School is back. Across Victoria teachers are preparing for the first day of school tomorrow for many primary and secondary students. Kinders and early learning programs are already underway. Amongst all this there are outdoor educators in store rooms and classrooms, doing recces and designing programs getting ready to welcome children to the outdoors.

Whether it’s the first experience a child may have through bush kinder programs in the city or return adventures in the high country, outdoor educators are preparing the next generation with the skills and knowledge to be active participants in a world that is cartwheeling its way through the second decade of the century with technology the apparent master of the future. Yet for those of us who have navigated our way through to middle age, we know that it is how we understand ourselves without the mediating influence of devices and gizmos that will truly inform who we are and how we choose to use these bright and shiny (and powerful) technologies.

The outdoors in its many forms brings us back to earth (literally) and allows us to reflect and learn about who we are and develop the skills that will be most important for a generation that will see entire jobs disappear and new careers created. In the midst of change outdoor educators are enabling a generation who will own the future because they know themselves. Thank you to all the outdoor educators preparing for the year ahead, your work and commitment are deeply appreciated.

Mark Dingle

Outdoors Victoria Chair

PS. If you’re an outdoor educator don’t miss: