Finding Civilization Out in the Bush

Trip Start Feb 12, 2008
Trip End Aug 22, 2008

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Where I stayed
Tent, Tarp, and Cave

Flag of Australia  ,
Monday, April 7, 2008

Camp Reflection:

     It's so easy to get lost on the metro.  We all live so close to one another but city walls may as well be as wide as the Great Wall is long.  In being removed from that, I found a clarity that I have been missing for years but could never quite grasp again in the concrete jungle.  Though an uninhibited mind is often what people consider a completed accomplishment in and of itself, I tend to think enlightenment occurs only after that mind is given direction.
     It's so easy to stand in front of people and just recite information.  It's harder to lead by example.  And, it is harder still to put yourself in the other person's position in order to understand their weaknesses only then to take those deficiencies upon yourself so as to guide each individual through both their personal and educational struggles.  Many, if not most, think that leading by example is the pinnacle standard for teachers/leaders to achieve.  Extremely few people can perceive things through the eyes of those they guide, and I am so very grateful for having met and studied under three people who did just that.  It is apparent to me now that outdoor education is more than simply lecturing students on skills while standing on the top of a rock face or under the shelter of a tarp.  It's more intimate than that.  It demands that those who are to be educated constantly encounter what is often their greatest fear or weakness - themselves.  It is more than simply learning by doing; it requires changing irreversibly.  It seems to me to be the only way of teaching that makes any sense.  Not only do those involved absorb new information through a broadened and deeper scope of perception, but it seems it occurs within and between both parties at hand - those guiding and those who are guided. 
     A formula, an equation, a theory isn't being memorized, rather, a Socratian understanding is attained that transcends and blends the modern divisions between a person's self and that which the person studies.  It amazed me to observe, within others as well as myself, that when these barriers were superseded, other divisions began to erode.  Social structures shifted.  Given the situation and environment (and the lack of paralysing physical, social, and mental barriers and distractions of an artificial modern society) it seemed easier for people to transition to a level of group dynamics that promoted individual thought and group resolution rather than the more dominant level of group think and individual consequences.  It was hardly all Kumbia and Neo-Pax Romana, but it did carry a certain openness and acceptance of becoming in tune with a deeper vein of person-to-person and situational understanding.  For this, I am grateful to those who shared this experience with me.  I am also glad that we all, for the most part, began this journey at the same level (mostly na´ve), for I think it eradicated the chance for divisions in skill level to damage the cohesiveness of the group.

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