The organisation functions with the support of the European Community budget line "Support for international non-governmental youth organisations"

Founded in 1996 the European Institute is a non-governmental association registered at the magistrates` court of Marburg in Germany.

In Europe the organisation has 248 individual members and 80 organisations from 22 countries as of (January 2003.

They develop theoretical foundations for the field of outdoor activities. Promotes alternative education and complementary education through the means of outdoor activities. Outdoor recreation of young people and of aged people is promoted and encouraged as well. Therapy by using outdoor adventure activities is a field that the Institute tend to support and develop. Research on using experiential learning as a means to nonconventional education and environmental education is also encouraged. Articles and books regarding education in outdoors are signaled and commented. The multicultural European dimension of the Institute is encouraged and concepts such as friluftsliv, erlebnispadagogik, bildung, experientiel, are part of our common thesaurus.

It's purposes are as follows:

- Development of an European Network between youngsters, social and youth workers, teachers, educators, academics and students concerning Outdoor Adventure Education and Experiential Learning

- Realisation of projects especially youth projects in the field of Outdoor Adventure Education and Experiential Learning

- Organisation of European Conferences

- Distribution of Information

- Research on the theory of Outdoor Adventure Education to promote the quality of practice

- Implementation of research projects and best practices

- Development of professional standards

"The opinions expressed by the organisation do not necessarily reflect the position of the European Community, nor does it involve any responsibility on its part."

Statement of intent and mission

What is outdoor adventure education?

There are many views concerning outdoor adventure education. There is, however, a great deal of common ground.

Practitioners seem to agree that OAE comprises most, or all, of the following elements:

*stimulate personal and social development:

-academic, aesthetic, spiritual, social and environmental elements

-increased responsibility for own learning

-developing increased confidence and self respect

*direct experience (ie experiential learning)

* some experience with the outdoors

* a "journeying"element

* respect for the environment

* professional standards to ensure:

- community

-physical and emotional safety

- protection of the environment from overuse.

Issues affecting the development of OAE

These are some of the key trends and issues influencing the directions in which OAE is developing:

* Mind and body. There have been many debates over the centuries about the relationship between mind and body. In modern education, the debate concerns whether or not a primarily intellectual form of education is adequate for the proper development of the individual, or whether a more direct, non-abstract form of educational experience is more appropriate

* Relationship between the individual and society. As civilisation moves and change accelerates, many individuals become disconnected from society. They feel that they have no control and influence through the political process to bring about beneficial changes in their lives and within their communities.

Practitioners can work outdoors to help people to identify areas where they can take control of their lives and take a more active part in their communities.

* Relationship between individuals and the environment. Environmental issues are of increasing importance in the political agenda, yet many people live an urban life which does not allow them to experience the relationship between their actions and the elements which support life on earth.

Outdoor adventure education can provide direct contact with the natural world, which can enable people to develop informed values and opinions.

The Institute`s Mission

The Institute will:

* promote the development of OAE through an exchange of practical and academic knowledge

* develop new frameworks, initiatives and approaches to enhance OAE across the community

The values of the institute are based on:

*respect for diversity and community

* the promotion of equality of opportunity

* the recognition of professional standards

The purposes of the institute are:

*to develop theoretical foundations for the field of OAE

· to develop professional standards that recognise commonality and diversity

* to undertake research and implement project to influence the quality of practice

* to identify and develop areas of commonality with environmental education

The Institute will achieve this by:

* developing networks and exchanges for academic staff, students and practitioners

*facilitating conferences

* promoting information exchanges through electronic media, publications and congresses

*coordinating collaborative research projects

* developing transnational codes of practice

* developing professional development programmes and core curricula for programs to achieve an international accepted degree

* monitoring and evaluating the quality of provision