Competence outside of the classroom!

“When We’re Outside the Classroom, We Get to See the OTHER Things Kids are Good At”

This charming, cheering video — and plea for outdoor adventures for kids — comes from Alastair Humphreys, who describes himself this way:

I’m a British Adventurer and author. I spent years tackling big adventures such as cycling 46,000 miles round the world, rowing across the Atlantic Ocean, or walking across India. But a few years ago I took to a very different path. I realised that many people loved the idea of adventure, but very few felt able to live as adventurously as they would like. There are many individual reasons for this, but the general issue was a lack of time, money, expertise, or the simple fact of urban living. I began trying to show that you do not need to run across a desert to have an adventure, and that squeezing small doses of adventure (I call them Microadventures) into our busy 21st Century lives is far better than doing nothing at all. I have been trying to break down the perceived barriers, showing that the things people worry about are usually surmountable and that the rewards of seeking out adventure are huge.

I have been encouraging urban office workers to spend a summer evening sleeping out on a nearby hill (sharing their experiences online with the hashtag #microadventure), demonstrating that you don’t need money and expertise to have a fun river adventure, and trying to remind adults that children love living adventurously. What’s more they are far more competent than we give them credit for, and most of the reasons we stop them from living to their potential it’s due to our own adult worries and preconceptions.
Here is a New York Times article about microadventures. I have written a book about Microadventure ideas that people can try wherever they live in the world, and I create videos online to offer inspiration and ideas. I have set up a blog to encourage people to spend a year living more adventurously through microadventures.
Yours, Alistair Humphreys
This video takes place in Middleham, in North Yorkshire, England.

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11 Responses to “When We’re Outside the Classroom, We Get to See the OTHER Things Kids are Good At”

  1. Edward Hafner November 11, 2016 at 11:56 am #

    Great hearing the story told completely by the kids.

  2. Kirsten November 11, 2016 at 12:47 pm #

    Wonderful and inspiring!

  3. lollipoplover November 11, 2016 at 12:53 pm #

    Wow.
    Love this so much.
    There is so much to learn about this world. Those soft skills you can’t get from classroom learning. Adventures. Skipping stones. Burnt marshmallows. Wet boots. This is childhood.
    Not standardized test results.

  4. Donald Christensen November 11, 2016 at 3:43 pm #

    I know of a family with 2 daughters 10 and 12. Each year the girls go camping – IN THE GARAGE! They simulate a campfire with red cellophane. They sleep in their tent. This is their big adventure! They are not brave enough to do it for real.

  5. Joel November 11, 2016 at 6:15 pm #

    This is wonderful. I remember going out of forested parks when i was in grade school and being turned loose. Pine cone throwing, looking for the best walking stick, climbing trees, and exploring creeks.

  6. sexhysteria November 12, 2016 at 3:00 am #

    Nice video!

  7. Cinnamon November 12, 2016 at 3:46 am #

    Oh I’ve been following this guy for over 10 years.
    when I was in my 20’s I wanted nothing more than the to live adventurously,
    somehow I kinda forgot that.
    Alastair is great in reminding me

  8. hineata November 13, 2016 at 7:40 am #

    Wow! We are having our own micro-adventure right now, after earthquakes shaking up and down the country. Girls’ bedroom fell apart…one is sleeping under the table with all the emergency supplies, and the rest of us on the couches and chairs in the lounge ☺. Just wish THIS wee adventure would stop, still shaky. At least we got to meet the neighbour we hadn’t met before, out on the street in our pajamas ☺.

    Was proud of the kids, too – they immediately ran down the road to see the Syrian family who haven’t been here long.

  9. BL November 13, 2016 at 8:24 am #

    @Donald Christensen
    “I know of a family with 2 daughters 10 and 12. Each year the girls go camping – IN THE GARAGE! They simulate a campfire with red cellophane. They sleep in their tent. This is their big adventure! They are not brave enough to do it for real.”

    This is why I’m suspicious of words like “micro-adventure”. They’re so micro they’re no longer an adventure.

  10. Alastair Humphreys November 14, 2016 at 7:21 am #

    Thank you so much for sharing what we’re getting up to over here in England!

  11. Alastair Humphreys November 14, 2016 at 7:23 am #

    @BL – the key thing is to encourage people to start sufficiently small so that they don’t have any reason not to do it. And then the next stage is to persuade people to try to do things a bit bigger than they are comfortable with.