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Experiential-CPD Calendar

Opportunities for Continuing Professional Development

for UK-based educators and trainers who faclitate learning from experience

edited by Roger Greenaway and Bill Krouwel

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Experiential-CPD Monthly Calendar

July 2017

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Experiential-CPD is a calendar of events for Continuing Professional Development for UK-based experiential educators and trainers working indoors or outdoors. Plus international CPD events of interest to UK readers.

Enjoy this month's thought on The Art of Doing Nothing from Roger Greenaway or go straight to the calendar further below.

The Art of Doing Nothing

"We did it ourselves - our leader stepped back and gave us space to find our own way, to make our own choices, to work out what to do and how to do it. And we did it!"

This is very much in the spirit of John Heider's "The Tao of Leadership". It is an approach that could be described as "The Art of Doing Nothing".

"Doing Nothing"  could be seen as an extreme example of "Less is More". Applied to leadership it means that the less the leader is doing, the more opportunities there are for others to fill the vacuum and take the initiative and the responsibility, to take the credit or the blame, and to learn from the results of their own actions..

But make a habit of "Doing Nothing" and you risk becoming redundant. So if you want the pay or the prestige (or inner satisfaction) of being a leader, you need to mix in some artistry into "The Art of Doing Nothing".

This "Art" includes knowing when to do something, and how to do that something in a way that will then let you return to "Doing Nothing" so that others may flourish. By doing nothing you hope that you are empowering / motivating / enabling others to do whatever needs doing.

o   O   o

Should participants also be learning "The Art of Doing Nothing"? As courses get shorter they tend to get busier and busier. Providers are tempted to cram in activities into all the time available - leaving very little time for "Doing Nothing".

I have often been doubtful about the value of sitting round a campfire "Doing Nothing". That was until I read [excerpts from] Val Nicholl's thesis on Quiet Time. This 'Quiet Time' typically happens when the pressure is less and individuals get lost in their own thoughts and reach some valuable insights. "Quiet Time" does not appear in the programme (as something like "Solo" might) - they are moments that happen serendipitously when the pace slows down. For example, for one person, sitting alone poking the embers of the campfire was a moment of insightful Quiet Time.

"Doing Nothing" can also be orchestrated a little. I have asked groups of adults to spend a few hours in a room with no task or goal. And I repeated the experiment in the outdoors on a small island. During these experiments I was doing nothing. But what were the participants doing? 

Well, it usually happened that the participants wanted to fill the vacuum with some kind of purposeful activity - such as organising their own fun activity or getting to know each other better. However they started, by the end of the first hour they would get locked into deep conversation - far deeper than anything that was likely to be happening in a facilitated review.

After some initial frustration, groups would experience this vacuum as a rare opportunity to spend time together in a meaningful way without the distraction of a task to do, a problem to solve or a goal to meet. For some this was seen as a rare luxury, and for many this was the most powerful part of the "programme". It might also make sense to think of this as "Me Time" or "Us Time".

With young people, this kind of conversation (free-wheeling, deep discussion) would typically happen round the wood-burning stove in the centre of our multi-purpose space. Teenagers who back home would complain "there is nothing to do around here" would quite happily be drawn to the warmth of the wood stove and sit around filling the vacuum of "Nothing to Do" with deep, engaging, meaningful conversations.

While fires seem to feature a lot in these stories of "doing nothing", there are many other inspirational outdoor settings in which moments of "Doing Nothing" can be profoundly inspiring. One of my favourite examples comes from the writing of Eric when was an unemployed 18 year old:

“As the sun rose, we found ourselves standing motionless, as the breathtakingly beautiful landscape became a luminous pink under the early rays of the sun. As the sun rose higher, exposing the full extent of the bare uninviting terrain, everyone looked on in wonder, finding it hard to take in the vastness of the dry, hostile countryside that stretched to the horizon in every direction. We were a million light years away from the industrial North of England which is our home, and one and all experienced a solitude that never again would be experienced. The silence and eeriness of that bleak and foreboding land would remain in our memories for ever.” (Eric in Alastair Kennedy's The Expedition Experience as a Vehicle for Change in the Inner City.)

Some of the most valuable moments happen when nothing is being "delivered", when there is no task, no facilitation, no expectation.

The "Art of Doing Nothing" begins by creating personal space for yourself and/or by creating personal space for others - preferably in a place that is different, that is inspirational and is without distraction and without much else to do.

