Outdoor Education Webinars

Lessons from the Field
Presented by Denise Mitten, Mike Gass, Paul Wolf, Jed Williamson, Sky Gray & Pam McPhee

Being an outdoor educator is not always sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes things don’t go as planned and the stories that emerge from these experiences are some of the most valuable teaching tools we have. Join six of AEE’s most experienced outdoor leaders as they share their true stories of life, loss, success, and failure in the field.

This webinar series consisted of three 1-hour webinars. During each session, we heard selected stories from our panel of experts and then spent some time distilling the lessons learned from each. Stories touched on core concepts of adventure leadership including ethics, risk management, organization and planning, leadership, judgement, and decision-making. Come learn from the best, so we don’t have to make the same mistakes they did. 

Beyond Operator Error: Internal Systems Analysis to Improve Safety
Presented by Jeff Jackson

The emerging systems based approach to risk management planning has altered the way we conceive, organize, and implement risk systems. This workshop provides an internal systems perspective to looking beyond operator error and understanding the latent and organizational causes of accidents. In effect, we examine how our organizations can sometimes set up our staff to fail. The analysis framework in this webinar hinges upon event analysis (both positive or negative) to create structures that reduce variability in delivery and improve safety. 

Effective Debriefing Tools and Techniques
Presented by Michelle Cummings, M.S.

Are you good at the games but not so good at the debrief?  Do you ask questions and get blank stares from your participants? Do you picture a debrief as a ‘sit down’ circle where the Facilitator asks questions and the participants answer?  Although this can be an effective debriefing technique, if it is the only technique used, participants can become bored with it and can become easily distracted. This 60-minute webinar will focus on 10 effective debriefing tools and techniques that are simple and easy to use. We will break each technique down and demonstrate different games or activities teaching the concept.  These techniques for processing are sure to liven up your debriefing circles.  

Bullying, Empathy & Monkeys
Presented by Jeff Frigon

Empathy is directly linked to bullying; the more empathy we have, the more likely we are to be kind to one another and not bully (or be bullied).  By building healthy, empathetic communities and understanding the connection between empathy, fear, vulnerability, anonymity, and bullying, we can act in a preventative rather than a reactive way.  This workshop will  explore what the research shows to be effective and why using an interactive, multimedia approach.

An Exploration of Risk Management in Outdoor and Adventure Education
AEE Webinar Series 

Module 1
Risk Management 101: Introduction to Risk Management
with Angie Moline

Module 2
Building A Culture of Risk Management - The Importance of the Near-Miss
with Steve Smith

Module 3
When Risks Include a Law Suit: Legal Liability Issues in Outdoor Education
with Reb Gregg

Brain-Focused Strategies for Developing Social Emotional Health
Presented by Heather Bryant, M.Ed. and Michelle Kinder, M.Ed., LPC

Success in the 21st century is defined by the strength of our social emotional health. Skills and characteristics like self-regulation, optimism, empathy, gratitude, perseverance and compassion make all the difference. Social emotional health is predicative of long term success and a key factor in hireability and long-term life satisfaction. Teachers, counselors, parents and program directors are seeking concrete strategies grounded in neuroscience that are designed to help children build and repair social emotional health. This introductory session will look at developing social emotional health with a trauma-informed perspective and will provide participants with a variety of activities and resources. It is no longer realistic to prepare the path for children; this workshop is about preparing children for the path.

More Than Autism: Neurodiversity and Sensory Processing
Presented by Lorilei Dreibelbis

We will look at experiential education through the lens of Sensory Integration Therapy vocabulary and explore the myriad of ways that our neurological diversity shapes our learning and teaching with real life stories and personal experience. Looking at the great variety found in neurological processing, we rediscover that learning is inherently personal.  The study of Sensory Processing gifts us valuable vocabulary and a solid framework from which to not only embrace diversity, but identify very practical strategies for managing behaviors and teaching more effectively.  

When Volatile Situations Arise During Processing & Reflection
Presented by Tony Alvarez

In experiential education activities, sensitive situations can arise that may challenge the processing and reflection skills of the facilitators. What can facilitators do to recognize or address when their processing sessions are moving into volatile territory (i.e., rapidly unpredictable, jeopardizing emotional safety, negatively emotionally-charged)?  This webinar will present a "helping model" approach that can help prevent or diffuse such situations.  We will further explore ideas and audience questions addressing sensitive situations that may involve mental illness or emotional disturbance, extreme anxiety, strong outbursts, physical threats, self-harm behavior, revealing illegal or criminal activity, victim or bullying issues, or confidential information. 

Protecting Your Client and Your Program
Presented by Reb Gregg

Learn about an organization’s legal duty to protect its clients from harm, and the often over-looked obligation to protect the organization itself when bad things happen. Examine elements of the duty owed the client, and how that duty can be reduced and expanded. Explore what can go wrong in the organization’s operations, and how the organization can and should prepare for those circumstances. A brief scenario, taken from a recent lawsuit, allows for further insight on the two prongs of a sound risk management program.


New Paradigms of Non Normal and Training to Failure: Training for Safety
Presented by Jeff Jackson

The premise of this work: it is faulty logic to believe that training field staff for ‘normal’ operations will somehow prepare them to deal with ‘non normal’ events when they (inevitably) occur. Non normal would be considered anything beyond expected events or outcomes – a large catch all category that captures undesirable, unplanned or unexpected events. In particular, the focus will be on time-sensitive, safety critical behaviours. The premise of this work extends that if we want certain safety behaviours, then we need to show people the boundaries around such behaviours, and the repercussions of undesirable safety behaviours. There is theoretical and empirical evidence for this. This work is based on the presenter’s PhD research and application of industrial safety theory and findings.

The Developing Adolescent Brain with Respect to Education and Safety Management
Presenter: Steve Creech
October 2015

Moving towards gender inclusive environments: How and why affirming gender non-conforming and trans* participants can help you in the field and beyond
Presenters: Meg Bolger and Perry Cohen
September 2015

Resources from Webinar
Genderbread Person & LGBTQ Umbrella