Part of the study the ENDLT network did (see blog 26 -1) was to visit a project on outdoor education on the island of Vinön.
The island is the largest island in lake Hjalmaren, approximately 200 km from Stockholm. The island has 100 permanent inhabitants and population decreased over the past twenty years. Many commute to mainland jobs, others have small-scale enterprises, often a combination of fishing, farming, gardening and tourism. The European LEADER funding for rural development has been used to develop a framework for the development of Vinön.
One project within that is the Thematic School Walks. The project developed upon pedagogical knowledge of the key driver behind it, a former school teacher on the island and is based on the resources on the island. Adjusted to the program and wishes of a particular school, a thematic walk is developed based on the idea that we learn with our whole body. Childeren, but also increasingly, tourists and conference delegations get to do, try, feel and smell nature and rural living on the island. Farmers, fishermen and other professionals on the island explain, show and invite the visitors to their activities. The professionals involved are getting paid for their time investment. But also, the project contributed to island cohesion and self-esteem. As a spin off the University of Linköping started a course for student-teachers on outdoor education on the island. Standing on the frozen lake a kilometer outside the island, a fisherman explained us how winter fishing under the ice takes place in a sustainable way.