Our POET Co-Ordinator, Pete Guyan shares his insights from a recent conference and his work in outdoor education – how small changes can lead to bigger outcomes:

In the effort to improve, we often find ourselves aiming for significant transformations and big achievements in a very short space of time. However, what if I told you that one of the paths to success and personal growth lies not in giant leaps quickly, but in the power of small changes over time? It’s the cumulative effect of these minor tweaks on how you do things, or your attitude towards something, that can lead to big shifts and amazing long-term outcomes.

I recently attended a conference, and while listening to one of the keynote speakers, I heard all about how small changes can pave the way for bigger and better things.

Our daily habits shape our lives, and it’s the small adjustments in our routines that can have a profound impact. For example, waking up just 10-15 minutes earlier each day can provide extra time for exercise, meditation, or planning your day. Over time, this small change can improve your physical and mental well-being, increase your efficiency, and enhance your quality of life. An overall lift in your hauora.

Personally, I have tried to introduce 10 minutes of yoga 4 times a week into my evening routines. It’s only been a few weeks and I can already touch my toes better than before!

The same idea of small changes can be translated into Outdoor Education, and changing the way your school currently runs its camps.

One of our goals here at POET is for school camps to become self-sufficient, teacher-led experiences for students. If your school has relied heavily on outside provides over the years, we wouldn’t necessarily expect this to completely magically happen on the first camp your school decides to run, but small differences can make a difference!

One year you and your staff run an activity or two, the next you start to explore self-catering… before you know it, the camping experience for your students has moved away from expensive, fully provided camps to financially affordable and purposely catered and teacher-led experiences. Small changes, such as encouraging risk-taking in a safe environment, or providing opportunities for self-reflection and goal setting, empower students to develop resilience, self-confidence, and problem-solving skills – and a love for the outdoors! These small shifts and changes create a ripple effect, and over time, cumulate for big effect.

Outdoor Education holds immense potential to shape individuals and school communities. By embracing the power of small changes, we can really make a difference.

Small changes can lead to big changes!

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