We need ‘elemental mystery’.
This is a part of the power of the outdoors!
Learning through the outdoors is for Scandic Bushcraft, about elemental mystery. Part of the charm is that most of our direct contacts with the outdoors, whether sailing in the sun or being blasted by hail and snow, remain a wondrous puzzle. It’s not just about building expertise, though that’s part of it.
Similarly, it’s not just about broadening experience, though that’s also part of it. For us it’s about direct contact. It’s about shifts in thinking and philosophy. In our case it’s certainly close to understanding how to survive. It’s about spirit, mystery, challenge and much, much more.
This might sound corny, but every year we hear direct from people who have been involved in the outdoors – on land or sea – about the life-enhancing and -changing…. power of the outdoors:
“I never knew I could do it”;
“It gave me my daughter, son, father or mother back”;
“It put bereavement into perspective”.
“It made me overcome my fears”!
It is a privilege to have some sort of relationship with the elements. Perhaps what gives learning through the outdoors that special power is that, in the outdoors, there will always remain a sense of striving, a sense of mystery and, perhaps most of all, a sense of challenge and adventure.
The outdoors is a powerful arena for learning, for joy and simply having fun. The outdoors – and our development in it and relationship with it – is a part of the spirit of our origins and history.
There is growing discussion of ‘nature deficit disorder’, which, according to some, is damaging children and has an enormous impact on their remaining adult life. An ‘outcomes-driven’ industry of tick boxes, ‘milestones’ and performance indicators is destroying our closeness to nature itself and, as such, our own nature.
No tangible contact with nature’s reality is too large a sacrifice for any part of society to make. There are real dangers involved. There are huge pitfalls if we drift apart from closeness and respect for the elements and our environment.
As long as I can remember I was active in promoting the value of the outdoors with young and ‘older’ people. To experience and be inspired by that challenge, that adventure is to connect with the elemental mystery of the outdoors.