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Margaret Milliken Oral History Interview, April 4, 1980

Oregon State University
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Jennifer Lee: I asked you a few questions about that before. One question I wanted to ask: did you ever live on campus other than in the sorority?

Margaret Millikan: Oh, definitely. I lived in old Waldo Hall. That's - and when I... when I - we moved from the men's gymnasium, the recreation department, to Waldo Hall, my office was the same room I lived in as a student at Oregon State [laughs].

JL: You're kidding me?

MM: And I was really excited because it was kind of, you know, an interesting playback on your life, you know, that... so that was my office. I, [stumbles] I really forget; we were there, what, two years? Two years in Waldo?

JL: You mean Recreation Department?

MM: I think two or three. I'm not positive about that, but...

JL: Did you choose that room, or was it just coincidental?

MM: No, it was just... it just was given assigned to me, and I thought that was exciting. So I had a lot of fun just as a student. You know, when you get your 00:01:00own room you can do some kinds of decorating, you know, and so we had the chance, at least living in Waldo, you know, we could paint our offices and we put carpet down. I know Royal put a carpet in his and I put a carpet in mine and the kids came over and helped me paint it and - and we can do all that sort of thing, you know? And it was kind of fun to do. I enjoyed it.

JL: Well now, you lived in a sorority. How did you happen to end up at Waldo Hall?

MM: I started at Waldo Hall. I transferred here as a junior and... one of the... one of my friends, a younger girl, two years younger than I, but I had met her through Job's Daughters work, and that was coming down, so we decided we would room together in Waldo Hall. She was an entering freshman, I was a transfer junior. But I also had friends, very close friends in the sorority and 00:02:00naturally, being a transfer, I didn't have to stay in the dormitories a full year. I could transfer out after three months. So in January, I moved to the sorority house. But I spent three months at Waldo.

JL: What did people think about - what did women think about living in the dormitory?

MM: Well, I think it was... at that particular time, I think you either lived in a dormitory or you lived in a sorority, or there were some cooperative houses, very few. And you were not allowed to live in... private apartments and this type of thing. And it wasn't until much later that students could, girls could live out in apartments. So you only had a choice of three places to live, either dormitory living or, if you decided to be a fraternity person and you moved into 00:03:00a sorority, or you could live in cooperative living. And I remember there were maybe five co-op houses at that time.

JL: So, the most desired place was in - was out of the dormitory?

MM: Oh, I don't think so. No, I loved the dormitory. It was fun. But I just had friends more my own age and... I just decided that I - I would enjoy living in... in a sorority.

JL: Anything memorable happen during those three months in Waldo Hall?

MM: Oh, nothing except pranks that students do. I think, you know, you've lived - have you ever lived in a dormitory? Mm-hmm, you know when you get a group of girls together [laughs] and they don't have any dates or anything, then they get hang - hung up, you know, like skating in the hallways and making cheese sandwiches in the closets and...

JL: What [laughs]?

MM: And then [laughs] - See we didn't have, like in our dormitories now, they 00:04:00have rooms, you know, where students can go in, and plates and things. I guess I haven't been in them recently, but you know, where they can fix things. We didn't have any of those and we weren't allowed to have food in our room supposedly. And things were very prissy in those days, you know. And they had a parlor and then we had the preceptors who - was very stern. And I'll never forget her name is Mrs. Simms [00:05:04 phonetic]. And she was - I got along all right with her, but you know you couldn't sit next to your boyfriend and had to be a pillow between you and the boy and [laughs].

JL: You mean in the Waldo Hall?

MM: Uh-huh.

JL: Oh!

MM: In the dormitories [laughs]. Very strict, you know, and...

JL: Could men go up to your room?

MM: No, absolutely. No man can go beyond the parlor area. You know, the first floor was out, you know. And very restrictive in that sense, but so, it's just a 00:05:00different lifestyle. You know, they - we were used to that because that's the way we were raised and...

JL: There was no desire to move off campus and all then?

MM: Well, we couldn't have if we wanted to. In other words, you could not be a student at Oregon State and live off campus.

JL: How times have changed.

MM: Yes, and really rather rapidly. Well, no, not rapidly, but... there were many restrictions on - and you know, you have - students, you know, now can have keys and things of that kind. Why, boy, when the closing hours were - there was a preceptor standing at the door and you couldn't take one minute longer, you know. If you had a date or anything, you had to whip right in, you know, and those doors were shut on time. And then you got late charges, and if you got late charges then you might be, you know, withheld from a weekend privilege [laughs]. You couldn't go out Friday night and you couldn't go out Saturday 00:06:00night, or something like that.

JL: Oh, wow.

MM: And then, then that's when all the kids would get together and...do little funny things, you know, college kids.

JL: Did that ever happen to you?

MM: Oh sure. We had lots of fun, [both laugh] lots of fun. We had a good group that lived there and that it was - it was always fun to do... do things.

JL: Wow, that's great.

MM: But... and we had one girl that I'll never forget, Rita, what was her last name? She was from Seattle and had a lot of money and she - girls didn't drink in those days. You know, if you went to parties, there was no beer or wine or liquor or any kind, nothing served, you know, and - but she was used to drinking in her home and she was [laughs] almost I would call an alcoholic and...

JL: Oh my goodness.

MM: She would always be coming in drunk and we'd try to get her past the 00:07:00preceptors and up to the third floor [laughs] and - and she was quite a character. And she'd be always - she had a car, and a lot of students didn't have cars in those days. You know, that was unusual for a girl, if they were to have a car. Some of the fellas did. But you pretty much walked where you went and...

JL: No cycles? No bicycles?

MM: No, bicycles weren't on campus at that time. Much later bicycles came on and...

JL: Oh, interesting.

MM: So... but she was a - she was a character, but everybody liked her and they were always trying to protect her, you know?

JL: She was one.

MM: Yes, she was something-

JL: Cigarettes were allowed?

MM: No, and girls didn't really smoke at that time either. If they did, they did it at other places, you know. No smoking in the rooms.

JL: What about on campus? Was that allowed?

MM: Smoking? I don't know. You know, it's hard to remember back. I don't even 00:08:00remember the fellas smoking very much in that time. And I don't think they smoke less now, you know, with this... I think students take care of their selves better in that sense, with all the literature and you know, on cancer, and there - our students don't really smoke. So, there was that whole pendulum of swing again, things coming and things going. But students, there were many things on campus at that time that I - students now have their own group of friends that they... they seem to go associate with, as I see the picture. Maybe I'm wrong. And they get - have their get-togethers. It used to be we had big all-school dances. There was a big dance of some kind almost every week, you know, and the 00:09:00students were more unified as a student body, with student body meetings and AWS girls, Associated Women meetings, and they had officers. And there was much more organizational activity going on. So, students did things together as a total group. You used to always have a Sadie Hawkins Day and they'd always have all kinds of dances throughout the year. Big dance bands coming in, and it was the thing to do is to go to the school dance, you know, which is very different than it is now.

MM: That's true.

