January/February 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 4

Interview with Aaron Gilbert, Program Director at Bay Area Wilderness Training (BAWT)

Posted: Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

by Eric Lewis

I was recently able to catch up with Aaron Gilbert from Bay Area Wilderness Training (BAWT) to find out more about his organization.

Eric: Tell us about Bay Area Wilderness Training.

Aaron: Our mission is to create opportunities for urban you to connect with nature first hand. To achieve this goal we utilize a train-the-trainer model, and since 1999 we have provided outdoor leadership training for over 1,200 teachers and youth workers. In addition to the outdoor skills and leadership development that teachers get from our courses, we also provide free access to borrow camping equipment, outdoor clothing, and all the essentials groups need for camping from our gear libraries. In 14 years we have grown from training 20-40 youth workers and supporting trips for 100-300 youth to training close to 200 youth workers and enabling 6,000 youth to experience nature first hand per year.

GilbertEric: What sort of outdoor skills and leadership development do you provide?

Aaron: We offer two types of outdoor leadership, Frontcountry Leadership and Wilderness Leadership Training. On both of these courses teachers will learn about risk management, group management, campsite setup, kitchen setup, meal planning and preparation, and maps and navigation. We utilize best practices in experiential education and give our students opportunities to learn, practice, and teach new skills.  We also teach the skills using methods teachers can easily adapt and use with their students.

Eric: What is the difference between Frontcountry and Wilderness?

Aaron: Frontcounty is sometimes more commonly referred to as car camping. This is when you drive up to a campsite and camp within site of your vehicle.  Campsites are usually in larger campgrounds with facilities such as potable water, bathrooms, and rangers or docents. The vast majority of camping trips led by our leaders are front country. Wilderness is when you pack up all of your food, clothing, and camping equipment in a backpack and hike a mile or more from your vehicle. Often you are camping in primitive sites without potable water or bathrooms.

Advertisement

Advertisement

For the purposes of our trainings, the Frontcountry Leadership Training is a two-day, one night camping course. All participants attend a pre-trip meeting the week before the course to visit our offices and learn how to checkout equipment from our gear library. This is an ideal course for anyone who is either very new to camping or wants to start camping as soon as possible with their students and does not have time to take the Wilderness Leadership Training.

Our flagship course, the Wilderness Leadership Training, is five days long. The first day and night are spent car camping and the final four days and three nights are spent backpacking in the wilderness of Tahoe or Yosemite. This transformational course is also great for first time campers and backpackers. We teach the course like it is everyone’s their first time, since we know that you will be doing the same for your students. Be ready to experience equal parts professional development and personal growth.

Gilbert_2Eric: When are your next courses?

Aaron: Our next Frontcountry Leadership Training is September 28 and 29 at Henry Coe State Park in Morgan Hill.  The pre-trip meeting is September 24th from 5pm to 7pm in Oakland.

Our next Wilderness Leadership Training will be in Spring 2014.  Please keep your eyes on our website or join our listserve to receive notification about the exact dates.

New this year, teachers can apply to receive 3 units of graduate-level university credit for taking either the Wilderness Leadership or Frontcounty Leadership Training courses. If teachers take both they can get 6 units. For more information about how to please check out our website.  http://www.bawt.org/programs/training/teachercredit/.

Eric: Do you offer any other training or support for teachers?

Aaron: We offer additional training in wilderness medicine and snowshoeing, and additional support through mini grants and trip planning workshops. Our goal is for you to be successful and feel supported. When you take a course with Bay Area Wilderness Training, you are joining a vibrant community of educators and youth development professionals. You will make connections that will last you many years.

Eric: Whom should teachers contact for more information?

Aaron: Please contact me, Aaron Gilbert, at aaron@bawt.org or 510 452 2298 x301.

Eric: Thanks so much for your time, Aaron.  It seems like BAWT provides some great experiences for teachers and students alike!

Written by Eric Lewis

Eric Lewis

Eris Lewis is high school area science support in the San Francisco Unified School District LEAD office.

Leave a Reply

LATEST POST

STEM Conference Hosted by CMSESMC

Posted: Saturday, January 14th, 2017

The Council of Math/Science Educators of San Mateo County will be hosting the 41st annual STEM Conference this February 4, 2017 at the San Mateo County Office of Education. This STEM Conference is the place to get lots of new lessons and ideas to use in your classroom. There will be over twenty-five workshops and a variety of exhibitors that provide participants with a wide range of practical and realistic ideas and resources to use in their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs from Pre-K to grade 12. With California’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards, we are dedicated to ensuring that we prepare our teachers to take on these educational policies.

Teachers, administrators, and parents are invited to explore the many exciting aspects of STEM education and learn about and discuss the latest news, information, and issues. This is also an opportunity to network with colleagues who can assist you in building your programs and meet new friends that share your interests and love of teaching. Register online today!

Learn More…

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

Submit Your NGSS Lessons and Units Today!

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

Achieve has launched and is facilitating an EQuIP Peer Review Panel for Science–a group of expert reviewers who will evaluate the quality and alignment of lessons and units to the standards–in an effort to identify and shine a spotlight on emerging high-quality lesson and unit plans designed for the NGSS.

If you or your state, district, school, or organization has designed NGSS-aligned instructional materials, please consider submitting these in order to help provide educators across the country with various models and templates of high-quality lesson and unit plans. Learn More…

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

Opportunity for High School Students – Los Angeles County

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

An upcoming Perry Outreach Program on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at the Orthopaedic Institute for Children in Los Angeles, CA. The Perry Outreach Program is a free, one-day, hands-on experience for high school and college-aged women who are interested in pursuing careers in medicine and engineering. Students will hear from women leaders in these fields and try it for themselves by performing mock orthopaedic surgeries and biomechanics experiments. Learn More…

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

Science Education Policy Update

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

January 2017 has proven to be a very busy month for science education policy and CA NGSS implementation activities. CSTA has been and will be there every step of the way, seeking and enacting all options to support high-quality science education and the successful implementation of CA NGSS.

California Department of Education/U.S. Department of Education Science Double-Testing Waiver Hearing

The year started with California Department of Education’s (CDE) hearing with the U.S. Department of Education conducted via WebEx on January 6, 2017. This hearing was the final step in California’s efforts to secure a waiver from the federal government in order to discontinue administration of the old CST and suspension of the reporting of student test scores on a science assessment for two years. As reported by EdSource, the U.S. Department of Education representative, Ann Whalen, a senior adviser to U.S. Secretary John King Jr., committed to making her final ruling “very shortly.” Deputy Superintendent Keric Ashley presented on behalf of CDE during the hearing and did an excellent job describing the broad-based support for this waiver in California, the rationale for the waiver, and California’s commitment to the successful implementation of a new high-quality science assessment. As previously reported, California is moving forward with its plans to administer a census pilot assessments this spring. The testing window is set to open on March 20, 2017. For more information visit New CA Science Test: What You Should Know.

Learn More…

Powered By DT Author Box

Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.

NSTA Los Angeles Conference Features Many CA Science Leaders

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

The early-bird registration rates for the 65th NSTA National Conference on Science Education in Los Angeles is just days away (ends Feb. 3). And as the early-registration deadline approaches excitement is building for what is anticipated to be the largest gathering of science educators (both California and nationwide) – with attendance expected to reach 10,000 or more. If you have never had the pleasure of attending the NSTA National Conference, I recommend you visit their website with tips for newcomers that describe the various components of the event. A conference preview is also available for download. Learn More…

Powered By DT Author Box

Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.