Any other thoughts about doing nothing? Does anyone care to suggest a research design for exploring the value of doing nothing?

Roger Greenaway

PS If you tried sending me an email after the last issue, it may have been lost in cyberspace during a couple of weeks while my email disappeared. Please re-send any message to which I have not yet replied.

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Roger Greenaway and Bill Krouwel, Experiential-CPD.


Experiential-CPD Monthly Calendar

This is a selection of events, so please use the links in the right-hand column to see providers' full and latest calendars -> -> -> ->

Start anytime
Accredited Practitioner of the Institute for Outdoor Learning (APIOL)
if you have a passion for outdoor learning and have experience planning, leading and evaluating programmes for individuals and groups.

30th June 2017
is the last day of the special offer for
Ecopsychology Online Distance Learning
with David Key

28th June - 2nd July 2017
EOE Network seminar 2017
Outdoor Atmospheres and Narratives:
Connecting people to the world
University of St Mark & St John, Plymouth, Devon
This seminar concerns the sensed, aesthetic outdoor world and the narratives that we construct or reproduce when we experience powerful outdoor spaces. More details or Follow #eoe2017 on Twitter

7-9th July 2017
Wellbeing in the Woods
Forest School National Conference 2017

The Northop Campus of Glyndwr University, nr Mold, Flintshire.
Join other forest school enthusiasts from across the UK for a weekend of workshops, keynotes, catch-ups and skill-shares

7-9th July 2017
Extinction of Experience - CPD
with Geoffrey McMullan
Discover the effectiveness of working with nature using outdoor activities, bird language and more. For Forest School Practitioners, Counsellors, Teachers, Therapists, Social Workers, Psychologists and more.

10-11th July 2017
The Facilitator’s Toolkit
Highfield Park, Hook, Hampshire
It is designed for those who want to consolidate, broaden and enliven their style of facilitation. Explore your role as group facilitator through skills practice and awareness building in the live group setting.

21st July 2017
Experiential learning is a motivating, active, challenging process
Holiday Inn Express, South Wimbledon, London
The E.T. Box workshop with Green Experience shows you how to involve your participants in an interactive way to ensure that they internalise your content. For trainers and presenters seeking more interaction and impact.

22-29th July 2017
Coastal Activity Leader Training (CALT)
Accredited as an NCFE Level 2 Award, CALT is designed to inspire students to lead groups of children, young people and adults in the coastal environment.

29-30th July 2017
Commedia dell’Arte – Two-Day Course with Didi Hopkins
Toynbee Studios, London
Commedia dell’arte is a highly effective tool for students of all abilities and ages. This approach can be applied to classical text or contemporary theatre. Work/learn with a world-class teacher and performer.

30th July - 6th August 2017
Woodland Activity Leader Training (WALT)
The Ecology Centre, Kinghorn, Fife
Enhancing your skills to lead groups in a woodland environment. Gain the accreditation of an NCFE Level 2 Award. WALT is an accredited outdoor learning course and an alternative to forest school training.

1-2nd August 2017
Appleton Common, Oxfordshire
A two day event with a variety of workshops with Dave Watson, Kev Palmer, Pete Wood

19-26th August 2017
Coastal Activity Leader Training (CALT)
National Marine Aquarium, Coxside, Plymouth
Accredited as an NCFE Level 2 Award, CALT is designed to inspire students to lead groups of children, young people and adults in the coastal environment. Hosted by Wild Things.

September 2017 ONWARDS - Plan ahead!
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Also in this issue ...

The latest Experiential-CPD Calendar of Events

A-Z of UK CPD resources

Free downloads


Experiential-CPD is a moderated list where you can announce or learn about upcoming training events in the UK for outdoor educators and experiential trainers (plus enticing international CPD events).

If you find Experiential-CPD useful, please recommend it to others using the Forward link at the foot of this page. Or tell us what we can do to improve Experiential-CPD and we'll make it better.

Just send us your CPD news by email with 'Experiential-CPD' as the subject.

Do you have a 'thought for the month'? Alternative views and new lines of thought are welcome. Please send us your 'thoughts' by email with 'Experiential-CPD' as the subject.

We do not recommend or guarantee the quality or existence of events listed in Experiential-CPD.


A-Z of UK CPD resources for outdoor educators and experiential trainers

AoF Association of Facilitators
is a membership organisation providing facilitator training, accreditation and supervision.

Train the Trainer, Facilitation Techniques, Team Building and Development Techniques

Bishops Wood Centre
programme of short courses for educators and environmental professionals involved in education.