JL: And I've seen that change and I think students are supportive of athletics, provided we have a winning team [laughs]. But everybody was supportive. We had like - we'd have student body meetings with the president talking. And I guess 00:10:00one thing that - that I do miss that I - like we had the Alma Mater and at every student assembly students would sing the Alma Mater. I doubt if half the - I doubt one out of 10 students know that Oregon State has an alma mater. And we used to have all-college sings, and those were sort of fun things. But that's indicative of change, of where we are now.

MM: What do you think of that change?

JL: Oh, I guess, who are we to say, you know. Our world has become a so mechanized and... we live in a - almost a one world concept. You know, we didn't have the cars to drive places. We didn't take off and go to the coast for a weekend, or we didn't do these kinds of things. We just didn't have it. And of course that was Depression, you know, out of Depression time and we didn't have 00:11:00money, but students don't have that now either to some extent and are...I don't think Oregon State's student body has ever come from wealthy families. You know, they've been more of the middle economic, and even lower, class of people. So... I... I guess I lost my trend there a little bit, but I can't say that one is better than the other. I think people have... values have changed.

And I think values today are - I like some of the values our students are living by. I think they have a greater respect for the environment. We didn't really have to worry at that time. We didn't have overpopulation and we weren't concerned with recycling, or it didn't seem important. We were probably using 00:12:00it, but nobody was worried about it or concerned. And therefore it wasn't - didn't become part of our value structure. Our value structure was more I think in... Well, I think one thing I like better today is a person can be their own selves as an individual and be accepted to a greater extent than they could in those days. And there was a stereotype that was accepted if you wanted to be a part of the group. In other words, as far as dress was concerned, too much emphasis was placed on that. You know if - if it was the thing to do to wear bobby socks, you wore bobby socks. If it was the thing to do to wear knee-high socks, you wore knee highs. If the thing we do is to wear - but girls dressed 00:13:00always skirts, good sweaters if you wanted to be popular or if you wanted to be a part of the group on campus.

MM: And if you didn't dress this way, then...?

JL: Then you just were not acceptable. And therefore... I think nobody wants to be on the outgroup too much, you know, so, therefore, you conform to some extent to be accepted. Therefore, I don't think you really are totally yourself as an individual. And there's that big difference. I see a student today and I think we swung too far the other way. I'm - I'm much more pleased with the dress and manner of the students today and the last year or two than I was five years ago because I think our students look sloppy when they were, you know, the point where they didn't really care about their... body cleanliness as much as they 00:14:00could, you know, this wearing of torn jeans, to the point of where they are almost offensive to some extent, and just a real, you know, just, to me, an uncleanly, dirty appearance. Students have gone away from that. And I think now that's it's sensible. A student can go to school today and not have to spend an overabundance on their college wardrobe. You know, they can dress with things that are not over expensive except the jeans today, which just, I can't understand why you'd paid 25 dollars for a pair of faded jeans [laughs] you know. It may look like it's expensive, but sometimes it isn't.

MM: That's true.

JL: What kind of traditions did the Physical Education Department have when you 00:15:00were a student? And Forestry did? What kind did the Phys Ed Department have?

MM: Well, first of all, you were a lady and then you were a physical education major. You were-

JL: And that was stressed?

MM: And you were taught to be a lady first.

JL: How - how was that?

MM: Well, for instance, we couldn't even walk into the gymnasium with... with what we call our grubbies, you know, which would be our jeans. We had jeans too, you know, and shorts and things. We had to come dressed in acceptable campus attire and then we changed into our gymnasium - whatever attire was appropriate for what we were doing. And that was stressed very much. And... we had a lady who was head of the Physical Education that felt womanliness was very important and character, and this was very much impressed upon us. And she definitely was 00:16:00an exemplification of all that.

JL: This is Dr. Seen?

MM: Mm-hmm. And the staff was too.

JL: How did - how did they transmit to you, or teach you this?

MM: Well, mainly we had a physical education club and that was very active and we had social - we had teas we'd sponsor in the women's building, and...

JL: Oh, what happened in the teas?

MM: Oh, we would invite people over, different celebrities on campus like the Dean of Women or some of these people, and different student groups, mortarboard groups and things of that kind, and... it - and it was in, in our - in our manner of how we spoke in class, how we addressed our professors, how we - they came into the room, we stood up. This was a traditional pattern and you, you 00:17:00abided by it. And I really feel I understand why because women, physical women, physical educators in the early days, were thought as - were not really respected. They were thought you are the jocks, you know, just like they sometimes call the fellas that now. And not very many girls were physical education majors on campus.

And so, in order to avoid the comments that people would always say, "Well, we can always tell you're a physical education major by the way you walk." And we were told that our answer to that is "Yes because we walk better than you do. We carry ourselves better," you know [both laugh]. But that's what physical education majors faced, you know, because not all - you know, girls were taught as children then to play with dolls and not to be active in the outdoor 00:18:00sport-type things. And so, if you did those things, you were more masculine than what was the feminine image of a girl when I was in college.

JL: So, were your - did your professors discourage you from going out in the outdoors?

MM: Oh heavens, no. No.

JL: Hiking or fishing or?

MM: No, no. We had a camping club, an outdoor club, and we went camping weekends and hiking, and...

JL: This was the Physical Education club?

MM: Yes, mm-hmm.

JL: That wasn't seen as unladylike then?

MM: No, no.

JL: How-

MM: But it's only when we were - when we were in other situations, a social or academic on campus, that - and I think we tried ourselves too because we wanted to establish a different image for physical education majors. You know, it would always hurt, you know, say, "Oh, she's a physical education major," and all 00:19:00that, or "She's a jock" or something of that kind. That always hurt because we had a - we really, when I was in school, we were in a - we graduated with a science major in human biology and it was - the physical education major was... it was sort of a camouflage, but we had heavy sciences, much more than I think they even take today because we had biology, zoology, anatomy, physiology kinesiology, eugenetics [?], and genetics.

And we had a heavy science in order that we could even - in addition to our physical skills, to be able to understand; to teach those activities to the psychology and social sciences of understanding people, and then the methods of how you teach. So we had a heavy curriculum, and it wasn't a Mickey Mouse course 00:20:00in any sense of the word.

JL: How did your science professors regard you as women being in science?

MM: Oh fine, fine. No problem, mm-mm. Mm-mm.

JL: Why - why did you pursue physical education with-

MM: I wanted to be a teacher.

JL: Even with this peer pressure of-

MM: Didn't bother me.

JL: Didn't bother you at all?

MM: I wanted to be a teacher ever since I was in the first grade. I was told.

JL: What was some of the - the talks in the teas? What was the-

MM: Oh, you - you know, social patter, you know, that women have. You know, it was mainly just for getting together with other people, and probably to - we had to provide our own - in other words, the thing could do wasn't for a group of six or eight or 10 people to go off and do their own thing. It was either - it was more done in a group organized fashion. Anything that you did in your off - 00:21:00well other than going to classes and studying and your - and your academic phase at the university, everything on this campus was done in groups of some kind. Organized groups. So, you would talk if you went to a tea today, we don't even - this - I suppose ladies in the community have this still, I don't know, but you just talk about anything, you know. It wasn't anything in particular.

