By Nethan Sivarapu
It’s the middle of a normal school day, but, instead of being in a classroom, the Local Wilderness Expeditions class is outside, making fires and cooking lunch. The teacher of the class, Vaughan Wilkins, has been an avid outdoorsman and supporter of finding your inner peace in nature. He also teaches psychology and knows firsthand the kind of hardships that we as human beings go through.
Mr. Wilkins said, “Much of the stuff that we learn in psychology and all of the bad things that can happen to people can actually be healed and restitched by doing wilderness work.” In today’s world, it is well-known that too much time spent in front of technology can corrode your mind, so Mr. Wilkins uses his wilderness course as an opportunity to teach his students how getting in touch with nature can ultimately help them.
When asked what their favorite part of the class is, many students said it was the ability to go outdoors and spend time with their peers while learning about important information. Tahoma sophomore Rae Frescas said, “It’s making the new experiences with friends because everyone just seems to get along so well together.”
As the class prepared to cook their lunches, many students said that before the class they had no idea how to cook, start a fire or even use a knife. In the last year they had gained knowledge about surviving with fewer resources and that had given them confidence as well.
When asked what influence he wants to put on the students, Mr. Wilkins said, “That they love being outside more and that working together and being human is OK.”
See below for a video about the Local Wilderness course: