The word Pedagog comes from Greek and it means more or less “side by side traveler”. Thought of travelling side by side reflects perfectly to a OB-instructor. Instructor is not just a “huge leader”, who just leads a group from victory to an another victory. Instructor is also not a person who´s going to tell you afterwards how things should have been done. OB-instructor is a safe person beside you, someone who always has a clue what’s happening around him and who will support you in any way and answer your questions.
“Our feathered friends, the jays, perch on overhead branches as they watch over the travellers who found their way to the spring.”
Get to know our team of the javs:
- Anna Lappalainen
- Arto Tiihonen
- Eleonora “Ellis” Barco
- Erik Rudels
- Jarkko Riikonen
- Kaisa Pietilä
- Kimmo “Kimi” Räty
- Michelle Suni
- Nea Kujala
- Nädia Raji
- Olli-Pekka “Olpe” Pietarinen
- Paavo Heinonen
- Petri Sutinen
- Petteri Tiainen
- Reea Partanen
- Roope Ketola
- Senja Pirhonen
- Sini Ratas
- Siiri Kumpulainen
- Teemu Tuomainen
- Timo Ruuhijärvi
- Wille Hartonen
Hello everybody! I’m Anna Lappalainen, originally from eastern Finland, now living in Lahti. I’m one of the many freelance instructors for Outward Bound Finland.
My interest towards nature, adventure education and experiential learning started while I was studying community pedagogy in Mikkeli. After some trips to Muotkatunturi wilderness area up in Lappland I was sold. I need to get more of this! After graduation from Mikkeli I worked in child protection little while but continued studying for sport instructor in Lahti. I specialized in outdoors and experiential education and found myself experiencing many adventures. After my second graduation from Lahti University I have used my knowledge and skills as a method in youth work with different groups in various environments.
Nature still enchants and fascinates me time after time. Learning never stops. Nature is open, clear and pure where everyone can be as they are without any roles, layers or barriers.
Olen Arto, Artsi, Tiihonen ja tituleeraan itseäni akateemiseksi sekatyömieheksi. Tutkin, kehitän, opetan, ohjaan ja teen melkein mitä vaan, jos se edistää yhteistä asiaamme eli OBF:n tapauksessa kokemusten merkityksen ymmärtämistä ja kokemuksellisen oppimisen kehittämistä luontoympäristössä. Omat kokemukseni seikkailukasvatuksesta pohjautuvat lapsuuden villeihin leikkeihin savolaisessa luonnossa ja maalaisympäristössä. Akateeminen urani pitää sisällään liikuntatieteiden maisterin ja lisensiaatin tutkinnot sekä väitöskirjan sosiologiasta. Aikamoisen määrän sekä tieteellisiä että populaareja julkaisuja tai oikeastaan näiden välimuotoja, joissa pyritään esittämään konkreetteja ratkaisuja mm. väestön liikuttamiseen ja urheiluvalmennuksen kehittämiseen. Näitä voi lukea blogisivultani www.miksiliikun.fi. Työurani on ollut sekatyötä eli olen tehnyt järjestöhommia mm. Opiskelijoiden liikuntaliitossa, tutkimustyötä Jyväskylän yliopistossa, kehittämisprojekteja Ikäinstituutissa, opetusta ja ohjausta Haaga-Heliassa (Vierumäki) ja Lahden ammattikorkeakoulussa (Pajulahti).
Olen toimittanut runsaasti erilaisia julkaisuja ja tehnyt TV-toimittajan töitä YLE:ssä sekä viestintähommia Liikuntatieteellisessä seurassa. Olen tietokirjailija, tiedetoimittaja ja kohta on valmiina erikoisammattitutkinto digitaalisten tuotteiden ja palveluiden kehittäjänä. Olen myös ”kätilöinyt” kymmeniä eri alojen opinnäytteitä ja esitarkistanut ainakin kuuden eri tieteen-/taiteenalan väitöskirjoja. Seikkailukasvatusta ja kokemuksellista oppimista saan arjessani harjoittamalla monipuolista liikkumista ja ikämiesurheiluakin sekä leikkimällä lapsenlapseni kanssa. Luonto on minulle erittäin tärkeä liikkumisympäristö, sillä kävelen, juoksen, pyöräilen, hiihdän, melon aina kun vain voin. Minuun voi olla yhteydessä, jos OBF:n toiminta kokemuksellisen oppimisen alueella kiinnostaa.