JL: Now, it - you happened to have been here when the war was just starting.

MM: Oh yes, definitely.

JL: That wasn't a - politics wasn't the topic or-?

MM: No, no.

JL: World situations?

MM: Mm-mm. And you see, that really - really we only felt the pinch of that in... see, I came in '40 and '41 and then, in about early '41, the boys started 00:22:00to be drafted and moving into the service, and we really felt it like at the end of '42, when the boys, you know, were graduating and they'd take off their... they'd have their uniforms under their caps and gowns and they would receive their degree and then they would go to the back of the room and they'd take off their caps and gowns and come in and be, you know, become officers in the armed services. And I mean, it was... it was practically the whole men's graduating class, you see, that would come up. And that - it was sad. But boys had been going in prior to that because I remember my brother, who was a Marine pilot, came to my graduation, and that's the first time I had seen him in uniform. But 00:23:00from that period of time, I think from then on there must've been more concerted things that happened on this campus that I don't know about because I graduated in '42. But then the real impact I think of the war came when we were losing. Boy, I'm sure that was - had a real impact on the campus.

JL: Was there any feeling that women should join the service? Was that-

MM: Oh yes, yes. No question. And a lot of them did. And I think we all wanted to do that, and I know I signed up for the - to be an ensign, and I practically had signed the papers, but then Dr. Seen called me and she said your place [laughs] is not in the service, it's to teach young ladies. So I stayed [laughs]. I lost my brother the fall of '42

JL: Oh, I'm really sorry.

MM: He was killed and then I think we - that was an emotional reaction I had, 00:24:00you know, that I felt would - needed to do my part. But I think - I think maybe it was right. We were trained to be teachers, so there was a role we needed to play too.

JL: She encouraged all of her students to-?

MM: Graduates to stay.

JL: To stay?

MM: Mm-hmm. And I'm not sorry now. Of course, your life might have taken a whole different direction, you know, but...

JL: Hmm. Were there any organizations or courses that came together for the sole purpose of learning about the environment or the natural resources?

MM: No. No... not to my knowledge. I mean, a forester was really... I don't know, I didn't associate much with any of the forestry students. They were sort of... I guess... in fact, I don't even remember any - anyone in the house that 00:25:00had gone with foresters. I didn't - several went with engineers, and we knew them quite a bit, and even departments, schools would give dances, you know, like we always went to the Engineers' Ball. You know, they'd have a ball every year and these kinds of things. But no, I - there wasn't even an outdoor club, you know, that all students belonged to. I think the only camping club that I know was one that was with the women's recreation association.

JL: Tell me about that.

MM: Well, it was called the Women's Athletic Association when I was here, but that was just another group that organized and the - instead of having women's intercollegiate athletics like we have today, if - girls that wanted to participate in extracurricular activities, then you would join the WAA, Women's 00:26:00Athletic Association, and then from that, they had clubs, like they had a swimming club and a modern dance club and a tennis club, and what else did they - a hockey club, hiking club. And then from those clubs would stem like swimming meets, maybe with - occasional swimming meets with universities close by. But they were not in a scheduled athletic events of a - of a tournament or anything of that where a winner was declared.

JL: So these camping clubs and hiking clubs were for the sole purpose of having fun and not to-

MM: Right.

JL: --educated oneself about the environment and natural resources.

MM: No.

JL: What about survival skills?

MM: No. No. Mostly just appreciation, of wanting to get out and hike and camp out.


JL: Did professors participate in this?

MM: Oh yes, yes. I remember Dr. Bachham who was a famous professor on this campus, sociology professor. He was always, Dr. B-Mrs. Bachham were always taking groups out or being chaperones for the group. They were very interested in outdoor activity. But... and of course, our own instructors in Physical Education would go at different times. And they - all your - all your activities had to be faculty chaperoned.

JL: Everything that you did?

MM: Yeah. Otherwise, you just didn't do it. You weren't a nice girl.

JL: Wow. Even dates?

MM: Oh no. No, you went - we went out on dates.

JL: There was no problem around that?

MM: Oh no, no. No, mm-mm. But you know, to go off campus or to do things of that 00:28:00kind, you just didn't go with five or six people and...

JL: Even if they were all female?

MM: Well, the only one I ever remember doing is when our seniors had their blowout when we were graduating at the house and we - after graduation we went - after... after our finals were over and we had a week before graduation, and we all went to the coast to hang for two or three days. But that's all I remember.

JL: With it chaperoned, you're saying?

MM: Oh yeah, we had a chaperone, mm-hmm [laughs].

JL: Oh, amazing. I understand that Dr. Seen introduced recreation into the P.E. Department? Is that true?

MM: Yes, she - she brought it in very gradually. She had a love for camping, and I'm not sure just where she - well I do know where she got it. When she was back - she came from Wisconsin - she spent some summers, she's quite a horsewoman, 00:29:00equestrian, and she, several summers she worked as a - in a private girls' camp, one of the most famous in the olden times, Barbara Joy camps. They were very famous and she was quite a... a leader in the American Camping Association and in the private camp world. And she spent I think three summers as... as the head counselor in the Joy camps in horseback riding. And then her love then, when she got out here, she carried it and started, I would say in the state, and I'm pretty sure maybe in the northwest and on the west coast, the first camping course that was taught at a university.

JL: Was here?

MM: Was here. And she taught that for years. And she... she taught what she 00:30:00called a camp... a camp counselor's course. And then she introduced a lab practices in camping skills where the students would pursue each week a different kind of an activity in camping. And then, she started an administration organization class in camping, and then she moved into recreation. She had an introduction to recreation, youth agency course, organization administration, and recreation. She started all those courses. And she taught them all for a while.

JL: What was your focus in these courses? Was it...?

MM: Well, the camp counseling was to train students to be summer camp leaders in the organized camps, so the youth agency camps, Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, Campfire, so forth.

JL: I guess I'm getting at, was there anything about the environment, learning about the natural resources, or was it just to have fun in the afternoon?

MM: Mostly on a recreational skill basis. I think that-


[Tape break]

MM: So they - they, in turn, could go out on their own leisure time and enjoy the out-of-doors to a greater extent. And then of course when she moved into recreation, it was helping to train playground leaders and... people that would - would move more into the community recreation setting of directing playgrounds, of recreation leaders, and either municipal or county parks systems, this kind of thing.

JL: Was this coeducational? These courses?

MM: Oh yes. Yes. Mm-hmm.

JL: Oh, I see. Now, what years are we talking about was she developing this program?

MM: Well, I took a camp leadership course when I was here. I'm not sure when the first one was introduced... I took three recreation courses when I... just because I was interested in them as electives. So I would say they had been in 00:32:00the - I think she introduced them very shortly after she became head of the department, which was in I think 1935... because when I arrived here in '40, the courses were in the curriculum.

