hutch picture.jpg

“Emerson, Monadnock, and the Birth of the Summer Camp Movement”

Summer Camp is one of the most common shared experiences for American youth and it first took root in nineteenth-century New Hampshire.  Inspired the work of philosophers, novelists, and poets, summer camp provided an experiential Romanticism, wherein children could live out the imagery that emerged on the written page.  The Monadnock Region not only hosted one of the first summer camps in America, it has been a hot bed of innovation in outdoor education for well over a century.  Dr. Hutchinson will discuss the early outdoor education movement, its links to the Transcendentalists, and how Monadnock helped inspire ideas that became an iconic American experience.

Paul J. “Hutch” Hutchinson, M.S., Ph.D.  

Dr. Paul J. Hutchinson is a Lecturer at Boston University Questrom School of Business teaching in both the undergraduate and MBA programs.  Hutch has worked with over 50,000 participants in teambuilding and leadership programs since he began practicing experiential education in 1996. Hutch’s recent professional work has focused on utilizing emerging technologies to enhance experiential learning, from GPS-based urban adventures to virtual teambuilding on-line. 

Hutch began combining adventure education and higher education with the Gettysburg Recreational Adventure Board (GRAB) at Gettysburg College before earning a Master of Science degree in Experiential Education at Minnesota State University-Mankato. At Lynchburg College, he expanded the outdoor leadership program to include backpacking, rock climbing, caving, and paddling, as well as designing the academic minor in Outdoor Recreation.  Since 2005, Hutch has worked at Boston University first at the Sargent Center for Outdoor Education, then as the director of Boston University Experiential Education, and now on as a faculty member of the Organizational Behavior Department at the Questrom School of Business teaching in both the undergraduate and MBA programs.    

Throughout his career, he has facilitated the development of effective team processes for professional managers and executive teams from industry and nonprofit organizations.  He has led backcountry, challenge course, and urban teambuilding programs throughout the United States and Europe.  He is a Leave No Trace Master Educator, has extensive training in wilderness medicine, vertical rope work, and has been trained by the National Cave Rescue Commission.  He is the Chair of the Northeast Region of the Association for Experiential Education and has presented at national and regional conferences including: the Association for Experiential Education, Organizational Behavior Teaching Conference, Association for Challenge Course Technology, American Camp Association, American College Personnel Association, National Orientation Directors Association, and National Association of Campus Activities.  He also facilitates for Outward Bound-Professional.

Hutch earned his Ph.D. in American and New England Studies at Boston University. His dissertation, Crafting an Outdoor Classroom: The Nineteenth-Century Roots of the Outdoor Education Movement, argues that the pedagogy of experiential education resulted from changing perspectives on youth and wilderness in nineteenth century America. He curated the 2017 exhibit Summer Camps: The White Mountain Roots of an Iconic American Experience at the Museum of the White Mountains in Plymouth, New Hampshire.  His research focuses on the relationship between culture and pedagogy throughout history.