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Alpenglow at the AEC Conference!

Long summers, lots of demand, and complex systems require the occasional inspirational boost. Where do these come from for you? For us, they come from unexpected places like our recent keynote speaking engagement at the Adventure Education Conference at Montreat, North Carolina. Time spent with good friends never hurts to recharge the batteries for us. Good friends and food and catching up with long overdue friendships warm the soul like warm tea on a snowy backcountry morning.

We were also blown away by the enthusiasm from the over 200 conference attendees. Seeing the energy and excitement from the next generation of guides, instructors, and camp counselors was fuel for the engine that drives Becca and me. With so many great presentations and conversations that happened over the weekend, our cups are full of inspiration and hope for the future of Adventure Education and outdoor programming. These students saw ideas for programs changing, challenging norms and expectations, and fresh ideas to make Adventure Education relevant for our changing world.

In developing our keynote address, we had hoped to have attendees experience an introspection of values. Through this self-analysis, we had expected to discover values that lie within this next generation of adventure education professions. It’s our values that drive the programming. Starting a program for people with physical limitations because you believe in that cause, working at a program that instills compassion… all of these decisions rest on our values and the things that we believe to be important.

If any version of that is correct, we are in great shape to forge a bright path ahead for adventure education. We saw humility, compassion, caring, and a slue of other values that are so critical, so important for our society that our programs have nothing but success on the horizon.

Watch our keynote address at the link below and find some encouragement as we did from this fantastic conference! Thanks again to our hosts Montreat College and the conference sponsors!

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