JL: Were they regarded as academic courses or were they got regarded as not?

MM: No, academic courses.

JL: Electives, and...?

MM: No, you could - well, they weren't within our curriculum. We weren't required to take them, so they were electives for us. So they probably were on an elective basis throughout the university. She really got her love for - and I think understanding because when she did her doctorate work at NYU, she did it under Dr. Lloyd... some of her work under Dr. Sharp, and he has - is considered the father of outdoor education, starting in the early beginnings with the Life 00:33:00Camps in New York. And I think she developed a philosophy from that which carried through. And...

JL: So she was emphasizing outdoor education but...

MM: Well it - it later was called outdoor education. It... it was really called camping education in those days. But as - as Sharp continued to develop his theories, then he started developing more of the educational, what we called outdoor education, and that is children going specifically from the schools to the Life Camps to have a specialized curriculum that related to a better understanding and respect for the environment. And he's the first one that did that, that worked with-

JL: With that in mind.

MM: With that in mind.

JL: When was this?

MM: Oh, I would say this was about... I should have looked up those dates. I 00:34:00guess I haven't looked those up for a long time. The Live Camps I [[stumbles] I would say were in the, probably '42, along in there. Quite early because you see a-

JL: Well, this was after Dr. Seen already started her counseling - her camp course.

MM: Mm-hmm, but I think she got the initial impetus and ideas from there, and the spark was grown in her graduate work. And then when she was able to, you know, develop curriculum, which a director of... She was quite an outstanding person on campus because there weren't very many women. There was Dean Jacobson who was - Jameson - who was head of the, who was the dean of women, a lovely person. And there was Dean Milam, who was Dean of the... I think the only woman dean on campus, of Home Economics. And then Dr. Seen was the only department 00:35:00head woman. And so there were very few women that were in what we call administrative positions on campus at that time. But she was quite an influential person and was, as a result of being in that position, then she was also on many university administrative committees. And then she also was able to develop a curriculum in her - within her own department of Physical Education. See, it wasn't men and women's physical education. It was the Department of Physical Education for Women, period. So she had a lot more flexibility in how she developed that program.

JL: At that time in the forties, had you ever conceived of a program called 00:36:00outdoor school?

MM: No. No. Didn't know anything about it.

JL: Didn't...

MM: There was some existence and - by '45 because that's when... the Michigan camps developed, and the Kellogg Foundation gave a large grant of money to the... to the state of Michigan.

JL: But did you know about that at the time?

MM: No, not until I went to graduate school.

JL: Have any interest in that - well, had Dr. Sharp influenced you at all?

MM: No, no. No. I was very interested in camping education and I directed summer camps for girls, Campfire camps and...

JL: This was before you came to college?

MM: No.

JL: Oh, after.

MM: Mm-hmm. And...

JL: Why is that? What... what is it that you find enjoyable about - or what did you find enjoyable about those summer camps?


MM: Oh, I think it was challenging, and of course, I suppose we had the same -- that we had the same objective and goals. We have really an outdoor education now except it was more for a love of the environment in the sense of enjoyment. In other words, at summer camp we didn't stress - we had nature study, maybe as one aspect, and we have a nature house and a nature counselor. So there was some emphasis that children should know something about the environment. But children - it was a place where children could be with other children of their own age, where they could - you could - it's an isolated environment, to me, where you can control it and where children can - can learn things of group living, of how 00:38:00to get along with others, and at the same time they were learning how to swim better and they were learning how to maybe cook in the out-of-doors. Music was a part of that curriculum.

JL: More personal development.

MM: Personal development than it - than it was in appreciate - and it still is, in our summer camps. Camping, boys and girls camps today have not - summer camping in a recreational setting have - they have not changed their goals to that extent. It's really major - a place where children can go and be with other children and it's a healthy environment and they learn. Personal development is a good way to put it, as you did. And I don't foresee - or I see no direction where they're going to change and become engrossed in study of the environment 00:39:00in a summer camp sponsored by agencies such as Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Campfire, private camps and so forth. I see no real change in their program.

JL: Did these programs continue on even during the war years?

MM: Oh, yes. Yes.

JL: They weren't...

MM: And it was really a... really, they really began booming in that time and following that period because people during the war periods couldn't travel. You know, there was gas rationing and blackouts, and it was a way to send children away and it was a minimal cost in those days... for a week or two of vacation under super - supervision. It was well received by parents.

JL: Nothing like an environmental ethic came out? Because I know that there was 00:40:00some kind of rationing of some foods. They didn't make a corollary between rationing and the natural resources at all?

MM: Nothing. It was more that this we have to do. It's in the war effort, you know, and... No, I... the public was just not conscious or aware of that. And that really relatively has been a short time in our history... as I see it. But I think we're going to have to continue to be more aware of it.

JL: Okay. Let's get back to you now. In 1942, you graduated from OSC and then you - you did a practicum in Corvallis High School.

MM: Oh, it was just my student teaching.

JL: That was at - during the year '42?

MM: My senior year, mm-hmm.


JL: Your senior year?

MM: We spent one term student teaching.

JL: Then what happened?

MM: Then I went to - I was hired as a physical education instructor in Marshfield High School, which is now called Coos Bay... the high school is still called Marshfield. And I taught there two years.

JL: How did you find out about that job?

MM: Oh, we had lots of jobs. I had - could have had 13 jobs when I graduated [laughs].

JL: Incredible.

MM: And we made lots of money. My first-year salary was 1,300 dollars.

JL: First year? [laughs].

MM: My first year. And they gave us a bonus of 300 dollars during the year.

JL: Were there any courses that you taught that had to do with camping or-?

MM: No. No. See, I taught straight physical education, you know, and the only thing I did or introduced, which everybody was doing, was an obstacle course. 00:42:00And so... the men's physical educator there thought that would be a great idea, so... The school administrator thought it would be great, so we - around the gymnasium and down, we had a tremendous obstacle course, and so the kids would run that. And other than that, we didn't do anything but help them be physically fit, you know. But...

JL: How - what grades did you teach?

MM: I taught senior high school.

JL: Oh, seniors.

MM: That was freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. In their program, they didn't have a junior high. They had elementary one through eight and a high school.

JL: How did you like teaching there?

MM: I loved it. It was exciting and fun.

JL: So why did you leave after two years?

MM: Well, I decided that... I guess part of it was my mother and father. They were rather lonely and my mother had a difficult time after losing my brother, 00:43:00and we almost lost her mind too. But - and then I - two years I thought was enough that I ought to do something more with my life. And in the interim period, I hadn't made up my mind until rather late to go on to the university, so I took an interim position. That summer I'd directed one of the large Campfire camps in Portland and I just went - I became a professional person for them for a year.

JL: What, what did that involve?

MM: Campfire girls. Oh, I was what you'd call - I started out as a program... well, they called them field workers. I worked with... women in the various communities. I had southeast Portland and you would help leaders, leadership training for leaders, visitation of groups. In other words, you were just helping Campfire groups throughout the - your geographic area get started. And 00:44:00then I worked with public relations. They had volunteer committees that you worked with. And then I worked with public relations. They had volunteer committees that you worked with. And then I worked with a camping committee.

JL: How did you feel about leaving physical education?

MM: It didn't bother me. This - this looked exciting to try and I wanted to try it. And...

JL: You didn't want to continue physical - teaching physical-

MM: Oh, I thought I would at some time. I didn't really - I don't think that decision was... I just decided I needed a change of pace.

JL: And partly to do because your parents lived in Portland City?

MM: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. In Portland. But I only stayed the one year and then I - I went on to graduate work here.

JL: Now, why did you come back to getting your masters? That was in guidance and counseling, is that correct?

MM: Well, when - we didn't have - we weren't able to get a graduate degree in physical education because they didn't have it so we had to go through 00:45:00Education. So we had a major and we had two minors. And I had a major; my major was in guidance and counseling and - and then I had a minor in physical education, and then I had a minor in sociology, in that area.

JL: What was your idea about coming back and getting your master's? What was your goal?

MM: Hoping I'm - I really didn't know where it would lead. Might lead to another teaching position, but at that time, Dr. Seen was... had become involved in other types of work, administrative work, and the department had grown. And so, when I was - she offered because of my background in camping, that she... it was like somewhat like a graduate assistant, only you weren't paid anything, that I 00:46:00- for the experience, I taught the camping courses when I was doing my master's work. And that's - then when I... when I received my master's degree, then she just hired me as a college instructor.

JL: Wow. Before I get to that, can you compare - well, you came back then in what year?

MM: I started in '47.

JL: Forty-seven. Can you compare, make any general - generalizations about how the campus had changed since '40, '42 to '47?

MM: I guess it was '46 because I received my Master's in '47.

JL: Forty-six, okay. Coming back, what changes did you see?

MM: Um... not a lot of change, I don't think, except you viewed it from another point of view... because when you're in graduate school you don't do much like 00:47:00you do as an undergraduate. You - you're pretty involved in your studies. And then I also was involved in my teaching.

MM: And there weren't many graduate students doing what - just exactly what I was doing. And then I did my graduate master's thesis on standards for organized camps in the state of Oregon. And I spent a lot of time working with administrators in and around the Portland area and going out and evaluating camps and gathering data. And... so I was more involved in that type of thing.

JL: Well, looking at the campus, what about the mood of it? Say, returning veterans from the war? Was there anything striking about that? From before?

MM: I'm trying to think. And I guess I was so involved in teaching, it's hard 00:48:00for me to - to react to that. Lots of veterans were beginning to return of course, because they had the GI bill and it was a way for them to either complete their college education or to attain one. And things were pretty much the same in Physical Education as when I graduated. There wasn't too much change in Greek and Roman... or in the kinds of things I talked about previously. I can't remember-

JL: That's interesting you'd be getting really a Masters in - in outdoor education really, what it came down to.

MM: No, not really camping.

JL: [unintelligible] with camping and... camps and the-

MM: Well, you could do your - you could do your thesis in areas of specialization, but I was basically; I was in guidance and counseling in 00:49:00graduate courses in Physical Education.

JL: But using camps as... applying guidance in camp, counseling in camps then, it sounds like. Is that accurate?

MM: No, that's not accurate. I don't - the only thing that I did that related to camping was to select my thesis, which was approved and which did relate then the camps. But other than that, my work was not done with any real direction in camping.

JL: What direction did Dr. Seen encourage you to go?

MM: None. I'm-we had a pretty flexible program. We could - we just had to have - I can't remember the number of hours, so many hours in education, and they had a certain set of courses that everybody takes. It was quite highly structured. It's not like our interdisciplinary studies now. In other words, we'd have to 00:50:00take - we - everybody would have to take the same courses: philosophy of education, educational psychology, and measurements, and education statistics, and education. And so, it was pretty much cut and dried.

JL: I guess what I'm getting at is, was there anything - by then had you heard about environmental education?

MM: No.

JL: Still?

MM: The term wasn't even used then... and I suspect - I suspect it would be the early fifties before we became involved in that to some extent. And I did become very active in American Camping Association and was President of the Oregon section, and then was automatically on the regional board, which was a Pacific Camping Federation.

JL: Now, tell me about how you got involved in the American Camping Association.


MM: I just was interested in camping. I taught the camping courses, so I'd go to their monthly meetings and then - and got involved in committee work and then became an... was an officer and then became President then. And then I - I was then - we would have annual civic federation conferences, generally held in California. And then you'd be - California, you see, started outdoor education, they called it in those days, much before it ever reached up into Oregon. And by going to conferences, you became aware of this movement. It really started, as I say, in Michigan in '47 - '45, but came to California very quickly in '47.

JL: So when do you remember distinctly hearing about outdoor education? Can you pinpoint a time?

MM: Oh, probably I would say in the early fifties when I became involved. When 00:52:00you moved out of your environment here and had associations with people that were representative of more kinds and types of concerns in camping and of which the outdoor educators were one group, and in a small group in southern California, it started in San Diego... '47.

JL: Why do you think it was happening in '47? What national events or anything?

MM: No national events that I can tell except it... some of the people that worked in - with the Michigan camps, and they came from the Life Camps, which was Sharp, and then Donaldson in Texas started - was one of the missionaries of Sharp and of the Michigan program, and then Palmilla [?] at Palmilla down in San Diego. So these people then carried that mission. And the up - real mission 00:53:00there was that people... determined that children - there were things that children can learn best in the out-of-doors, should there be taught, and things that can -- children can best learn in the classroom, should there be taught.

And therefore, children should be taken out of that four walls of the classroom and into the outdoor environment where they could have a hands-on sensory experience with the environment. And therefore it then became outdoor education and then became environmental education... and that these experiences should relate back to the classroom subject areas. And I suppose that everything that happens in the world really stems from philosophical concepts and directions by some leaders. And these people saw the importance of it and the value of it.


JL: Would you consider yourself a leader of that concept in Oregon then?

MM: Oh, yes. I think so.

JL: Well, tell me about that. That's what I'm very interested in.

MM: [Laughs] well-

JL: In '47 then is when you first conceived of it yourself?

MM: And then I went - then I did - I studied at UCLA a year and two summers, and it was a - there was a large group of people then that we're very excited about this. And at that time I had a -

JL: This was '55?

MM: Mm-hmm. And I had a chance to be associated with them. And I went to their meetings and to their conferences, and then I was able, when I was at UCLA, to do a considerable amount of study in this area on my own because you would be required to take this course, but you could write your papers as they relate to 00:55:00some field of interest to you. So then I had a chance to really research and study.

JL: Did you have in mind that you would bring this concept back to Oregon?

