Education News

How Teaching Kids Survival Skills Translates Into Life Skills

Students at an east side high school learn survival skills.

Students at George Sanchez High School pitch a tent

Students at George Sanchez High School in east Houston learn how to pitch a tent that will soon shelter them out in the woods. They got tips from Olympic gold medalist Mike Marsh. He’s a member of The Woods Project, a program that provides wilderness trips for low income kids.

He says in many ways he identifies with them.

“I could add some of my experiences and how I grew up, what things worked for me, what things didn’t, because I have lots of things in common with kids in the inner city.”

Marsh grew up in California and competed in the ’92 Olympics in Barcelona. He says the outdoors will be an eye-opening experience for them.

“A lot of them will see redwood trees for the first time, stars for the first time. All these very simple things that we just sort of fail to look at and it’ll open their mind up to all the other things they can discover.”

Steve Rosencranz founded The Woods Project to help low-income youth develop life skills through a wilderness education program.  

“They grew up in communities where those aren’t characteristics that are typically learned. They’re probably learned a little easier in high income communities because those parents have those skills to teach. So there’s a real need to work with those kids to develop those skills.”

Student Isiah Canales says he didn’t know the outdoors could be so exciting. He spent a weekend outdoors on a trip sponsored by The Woods Project.

“It was also weird because I didn’t take a shower for two days. So like, it lets you know that you can really do certain things that you didn’t think you live without. Sitting around a camp fire and just having stories to tell, it’s the best. It was awesome for me.” 

Weekend trips are planned to places like Sam Houston National Forest and Piney Woods.

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