Positive Energy Outdoor (ed)Ventures (Now called Duluth Outdoor Education Center) sparks the process of discovery, encouraging people and animal powered exploration of the outdoors. Programs emphasize teamwork, healthy risk taking, and positive communication, creating learning opportunities that can lead to a lifetime of active adventures.
- Increase opportunities for youth to work cooperatively with peers, family, community and positive adult mentors.
- Provide access to unique physical activities for all regardless of ability to pay.
- Promote interpersonal skills, life skills, healthy choices and positive risk taking among participants.
- Connect young people to the greater community through leadership development and participation in service projects and community events.
Positive Energy programs include dog sledding, skijoring, snowshoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, driving draft horses, horse logging/forest history programs, renewable energy education, community gardening and team building programs that incorporate a 20′ portable climbing wall.
Positive Energy provides high quality training for organizations and individuals in First Aid and CPR, team building, youth development, experiential education and outdoor education. Unique internship experiences offer opportunities for outdoor education students from colleges and universities to further develop their facilitation and technical skills.
Using experiential learning, Positive Energy’s activities flow from hands-on problem solving challenges and skill building activities to processing and reflection that engages the mind, and often the emotions as well, helping participants expand their comfort zones. Program participants explore change and teamwork through adventure and physical activity and experience learning (“ah-ha moments”) that transfers to the next activity and back to school, the workplace, home and the community.
About Blake and Steph
Blake Cazier and Stephanie Love are the co-founders and directors of Positive Energy Outdoor (ed)Ventures. Together, they share over 40 years of combined outdoor education experience. Blake has a BAS in Outdoor Education/Teaching Earth Science from the University of Minnesota, Duluth.
Blake’s professional experience includes: 13 years as a college outdoor program director, rock climbing instructor and kayak guide, advanced CPR and First Aid certifications, wilderness water safety and teaching experience, and a wealth of risk management expertise. He has been running sled dogs since 1993 and has introduced thousands of people to outdoor activities.
Stephanie has an M.S. in Experiential Education and is a consultant for the University of Minnesota’s Youth Work Institute (http://www1.extension.umn.edu/Youth/) and the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality (http://www.cypq.org) in Ypsilanti, MI. She has worked for Outward Bound and has been an environmental educator and camp director. She teaches First Aid and CPR and has advanced CPR and First Aid certifications along with wilderness water safety training.
Positive Energy Outdoor (ed)Ventures is proud to provide engaging, high quality outdoor education experiences. Engagement can be defined as interest + challenge + enjoyment. Our outdoor education experiences help youth take healthy risks, learn to encourage each other, and provide a blend of physical skill development, positive social interactions and emotional learning. Youth set goals for participation, make plans to help them through challenges, and reflect on their experiences as part of our programming.
How do we know our programs are high quality? Because the youth we serve let us know–they love learning the same skills as adults (in youth sized equipment), and having the opportunity to do more than play games or make crafts. We hear consistently from program participants that our programs are the best. At a recent event bringing together residents from the Central and East Hillside neighborhoods, our climbing wall was a featured part of the festival. Some youth climbed at least 10 times that afternoon–they shared their success with friends and family members. We discouraged trash talk and said hello to youth who had participated in our programs through their youth agency. It is clear that while the average young person spends 44.5 hours a week in front of a screen of some type, that outdoor education is more critical than ever. We hope you’ll help us insure all youth in our community have access to consistent outdoor education experiences like these.