Links, News and Information about the Outdoors

British Association of Nature Conservationists (BANC)
workshops, conferences, ECOS journal and other publications.

BMC: British Mountaineering Council
CPD events with a mountain flavour

Careers and Qualifications in Outdoor Learning in the UK
A list of courses provided by colleges, universities, outdoor sports governing bodies and outdoor jobs websites.

CLOtC: Council for Learning Outside the Classroom
helps you provide high-quality educational experiences for young people aged 0–19

Conservation Volunteers
TCV runs a wide range of short courses every year, many offering qualifications. 

Creative Star Learning
Juliet Robertson offers CPD in an Outdoor Curriculum for Excellence, Literacy, Maths, Science and  Problem Solving Outdoors.

ecoSelf project
David Key offers courses, mentoring, research grounded in ecopsychology, deep ecology and working therapeutically in wild places.

Fundamental and advanced facilitation training courses

Forest Education Initiative
Learning Resources

Forest Schools Training

IOL: Institute for Outdoor Learning
Training Courses, Conferences, Events, Qualifications (APIOL, RPIOL) and a searchable index of Horizon's articles

IOL Professional Development Training
Throughout the UK. Many events open to non-members.

ITOL Professional Development
Continuing Professional Development and qualification with The Institute of Training and Occupational Learning

JAEOL: The Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning
View current issue and archives.

John Muir Award Leader Training
at locations in England and Scotland

Learning Outside the Classroom

Metalog® Training Tools Workshops
Facilitation workshops about how to use these activities and learning projects indoors or outdoors.

MTa Learning Workshops
Facilitation workshops about how to maximise the potential of MTa materials.

National Governing Body (NGB) courses directory

Nature's Work
Jim Langley promotes environmental awareness and understanding through training courses.

Outdoor Education Advisers Panel
OEAP offers training courses for visit leaders, visit coordinators and for using Outdoor Learning Cards

Outdoor Education Jobs and Careers

Outdoor Education Research A~Z

Jobs and events

Reviewing Skills Training
Roger Greenaway offers workshops in facilitation and reviewing for outdoor educators and trainers.

RSVP Trainer Training
Training in designing and facilitating active and experiential learning.

SkillsActive - Outdoors
Key areas of qualifications for the outdoors sector

Sustainable Development Commission

University of the First Age (UFA)
The UFA helps those working in education to develop practice by enriching your understanding of learning, creativity and innovation.

World of Learning Exhibition and Conference
annual 2 day conference for senior L&D professionals.

Free downloads
for outdoor educators and experiential trainers

The Existing Evidence-Base about the Effectiveness of Outdoor Learning (October 2015)
A report from Giving Evidence who campaign to improve the amount of evidence about charities’ effectiveness which is published, robust, findable, and clear.

The Environmental Curriculum: Opportunities for Environmental Education across the National Curriculum for England. (NAEE, 2015)

Learning Away - Curriculum Integration
This suite of resources provides insight into how Learning Away partnership schools plan curriculum focused residential experiences from KS1 to GCSE.
Learning Away Final Independent Evaluation

John Muir, Earth - Planet, Universe
Written by Julia Batagna, Illustrated by William Goldsmith
Free graphic novel - teacher's notes also available.

Optimism, Pessimism and Hope: Personal responses to the professional challenges of sustainability by Margaret Kerr, Osbert Lancaster & David Key

Learning Through Outdoor Experience: a guide for schools and youth groups by Alan Rogers and Mark K. Smith (editors). Free download.

Inclusion, Wild Places and the John Muir Award
A free booklet showing how the John Muir Award engages with people from a range of challenging backgrounds.

Global Report on Adventure Tourism
Explores the proper management of adventure travel for a sustainable, ethical tourism.

High Quality Outdoor Learning
The English Outdoor Council has re-written the previous guide 'High Quality Outdoor Education' to reflect changes since 2005. Published June 2015.

Horizons Archive Search
A free service for all visitors to the IOL website: instant access to outdoor learning articles over recent years.

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Topics have incuded: CPD & cpd | Working on the Edge | The Benefits of Play | On Being Resourceful | Too Experiential? | Whose Experience is it Anyway? | Getting Beyond the Caption | Thinking about Hybrids | Paradigms Lost | Mantle of the Expert | Who Needs Models? | Whose Preferences? | See Experiential-CPD Thoughts for the Month
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