Eleonora “Ellis” Barco
Hi there! I´m Eleonora “Ellis” Barco, living in Helsinki.
My profession is Sports Instructor, I studied sport and leisure management in University of Haaga-Helia. I have specialized in outdoors and experiential education in my studies among many of us in OB. My whole life I have had many hobbies as well in indoors as in outdoors. I have been working especially with kindergarten and primary school kids, among PE facilities.
Currently I´m working at kindergarten named “At home when in nature”. I also like to improve my skills constantly, so at the moment I am studying socialpedagogics at Metropol University. Hopefully I will graduate in a couple of years and get the bachelor of Social Services.
The most beloved and important hobby of mine is yoga, that I´m also instructing weekly. My other passion is environment and waste disposal. I´m diligent for sorting and recycling trashes. I even have a blog about how to diminish waste products!
When I do not do yoga or study I love to listen to music, climb, read a lot and do crafts. During winter time I do winter hikes and also downhill skiing is one of my favorite activities.
I dream about people being able to live in harmonic and respectful interaction also with the environment but especially with ourselves.
Link to my blog: (http://zerowastehel.blogspot.fi/)
Im from Åland, where I live with my wife Anna and daughter Ylva.
Ive been working full time in the industry since 1999. At the moment, my job is at Kruunupyy Outdoor Academy as an instructor.
Water activities, such as kayaking and sailing are especially close to my heart, but most other outdoor activities are becoming familiar. I like teaching situation control, leadership, and group dynamics the most.
“Ty så är det med livet och målet, att det börjar liksom mitt på havet, och slutar liksom mitt på havet, och målet är liksom mitt på havet.” -Harry Martinsson
Hi everyone! Im Jarkko Riikonen from eastern Finland.
Im one of the many freelance instructors for Outward Bound Finland. As my day job I work with troubled youth as a specialyouth councellor. The spare time left over from work and family I exercise and hunt.
Originally I graduated as a youth worker, but continued my studies towards communitypedagogy. I did the OB Finlands instuctor cource in 1999, after which Ive had the chance to work as an instructor on cources. To further increase my skills and knowledge, Ive been to courses in Belgium, Lithuania and Spain. The most memorable experiences for me as an instructor have been the winter cources, where very often we see sincere learning experiences.
See you at the courses!
“Anima Sana in Corpore Sano.”
Hi, Im Kaisa Pietilä, originally from Joensuu, now living in Helsinki. Outward Bound became a part of my life in 2003, when I met Jarkko Riikonen. Without objections, I took part in the OB instuctor course. And many adventures since.
Life has taken me to Vesala middle school, where I teach a special education class. During the years, Ive had the chance to work with children and adults. Among becoming a special education teacher, Ive studied drama, youth research, psychology, as well as social psychology. Ive also specialised in outdoor and experiental education. Whenever an opportunity rises, Ill become an instuctor for Outward Bound Finland.
I think adventure pedagogy is more of a way of thinking than a method for learning. Adventure is always present, and a life changing experience can be found in everyday communication. Everyone of us is a teacher and a student.
On top of various outdoor activities, I do African dance and sing in a group called “Syöjättäret”.
“It´s our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.” – Marianne Williamson
Kimmo “Kimi” Räty
I am father of two, from Joensuu. My educational background includes Nursing (2005), outdoor and experiental learning instructor (1996). I have resently begun studying for problemsolving psychotherapy.
I have worked for Outward Bound Finland as operating officer from 1998 until 2004. I was responsible for course instruction, educating new instructors as well as running the general everyday things in the organisation. I have been involved, together with Jyrki Hämäläinen, in developing a Quality of Security Programme for Experiental Learning.
Since then, I have worked in childrens psychiatry and in hospitals in Helsinki and Rovaniemi.
I have also written a recently publist book about instructing in experiental learning for Outward Bound.
