These tales represent a career in the field of outdoor education and the related lessons learned. The Odell Buckenflush Chronicles are a compilation of tales illustrating the maxim that we should learn from our mistakes, laugh at our misfortune, and not repeat the same mistakes.
While this compilation is not a treatise on learning theory, it does provide a variety of examples of learning. We all learn differently as the great American humorist, Will Rogers expressed:
“There are three kinds of (people): Those that learn by reading.
The few who learn by observation.
The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.”
The Odell Buckenflush Chronicles reconciles experiential learning, mated with humor. Most of the tales have some type of learning parable which may be vague or blatantly obvious. While most of the tales have a humorous slant, each tale has a moral or lesson directed at those who venture to the outdoors via our waterways. Most of these tales unfold and decisions must be made that have significant consequences.
Through the decisions we make, we develop judgment and learn from our experiences. As the great outdoor educator, Paul Petzoldt once noted, “People in outdoor settings should learn from their experiences, however many must have what ‘just happened’ explained to them, otherwise they keep making the same mistakes over and over.” I hope to relate to the reader some lessons learned from a lifetime of good and bad river experiences. It has been said that “poor judgment” can produce some “good tales”. If that be the case, then the Odell Buckenflush Chronicles has a wealth of examples.
The Odell Buckenflush Chronicles is a tool for both education and entertainment. After all, the educator is in the business of “edutainment.” The Odell Buckenflush Chronicles address a life lived aware of our environmental impacts and consequences of actions in outdoor settings. The tales provide a source of fodder for Outdoor Leaders, Teachers, Camp Counselors and Resource Managers to utilize in an ever-shrinking outdoor environment.
Each Chronicle is divided into four chapters entitled:
- Inventions and Achievements
- Family Connections
- Rescue and Survival
- Philosophy and Life.
At the end of each tale is a segment entitled: “What really happened?” This part details the real-life inspiration of the tale.
A“Subject Index” identifies Tales by Subject Matter which could be used by outdoor educators to aid in instruction.
Finally, there is no single person who is Dr. Odell Buckenflush. He is a combination of real folks, imagination, and folklore. Perhaps you may recognize yourself or your common experiences in some of these tales.