Simple, honest, happy: an exploration of the benefits of farming activities and a simple lifestyle for young people in outdoor education
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In 1978, Ian Stapleton determined that what young people need most is an escape from the pressure and rushed nature of their daily lives, and he set out to found Mittagundi Outdoor Education Centre. Now, almost forty years later Mittagundi is still flourishing and his words ring more true than ever before. Yet, the field of outdoor education often sets its focus on adrenaline driven activities, unintentionally contributing to the fast-paced, accelerated lifestyle that young people lead today. A focus on well-being, living sustainably in tune with nature and selfreflection is often of secondary importance. The aim of this thesis is to explore the benefits of farming activities and experiencing a simplistic lifestyle, and their potential for a more decelerated outdoor educational approach. While farming activities in Europe are increasingly used to enhance well-being for a variety of target groups under the concept of ‘Green Care Farming’, this notation has not yet spread to Australia and the potential for farming activities in outdoor education programmes has yet to be explored. The empirical section of this study was conducted in April 2016 at the Mittagundi Outdoor Education Centre in Victoria, Australia. The participants were girls between 14 and 16 years of age, taking part in a ten-day programme. Using qualitative research methods such as diaries written by the participants in combination with overt observations, the research investigated the benefits of various activities from the view point of the young people.
Masteroppgave - Norges idrettshøgskole, 2016