Outdoor Paragon E-Newsletter

From David Spencer's Education Paragon: Helping students develop citizenship, faith, literacy, responsibility and vision
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What is Outdoor Paragon?
Outdoor Paragon is free web resource portal for experiential, environmental, outdoor and recreation education hosted on David Spencer's Education Paragon. Resources include green energy sources, astronomy, birding, camping, canoeing, climbing, conservation, dogsledding, environmental issues, geocaching, hiking, indigenous plant species, kayaking, mountain biking, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, wilderness ethics and wilderness survival. Learn about the history of the Outdoor Paragon Professional Learning Network and the now defunct Outdoor Paragon E-Newsletter. Please consider joining the 385 members of Outdoor Paragon and subscribe to the Ecosource Trailblazers Newsletter and Beyond Our Classroom. Educators are also encouraged to connect with educators using Outdoor Paragon resources on the following social networks.
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Outdoor Paragon on Facebook
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Outdoor Paragon on Flickr
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Outdoor Paragon on LinkedIn

Our Outdoor Paragon web site is http://op.davidspencer.ca.


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What Was the Outdoor Paragon E-Newsletter ?

The Outdoor Paragon E-Newsletter was a professional learning and sharing network (PLSN) of 385 educators and friends who encouraged and practices aboriginal, experiential, environmental, outdoor and recreation education among youth living in the Peel region of Ontario, Canada. The Outdoor Paragon E-Newsletter connected Outdoor Paragon members to field trips, trade shows, conferences and training and certification courses in canoeing, first aid, CPR, mountain biking, GPS, wilderness travel, Nordic skiing, hiking and more. The Outdoor Paragon E-Newsletter was a Yahoo! Groups listserv that operated from July 4, 2009 to Earth Hour (March 23, 2013). The Outdoor Paragon E-Newsletter was founded in 2009 and directed by David Spencer an outdoor environmental educator and wilderness adventure leader.

Educators subscribed to the Outdoor Paragon E-Newsletter who were interested in aboriginal studies, alternative green energy sources, astronomy, birding, camping, canoeing, climbing, conservation, dogsledding, environmental concerns, geocaching, hiking, indigenous plant species, kayaking, mountain biking, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, wilderness ethics and wilderness survival.


Outdoor Paragon Contributions

The Outdoor Paragon network of educators was founded by David Spencer in 2000. Members of Outdoor Paragon contributed the following:

  1. Outdoor Paragon promoted outdoor education.
  2. Outdoor Paragon formed alliances with government and NGO's to support outdoor, experiential, environmental and recreation for youth in Peel Region.
  3. Outdoor Paragon promoted professional learning experiences provided by other groups and institutions.
  4. Outdoor Paragon held gatherings to connect educators with mentors who teach and encourage aboriginal, experiential, environmental, outdoor and recreation education skill development.
  5. Outdoor Paragon was a lobby group that researched and made presentations to lobby for aboriginal, experiential, environmental, outdoor and recreation education change. In June 2000, the first Outdoor Paragon activity involved a work camp to help at Peel District School Board's Jack Smythe Field Centre in Terra Cotta.
  6. Outdoor Paragon published the outdoorparagon E-newsletter a Yahoo! listserv that announced professional learning gatherings and provided a forum for networking, asking and answering questions about aboriginal, experiential, environmental, outdoor and recreation education.
  7. Outdoor Paragon also maintained a web page op.davidspencer.ca of outdoor, experiential, environmental and recreation education resources for use by everyone.
  8. Outdoor Paragon promoted Environmental Literacy.
  9. Outdoor Paragon Members are the co-founders of the Aboriginal and Environmental Education Circle (AEE Circle) a professional learning and sharing network of over 415 educators, teachers, supporters and Aboriginal elders and leaders gathering resources and creating a speakers bureau that will help teachers integrate current cultural, environmental and historical contributions of Aboriginal Canadians into school curriculum. Although the AEE Circle is focused on Peel Region (Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga) in Ontario, Canada they invite educators based in other parts of Canada to connect and use their web resources, join their e-newsletter discussion and submit suggestions. Read more about the AEE Circle here.


Members of Outdoor Paragon E-Newsletter Transfer to Ecosource

In the fall of 2012, Outdoor Paragon E-Newsletter Founder David Spencer contacted Ecosource staff Stephanie Crocker and Sierra Frank to inquire if they would be willing to adopt the 385 members and subscribers of the Outdoor Paragon E-Newsletter. David hoped that Ecosource would transfer the e-mail addresses of Outdoor Paragon members to an Ecosource initiative serving educators.

On January 3, 2013, David Spencer received a good news response letter !

