It is often said that Finland is a country of hundreds of thousands of lakes and a treasure chest of the green gold. One couldn’t agree more!
An endless patchwork of blue lakes and green forests is our special feature. That is why our outdoor life is often concentrated on hiking in the wilderness, canoeing and rowing on lakes of the wild Lapland or sailing, kayaking and camping in the coastal archipelago of Finland. When the winter time comes, all that green and blue is covered with white powder and sparkling frost. Many Finns consider skiing one of their favourite sports and it is still a useful way of transport in some areas. As said, Finland is a long country thus our geology and weather conditions vary and so does the way of outdoor life.
Finnish people have always had a strong bond with outdoors through agriculture, forest industry and ancient nature mythology. Things have changed and Finland is a hi-tech country nowadays, yet people are looking for connection to the nature. “The wilderness tradition” as we call it in Finnish, ‘eräperinne’, used to be the core of everyday life for Finns. Though technological transition have moved most of the everyday living to cities, still the form of this tradition has remained.
Although the current way of living doesn’t require hard outdoor work, people tend to spend their free time outdoors in different activities or rural summer cottages. It seems that people have needs of simplicity, physical activity and adventurous experiences. These are also supported by social and political actions to preserve and provide natural areas. Law promotes outdoor life by everyman’s rights as in other nordic countries. Effects of the environment have also been studied plenty in the academic field.
Adventure and Outdoor Education, in Finnish Seikkailukasvatus, has operated in Finland since 1990’s. In the beginning of the 21st century, it has been organized nationwide through a network. This has developed the ground for the professional code of conduct and education in institutes and Universities of Applied Sciences. Adventure and Outdoor Education uses a wide range of methods aiming to provide pedagogical experiences mainly through participation in different activities outdoors. The definition of ”adventure” is somewhat indefinite and developing.
Under Adventure and Outdoor Education plenty of therapeutical approaches and implications has been used through its years in Finland, but coordinated outdoor therapy network hasn’t opened its eyes until the year 2017. In June 2017 in Ulos-Ut-Out conference bunch of Outdoor Therapy enthusiasts found each other and started to seek out, where all the other same-minded are.
The first meeting of Finnish adventure therapy network was hold in February in 2018, where the first kick-off for the discussion, actions and brainstorming were done. This was a start for the exciting journey towards to explore the Adventure Therapy in Finland. We warmly welcome you to join with us to this excursion!