Expedition Behavior

What do we mean by Expedition Behavior?

Wilderness expeditions can be challenging, both physically and mentally. When you are tired and hungry it can be difficult to prioritize the needs of the group above your own. However, learning to do this, among other things, lies at the heart of developing good Expedition Behavior. The term Expedition Behavior was coined by Paul Petzoldt, the founder of the National Outdoor Leadership School, who described it initially as an “awareness of the relationships that influence an outdoor experience”. This was later expanded to include the following:

  • Serve the mission and goals of the group.
  • Be as concerned for others as you are for yourself.
  • Treat everyone with dignity and respect.
  • Support leadership and growth in everyone.
  • Respect the cultures you contact.
  • Be kind and open-hearted.
  • Do your share and stay organized.
  • Help others, but don’t routinely do their work.
  • Model integrity by being honest and accountable.
  • Admit and correct your mistakes.

You may notice that this list of characteristics aligns closely with the expectations of students in a Montessori classroom, but also those characteristics that are most important for developing strong leadership skills.