FREE STUFF for Educators!

Connecting People & Planet

As we head into the new school year I’d like to wish everyone a GREAT year ahead!

My goals is to create a a resource bank for educators in Asia with regional examples that will help us create a new generation of Internationally Minded Students & Teachers!

To achieve that goal I’d  like to offer a few FREE resources that I hope you’ll find helpful.


If you are involved in projects related to International MindednessGlobal Issues, Global Citizenship, Action Projects, Service Learning or Education Outside The Classroom (EOTC) you might find the free guides, essays and publications useful.

For more information CLICK the links below to download FREE STUFF!

If you use any of these resources or find them helpful I’d love to know!

Action Guides:

Green Riders Action Guide– In 2012, Jamie and Kenny rode bamboo bicycles from Thailand to Bali to raise awareness for sustainability in the region.  This Curriculum & Action Guide to their documentary video series will help you introduce Global Issues in the Southeast Asian Context.

Green Paddlers Action Guide– in 2014, James, Dan, Kenny & Kerry paddled around Phuket to raise awareness for marine conservation and shine the spotlight on those making a difference for a more sustainable future.

Greenscapes for Schools– Do you have an outdoor classroom on your campus or in your community?  You should!  These case studies and how-to guide will help you get started.

Service Learning– A simple guide to help you get started planning your service project.

EOTC Planning Resources– Risk & Safety, Risk Assessments, SOP’s and other free templates!


GREEN Paddlers Logo copy

Green Paddlers In 2014 James, Dan, Kerry & Kenny paddled around Phuket, Thailand to raise awareness for marine issues in Southeast Asia.

LOGO-smallGreen Riders– The video series documenting sustainability and conservation issues from Thailand to Bali on bamboo bicycles!



As if the Earth_CoverEnvironmental education– a few samples from As if the Earth Matters.  Get outside and play!


The Greatest Loss– Exactly what are we losing with the hustle & bustle of hurried ‘progress’ towards ‘development’?

Sailing Samsara– The Greatest Loss revisited.  What are remedies and solutions to the issues explored in The Greatest Loss?

Lunchtime on the Gallatin– What is beauty & truth?  Is Nature poetic? Kenny explores these questions from an ecological perspective while trout fishing and eating sandwiches on the Gallatin River.


Jumpstart Your EOTC program–  Whether you have an existing Education Outside The Classroom program or would like to start one at your school these tips will be helpful!

Walk Between the Worlds– You cannot be a Global Citizen unless you learn to Walk Between the Worlds.

A Material World– Was Madonna right?


Pleng– Pleng is an inspiring student from Thailand you should know about!

Nathan Hunt (UWCSEA)- Nathan has plenty of cool projects going on at UWC in Singapore!  Check ’em out!

Kelab Alami– Kelab Alami is raising a generation of Youth Mangrove Forest Rangers in Malaysia.

Eco-Knights– lots of community projects happening in Kuala Lumpur and beyond!

Shei Mei– Read about the difference one person can make when they really set their mind to it.

NIST– NIST Int’l School has a rooftop garden.  That’s way cool!

Institute of Humane Education– The world becomes what we teach.

NUKLEUS Even your underwear can be sustainabile!


box People CoverAs if the Earth Matters– An instructors guide to environmental education, stewardship and service projects.

Ersatz Trilogy– A trilogy in three different genres.. all with a common theme of exploring and understanding the world we live in and share.

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I had the opportunity and pleasure to work with Pleng when she was a Grade 11 student at United World College Thailand (UWCT).  At the time, she volunteered to help with the UWCT Grade 5 Education Outside The Classroom (ETOC) kayak and camping trip that I was leading.

We’ve kept in touch and Pleng recently contacted me for a letter of reference as well as pointers and tips on possible internships and volunteer opportunities before she heads to University.

Pleng’s story reminds us why we do what we do as educators! I hope you and your students find her story inspiring!

Good luck Pleng!

What is your main goal and passion related to nature, conservation and sustainability?

I love being around animals that’s what I would say. I can’t stand to see injured or starving animals because I would feel angry and guilty with the world, especially human or myself, to witness how we neglect these wonderful animals to death.

Therefore, my passion is protecting animals as much as I can and make it sustainable, which means people will still carry the thought of animals are important to humans in longtime and forever.

How did you discover your interest in outdoors & nature?

It started since I was young. I was studying in Thai special math and science school since grade 7 what allowed me to learn branches of science in highschool, including environmental science which is a branch of science that I can relate to in daily life.

I would say it’s a benefit of studying science at young age that give me enough time to realize myself what I love in sciences. I started doing my environmental project about mangrove tree experiments at age of fourteen, which brought me on real fields such as mangrove forests, rainforests and scientific laboratories.

Those experiences opened up my mind to every activities about environment such as kayaking, hiking, scuba diving or even extreme sports.

What are you hoping to learn more about?

I’m hoping I can learn more about relationships between human, animals and environment. As a high school student, I have learned some interesting things about the interaction between human; how human act to each other in different situation and impact their behaviour.