MM: Well, I knew that I believed in it and I would like to see it in Oregon. And so, when I did come back, then because I hadn't done a lot in camping and I was quite active with the American Camping Association and because I was affiliated with the university Rex Putnam, who was a state superintendent of public instruction, developed a liaison committee that he called an outdoor education committee that would meet monthly and would work with... and they had assigned - through the years I worked with that committee - they would assign it to a 00:56:00different person at the state level, which they called their supervisors [bell rings]. They didn't have one that just worked with outdoor education per se, but we worked with... with the physical education. They would tie it on to something for a while, and then we worked with the science coordinator for a while. It depends on where that delegation was given by the superintendent.

JL: This was '57, in the late fifties?

MM: Well, it - uh-huh, late fifties. And-

JL: So you brought back this idea to - and talked to Rex Putnam?

MM: No, I didn't talk to him. A group of people, superintendents throughout the school and almost all of the departments, whether it was a science or curriculum or whatever at the state level, they had a liaison committee, and this would be composed of our liaison committee. It had agency representation, the Game 00:57:00Commission, the Soil Conservation Service, educators, superintendents on it. And these people would meet as an advisory group and would try to voluntarily work. And we did an awful lot of work. We've made publications that you would try to give direction to the implementation of environmental education throughout the state.

JL: And you were a representative from OSC?

MM: Mm-hmm. University representative. And then from that, uh, when I came back I was able to work with Austin Hamer and Bob Brown and Soil Conservation Service, and they had become interested in this idea too through reading and through their contacts. And so we decided this ought to be implemented in the state of Oregon. And so we - we worked several years to find a superintendent 00:58:00that would be willing to let us do a pilot study with-

JL: How was it conceived in those early years? What were you thinking? How are you to apply these concepts and this philosophy?

MM: Well, I think mainly what we wanted to do is find a superintendent that believed that children could learn in the out-of-doors, a respect for nature and some of the basic ecological concepts; that children ought to have - to build into their value structure, hopefully, that they would - the end product would be that they would, through this respect for nature and this understanding of these basic ecological concepts, these children would be able to make better decisions about our environment as citizens when they grow up. And we did find this superintended and were able to initiate a pilot study.

JL: And tell me about that.


MM: Well, this was Cecil Sly - of Crook County schools and he selected the Crooked River Grade School, which had 35 children, as the classroom that would have this initial pilot program. And we developed a curriculum, what the children would study, and through all my camping background, it was easy for me to... to design... the total program for the week because it's a lot like a summer camp. You know, children have to get up at a certain time and the ceremony, or the procedures, daily living procedures are very similar. So flag ceremonies and work capers, and then children. And then we developed a curriculum where children would study five hours a day; two and a half in the morning or two and a half the afternoon. Then there would be recreational time and their evening campfire and all this. So with my camping background and with 01:00:00my interest, it was easy to put together what a week at the outdoor school should look like, even if I hadn't been to one for a week. And so we designed this, this, program. And went over into the schools, all of us would go at different times, and prepare the children.

JL: There were 35 children of what age group?

MM: Sixth graders.

JL: Now, why were sixth graders chosen?

MM: That's always a question that's always asked, and it's a perfectly logical answer. Children - at this time, the educational ladder in the public schools in most of our school districts went from one through six and then they had junior high, seven, eight, nine and then they had senior high, 10 through 12. So this was the last of the self-contained classrooms. Once you try to take children out when they're going to biology in first period and to Algebra second period and 01:01:00to gym third period, then you - you're involved with a lot of logistics of getting children out of classes and teachers being very upset. And by taking the last of the self-contained classroom, children are mature enough, they have enough inner, intellectual development, that they could transfer learnings from what they have up to that point to the out-of-doors and then what they learn at the out-of-doors back to the classroom. They're very excited at that age; there's a willingness to learn, they're highly motivated, they're very curious. Boy/girl relationship is very nice at that age. So there's several inner play factors that people selected that age group.

JL: It wasn't thought that this program should be implemented in other grades, maybe several years, and-

MM: Oh, yes. That... that has nothing to do with it. It's just it was - 01:02:00mechanically it was easy to facilitate.

JL: Can you tell me about what you conceived in those - that very earliest time, maybe before you had the first outdoor school? What was conceived? Where did you think this would take you, take the program? I mean, tell me the dreams. MM: But of course the dream that - that I would like to see is that every child at some - at given interval periods, and we may never-

[Tape break]

MM: So, many people try to - to put environmental education as a subject area all of its own, and it has no place for that. And maybe that's why I haven't been one of the builders of an undergraduate program in environmental education, or a major in it. It's interdisciplinary. And my idea of truly, if we really 01:03:00were going to make progress - and I don't know how we'll ever do it - is that every child, starting with the first grade that, that... if you want to call it environmental education or environmental studies, ought to be integrated into the total curriculum. So there's - a child studies his mathematics. He studies it to some degree by - by getting out into the environment.

A child can learn better if they are - if they're sensing that feeling that... [stumbles] a child... when a little child, a little youngster in the first grade, draws a tree, they draw it like a, what do you call it, a plum tree. It has a straight stem and then it has a round top because that's all a child visualizes that a tree is. But until that child gets out there and they can 01:04:00touch the bark of that tree and they can feel the leaves and they can touch it and sense it, it becomes - has an awareness for it. Then that tree has a different meaning to that child. Then that child will draw that tree differently. But he only perceives that tree - it's amazing to me how many college students walk to and from the university on a lovely campus like this and they never hear the birds. They never see the different beautiful trees that we have and the diversity of the vegetation that we have. And they just go to and from class with - with total unawareness. But it's because nobody has helped them be - developed those sensitivities, those - those feelings about the environment, and until a person has a feeling about the environment, it's not going to become a part of them or their value structure.


JL: So, do you think one weekend in outdoor school will do this?

MM: Mm-mm. No, I think it - I think children ought to have early experiences. Like if a teacher really believed in that, she could take her children outside into the schoolyard. They can adopt a tree for the year, and who visits that tree and what does it look like now? And it becomes part of them. And then they be - develop - that can be brought into their art program, into their mathematics by keeping a count of things that visit the tree. It ought to be totally all the way through, and it ought to be integrated experiences out-of-doors to develop this sensitivity and awareness, should be all the way through grades one through 12. And we really haven't done that. And we had - the closest, I guess that anyone has come in the state of Oregon, are the Milwaukie schools. And they have... had definitely an awareness. They've had teachers 01:06:00workshops, they've developed curriculum guides, and probably they're closer to it than anyone. To me, the - taking children out for a week could be - is a culminating experience. It could come into seventh grade, [chuckles] it could come at the fifth grade, doesn't matter.

JL: Going back to 1957 in this first pilot program with Cecil Sly, I'd like to hear more about that. Who was involved in the teaching and what major personalities? What was the reception by the teachers and by the parents and-?

MM: Well see, there was only one teacher and we decided if we were going to do this right, we would have to develop many of these pilot programs because one 01:07:00wouldn't do it. So we worked very hard, and... I don't know how all these things come together, but when you are building something... So we decided that parents ought to be brought in on the initial part of it. So we had a parents' night to introduce the program to them after we had developed a curriculum and the - and the schedule of how these children - what these children would do there and some of the things they would learn about the soil and about the plants and about the water. We studied the four basic resources.