Before my children were born I often hiked in woods, padelled in strong currents and climbed rocks. I am qualified kyaking and climbing instructor as well as first aid. At the moment I dont have enough spare time for long outdoor adventures, but when the children grow up a little, then I will get more into experiental education.
Intohimoni ovat vuoret. Olen nauttinut lukuisista vuorista kävellen, kiipeillen ja laskien. Olen saanut kunnian viedä myös muita ihmisiä kokemaan elämyksiä vuorilla. Olen huomannut, kuinka paljon vuorimatkailu on minua opettanut ja kuinka se on hiljaa kasvattanut minua haluamaani suuntaa: empaattiseen, myötätuntoiseen, toisia kunnioittavaan, itsevarmempaan minään. Ja se tekee edelleen samoin. Löydän aina uusia puolia itsestäni.
Löysin Outward Boundin vuonna 2013, jonka avulla saan toteuttaa unelmaani auttaa toisia löytämään luonnosta itseään ja vahvistaa haluamiaan omia luonteenpiirteitä. Olen OBFn hallintopäällikkö, suunnittelen ja organisoin meidän kursseja ja koulutuksia nuorille ja aikuisille. Jos kirjoitat sähköpostin Outward Bound Finlandille niin todennäköisesti minä olen se jolta saat vastauksen viestiisi.
Innostun helposti ja olen aina valmis keskustelemaan ihmisistä, luonnosta ja hyvästä elämästä. Soita, lähetä mailia tai tavataan.
Hello everyone! I am a OBF-instructor Nea Kujala. I come from a town called Nurmijärvi but currently I’m living in Helsinki. Also the Sport Institute of Finland (called Vierumäki) has also begun to be my next home.
My educations is Sports Instructor. I studied sport and leisure management at Haaga-Helia University. I want to inspire especially younger people with my work via nature, sports and drama.
During my schools outdoor trips I got to experience all sort of things beginning from winter skiing hikes and ending to rapid paddling. My own experiences from these trips were so powerful, bracing and addictive that I started to wonder the reasons for these kinds of feelings. Experiential learning as a method became part of my studies. The more you learned and understood the more interesting it got. After every trip I got stronger idea about how to give others the same kind of feeling than what I had experienced.
Outdoor activities are part of my hobbies, especially paddling is closest to my heart. I would like to do everything more and more often! After every trip, hike or adventure you feel yourself tired but at the same time very brisk. Nature gives an opportunity to examine your own thoughts and it also give you a chance to change them. Nature gets up the best of you because you don’t have to hide behind any role. In nature you can see your capability reach even the hardest challenges just by using your steadfastness and courage.
“You lose much by fearing to attempt.” – J. N. Mattit
Hi there! I am quite fresh OBF-instructor, but I have worked quite a long time among kids and young people and worked with individual- and group level. I have worked using different languages than my own (finnish) for example english and swedish. I graduated psychologist 2008 and psychotherapist 2013 and at this moment I am doing a mid-east examination of master degree in University of Helsinki.
Nature is very important resource of power for me and nights slept outside are the best ones. Nature have a positive affection on people’s well-being and that interests me a lot. I want to take part in developing methods that could be used for finding nature’s powerful affection and then using those methods to support young. I also feel important for the society to support youngs mental health. This world is changing all the time so no wonder everyone can’t seem to find their place in this society. OBF gives me a great opportunity to connect things that are close to my heart and inspiring ways of working.
Olli-Pekka “Olpe” Pietarinen
Hi everyone! I’m Olli-Pekka Pietarinen, one of the many freelance instructors for Outward Bound Finland. I live in the middle Finland, in Sahalahti.
I am a sport instructor and I have specialized in outdoors and experiential education during my University studies. My special studies were also the link to OBF. Since 2007 I have been involved with OBF as a participant and as an instructor.
I like all kind of outdoor activities although kayaking has taken my heart completely. I’m self-employed from outdoors but more actively I got to enjoy outdoors on my free time. Music is another important hobby for me and it has been a big part of my life already over 20 years.
Working in outdoors fascinates me because you can be both learner and teacher at the same time – you can never truly say that you ‘know’.