I would love to learn and understand more about the connection of human, animals and environment and how these connection bring awareness of protecting each other. I got inspiration from some scientific research that showed singing can impact growth in plants, animals and humans can communicate and understand each others even we speak different language.

Therefore, I hope that my passion for animal conservation and environment will answer these questions of mine.

Do you have any goals or ideas for future projects related to conservation or environmental education?

I want to raise up the awareness of Thai people to the importance of environment and wildlife for the future.

In the past Thais didn’t give much importance to nature or animals. We thought plenty of nature in our country will be the same for long time or forever.

We didn’t give a priority to animals and we treat them like an object as we don’t have any laws to protect animals.

Negligence of taking care of animals in Thailand angered me so much because it shows an inability of being responsible to our natural resources.

Was there any particular events or teachers that helped you realize you want to learn more and do something for the environment?

There are several teachers and events that helped to continually suggest me into environmental mindset. Two years of volunteering with Bodhi dog shelter when I was studying at United World College Thailand, clearly answered me a lot about my life.

The people who are taking care of injured dogs inspired me to help who are in need without any concern of what you are willing to do, and this case is an injured dog. Those injured dogs do not have any right to speak or protect themselves.

Also, thanks to my environmental high school teacher in UWC Thailand, Jalal Tarazi, who saw some passionate environment in myself and supported me as much as he could. Although back at that time I didn’t realize myself that I would be fascinated in environmental education or wildlife conservation anymore.

The conversation we had that drove me to learn and find more about myself with environment is on my graduation day, he said to me with a shine in his eyes that “I hope I will see you learning more in environmental ways”

This seems like a short and normal conversation people would say before a farewell, but it encouraged me a lot to look back at myself who I really am and what I really passion about.

And also Kenny Peavy, my environmental trip supervisor, who I have met on my high school camping when I was supposed to be supervisor for fifth grade students.

He lit my thoughts of being someone to protect nature to me in every activities that he taught the kids. I realized how close we are to nature in every step of living from him via kayaking, camping or having dinner.

Do you have any advice for other students?

If you have some thought of enjoyment to do something even it will be insane for the rest of the world, just do it. That feeling of pleasure never let you down. Because at least you are doing what you have fun with and love. Live for yourself and follow your dreams!

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SPOTLIGHT on UWCSEA & Nathan Hunt!

Nathan with parents, students & alumni


I’ve had the pleasure of working with Nathan on a number of occasions at United World College Southeast Asia.

His humble personality and dedication to sustainability and conservation are reflected in several dynamic research projects and educational programs for students and communities in Singapore.



With projects ranging from rainforest restoration in Sumatra to a carbon offsetting program in Ladakh the lessons learned in the field and practical impacts his students are having on sustainability and conservation are innovative and inspirational!

We definitely need more students, teachers and communities taking action for a sustainable future!  So get inspired and get outside to play, learn & explore!

For ideas & inspiration make sure to learn more about the UWCSEA Rainforest Restoration Project & The Lamdon School Reforestation Project at the links below!








Learn more about the UWCSEA Rainforest Restoration Project here!

Get inspired by the Lamdon School Reforestation Project here!









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Lupa Masa (forget time) with Earth Matters!

Story by Catriona Benzie
Year 5 Teacher
STEM Teaching and Learning Coach

International School Suva

Photos by Sarah Sutter (American School in Japan) & Kenny Peavy


There’s nothing quite like watching a ten year old swing a machete with calm concentration. As I observe him and his brother work together to build a temporary shelter, under the watchful eye of their mum and our jungle guide, I know this is what children miss when an education is restricted to the indoors. Sometimes learning should be messy, involve calculated risks, and take us out of our comfort zone. That’s what the jungle taught me.


It isn’t easy to get to our home away from home, Lupa Masa in Borneo, Malaysia, but as the name guarantees, we can feel the stress of the modern world slip away with each muddy footstep. The thick green of the canopy cast shadows on the ground as we hiked deeper into the jungle. The air was warm and humid. We could hear countless birds and insects calling to each other though many of them remained hidden among the lush foliage. There was excitement in the air as the camp finally came into sight.

We dropped our packs and took off our leech socks, welcomed by the delicious smell of our well-earned lunch. After a quick dip in the cool river we got to talking. One of the beautiful things about being together in Nature is the time we have to connect with each other. Even though we were from all over the world, we had far more in common than we could have guessed. When I listened to people tell their stories, I felt honoured to be part of this group of intrepid adventurers.

The more time we spend outdoors, the more we see ourselves as part of an interconnected web of life, not the masters of it. And there is something especially magical about being outdoors with children. They remind us to look at the world with joy and wonder, to be fascinated by a deadly pit viper hanging in the tree over our heads instead of horrified by it.

