Welcome to OLiC:

Outdoor Learning in Canada

This webpage contains links to download an open access textbook of peer-reviewed chapters about Outdoor Learning (OL), written for Canadians, about Canadians, and by Canadians.

The umbrella term of OL encompasses all forms of experiencing in, for, and about the out-of-doors. These include integrated or separate forms of adventurous and environmental learning across the spectrum of outdoor recreation/tourism (changes feeling), outdoor education (changes thinking), outdoor development (changes behaving), and outdoor therapy (changes resisting against postive efforts to transform well-being). This diagram lists some synonyms.

These chapters are FREE to download and the book will inevitably grow over the years as new chapters get written by new authors. To see the general idea, view the AEE CHIP webpage as one possible example of how this project may appear to readers.

This open access resource is intended for audiences of both aspiring and established OL practitioners. These include:

  • college undergraduates,
  • university graduate students,
  • school teachers,
  • camp counsellors,
  • heritage interpretors,
  • environmental educators,
  • activity technicians,
  • skills instructors,
  • tourism outfitters,
  • recreational guides,
  • educational instructors,
  • developmental facilitators,
  • licensed therapists,
  • performance coaches,
  • corporate team-builders,
  • mental health professionals,
  • Indigenous Elders,
  • knowledge keepers,
  • other practitioners, and
  • interested members of the public.

This text serves several purposes:

  1. to disseminate best practices that improve both the efficacy and the effectiveness of OL,
  2. to showcase the diverse approaches to OL and highlight OL programs conducted across Canada,
  3. to give voice to practitioners and participants in a way that explains the impact of OL in Canada,
  4. to build a body of knowledge that clearly communicates OL contributions to Canadian society, and
  5. to provide a resource for recommended reading in OL education and training courses or programs.


EXAMPLES: Please include the voices of Canadian participants, practitioners, and programs in your chapter. You can do this by quoting other sources (articles, websites, and social media) or by asking selected individuals to write a couple of paragraphs for your chapter. These can be inserted into your text or added as separate exemplars with a shaded text box.

SUBMIT YOUR TOPIC NOW: The rough table of contents below is evolving during the month of June as authors firm up their topics and get added to the list. About three quarters of the original invitees have already confirmed their topic. Please do so before June 30. Drafts are due for review by January 1, 2023. Thank you. Let us know if you want to modify your topic.

SINGLE FIRST AUTHORSHIP: Since we are seeking a wide diversity of national voices and perspectives, we will be limiting first authorship to one chapter per first author only. However, in subsequent chapters this same author may contribute as a co-author (e.g. second or third author) as deemed appropriate based on interest and expertise.   Multiple authors of a particular chapter must discuss and agree on the order of authorship based on the general rule that the first author is principle (lead) author, and subsequent authors appear in order of decreasing contribution (APA 7th Ed.).

GUIDELINES FOR AUTHORS: We are looking for a chapter length between 2,000 and 4,000 words. You are welcome to write more (7,000 maximum), just let us know, so we can be ready for your larger than average contribution. The editorial team will entertain outlines or partial drafts at any time and provide feedback to help you with your writing progress.

STYLE and READING LEVEL: We would like these submissions to follow the APA-7 style of referencing (ideally 10-20 references). If you are unfamiliar with this style, simply ask via the email address below and we can provide assistance. Please write for a reader with a minimum high school graduation level. This means defining all technical terms and providing diagrams or photographs. We will improve on graphics as requested.

PEER-REVIEW: Chapters will be reviewed by at least two peers, who will make suggestions for improvement. Please let us know, by email below, if you would like to be a reviewer. We are also seeking nine section editors. Please consider joining our editorial team.

IF YOU THINK YOU MAY OVERLAP WITH ANOTHER TOPIC, then please contact the email address below and request that author's email address (unless you already have it). You can then correspond together in order to avoid repetitive content. Thanks.

TOPICS WITHOUT AUTHORS: All authors must be Canadian. The blank spaces below are open for selection, while those with a "(considering)" label are currently under negotiation with a potential lead author. We are particularly seeking the contributions of Indigenous and non-cis-male authors. If you know a Canadian who might make an excellent author for a specific topic, please send their contact details (name, topic, email, and phone) with my thanks to:

  • s i m o n _ p r i e s t @ y a h o o . c o m (please remove spaces)


Bolded chapters have been delivered in first draft form and are under peer review
Reintroducing Canada! Being Revised The Editors
Introduction: What is Outdoor Learning? Being Revised Simon Priest
EXAMPLE with notes on APA (7th ed.) for authors
APA-7 example


