Three thousand nights camped in the woods and on mountains with family, friends, and students have taught us invaluable lessons about different cultures and great places on this planet.
But visiting exotic and remote environments has become commonplace. Over 300,000 trekkers invading the mountains of Nepal annually, for example, has changed the way of life for indigenous people. In this course, we’ll take a look at impacts on people and environment resulting from the steady stream of “People, coming, coming…” – as the title of a book about Nepal suggests.
Among the visitors, who are the takers and who are the givers? What does “sustainable” mean in terms of effects on villages, their inhabitants, mountain forests and streams, the pathways, and even mountains themselves?
We’ll bring experiences gained from expeditions to, among other places, British Columbia, Russia, Bhutan, Tibet, and China; work with five Outward Bound schools; and serving on the boards of NOLS, Central Asia Institute, and the American Alpine Club. We’ll go beyond mission, goals, and curricula to examine the educational and spiritual value of adventure and exploration.
We hope participants will share their experiences so we may focus on collective reflection, learning, and challenge as we pose some essential questions.
JED WILLIAMSON is President Emeritus of Sterling College and former faculty member at UNH. He is a practitioner and consultant in education and outdoor pursuits. He compiled Accreditation Standards for Adventure Programs and was Editor of Accidents in North American Mountaineering.
PERRY FORBES WILLIAMSON had her own pottery studio for many years and is now a watercolor painter. She was the first woman instructor at Hurricane Island OB School. She became interested in fundraising and served as Director of Development at Sterling College.