What is OAE? – Outdoor Adventure Education in Youth Work

outdoor adventure education

Outdoor Adventure Education in Youth Work as a tool for raising self-awareness and empowering groups

How can we use the element of adventure for growing and working together towards common goals? The focus of Outdoor Adventure Education (OAE) is on the educational nature of the experiences, close interaction with the outdoor environment, elements of real or perceived risk and uncertain outcomes.

“Learning through experience, challenge and adventure in a supportive environment”

Certainly, the main characteristics of Outdoor Adventure Education are:

  • Education has the primary importance – making the experience as educational as possible through reflection and team work;
  • Natural setting and close interaction with outdoor environment – natural environment serves as a key component in the education process;
  • Elements of real or perceived risk – for instance, risk can be real and inherent to an activity or (mis)perceived by participants in a safe activity;
  • Uncertain outcomes – in fact, different factors like terrain, participant’s skills and abilities, weather etc. can make the outcomes of a program unpredictable. Therefore, uncertainty during the experience forces participants to confront anxieties and personal limits. Furthermore, they can analyze decision-making abilities and assess physical, emotional and leadership skills.

About the project “Love Every Challenge”

During the training course “Love Every Challenge”, organised by Outward Bound Croatia, a group of participants from Netherlands, Poland, Latvia, Romania, Finland, Spain, Portugal and Croatia discussed about the reality of OAE in Europe, taking a closer look at the challenges and good examples of OAE in each participating country.

As a result of the project, the participants of the training created a toolkit about Outdoor Adventure Education. In it, you can find more information about OAE, its principles methods and history. Furthermore, you can find an interesting collection of activities that you can use for your projects!

Here you can read the TOOLKIT.
Organizer of the training: Outward Bound Croatia

Related articles:
Find here ideas for ”Outdoor Activities for Inclusion”
Adventure in NATURE is calling me! Prepare for it well by looking at Mountains & Memories – a booklet on exploring nature and a healthy lifestyle!


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