“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.” -Winnie the Pooh
Hello! My name is Paavo Heinonen and I come from Helsinki but I am currently living in Lahti and I advocate outdoor activities.
After spending my years of youth among outdoor activities I found a whole new way to use our nature, which was using nature as a classroom. Founding this was needed an education as a Sport Instructor at University of Haaga-Helia. From there I applied as a first Finn to study international master degree: Transcultural European Outdoor Studies. The studies are concentrating between three countries and their different ways of using nature as a classroom: In England they have strong outdoor education, in Norway they have “friluftsliv” and in Germany they have “erlebsningspedagogik”. Living in these countries and meeting all of these students around the world among the great professors has expanded my perception about this enormous subject called experiential learning.
Nature is a hit now!
Hi everyone! I am Petri and I work as an entrepreneur. I have cooperated with Outward Bound Finland ry since 2006 as a freelancer instructor. I have organized many paddling adventure expeditions in collaboration with OB.
I have worked as a paddling instructor and educator for twenty years. I have also been working for this paddling union for ten years and we have together made and guide book for paddling instructors and for paddling education. I have been instructing among different countries for example in Sweden and Singapore. I also have experience from rapid paddling as instructor and as well doing it myself.
My personal achievement:
Hi there! Here is writing a guy from Espoo who is many-sided outdoor activity lover. I live in Espoo but I also enjoy spending my time at my cottage which is located by the Pyhäranta-lake. You can find me during holidays by the rivers or by the sea or in middle Europe’s snowy mountains. My main job is Sport marketing but time to time I work also as an OBF-instructor.
”Get lost and enjoy your great outdoors!”
Hello! I´m Reea Partanen and the Sport Institute of Finland have lately became my home. Blood in my veins and the way I think comes still strongly from Eastern Finland (Savo) because my hometown is Iisalmi.
I have studied Sport and Leisure management at University of Haaga-Helia and I ve specialized in outdoors and experiential education in my studies. My studies gave me better technical skills at paddling and climbing and also being in the nature started feeling more cosy. Adventure expeditions during school gave me an outdoor ecstasy and since then the nature and different adventures has became part of my life. A huge place from my heart has taken climbing and bouldering. Being in nature is meaningful for me because I have to concentrate to the moment and really be with myself. Even small adventure can make you realize your capability. As an Instructor I want to help individuals and groups to find their strength and assets. My dancing and performance background have gave me tools for self expression and I tend to use these tools in my work.
“The best view comes after the hardest climb.”
I am Roope Ketola, I come from the coast of Finland and moved to study to the Sport Institute of Finland (called Vierumäki). Vierumäki is still a safe base for adventures. I graduated as a Sport Instructor 2015 from Haaga-Helia University and 2017 I continued my studies to Jyväskylä University to study sportpedagogik.
All kinds of sports has always been close to my heart, but during my studies at Vierumäki I found the spark for different kind of outdoor activities. Especially climbing and bouldering has became important hobby and way of adventure during these last few years. There is a lot to see and to climb here in Finland and in the world.
Along with climbing I try to find time for other adventures and for ball games too. To the nature or playing fields, places where you can enjoy exercise and try and learn new things and where you can succeed or sometimes fail. To do things that makes you happy.
I am Senja, living in Lahti and graduated 2013 from Sport and Leisure management that I studied in Haaga-Helia University. I have specialised in outdoors and experiential education.
Hello everybody ! My name is Sini Ratas and at the moment I work as a Executive Director in Outward Bound Finland.
Two of my greatest passions have always been sports and nature and I seem to find myself from places where there is trails to hike, water to paddle and rocks to climb.
I am a masseuse therapist and I’ve also studied sports in the Faculty of Physical Activity in a University. I have specialized in outdoors and experiential education during my University studies. While studying I have accomplished also some qualifications in kayaking, climbing and first aid.
I started in Outward Bound Finland as a freelancer instructor in 2007 and at the same time I worked as a climbing instructor in my own University. After that year the longing to go overseas was simply irresistible and so I moved to Hong Kong. I worked in Outward Bound Hong Kong for two years (2008-2010) as a full-time instructor while at the same time ran sea kayak training for the new instructors. I came back to Finland and started working for OBF as a Course Manager in 2011.
