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Learn how Sharing Nature activities differ from traditional outdoor programmes such as adventure activities, nature walks, survival training, and outward bound learning.


Sharing Nature is a distinctly unique outdoor programme that focuses on feelings, it views Nature as alive and fosters in participants a sense of belonging to Nature. Traditional programmes view Nature as a separate object from the participant, one in which to seek thrill, observe, appreciate, or study. These experiences often give them a sense of domination of Nature and sometimes fear, but always instill a feeling of separation


All outdoor activities contribute towards the development of the individual engaging in it. However, if we ask what kind of relationship do they foster with Nature the answer that we receive might surprise us.  

Adventure activities

What are they?

White water rafting, rock climbing, rappelling, biking and trekking are some of the most common adventure activities.  They emphasise extreme sensory stimulation and their aim is to provide recreation and develop life skills by making participants overcome challenges in Nature. 

How do they view Nature?

Adventure activities are like joyrides in a theme park, Nature here only serves as a venue for the ride or challenge. When one tackles the rapids or conquers the summit, there is a sense of accomplishment. In the excitement participants ignore that what has been “tackled” or “conquered” is mother Nature. Do we wish to teach children that dominating Nature can be a lot of fun?

How are we different?

Sharing Nature activities treat Nature as a living entity. In the ‘interview’ activity, for example, participants act as if a rock or the wind are alive and interview ‘them’ on what it’s like to be a rock or the wind. They then write down the answers that first come to their mind. Thus the question of expressing dominion over another living being does not arise. Such a feeling would be completely alien to their imagination. 


“Sensitiveness to life is the highest product of education.”

– Liberty Hyde Bailey, co-founder, nature study movement


Walks and safaris

What are they?

Nature walks and safaris can be wonderful when conducted at the right place, at the right time, with the right guide. A common way of conducting them is the “walk-stop-talk” method. Walks and safaris emphasise observation and their purpose is appreciation of Nature.

How do they view Nature?

Observation being the primary activity, it is natural that the observer would consider herself as separate from the observed. But humans are a part of Nature, not separate from it. Do these activities unintentionally enforce the idea of separation from Nature that is such a common part of our everyday life in the city? 

How are we different?

Sharing Nature activities involve personal engagement with Nature. For example, when a participant stands firmly on ground and pretends to become a tree while imagining her roots going deep down and branches spreading out towards the sky, she is not observing the tree but is herself the tree. 

Joseph Cornell leads a Sharing Nature training in Japan

Survival training

What is it?

Epitomised by Bear Grylls on National Geographic, survival training is fast emerging as a popular outdoor activity in India. It involves learning to understand and estimate the level of risk in wilderness conditions and developing skills to counter it. The purpose of such training is to train participants to be able to survive in the wild, if conditions demand. 

How does it view Nature?

When an activity require us to view Nature as menacing, the value that we inadvertently associate with it is fear.  If a parent decides to send the child for survival training they must ask themselves whether it is desirable to instill fear in the child. A fear of the very thing that sustains us?

How are we different?

In Sharing Nature training, we consider Nature to be a friendly place in which one can sense a benevolent presence around oneself. “When you approach Nature as a friend, you will witness miracles”, says Atulya Bingham, a single woman who, for several years, lived alone in a mud hut on a mountain adjoining a forest without any protection. “What you give is what you get with nature. […] You enter a territory and become the savage hunter, then you will at some point become the hunted,” says Atulya. 

Outward bound learning

What is it?

Outward bound or outbound learning is learning that takes place outdoors. It is usually organised in a natural environment involving adventure activities, walks, rides, crafts, ecosystem study, or it could be at historical places or involve farming. Large programmes involve a combination of all the above. It emphasises linking experience with learning. Its intended outcome is development of life skills, leadership skills, and achieving curriculum or training objectives.  

How does it view Nature?

In ecosystem studies Nature is a topic to be studied and analysed, hardly different from an inanimate object – such as, a machine, or components of a system – that might be studied the same way.

How are we different?

Sharing Nature focuses on emotions or feelings of the participant. All tasks or challenges in our games are designed to help adults and children deepen their relationship with nature through unique ways of emotionally connecting with Nature. “If you want to motivate people, first touch their hearts, because it is their feelings that will inspire their thoughts and behavior,” said legendary naturalist Alexander von Humboldt. 


Sharing Nature is Adaptable to Any Outdoor Environment

Unlike other outdoor programmes, such as, adventure camps, Sharing Nature activities can be repeated in a park, school or any outdoor environment. Our workshops will train participants in a teaching method that can be adapted to teach any subject using experiential learning. It is essentially a sequence of activities discovered by Sharing Nature founder Joseph Cornell that accelerates flow of inspiration.

This highly effective outdoor learning strategy called Flow Learning™, was featured by the U.S. National Park Service as one of five recommended learning theories, along with the work of Maria Montessori, Howard Gardner, John Dewey, and Jean Piaget. Flow Learning is described here in greater detail.