all directions as we set out heading home. As I drove south on PCH I felt an
overwhelming sense of gratitude, for the beautiful landscape and weather, the amazing and inspiring
people of AEOE and the entire weekend experience.

That was a terrific conference! Many thanks to all of the volunteers who collectively made the whole
conference possible.

                                   I really enjoyed Saturday night once all the “work” was done.
                                   People were able to shine at the skit night/talent show. I loved
                                   hearing individuals playing their own songs and seeing staff from
                                   different sites putting on very impressive skits. I also laughed harder
                                   than I have in awhile to improv comedy, yo-yo skills and the
                                   abundance of stories. It was so nice to see how talented our
                                   members are, and then to
                                   move outside and dance
                                   the remaining stress away to
                                   the tunes of Delta Nove.
That was a perfect ending to a great day.

Some of the other conference highlights were…

The keynote speaker Ed Begley, Jr. did not disappoint. He
shared with us his own experiences and the path that he has
been on to be as green a person as he can be while
                                  navigating through life here in Los Angeles. One idea that I will
                                  remember from him is to simply do what you can do. If you can grow a
                                  vegetable garden in your backyard that’s awesome, but if you are like
                                  me and don’t even have a backyard maybe you can start by
                                  composting your food scraps. It all adds up; find ways in your own life to
                                  make small changes here and there. Before you know it we’ll all be
                                  “living like Ed.”

                              Workshops were really great! High quality, interactive, and informative.
                              There was a great array of choices as well. It is such a reflection of the
                              diverse interests of our members. From Juggling to Bird Watching, people
                              were able to find something fun, something to use at work the next week,
and be introduced to new skills and topics.

Our silent and live auctions were very successful; we raised just over 1,600
dollars! All of which will be awarded next year to deserving folks who
would like to attend conferences but may not be able to afford to on
their own. Thank you to those who donated and bought items.

Our conference theme was “Building Foundations.” I hope that as you all
traveled home that Sunday you shared a feeling with me that AEOE is a
part of your foundation. I look forward to seeing you all in the fall when
we can get together again. Thank you!
Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education     Summer 2010                         Page 5
Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education   Summer 2010   Page 6
                              AEOE Southern Fall Conference
                                               YMCA CAMP SURF
                                             November 12-14, 2010

    Join us for Fun in the Sun at one of southern California’s premier summer camp and outdoor education
    destinations. Camp on the beach or stay in cabins. This will be a weekend filled with fun and informative
    workshops, campfires and of course amazing people. Camp Surf is located right on the beach in south San
    Diego County. Mark your calendars!

                    For more information, contact Steve Morris:


                              AEOE Northern Fall Conference
                                        Walden West Outdoor School
                                            November 5-7, 2009

Join us for an inspirational conference in the beautiful redwood and fir forest of the Santa Cruz Mountains.
      Our host, Walden West has been providing residential outdoor education for over 50 years.

                       For more information, contact Ryan Brennan:
               Interested in presenting a workshop? Contact Jymn "Scooby" Meier:

                                           Printed on 100% PCW Recycled Paper

    Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education     Summer 2010                       Page 7
Photo Contest Winner
Congratulations to Libby Wilmot on
her First Place Award in the AEOE
Photography Contest. Her photo
embodied the theme of Building
Foundations. Libby took her photo
on a trail surrounded by redwoods
and madrones near Walden West,
in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The
anticipation of the students as they
embark on their first journey into
the forest is captured in this striking
image. The judging was extremely
difficult with many amazing images
submitted by talented and
creative members of our
organization. Thank you to all of
the photographers who
participated in the photo contest.

