Secondary students across Texas are giving high marks to recently accredited coursework that teaches traditional outdoor skills such as fishing, hunting and camping, according to a recent survey.
Student opinions of the fast-growing Outdoor Adventures education program were collected in a program assessment commissioned by the Dallas Ecological Foundation and funded by a grant from the Dallas Safari Club, according to a news release. The Outdoor Adventures program will reach about 16,000 students this year at more than 160 secondary schools that have formally adopted the curriculum.
The foundation, an education partner with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, developed the curriculum, which aligns with national education standards and is accredited by the State of Texas. Teaching units within the program cover camping, boating, archery, hunter education, shooting sports, orienteering, survival skills and outdoor cooking.
Conservation is a theme woven into each of the units.
“Survey results definitively and quantitatively support the anecdotal reviews that students, parents and teachers have been sharing with DEF from the beginning. This program introduces young teens to outdoor activities that they enjoy and value,” said Scot McClure, Outdoor Adventures coordinator for the foundation, in the release. “Greater participation and involvement in the outdoors tends to strengthen understanding of-and ultimately stewardship of-wildlife and natural resources. We’re very optimistic that student enthusiasm for Outdoor Adventures will translate to a lifetime of good conservation.”
Highlights of the survey include:
- 90 percent of students gave favorable overall ratings to Outdoor Adventures.
- 92 percent of students responded that Outdoor Adventures prepared them to hunt, fish, camp, go sport shooting or boating either on their own or with a family member.
- In before-and-after surveys, students reported developing from “good” to “excellent” abilities to participate in sports or physical activities, develop friendships with other students, maintain good relationships with teachers, stay out of trouble and get good grades.
Teachers participating in Outdoor Adventures receive special training, complete scope and sequence, syllabus, daily lesson plans and cross-curricular opportunities in math, science, writing, technology and other applications, according to the release.
Responsive Management, a survey analysis company, conducted the survey using a sample of 4,957 students.