Best at Outdoor Education – Örebro or Östersund?
If we were to ask around which one of the two cities, Örebro or Östersund, is best for outdoor education, we are convinced that the majority would answer Östersund. This is good. Ordinary people regard Östersund as a municipality with strong outdoor educational background. This image, however, is not entirely correct. In the survey of Natural Parks of Sweden on municipalities’ work with outdoor education, Östersund comes at no. 45 whereas Örebro is the winner for a second year in a row. A reliable survey that gives very good publicity. Why is Östersund only at no. 45 and what can we do about it? We believe that it is high time that Östersund Municipality advances considerably on this list if we are serious about is outdoor profile.
It is, of course, no coincidence that Örebro has won for two years in a row and after having seen examples of their work, we are truly impressed, to say the least. Örebro has had a clear plan about what they want and all management in the municipality associated with outdoor recreation are in their right place. Efforts have been directed towards power of attraction, availability, information, recreating natural and cultural landscapes and long-term recreational plans. The questions in the survey are divided into three categories: Outdoor education plans, Outdoor education information and partnership, and Outdoor education activities. Östersund is at the top when it comes to activities, but almost at the bottom as regards information and partnership.
It is time for the municipality to act and improve the fields of information and partnership. Today, the municipality lacks both a plan and active outdoor education efforts. The Östersund trademark will appear much stronger both to the people who live in Östersund and to visitors, if we did something about it!
We hope that Östersund Municipality, together with us, inspirers and executives, will draw up an innovative plan on how we can develop and communicate to the public outdoor education in Östersund. And we hope that the municipality will set up a service to keep the work going and develop the idea of outdoor education in the municipality.
This is an investment that would be worthwhile. There are many entrepreneurs in outdoor education, like us, who could benefit from the active efforts of the municipality. And many of the young and old people in the municipality who engage in social activities associated with outdoor education can be proud of and glad with their commitment. Clearer outdoor education activities would generate more jobs in our line of business, contribute to better public health and attract more visitors to the municipality.
That we would later climb up the ranking ladder of outdoor education municipalities of the year would be a welcome bonus. This would create publicity and would be an acknowledgement that leaves a pleasant feeling in the stomach. For surely it is Östersund, and not Örebro, that is best at outdoor education!
Sofie Jugård Löfgren, Aktivut AB
Simon Jaktlund, Östersund Kite
Susann Myrenhammar, Chairman of Östersunds NSF Scoutkår
For pictures, please contact Aktivut