ORA has two different Guiding Programs
The ORA Guiding Service and the Youth Guiding Program
The ORA Guiding Program
ORA can be directly involved with getting you outside and into an outdoor recreation activity, safely and with the confidence to enjoy a lifetime of outdoor fun. ORA members are excited to share their passion for their sport and help you get going. We offer one on one, or group instruction for all of the activities listed here on our website.
If you know your stuff and are just looking for trails and routes, each page for your sport will have as many resources as we know are available, and we’ll keep adding more. Remember ORA is a non-profit organization, our ORA guides are experienced amateur enthusiast the modest fees we charge are split with your guide to support the guide and ORA. As a non-profit this is one of the ways in which we can support the organization through member involvement, and meet new people who share our passion for the outdoors.
Through our members, we have established a guiding program, folks that will meet with you and help you get going in any of the silent sports that you can think of. The exception would be for fly fishing. Serious fly fishers seeking a full (or half) day professional guiding service we recommend checking out the Driftless Angler in Viroqua. If you are interested in learning about fly fishing on a more relaxed half day outing, where you will learn about fly fishing, stream ecology, entomology, local birds and our local geology – in other words it’s not all about the fishing. Don’t misunderstand, we’ll get you out on the water all right, but that won’t be our only focus.
The first step is to fill out the email information and hit send – an ORA representative will reach out to you shortly after that.
Our goal is to get you going in a manor that allows you to keep going! If you’re new to any of these sports, or hobbies – great, let’s get you going!
Find all the information and our rates on the Get Outside page.
Youth Guiding Program
“…A growing body of research links our mental, physical, and spiritual health directly to our association with nature—in positive ways. Several of these studies suggest that thoughtful exposure of youngsters to nature can even be a powerful form of therapy for attention-deficit disorders and other maladies. As one scientist puts it, we can now assume that just as children need good nutrition and adequate sleep, they may very well need contact with nature.”
– Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods
In his excellent book, Last Child in the Woods, author Richard Louv identifies a malady he calls “nature deficit disorder” and the role of “getting outside” to treat it.
Studies suggest that nature may be useful as a therapy for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADBD) used with or, when appropriate, even replacing medications or behavioral therapies. Some researchers now recommend that parents and educators make available more nature experiences-especially green places-to children with ADHD, and thereby support their attentional functioning and minimize their symptoms. Indeed, this research inspires use of the broader term “nature deficit disorder” as a way to help us better understand what many children experience, whether or not they have been diagnosed with ADHD.
Parents and doctors notice that nature engages and soothe children there are multiple studies, in fact, that conclude that an outdoor, “green” environment and activities induce deeper thinking, a calmer disposition, and better retention of information. These studies, combined with objective observations, have prompted doctors to actually “prescribe” outdoor experiences and activities for children with ADHD symptoms and diagnoses. At ORA we believe we can all agree that outdoor experiences can provide an array of positive effects on anyone, young or old!
As an answer to this call to get our youth outside ORA has develop our Youth Guiding Program. This program is intended for kids in grades 5 – 12. The basics of the program are; Grades 5 – 8 are directly engaged to the full variety of outdoor recreation experiences that we can provide. Grades 9 – 12 work as “guides in training”, continuing on with their outdoors skills training, but working and mentoring our younger participants. Our goal is to provide a complete coarse in outdoor activities, training, education, appreciation and building the confidence to continue to live a healthy outdoor lifestyle.