Monday, May 18, 2020

Reflections from the 2020 Paul Petzoldt Award Honoree

Now that the spring beauties, magnolias, and redbuds are busting out in Forgottonia, I find myself pondering the WEA Conference at Honey Rock of this late winter. It was a long one that has turned into a longer spring. Thanks again to the board, conference committee, and volunteers, for putting together such a wonderful program. Especially Rob, Mike, and all of Honey Rock staff for hosting with such kindness and thoughtful hospitality to our needs. Having been on the production side of conferences before, I appreciate how much work and midnight oil it takes to make it go. It is always good to get together in vivo to chat, compare notes, and commune with kindred spirit. 

It is especially important to stay connected with colleagues and fellow outdoor educators because we operate in such isolated venues and locations. Contending as we so often do with competition for scarce resources, I expect times will only get harder as the world attempts to address the emergent situation. I am reminded of the friends I have made through the association and the support both moral and practical they have rendered over the years. Keep these WEA friends and networks in mind as you try to solve the problems emerging from the COVID situation. Fulfilling our mission requires we get up close and personal with our students, campers, and clients. Sharing what ideas and information we have will help to weather the situation. Let’s Keep in touch!

Mike McGowan
2020 Paul Petzoldt Leadership Award Honoree and Keynote Speaker
Jeff Tindal introducing Dr McGowan
Presented to Mike by long-time WIU colleague and friend, Jeff Tindall.

President Emily McKenzie presents the award
Award presented by WEA Board President, Emily McKenzie
former-student Michael Odberg with Mike McGowan
Mike with former-student and HoneyRock conference host, Michael Odberg

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