                                    AEOE Wants You!
     We are looking for interested members to fill a few new positions within the organization. If you
     would like to be involved, please e-mail:

     Openings in AEOE:

     The Fundraiser will be responsible for developing and presenting to the board a proposed
     fundraising campaign for the current year which considers grants, events and solicited
     donations. The Fundraiser will identify grants for which AEOE might successfully compete
     and are aligned with the mission and current activities of the organization. The Fundraiser will
     be responsible for the grant writing or the delegation of the task to another individual able to
     do so. The Fundraiser will also communicate with the section Chairs about the fundraising
     activities of the sections and about needs of the sections which might be served by obtaining
     a state level grant. If you are interested in this position, please e-mail:

     Marketing Coordinator
     The Marketing Coordinator will be responsible for establishing and maintaining contacts with
     Institutional Members. They will research similar organizations and associations and reach out
     to diverse organizations within the EE field by publicizing our organization’s events, including
     regional and statewide conferences. They will also develop and present to the Board an
     annual marketing plan, work to build capacity within the organization, work with the Chief
     Financial Officer on annual marketing budget, and work with the Fundraiser to form
     fundraising campaigns. If you are interested in this position, please e-mail:

     As always, we are looking for members interested in helping out on the section councils. For
     the Northern section, please e-mail:, and for the Southern section,
     please e-mail:
Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education   Summer 2010                         Page 8
                                 No Child Left Inside Act Update
                                                      By Sean Hill
AEOE Members,

The No Child Left Inside Act (HR 2054) has 122 cosponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives but only
20 of California’s 53 Representatives are among them. California environmental educators need to be

To get involved, check on whether your U.S. Representative is already a cosponsor of this bill by
visiting and clicking “show cosponsors.” If
they are not, call, email, or send letters encouraging your Representative to get on board. For more
information, including a sample letter, join the AEOE Advocacy mailing list by sending a blank email
to with the word subscribe in the subject line.

         English Language Development through Environmental Education
                                               By Helen de la Maza

How can you alleviate some of the pressure California public school teachers face? By providing their
students with the opportunity to develop their English language skills while they spend a couple hours,
days, or a week with you.

Years ago the fifth grade science California Standards Test (CST) was added to the banquet of tests
that students in California take. Forty percent of this exam covers fourth grade science standards and
60% covers fifth grade material. As a result of the fifth grade science CST, our residential outdoor
education programs and other science/environmental education programs that target fourth and fifth
grade became more “marketable” to teachers and principals. This is true because educational
programming decisions are often made based on what is on the test.

But environmental education is so much more than science standards. It is interdisciplinary and can be
used to cover Social Studies/History Standards as well as Math and English Standards. Another huge
selling point of environmental education is that, by its nature and how it is taught, it helps students
develop their English language skills. It also helps students move from Basic Interpersonal
Communication Skills (BICS) to Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP) because outdoor
environmental education provides context-embedded academics - we teach the content where it is
actually happening so the students experience it themselves!

In a state with a growing population of non-native English speakers, providing opportunities for
language development are becoming increasingly important for the success of students, not only on
tests, but in their future schooling and careers.

Take a look at the Executive Summary (pp. 1 - 10) of the English Language Development Standards
( and skim through the three main
sections: Listening and Speaking, Reading, and Writing. Each of these sections is further divided into
“Strategies and Applications” for the Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced English Language
Development (ELD) levels.

(Continued on page 10)

Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education         Summer 2010                 Page 9
Students attending hands-on environmental education programs have plenty of opportunities to
practice their Listening and Speaking skills, as these are part of any program using best practices.
Beginning students should have the opportunity to respond orally to simple questions using one- or two-
word responses. More advanced students should be able to ask and answer questions by using simple
sentences. Whether your students are working in small cooperative groups or one large group, you
probably ask them questions to gauge their prior knowledge, explain hands-on activities to them, and
draw conclusions from scientific explorations.

Did you know that Every Pupil Responds (EPR)/ Total Physical Response (TPR), the questioning technique
in which students are asked a question and given a few physical response choices meets a requirement
for Beginning ELD students? For instance, you are helping the students build their English skills when you
ask them: “Is a mountain lion a carnivore (show them your sharp teeth), an herbivore (make a plant with
your hand), or an omnivore (show them your sharp teeth and make a plant with your hand)?” The
students need to process the question and then respond using one of the three gestures you have
shown them.

