Thursday, October 31, 2019

Who, Me?- Submitting Your Presentation Proposal

Shared by WEA Board Member and TCU Senior Consultant for Learning & Development, Cameron Potter

Why submit a presentation proposal?

Submitting a presentation proposal can be intimidating at first, but there are a number of reasons to push through the fear (or sloth) and submit. 2020 ICOL submissions close November 1!

1. Preparing a presentation proposal requires you to refine your thoughts.

Even the most tried and true ideas or practices merit a closer look. Walking through the mental process of presenting to others allows the opportunity to revisit, revamp, and retool your own ideas.

2. Presenting your ideas to others provides feedback, conversation, and networking opportunities.

Those that attend your presentation do so for a reason, often because the topic is interesting or appealing in some way. As a result, you get a room filled with like-minded individuals that are interested in discussing your topic with you!

3. Engagement

While you may not feel like an expert on everything, you have something to share or teach someone. Especially for those of us that don’t feel like we have it all figured out, presenting is an important step in moving forward. Engage others with your ideas, get involved in discussion and conversation, ask questions and engage others!

4. Build your network

Similar to engaging others, presenting connects you with others and provides easy conversation starters. Conversations lead to friendships, and friendships lead to a professional network that you can call to ask questions, get recommendations, or provide guidance.

5. Get the most out of the 2020 ICOL

Presenting allows you to participate on both sides of the conference – as a teacher and a learner. It provides opportunities to invest in others, natural avenues to build relationships, and may unlock funding opportunities through your institution.

Don’t hesitate, submit your presentation proposal today! 

Monday, October 21, 2019

Conference Memories Ep. 2: Guan Jang-Wu

Dr. Guan, friend, colleague, grad school comrade, WEA Certified Outdoor Educator, faculty at National Taiwan Sports University, and long-time WEA member writes about his favorite conference experiences and why he continues to support the WEA! 

Will Hobbs

Giving students an opportunity and platform to communicate with a group of great people from all over United States... a priceless learning experience.

I have been taking students to WEA conferences as part of my USA adventure travel course for many years. It has always been a great experience for me and my students. I think the best part of WEA is giving students an opportunity and platform to communicate with a group of great people from all over United States. People share their cultures, stories, explore different perspectives and find common grounds. From a teacher’s viewpoint, it was a priceless learning experience. 

For me personally, WEA conference is a great venue to connect with new and old friends, learn new things from best teachers in the outdoor field, and have a great time at the evening social. These memories will last forever!

Guan Jang-Wu, Ph. D.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Conference Memories Ep. 1: Steve Spencer

If you don't know Steve, or "Doc" as his students have always called him (to his face), then you are in for a treat. The anecdotes are legendary; he's written a collection of stories as "Dr. Odell Buckenflush", recently retired from teaching at Western Kentucky University, and is refurbishing a house in the Ozarks with his wife Debbie. He also likes canoes. Steve hung out with Paul Petzoldt on the first WEA Professional Short course (led by Jack Drury and Mark Wagstaff) in 1991, and he quickly progressed through the WEA instructor ranks while leading courses at WKU. He has served on the WEA Board, received the Frank Lupton Service Award, and is now a Lifetime Member of the WEA - so we're stuck with him. 

He's my mentor and hero so I asked him to recount a few of his strongest memories from WEA conferences (now that he's old and retired, I use the word "strongest" loosely).

Will Hobbs

Memories of WEA Conferences Past

One [memory] has to be the auction that the guy from CCO in Pennsylvania led (I can't remember his name...Dave? Paul [Harbison] or Francois would know). He had the crowd rolling with laughter and I bought some of Cheryl [Teeter's] moose underwear and put them on while on stage. 

At another conference, Paul [Petzoldt] was signing his mountaineering posters for my sons, Beau and Ty, and he got pissed because he wrote the wrong name on the poster... He said, "Well, $*%&*!" and tore it up while sitting at the table. Afterwards it was pretty funny, but I remember when it happened it caught me off guard. 

It was a big surprise when I received the Frank Lupton Service Award around 2006. I was totally surprised and as I went up on the stage to receive it, Jack Drury was yelling, "Speech! Speech!"... I couldn't have talked if I wanted to. 

But more than any single conference event or memory, I just think the social contacts and acquaintances of folks in the field blur into really enjoyable memories that were the highlight of my career. In my previous life "as a college football coach," the annual coaches' conferences were full of guys who had been fired and were scrambling for jobs, so it was never an enjoyable social time with no shared knowledge. 

At WEA conferences, I always left with something beyond the social networking that I could apply in my teaching. "For when you stop learning, you begin to die."  

Dr. Steve Spencer

Reflections from the 2020 Student Award Honree

It was a treat to both attend the WEA conference and help in the background as a HoneyRock grad student/staff member this past spring. This ...