Educational Adventures

Posted on March 13, 2011

This past week, I had the privilege of hearing and speaking with Rick Lavoie,  author and international lecturer. He ( is one of America’s foremost education experts.  In speaking with him after his lecture on motivation, Rick recalled talking to a teacher about how her curriculum for any given day should be viewed as a compass, rather than a road map.  That is, you start with a general direction for the day, but leave yourself open to detours and pulling over to the side of the road to explore the ideas and interests of her students.

Naturally, I couldn’t help but think of AdentureDad.  Rick captured the essence of what adventures with your kids should be.  Start with a direction you want to go, do some preparation and then head out.  True adventures rarely have every detail mapped out and followed exactly.  On our trip to Alaska several years ago, Alex and I had planned on taking the last ferry back to Homer where we were planning on driving north.  Our hike took us many directions that day and we missed the boat taxi by an hour.

 Heading back to the previous night’s campsite, we ran into a family who was hiking down to their boat.  They invited us along for the ride back.  As we chatted, the joy of meeting this family of nine (children ages 5-30), took hold and we watched the sunset late into the night, talking on their now docked boat and sipping some Alaskan home brew.  Our drive back north could wait another day as the experience of that moment, with these wonderful people, was the essence of why we were in Alaska; to become lost in our environment and the lives of those we came across.

 As our family now looks to expand through adoption, I couldn’t help but think of my discussion with that family as I shared my dream, but also my worries about being a much older dad and having siblings so far apart.  With joy in their faces, they reminded me that age doesn’t matter nearly as much as a youthful spirit, a dedication to adventure, and the love for each other.  A little girl may join us soon, in part, because we pulled over from our road map for a couple of hours.

Posted in Reflections

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