Here at Cody Outdoor Classroom, we are a small team with a shared passion for outdoor education. Why not get to know us while we are jumping into new initiatives and developing our program?
Years working in outdoor education: 15
Favorite outdoor activities: running, biking, skiing, hiking
Favorite meal when camping: PB&J (it tastes better when eating it on top of a mountain)
Favorite place to explore in NH: The White Mountains. Specifically South Moat, Kearsarge, and the loop in Franconia Notch that covers Mount Lafayette, Lincoln, and Little Haystack. (She also loves the view from the beach in front of Cabin 13 at Camp Cody!)
Kristen (K) Fenstermacher – Director
Q. Coolest experience in the outdoor education field so far?
K: Starting a residential summer camp at Sierra Nevada Journeys. It was something the community didn't have and we were able to grow the program because we had so much interest each summer. It was awesome to have campers who were there since the first summer (the beginning), some of whom will one day be campers. We were very involved with the families and watching this become a regular part of their campers' summer plans was amazing. It was also a fun learning experience for me to create from the ground up.
Q. What are some challenges you've faced and overcome in outdoor education?
K: Making the experience accessible to all students. I can't think of any teachers who wouldn't want this experience for their students, but unfortunately there is a cost associated with it. The best way to overcome this is to work with each school individually. We are often able to offer them advice on fundraising that has been successful for other schools, customize payment plans, help them find funders / donors, write grants for them.
Q. What do you think is the most exciting thing about Cody Outdoor Classroom?
K: That the program is new / innovative. That means we can really offer lessons that will support what teachers are doing in the classroom. I also don't want students' experiences to be isolated to the program; I want to offer something that is transferable to the classroom and can be referenced throughout their learning careers. "Remember that time at Cody when you evaluated the health of the lake by testing for pH, how could we apply those science skills to determine if our local watershed is healthy?" Being able to truly evaluate what is going on in education, what teachers and students need, and determining how we can fulfill it is inspiring and makes me thankful for my awesome job!
Meet the rest of the team next week!