We are excited to welcome Blythe Brugger to the leadership team of Cody Outdoor Classroom. Here’s a look into her background and what she hopes to bring to the team this fall!
Outdoor Classroom: What is your background in experiential education?
Blythe: I have been working in experiential and outdoor education since I was 19. I started my career as a deckhand on a 130 foot schooner, teaching students to appreciate the ocean and the art of traditional sailing. This led me to pursue a degree in Recreation and Outdoor Education. I since have used the knowledge I gained to pursue a variety of experiential education opportunities. I have taught STEM based education on a 45 foot fishing boat on the Merrimack river. I lead 13-18 year old young men in the wilderness of Utah, working to help them to develop a sense of self awareness and accountability for their actions. I then went on to achieve my Masters in Elementary Education. This experience has given me a wealth of knowledge that I feel excited to share with students and staff.
OC: Why do you think it is important for students to experience science and engineering lessons in the Outdoor Classroom?
B: Students are intrinsically curious. I believe the most authentic education comes when students are given the opportunity to be curious and discover the information they are trying to gain for themselves, followed by specific instruction. Students that can get their hands dirty and make proactive choices about the way they learn are ultimately more invested. Outdoor Classroom opens a door for students to have an authentic connection to what they are learning, as well as the conditions to explore and discover concepts that are both foreign and known to them.
OC: What aspect of your new role with Cody Outdoor Classroom are you most excited about?
B: I am excited to share the knowledge that I have with future experiential educators. I am also excited to continue learning for them, because I know that there is always something new to learn.
OC: What is your favorite thing to teach?
B: I enjoy teaching biology and ecology in the outdoor setting, when students have the chance to look deeper into the world surrounding them and explore the questions of how natural resources relate to each other.
OC: What are some important tips and tools you plan to share with instructors during training?
B: I want to share my excitement about the power of experiential education. I hope to empower the staff at Cody to follow their students in their education journey.
OC: What are we most likely to find you doing during your free time?
B: You are most likely to find me out on the water, either ocean, lake or river during the warmer months, or out for a hike in the mountains. In the winter, on the ski slopes searching for fresh powder.