Canadian Outdoor Learning In Review Morten Asfeldt
adventure travel and eco-tourism In Review Jeremy Isaak, James Rodger & Bob Vranich
Outward Bound Canada: RED In Review Rob Wallis
Env.RED: Interpt, EE, Pro-Env Behav Personal Delay Milt McClaren
Adventure Therapy in Canada In Review Steve Javorski
Nature Therapy in Canada --- _____________
Experientially Teaching Canadian Travel Literature In Review Bob Henderson
Role of the canoe/kayak/snowshoe Personal Delay Jim Raffan
Longterm Benefits of OL Over the Life Course March 1 Jonah D'Angelo


diversity and inclusion In Review TA Loeffler
Misogyny and Settler Colonialism: Finding Pathways of Resistance through Outdoor Learning In Review Jennifer Wigglesworth
adaptive recreation In Review Carinna Kenigsberg & Jason Cole
risky outdoor play In Review Louise de Lannoy
Outdoor Learning, Public Education, and the Challenge of Cultural Change

In Review

Sean Blenkinsop
medically challenged Personal Delay Mario Bilodeau
at-risk youth --- _______
university outdoor orientation programs In Review Tim O'Connell, Anna Lathrop & Ryan Howard
corporate team-building --- _______
wounded warriors   John Watson
Women in the outdoors Personal Delay Jenny Martindale
Residential school groups In Review Julia Tashiro
high school curriculum integration & benefits In Review Bert Horwood
community-building in the classroom Personal Delay Brian Lisson
Collaborating with community partners to develop specialized programs for under-served populations In Review Jessica Spooner


parks & wilderness In Review Jaclyn Angotti, Hira Shah & Anna-Liza Badaloo
lakes & oceans   Heather Kelday
forest & nature pre-schools --- _______
summer camps & OLCs In Review Stephen Fine
urban & school grounds In Review Jean-Philippe Ayotte-Beaudet
artificial adventure environs March 15 Kathy Haras


The roles of perceived risks   Casey Henley
The roles of conflict resolution In Review Tom Young
Group Dynamics and inclusion In Review Lorie Oellet
mindfulness in nature   Simon Ward-Able
mechanisms of change

March 1

Virginie Gargano
competence effectance theory In Review Kimberley Klint
Remote mental health first aid   Daye Hagel


Intentionally Promoting Ecohealth In Review Stephen Ritchie
Nature Rx In Review Marie-Eve Langelier, Claudel Pétrin-Desrosiers & Melissa Lem
land-based healing --- ____________ (considering)
Enhancing Support for Indigenous Land-Based Programming

In Review

Debbie DeLancey & Sabrina Broadhead
climate change April 1 Marcia McKenzie & Jaylene Murray
creating awe In Review Grant Linney
Re-connecting Children and Youth with Nature— Why, What and How? In Review Alan Warner
environmental March 1 Randy Haluza Delay
leave no trace   Taryn Eyton or other LNT volunteer


risk management In Review Jeff Jackson
accident response In Review Jim Little
Avoiding Catastrophic Accidents and Fatalities In Review Albi Sole
safety review/risk assessment/accident analysis In Review Ross Cloutier
legal liability in Canada   Jon Heshka
insurance in Canada March 1 Keith Bossaer @ OASIS
surviving off the land In Review Andre-Francois Bourbeau


evolutionary time line --- ____________
historical origins In review Christian Mercure
a model of OE March 1 Tegwen Gadais, Patrick Daigle, Nicholas Bergeron, Yannick Lacoste, & Joanie Beaumont
ethics & philosophy --- ___________
Wild Pedagogies March 15 Bob Jickling
how/when use technology??? --- ____________
misappropriation indigeneity In Review Thomas McIlwraith & others
contribution to reconciliation In Review Briony Penn
a new national association In Review Franz Plangger, Georgina Marucci & Nick Townley


experiential learning --- ____________
outdoor learning pedagogy In Review Christian Bisson
best teaching practices March 15 Bryan Taylor
relationality in outdoor teaching March 1 Andrew Foran


leadership competencies & PSE development

March 1

Beau Williams-Orser
facilitation & reflection   Sarah Gough & ________
life of a program instructor In Review Liz Kirk

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

How were authors selected to contribute?

An initial list of 60 Canadian authors was created based on their acknowledged expertise in a particular area of outdoor learning (OL).  The acknowledgement of their expertise was established from a body of written scholarship in their area, dedicated experience over time, and recommendations from other experts.  Approximately 50 of those 60 invited authors agreed to contribute and the project was launched with an open call for additional contributions.  Over two dozen Canadian authors responded to the open call and were asked to provide outlines of what content they would cover in their chapters.  On the basis of these outlines, authors were either accepted or rejected by the editors.  Rejections were primarily based on poorly developed outlines or duplication of existing topics.  Several authors were asked to revise topics that were too narrow in scope or regionally specific. Acceptances were made for well-developed outlines that filled a gap in the OL literature in Canada.  Another dozen authors were added to the table of contents from responses to the open call for contributions.  Throughout this process, the editors actively sought out potential authors to fill the few remaining gaps.

