Thursday August 21, 2014

Outdoor Action Program Mission Statement

To provide educational and character development experiences which advance personal responsibility, health and well-being, community, leadership development, civic engagement, and stewardship for Princeton University and the natural world through adventure-based experiential education.


Goals & Objectives

The Outdoor Action Program utilizes the small group adventure experience and other experiential learning activities as a vehicle for encouraging individual growth through personal discovery, community discovery, and discovery of the environment.

1. Personal Discovery

The Outdoor Action Program provides participants the opportunity to lean about themselves through challenging group wilderness experiences. Participants experience

    • facing and dealing with challenges with the help of others
    • working together to accomplish group goals
    • learning new skills, sharing personal feelings and values
    • having the opportunity to express individual talents
    • learning to be interdependent
    • personal introspection and facilitated processing of the experience
    • developing sensitivity to their own needs and the needs of others in the group
    • experiencing the majesty of the wilderness

leading to the development of

    • greater self confidence
    • respect for self and others
    • mutual trust
    • a sense of personal and group accomplishment
    • a sense of personal and group responsibility
    • a sense of the self as part of a larger whole both in a community and in the natural world

2. Outdoor Discovery

The outdoors serves as a foundation for personal and group discovery. Through the small group wilderness setting, the Outdoor Action Program provides a positive foundation for personal and group discovery. Individuals learn how to travel comfortably and safely in the outdoors and become competent wilderness users. The outdoors provides an educational environment that allows participants to develop a personal awareness and respect for the natural world and to become effective stewards of our wilderness heritage.

3. Community Discovery

Through a variety of experiential learning activities, Outdoor Action provides the focus for creating new communities and enhancing existing communities. Both on campus, in the greater Princeton area, and in the wilderness, the Outdoor Action experience allows people to experience what a community is at its fullest potential—trust, friendship, cooperation, self-sacrifice, mutual respect, leadership and followership, learning and teaching. The unique context of Outdoor Action enables participants to rely upon others and in turn be relied upon building trusting relationships that often last long beyond the program. The shared responsibility fostered by the Outdoor Action experience allows for accomplishments beyond what can be attained by an individual. The mutual interdependency created especially in the wilderness environment, leads to the development of a strong, supportive community.

4. Service

Outdoor Action enhances the lives of urban youth in the new Jersey area through innovative experiential and adventure-based activities that instill self-confidence and build self-esteem. Utilizing the leadership and outdoor skills of trained Outdoor Action Leaders, the program provides a unique opportunity for Princeton University students to volunteer in meaningful ways that impact the lives of children.