Sierra Frank, the School Programs Manager for Ecosource, wrote to say "It is with great interest that Ecosource proposes to transfer ownership and responsibility of the Outdoor Paragon listserv from David Spencer to Ecosource’s dependable operation. We believe that this transfer could be easily integrated into our preexisting programming, while maintaining the integrity of the listserv and value to its subscribers". She also wrote "Over the past 5 years Ecosource has been directly supporting Peel Region teachers in the private, public, and separate school boards by providing programs and resources, with the goal of building capacity and filling gaps in knowledge. Amongst our successful programs is The Trailblazers Environmental Education Online Newsletter which reaches over 250 educators and community partners within Peel Region, and beyond. This seasonal online newsletter highlights the latest in environmental teaching resources, techniques, events, and opportunities by gathering submissions from community partners, to offer a comprehensive environmental education directory. From tree plantings, conferences, community garden visits, class field trips, webinars, workshops, seminars, and more, Trailblazers has proven to be a remarkable resource geared to support teachers in integrating environmental education into their teaching practice".


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On March 18, 2013, David Spencer transfered the Outdoor Paragon E-Newsletter Network to Ecosource staff Sierra Frank and Stephanie Crocker. Ecosource Staff members holding the banner are from left to right Kyle Brannen and Angie Sanchez. Photo courtesy of Jessica Kukac.

What is the EcoSource Trailblazers Newsletter ?

EcoSource is an Ontario-based environmental education non-profit serving youth, adults, and families. Our work began in Mississauga and has expanded throughout the Region of Peel. They are leaders in grassroots environmental education in the Region of Peel. The EcoSource staff works in schools and throughout the community, delivering interactive learning experiences that inspire youth and adults to take actions that make a huge difference to the health of the planet. EcoSource is proud to work with over 20,000 youth each year in our school-based programs, as well as engaging over 1,000 youth and adults in our naturalization activities!

EcoSource publishes the Trailblazers a seasonal newsletter highlighting the latest in environmental teaching resources, techniques, events, and opportunities. Trailblazers offers a collaborative online resource that encourages environmental education throughout the Peel Region. We have confidence that this new format will meet the needs of Outdoor Paragon members, by providing a streamlined directory to share and receive environmental education resources and information. From tree plantings, community garden visits, class field trips, webinars, workshops, seminars, and more, Trailblazers is a remarkable resource, not to be missed!

Sign up for Trailblazers today and start learning about opportunities to integrate environmental education into your classroom and school! To subscribe and to contribute a story to Trailblazers, please send here.

The Outdoor Paragon E-Newsletter transfer to Ecosource was featured in the Trailblazers March 2013 Newslatter.


Thank you from David Spencer, Project Leader for Outdoor Paragon E-Newsletter

Outdoor Paragon E-Newsletter Founder David Spencer thanks all those who read and shared Outdoor Paragon E-Newsletter messages. Special thanks to those who encouraged David, organized Outdoor Paragon events, hosted and attended workshops and gatherings and shared educational resources and connections and spread the word about the Outdoor Paragon vision since the year 2000.

David is especially grateful to:

  1. Ecosource staff Sierra Frank and Stephanie Crocker for welcoming Outdoor Paragon members to their Ecosource Trailblazers Newsletter.
  2. Bonnie Anderson
  3. Tracy Appleton
  4. Joe Bourgeois
  5. Lindsay Bunce
  6. Alice Casselman
  7. Darius Chia
  8. Rob Chassels
  9. Kyle Clarke
  10. Soni Craik
  11. Lauren Crickmore
  12. Josh Crozier
  13. Kim Falcigno
  14. Erin Farrow
  15. Erin Fitzgibbon
  16. Patti Foley
  17. Tim Grant
  18. Brete Griffin
  19. Sylwia Halas
  20. Alison Headland
  21. Campbell Horn
  22. Nancy Johnston
  23. Andrew Kett
  24. Isabelle King
  25. Jennifer Kottick
  26. Grant Linney
  27. Beth Lisser
  28. Tait Luste
  29. Yolanta Maria
  30. Janet McKay
  31. Heather Mcphail
  32. Rahul Mehta
  33. Amanda Mercier
  34. Damain MacSeain
  35. Harpreet Kaur Neelam
  36. Jason Noronha
  37. Roberta Oswald
  38. John Percy
  39. Ian Pettigrew
  40. Aileen Rapson
  41. Rob Ridley
  42. Candra Schank
  43. Katya Seckar
  44. Olivier St-Hilaire
  45. Andrew Stangherlin
  46. Paul Strome
  47. Mari-Anne Tate
  48. Paul Tucker
  49. Sharon Van Hout
  50. David Weightman


Accolades for David Spencer, Project Leader for Outdoor Paragon E-Newsletter

  • "Thank you David for your inspiration, trailblazing, insightful tenacity for starting Outdoor Paragon and being the driving force behind it for all these years. You are an inspiration to anyone who has come in contact with you and that amounts to a heck of a lot of people. I give you my personal thanks for sharing so many ideas with me over the years; sharing adventures; listening to my thoughts and being there in times of need. Thank you for being such an inspirational outdoor colleague. I know you will be focusing your energies on other projects and I am sure they will be just as successful as Outdoor Paragon has been." Take care my friend.
    Adventure On
    Dream Awake
    Paul Strome
    March 24, 2013