”If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”
I feel that I’m most at home when I don’t have walls around me. The environment of nature gives you space to think and to be creative. Adventure opens always new extension to your own reality. I found myself often from hiking and sea kayaking or from rock climbing during my studies in University. In my studies I got to now what experiential learning and adventure education is. I did my internship to Outward Bound Finland and since I graduated I have been working here since 2014.
In my everyday life I feed my hunger of adventures by climbing and instructing nature daycare for children. I enjoy sharing nature experiences with other and it is great to create good relations for children with the nature. Small trips into the woods weekly keeps my mood high. I’m dreaming constantly of making longer adventures and hikes. Equipments can be as well skis, bike or kayak as my own legs. I am hooked and there is no return back. I start planning the next trip right after I´ve finished with the last one.
I am casually enjoying the nature, I am a young man who appreciates meeting people respectfully and not by judging.
I have studied Sport and Leisure management at University of Haaga-Helia and I ve specialized in outdoors and experiential education in my studies. I also specialized in kids- and young people’s exercise. During my studies at University I got to now experiential learning. Because wondering life is a habit of mine, I got interested also of experiential learning and that way I have gotten in to OBF operation.
For myself nature has always been an interesting and homely environment. Build and artificial environment for exercise is something that I´m choosing nature over.
I have graduated for paddling NIL Sea Kayak Guide and my first aid skills have been updated at WMA´s international First Aid courses.
Hi there! My name is Timo Ruuhijärvi and I’m one of the OBF´s many freelancer instructors.
My education is Sports Instructor where I specialized for outdoors and experiential education. This way I have gotten into OBF operation since 2015.
I would describe myself as a many-sided outdoor exerciser. Journey goes by and landscape changes by mountain bike or by paddling few to mention.
Nowadays pretty fast rhythm of life has brought a bit slower tempo into moving in nature. I work as an personal trainer and all possible free time I attend to spend in the nature.
I feel that Outdoor-professions best part is to be part of different learning processes, where you can be the teacher and the learner as well. You can always learn something new.
“I never teach my students. I only try to create the best conditions, where they can learn.” -Albert Einstein-
Hi everyone! I am born in 1979 class teacher from a town called Savonlinna. I’m currently working at Eastern-Finland University as a younger researcher and I’m doing my thesis about asylum seekers integrating into Finnish pre social integration teaching.
Attached to my daily job I act as an musician. Experiential learning has been in my life since half way 20th century when I first got to know Outward Bound Finland. In the beginning of 21th century I worked in OBF as an countable instructor. My job then was to for example plan and put into practice experiential learning courses and educate instructors. In school world I have worked among with students with special needs and immigrants. Experiental learning has been a relevant reason for my understanding for phenomenal and exploratory learning.
Relevant part of my life, nature experiences and self reflection has been climbing among music.
Nowadays I mostly move in the nature when I’m on my boat or when I’m taking out my dogs. Thinking of that the first Finns have been fishing ja hunting by the same lakes where I got to relax and spent my time now. That makes me wonder every time I get out of the pier (outward bound). I wonder what our ancestors were thinking about life, relations and for example climate change.
Jyrki Hämäläinen, Pj
I’m Jyrki Hämäläinen. I work as a teacher in Haaga-Helia Applied siences. I have been an Outward Bound Finland board member since 1995.
I’m Kaisa Pietilä, psychotherapist and trainer from Helsinki. I Helsinkiläinen psykoterapeutti ja kouluttaja. I have been an Outward Bound Finland board member since 2006.
I’m Ilkka Mäkelä, a teacher from Pälkäneeltä. I’ve been involved with Outward Bound Finland from the beginning.
I’m Petri Sutinen, insturctor and trainer and a board member since 2014.
PhD Arto Tiihonen is a (sport) sociologist. He has specialized in learning by experience processes.
I’m Arto Koivisto, Outward Bound Finland board member since 2006. I work as a teacher in Stadin ammattiopisto.
I’m Nea Kujala, Outward Bound Finland board member from 2018 and instructor.