JL: Now who are we talking about? Who is "we"?

MM: Talking about Robert Brown of the Soil Conservation Service of Portland, Austin Hamer, he was with the Fish and Game Commission at that time, just called the Game Commission then, and myself.

JL: So three of you?

MM: Mm-hmm. We sat down and we developed this curriculum.

JL: Wasn't this all new to you, Ms. M?

MM: Mm-hmm. It was exciting.


JL: So, well tell me. Get - I want to get to feel that excitement that you - I want to know about that.

MM: Well, I didn't have the ecology background that - that some of them had. Like Bob Brown who was a soil conservationist and Austin Hamer who certainly understood all there is about the fish and the animals. And then we incorporated a forester who worked with us to help develop the forestry curriculum. And so, we just sat down and we worked out - we were - it wasn't the best in the world, but we - these people, we had a forester, a soil conservation [sic] who did the soil study, and Austin Hamer who did the - the... the fish and the wildlife study. And these - they did it more on the basis of a consultant, you know, 01:09:00taking a group of children out. And it's all right as a beginning, but we soon found that the children - it became a show and tell kind of thing too much, you know.

The children did do water study and they were involved, but they... as people took our pattern, they... some would - would get the children involved; others loved to just sit them down under a tree and talk to them for an hour. And so I think from that experience - but these people were very good and they did get the children involved and we had - lots of the studies are still - still being done today that we initially - and we had to sit down - I remember working hours. I didn't know much about water study, but I started taking all of this, and how do children measure water, how could you put that into an exercise that 01:10:00children could do, you know? So, we developed the water study and then the pH testing and you just had to study the books and then you had to put it into some kind of a lesson.

JL: What concepts did you want them to come out with after they were done?

MM: Well, I suppose... our basic concept - first I say respect for nature, and I think everything - and then we - we wanted them to understand the cycles, the important cycles that are important to - to understanding nature. We wanted them to understand a few basic concepts that - that all things are connected to everything else... is a basic concept that we wanted children to come out with. Oh, we wanted them to come out with [stumbles] probably an understanding of man's influence... and what man's impact has had on such, as an example, the 01:11:00soil. What has man done and how erosion takes place and how man has affected this.

JL: What - what made you think that you... I - maybe it - so, this is a difficult question, but why would you think about man's influence on national resources at that time whereas earlier nobody had even thought of that. Nobody had even-

MM: Well, I suppose that that would come from anybody who really, I suppose, being involved in camping courses and in... you develop an appreciation of nature. As you develop it, you begin to see man's misuse of nature, overpopulation, some of the trends in our world. I think Oregon was a very - 01:12:00we'd been spared a lot of that, but I think people, if they were reading at all or thinking of their environment, they would know that the impact man was beginning to have, like overcrowding of our - our camping areas, of the misuse of our - if you - I suppose one time I remember it really hit home to me.

I wanted to have a wilderness experience and I went up and I wanted to hike the Skyline Trail, and we did take a horse, a packhorse, two horses, and we were going to stay three weeks. And I remember I got into this beautiful lake after hiking all day and then all you did was see man's tin cans all over the place and... a lack of man's appreciation. And then it almost spoiled - here you'd 01:13:00look up and see this beautiful Mount Jefferson, and then you'd look over here and see man's impact in that area.

JL: This was in the fifties you're talking about?

MM: Yeah, I think my own personal - things that happened to me personally had an effect on it too, that unless we teach people, if this goes on forever, pretty soon all you'll see are tin cans when you get there. And then the impact on the - the vegetative covers, of misuse of the animals and areas, and all kinds of things. But I think it's just probably that - that children are not going to learn that sitting in the four walls of the classroom.

JL: I guess I'm wondering if this was a reaction at this time to [stumbles] national sentiment where-

MM: I think so.

JL: It was, then?

MM: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

JL: So there was becoming an awareness that-

MM: Oh, yes, I think so.


JL: That we were ruining our natural resources.

MM: Right, right. Mm-hmm.

JL: You were in the forefront in this movement though, at least in Oregon.

MM: Just in this - in this one aspect of it in our state.

JL: Nobody else had conceived of this, at least in Oregon. I mean there were-

MM: Well, of outdoor schools, which was one way to help children develop these appreciations, through the school environment. I'm sure there are many others that were approaching it from other points of view.

JL: Well, I keep interrupting you and I want you to continue on about this pilot study where there's 30 - these 35 students.

MM: Well, no, I think that that pretty much sells itself in a sense that it was successful to the point that these children - we did some pretesting and post-testing of the children on things they learned about their environment, what they knew before they went and then what they knew as a result of their experience. That's not always reliable, but it gives you a factor. We evaluated 01:15:00with parents. And then we continued. That was successful to the extent that that school district carried that program on. And it has been continued since the day it was started. So it was very successful in that sense. We accomplished the mission and it has been proven. And the next year we went back with them to give them a second year of a start, and they took two school class groups then. And they take all of their sixth graders now.

We - we then decided that this would have to be done, and then of course to - to conduct the first outdoor school in the state of Oregon we had many superintendents visit us, and through our first pilot programs, they became excited and... and many people visited. As a result of their visitations, they 01:16:00asked if we would help them initiate a program.

JL: Were high school and college students involved?

MM: At that time, the college students. We - we would... we would, depending on the size, we would, we - our college students, we had maybe - I can't remember at this time; I think there were about 22 that went the first year, and some were living group counselors and some were resource teachers. But they did the whole thing, the college group. And we... we might. We might - if we knew we were going to do a program with Prineville, then these students took a special class and then we prepared them and then they went to the outdoor school.

JL: Now, this was only taught by you?

MM: Mm-hmm, at that time.

JL: So you were the sole person. What was the-

MM: But we brought in resource people to help. You know, we'd bring in a forester to work with them on the forest curriculum and so forth.


JL: What was the reception in the administration of the college to this?

MM: Oh, I don't think they even knew it was going on for a while. You know, you can teach a course and nobody knows [laughs] what you're doing except-

JL: No reaction whatsoever, then?

MM: Not too much, I don't think. My administrators visited and they were very impressed and...

JL: Dr. Seen was gone by then?

MM: No, she was gone but she was around, but Dean Langton - and he was Dean of the School of Physical Education - was very interested in this program and he did visit and he was very supportive. Other than that, I don't think it made any, you know, big impact on the university.

JL: Nobody had any reaction, negative reaction?

MM: No negative reaction. It just has always continued to be part of our curriculum.

JL: What did Dr. Seen think of this?


MM: Oh, she was very excited about it.

JL: So after this first pilot program, then what happened?

