Hello!! Thank you for looking at the Grand Haven Outdoor Education web page. This page was designed to give information to current students, prospective students, parents and teachers. There are numerous other pages within the site that you should also check out, including the pictures and syllabus page if you are a prospective student or parent.
The Outdoor Education class was started at Grand Haven High School in 2000 by Ruth Rossiter. At the time there was one section with 15 students. By the following year Ruth had 2 sections with 22 students. From there the class exploded and enrollment was so high that another physical education instructor took a section of Outdoor Education. The response to enrollment was to limit the class to seniors only, with a cap of 25 students. Ruth led numerous trips off campus including overnight stays in the cabin at Kirk Park, a backpacking overnight trip, and a 3 day, 2 night kayak trip on the pine river. At the time other units included horsemanship, cross country skiing, downhill skiing, sledding, biking, horseshoes, golf, archery, hunter's safety, rugby, softball, football, and CPR/First Aid/AED. In August 2006 Ruth took employment in Colorado and the position was posted.
At a MAPHERD conference in the fall of 2001 I met Ruth Rossiter after she presented the Outdoor Education curriculum. I jokingly made the comment that if she ever left Grand Haven, I would love to have her position. After a few interviews and some good luck, I found myself in her position!!
As with any new assignment, I left some units the same, changed some a little and added new units to include: paintball, kiteboarding, skimboard production and use, surfing, stand-up paddle board, and orienteering/adventure racing. To see a full list of units, look under the Syllabus page.
The class is currently open to all Juniors and Seniors and Grand Haven High School. We are working under the trimester plan, so a typical class period lasts for 72 minutes. This time change was in contrast to the 104 minutes the class has always been taught in. The new time parameters have created some problems, but also opened new doors to new units. The class starts over with new students every trimester, allowing kids to better choose what weather conditions they prefer. Our class will be outside 90-95% of each trimester in rain, sleet, snow and also some of the most beautiful weather Michigan provides. It is a RARE occurrence that class is changed from outdoors to indoors because of inclement weather. In a class of 25 students there will typically be 4-6 women. A continuous goal for the program is to increase the number of female students. There have been numerous marketing attempts, but progress has been slow. The class is diverse in other ways including socioeconomic and academic standing.
The overall goal of the program is to help students find the one or more activities that they can truly do for an entire lifetime. Each unit within a trimester can be directly related to the real world. I hope you have enjoyed this page and continue on exploring the site to get a better idea of what life is like as an Outdoor Education student and teacher!!
Thank you for your time,