Why is this edited online textbook not associated with a publisher?

One criticism of published and edited textbooks is that experts write the chapters, while publishers and editors reap the royalties.  Another obvious concern is the rising costs of textbook production toward astronomically high prices in some cases.  To address both problems and to make information widely and easily accessible to practitioners, students, and scholars, this open-access resource was designed to be free.  This means that the authors, reviewers, editors, and copy-editors have volunteered their valuable time to contribute to a project that can only improve the quality and quantity of OL in Canada.  Please note that this project is organic and evolving and as such, the editors are open to developing partnerships and collaborations in the future that are win-win.  Thus, an arrangement may be made with a publisher in the future, as long as the principle of free and open access is respected.  

How does the peer review process work?

The peer-review process is an important part of scholarship for academics but is of little consequence to others.  All academic papers (written by university faculty and graduate students) will receive at least two reviews by peer experts in outdoor learning.  Other authors, for whom this label is less of a concern, will receive at least one.  The peer review process will examine the final draft of each manuscript and recommend changes to format and content.  Format changes may address spelling, grammar, and references or citations.  Content changes will encourage authors to write more broadly to cover a wider range or more precisely to focus on a particular aspect of their topic.  Reviewers make these recommendations on the basis of their expert opinions as to what changes would most benefit the intended reader.  On receipt of these recommendations, an author would normally make most changes to satisfy reviewers, but may also disagree with some recommendations and present reasons why.  If the reviewers accept the argument, then no changes are necessary.  However, if disagreements ensue for both parties, these unresolved items will be settled by the editors, and they expect that a rejection will be rare.  The editor’s decisions on these matters are final and may not be appealed.

Does this project duplicate OL content available in other available texts?

While some of the topics discussed in the chapters of this text may be found in other textbooks, and these chapters will likely reference those other sources, authors have been informed of the importance of “Canadianizing” their chapter with uniquely Canadian content.  This may mean quoting Canadians, providing examples from Canadian programs, or adding the voices of Canadian practitioners and participants involved in OL.

Why are some chapters included that do not seem to be uniquely Canadian?

Some chapters describe best theory and practice as established in the global domain of OL and so are not uniquely Canadian in topic.  However, examples of how these theories and practices are being conducted in Canada are added to each generic chapter to provide uniquely Canadian content.  Further, these best theory and practice chapters may previously be relatively unknown to Canadian readers targeted by this work.  In other words, it is important to not only include content that is unique to Canada, but also include other important OL content that should be available and openly accessible to a broad Canadian readership, especially for practitioners and students who may or may not be aware of best theory and practices.

How will this project be sustainable long-term?

The website will be made available for at least the next decade, and the editors are currently discussing and planning for sustainability and succession planning.  For instance, the current plan is that once the project is finished, it will be transferred to a national association or publisher.  Editors will continue in their roles for the long term, and when an author or editor is no longer able or willing to continue in their role, a substitute will be found by the national association or publisher.   At a frequency determined by the editors (likely every few years), chapter authors will be invited to revise their chapter (if necessary) and new authors may be invited to submit new chapters on relevant new topics as these arise.  This is important because scholarship and best theory and practice continue to evolve and improve based on research, policy and practice; thus it is important that the website remains current. These plans may evolve and develop differently as the project develops and the editors form new partnerships or collaborations.

Is there a plan to improve the website quality?

Yes.  This initial iteration of the website is merely a draft working version to track contributions and demonstrate progress.  Once the project is almost finished, with most chapters accepted and all contributions finalized, the website will be professionally redesigned.  

Who will own the copyright for this text and each of the chapters?

We will be using a Creative Commons license for the online OLiC resource and for each chapter individually.  More specifically, the work will be licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0). The primary reason for using this standardized designation is because we want contributors to retain their authorship rights.  This is important because the OLiC resource and chapters may be revised or updated in the future, and the entire resource will be open access and publicly available online.  This license lets others (including original authors) copy and distribute the work (e.g. for students in a class), and also "remix, transform, and build upon the material” for non-commercial purposes, as long as credit is attributed to the original authors and any revised creations use the identical license (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0). More information about Creative Commons licenses is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/.


If you have additional questions about this project, please send them to the editors and we will add them here with our answers.  Please understand that we are constantly improving the process as the product is evolving.  If we waited to make a perfect process, the product would not have moved passed concept.