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  • Writer's pictureTina Dierna

Beyond the Classroom: Practical Skills Acquired Through Outdoor Workforce Training

The practical skills that are learned by kids who enter these outdoor workforce initiatives are many. From woodworking to setting up a tent, there are multiple skills that can be learned in working outdoors. Aurora says, "The skills that I will bring to future jobs and how I applied them here are teamwork, time management, active listening, and writing. How I applied those skills here is when we would build the garden beds together for teamwork. Active listening was used when Tina or Emily would talk about what to do or how to do a certain thing." These are but a small sample of the kinds of skills that can be learned by working outside. These kinds of skills are valuable and will help the kids become better employees in the future.

There are various skills that can help kids prepare for their life, such as financial literacy, among others. The Coop Concept's various guest speakers taught these concepts to kids through hands-on demonstrations, such as the "Soil Your Underwear" challenge, as well as a demo of AR technology.

Through working outside, one will be able to practice various skills they wouldn't normally otherwise be able to in a traditional workplace setting. For example, woodworking/carpentry. In an office, there is virtually no room for one to practice the skill of woodworking. When The Coop Concept created garden beds for Chambers Elementary School, they had the kids learn how to work with wood, and learn a new skill that hopefully will be used in the future.

Ultimately, real-life skills that are tangible and useful will be helpful in situations that might call for them. Communication and leadership skills will always be useful, and they can and should be used in both outdoors and indoors to help people become more well-rounded and adaptable to various situations. In the end, these skills will help kids to become the best they can be, as these skills will help them to grow into various professions that suit them.

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