Another opportunity students have to develop their English language skills is in the social interactions
that occur when the students are away from their classrooms. Beginning students should be able to
“orally communicate their basic personal needs and desires, including: ‘May I go to the bathroom?’”
(p. 2) How many times have we heard that during a program? Or how about: “What time is it?” If the
student says this incorrectly, you can model grammatically correct English by repeating the question
and using the correct words. The students will also benefit from engaging with each other in social
conversations, such as those that occur during meals. Intermediate students can practice
comprehension, and organization and delivery of oral communication by “participating in social
conversations with peers and adults on familiar topics by asking and answering questions and soliciting
information” (p. 2). Advanced students, who are to “negotiate and initiate social conversations by
questioning, restating, soliciting information, and paraphrasing the communication of others” (p. 3) also
benefit from these casual exchanges. Excellent opportunities to help the students develop their
language skills also occur in non-residential programs while waiting for the bus to arrive, waiting for the
bathrooms, and at the beginning of the day during introductions.

Skits and oral presentations of data collection or scientific investigations also provide students with
chances to practice their oral skills. Beginning students are to be able to “retell stories by using
appropriate gestures, expressions, and illustrative objects” (p. 2) Perhaps around the campfire students
are encouraged to tell jokes or stories, or, in small groups, students are asked to retell the water cycle
story in their own words and gestures.

Reading skills are also developed during environmental education programs. Perhaps in your program
students need to follow written instructions for hands-on activities, or maybe they need to follow recipes
to help cook meals. Take these opportunities to ask the students if they did not understand any words
so you can define them, thereby increasing their vocabulary. If you read The Lorax or similar stories and
ask the students questions about the story, you are helping their comprehension and analysis of grade-
level appropriate texts (pp. 7 - 8).

Many residential programs have the students complete a written journal during the week. Encourage
the students to use complete sentences, proper grammar, and accurate spelling - even if they are just
writing down short descriptions of observations or the results of their data collection. If your program
does not use journals on site, pre- and post- visit activities can include writing to help prepare the
students for their field trip or the program, or review the material to help cement their newly gained

I have provided you with a very brief overview of some of the English Language Development skills that
beginning, intermediate, and advanced students are required to demonstrate. You probably already
do many of these things on site, so keep up the good work! I encourage you to skim through at least
the Executive Summary of the ELD standards so you can see how to best reinforce the skills the students
are developing in the classroom. You can also speak knowledgeably with teachers, principals, and PTA
members and explain to them that your program is not just “camp” or a “science program,” but an
interdisciplinary opportunity that will increase the students’ chances of success in school, the test, and
more importantly, their lives.
Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education   Summer 2010                          Page 10
State-wide Addresses:                                                                            Southern Section Addresses:
15555 Sanborn Rd                                  Membership:                                    Carrie Bryant
Saratoga, CA 95070                                Helen de la Maza                                          
                                                                                                 Adventure/ Outings Coordinator:
President:                                        Webmaster:                                     Stephen Morris
Ryan Brennan                                      Ryan Brennan                                               
                                                                                                 Northern Section Addresses:
Vice President:                                                                                  Chair:
Tara Murgatroyd                                                                                  Jymn Meier
                                                  Coleen Ryan                                                                 
Chief Financial Officer:                                                                         Adventure/ Outings Coordinator:
                                                  Members-at-Large:                              Karyn “Kestrel” O’Hearn
Zayanne Gardner Thompson
                                                  Michael Charnofsky                             Cathy Harkness
                                                  Tom Drake                                      northern.outings@aeoe.or

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Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education                    Summer 2010                                  Page 11
                                         Visit the AEOE website for updates on all information included in this

       Helen de la Maza
       8 Ardmore
       Irvine, CA 92602

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Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education      Winter 2009                             Page12

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