We tread carefully on rope bridges through the jungle canopy, trekked bravely through the jungle at night to see bioluminescent fungi, and learned how to remove a leech with a quick flick of a pocketknife. We played with a massive millipede, fondly nicknamed Bob, and were fascinated by a Pygmy squirrel that made its home near camp. We saw the world’s largest flower, Rafflesia, and caught a quick whiff of its foul smell, like rotting flesh, to attract insects to spread its pollen. Isn’t Nature awesome?

I can’t help but feel a sense of sadness as we pack up to leave the jungle. Although I am looking forward to a hot shower, I will miss the sound of the cicadas at night, sitting around a table by candlelight sharing stories and laughing with my new friends. But I am leaving with a renewed sense of purpose.

I can’t wait to tell the students in my class all about my adventure in Borneo, to share the feeling of interconnectedness and belonging.

I’m thinking about where my class could go camp this year for an adventure. This trip reminded me that talking about it isn’t enough; it’s experiential learning, walking the walk that makes all the difference.

Education outside the classroom is essential to developing well-rounded, global citizens. Children innovate, problem-solve, and think deeply in a real world context.
















These skills have a direct impact on children’s lives as they navigate an increasingly complex world. They learn to love and respect the planet we all share. They learn important contextual and cultural knowledge that won’t be found in textbooks.

They become caretakers for the next generation, just as we adults are today. As we try to find a balance between progress and conservation, it will be dynamic thinkers and risk-takers that will create a sustainable future.


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ETC 2017- Adventure Learning: Basics of Program Design

Jumpstarting your Education Outside The Classroom (EOTC) Program
(2-part workshop)

Whether your school does service projects, week without walls, cultural immersion or adventure programs you’ll need to know a few basics to get it started or improve your current program.

Workshop A will cover the basics of program design, logistics, desired learning outcomes & experiences for students

Why do ETOC? (show slides, download notes from website, my end goal is to create and free downloadable guide to planning & implementing successful EOTC expeditions)

  • Plan early! 6 months – year in advance
  • Choosing your focus (learning outcomes & desired experiences)

Jumpstart your EOTC program

Anatomy of EOTC

3-components of a trip (pre, during & post)

Pre- trip preparations

  • Informing students about the trip (itinerary, gear list, activities),
  • Checking student outdoor skills (cycling, swimming, hiking, fitness levels)
  • Pre-teaching curriculum connections (i.e. learning BEFORE the trip)
  • Other skills (using equipment, scientific probes, data collection, interviewing skills etc.)


During trip

  • Daily briefings
  • Communication with students, teachers & staff
  • Regular debriefings (sharing circles after activities etc.)

Post-trip (many if not most schools drop the ball on this one!)

  • Review itinerary
  • Feedback SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats)
  • Start planning for next year

Anatomy of a trip (1st day everyone is shell shocked & confused, 3rd day is a charm… trips should be 6-8 days to get most benefits for students)

Info we need (to avoid 50+ e-mails!)

  1. Activities & learning outcomes
  • Activities preferred
  • Experiences desired
  • Any learning outcomes
  • Standards or benchmarks to meet
  1. Types of trips
  • Adventure– kayaking, trekking, white water rafting, camping, snorkelling
  • Cultural immersion– village visits, homestays
  • Curriculum related– science, Independent Assessment (IB), geography, humanities, etc.
  • Service oriented– local schools, community projects, conservation (tree plantings, beach clean ups etc.)
  • Leadership– team building, cooperation games, role playing, empathy
  • Life Skills– market visits, cooking class, organizing a campsite
  1. Location
  • Indonesia (Bali, Sumatra, Java, Komodo)
  • Thailand (North or South)
  • Malaysia (Peninsular, East)

Itinerary– after we know the above information then we can design an itinerary

Logistics, risk & safety

  1. Trip info
  • Dates of trip
  • Arrival & departure times- impacts itinerary
  1. Student info
  • School / group name
  • Ages/grade level
  • How many students (please list male & female- sometimes it’s hard to tell from names!)
  • Rooming preferences- doubles, triples etc. (for number of rooms)
  • Rooms need to be clustered for safety (map of hotel property)
  1. Teacher info
  • How many teachers (male & female)
  • Teachers sharing rooms or single rooms
  • Contracts/expectations, teacher roles, refund policies, logistics,
  1. Risk & Safety
  • Skills/abilities- swimming, cycling, fitness level & ability etc.
  • Medical forms (food restrictions, allergies, medicines, past med history etc.)
  • Risk assessments & SOP’s

III. Payments & deposit (at least 1month before program)

  • Build the cost into tuition if at all possible
  • Pricing is dependent on the itinerary (itinerary can be designed to fit budget or designed to fit requested activities)
  • Determined by the number of participants
  • Refund policy



  • Perceived risk v. Real risk
  • Getting into the discomfort zone (out of the comfort zone)
  • Risk assessment basics (sample)
  • Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s)
  • Background checks on third party providers

Benefits of risky play

Just how dangerous are ziplines

Fatal Singapore tree fall prompts questions

Click here to download sample Risk Assessment form

Click here to download sample Standard Operating Procedures form

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