Yesterday, Friday the 6th, I had the chance to hang at the 2nd Annual Virginia Adventure Education Conference at nearby Holliday Lake 4-H Educational Center. In attendance were 90+ Outdoor Education professionals, and students, on hand for a day of fun, learning and networking.
Local representation included: Dr. Rena Koesler, Professor of Recreation and Outdoor Education at Longwood University, as the keynote speaker and Gus Hemmer, Associate Director of Campus Recreation, Longwood University, gave a workshop on Action Based Leadership (and actions based whitewater canoeing) during the conference.
Many of our state schools were represented, with professionals and students giving and participating in many other workshops. Some of the schools included: Radford University, Ferry College, University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Sweet Briar College, Hollins University, etc.
Regional business involved included: Westview On The James, Landmark Learning , Reba Farm Inn and Saddle Soar, The Adventure Park at Sandy River Retreat, and Appomattox River Company. Plus ACA-Virginia was there.
It's inspiring to see all these psyched outdoor folks together and it's especially rewarding to witness the motivated, budding outdoor professionals from all the regional universities.
For the past two years the Virginia Adventure Education Conference has been organized by Mark Wagstaff & Anja Whittington & Andy Borak of Radford U., John Guy Owens of Hollins University, David Goodman of Virginia Tech, Travis Coad of Blacksburg Parks & Rec., and Heather Benninghove of Holliday Lake 4-H.
They've done an excellent job getting this cool event rolling.
This is precisely the grassroots kind of gig we like supporting at Appomattox River Co. I took a Jackson Kayak Coosa HD out there, all rigged up, for folks to see and we also donated a Pelican Flow SUP for the big raffle. It was definitely a hit. Adam Korman of Radford University got to take that baby home.
If you're interested in getting involved contact Mark here. I believe the conference will be organized by a new committee and potentially hosted around Harrisonburg, Va next year, so Mark will pass your info on to the new organizers. It's a worthwhile investment of your time and a joy to hang out with such good company.