Best Practices for Selecting Mission-Based Off-Campus Extracurricular Activities at Environmentally-Focused Boarding Schools
Kopecky, Maria B.
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, College of Natural Resources
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Off-campus extracurricular activities at environmentally-focused boarding schools have the potential to benefit students, enhance the organization’s mission and goals, and promote the tenets of environmental education. This project determined the best practices for selecting and approving mission-based off-campus extracurricular activities at Conserve School, an environmentally-focused semester school located in Land O’ Lakes, WI. Data was collected through the use of in-depth interviews that investigated the processes by which other environmentally-focused boarding schools plan and approve mission-based off-campus extracurricular activities, as well as the perceived importance of various factors involved in selecting such activities. Research results show that environmentally-focused boarding schools desire their off-campus extracurricular activities to be mission-guided events that provide unique opportunities and enhance the student experience. Both staff members and students are influential in selecting off-campus extracurricular activities and many factors are considered when approving these events, yet environmentally-focused boarding schools primarily rely on informal processes of activity selection and approval. This project developed criteria that environmentally-focused boarding schools may use when considering off-campus extracurricular activities, as well as resources Conserve School staff members and administrators may use when planning and approving off-campus extracurricular activity proposals. This project also created a resource guide of mission-based off-campus extracurricular activities within 50 miles of Conserve School.