MM: Well, we started working with many different school districts. We worked with Mapleton I think the next year. And then we worked with... I was trying to think of the sequence of it... as I said, we went back to Prineville, and I think we picked up Mapleton the next year. And then as Prineville - as our objective was to help a school district to get started until they felt comfortable and they had some people, teachers were - were very much afraid to go into the out-of-doors to teach because they had had no previous background. So our objective was to show them and to carry them at least a couple of years or sessions so that they could feel that they would - would be competent in teaching, and that they'd carry their own program as quickly as possible. Then 01:19:00they would introduce the high school students to be its leaders, working with the teachers. And that was our ultimate goal. But you can't always rely on universities to, to supply staff. I think school - we felt school districts had - it had to become autonomous within itself.

JL: What was the biggest stumbling block to it catching on?

MM: Time.

JL: Money?

MM: No, I just think... probably administration was the hardest, you know, to get an administrator who would be supportive of it. There were always teachers that were supportive. We had - visitors were all the time at our outdoor schools, and we did open it up at that time because that was the only way that others could become familiar with what you were trying to do and what was happening to children. And everybody who goes to an outdoor school gets very excited, you know, to observe it because children get highly motivated.


We need to do more reliable research on what happens to children. I think until - until we get more sophistication like that, we're not going to - nobody's really felt it important enough yet to do a lot of what I call hard research on it where it has reliability and validity so that - that schools will - that you can really say this is happening to this child here we. We think we know what's happening, but statistically, we haven't proved it. And unfortunately, I think we have to do that. If you're going to sell people on programs in schools today, you're going to have to have some reliable information before they put down their dollars and cents.

JL: I'm surprised somebody hasn't done their Ph.D. dissertation on that.


MM: I am too because I think it could be quite exciting. But I think, just like talking with Manfredo yesterday and this - this Schroeder [00:19:10 phonetic] today, uh, research is really just moving into ad - attitudinal studies and psychological studies. You know, they - we haven't had the tools really to work with, and I think they're just being developed. And maybe as a result we could - because I think it's the - we're trying to get at perceptions children have as a result. And these are hard things to research [laughs]. They're very difficult, but I think they're refining tools now that may help us. It's awfully hard to say this child's attitude about nature has changed. How do we know it's changed? And maybe we have more tools today. And I would like to - to follow that up and 01:22:00see, because I think this is the kind of thing we need. To me, there could be some exciting research for young people in this area.

JL: So, what was the reception in - with the college students to this outdoor school program?

MM: Oh, I've never - I've never - I don't get to feel that now because I - I'm more of an implementer coordinator. But when I could really work with the college students and go and be the director at the outdoor school and see what was happening, I felt this - to me it's one of the greatest experiences these young people have.

JL: Was it felt that way in the late fifties and early sixties?

MM: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. Even from the very beginning. I still have students from the very first outdoor schools that write to me, come and see me, send Christmas cards, and tell me the impact it had upon their lives. One thing boys always 01:23:00told me that I thought was so important, they said, "It's been a long time since I had an experience with children," and they said, "I'll be a better father now." I thought that was an interesting... that... more of awareness of what children are. We get away from that in our adult world.

JL: Oh, yeah. How did the conservation movement in the sixties affect your outdoor school program?

MM: I think it was quite an impetus of course. I think more people then were - could see a - a readiness for it and the importance of it.

JL: When do you - when do you conceive that started, that whole movement?

MM: Oh my. Not sure on dates when there...

JL: Maybe if you can give an example of when you first noted that.

MM: I'm not sure I can pinpoint that. You know, I guess I was so involved in all 01:24:00of this other... I didn't really get deeply involved in like the Conservation Education Association or any of those movements. I don't think I could give you a good answer on that. I just think that our whole - in people and in - with our media and with our, I guess... I think politics came into this at great extent, too. Our political [stumbles] figures got involved in maybe conservation within a state. I think Oregon is a good example of that... had an impact on how the 01:25:00general public would receive this as an important aspect.

JL: The conservation movement, you're talking about?

MM: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. I'm not sure in our state just where the biggest impact did come from.

JL: In your outdoor - when was the term outdoor school first coined?

MM: We coined it.

JL: What?

MM: In Oregon, we coined it in Oregon.

JL: Oh, we did?

MM: Uh-huh.

JL: Tell me about that. I didn't know that.

MM: Yeah, we didn't want it to be called outdoor education or anything like that. And we felt if - if the public would accept this, they should realize that it is a school out-of-doors. And we wanted to coin a term that - that would be received by the public and by the school administration. We didn't want them to 01:26:00- because people at that time thought oh, they're just going to take those kids out there to camp for a week, and we wanted to get away from camping education and from outdoor education, and that we truly were a school outdoors. So we coined the term outdoor school and it was picked up very quickly, nationwide. But Oregon-

JL: We, again, as in?

MM: Bob Brown and Austin Hamer and myself.

JL: Oh, my gosh.

MM: And this was picked up very quickly by - by some of the leaders in the field at that time, Donaldson and...

JL: And this was coined when - when did you first start using that?

MM: In the first outdoor school. Prineville. And they were - they were afraid that-

JL: Prineville? I thought you said it was in...

MM: No, the first outdoor school was with Prineville here in Oregon.


JL: Yeah.

MM: That's when this term was coined.

JL: Oh. Oh, I see, but before that, you had gone - you had done some outdoor education with Cecil Sly.

MM: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

JL: When was the Prineville then?

MM: No, that's Prineville. Cecil Sly is Prineville.

JL: Oh. Oh, I see.

MM: He was a superintendent of schools of Crooked [sic] County, which is at Prineville, Oregon. And that's the first outdoor group that went to the outdoor school. Our first class group.

JL: How did you convince him about this?

MM: He was a - he was a naturalist. He loved the out-of-doors. He was an Audubon member. He... he was a natural. He thought all children ought to have experiences with the out-of-doors.

JL: So it wasn't easy to convince him?

MM: It was easy.

JL: I mean-

MM: And very easy, yes.

JL: [Laughs]

MM: He was sold on the program right away and... helped initiate it.


JL: How did you spread it around other than - I know you said the superintendents from other districts came?

MM: Well, as soon as they would ask us, we would do a pilot program with them.

JL: You didn't politic then?

MM: No. No, we felt... oh, I suppose we - we developed curriculum guide materials and - and they were published by the U.S. Soil Conservation Service. We developed a counselor's handbook and a teacher's handbook and a student handbook and a field handbook. And these were published in large numbers by... Bob Brown seemed to have quite a budget with [laughs] Soil Conservation Services. We wrote them and they were published and then they were distributed quite readily.

JL: And it was also by word of mouth then?

MM: Mm-hmm, a lot of was by word of mouth.

JL: So you really didn't have any - it was no major effort to spread this concept around over Oregon.


MM: Oh yes, it took a long time. It took a - it was a slow step, you know, one school district and then another school district and then another school district. And now I think it's spreading rather rapidly in the last five, six years. But the first 20 years were hard. Well, we just had our 21st anniversary this year. Outdoor schools have been going in Oregon - they had an outdoor school conference. But I'd say in the last five years that the impetus has been - really, I think it will carry itself now. One thing that happens when you - when a school district implements this program and when the children come back and when they talk to their parents and you run this program once or twice, it's hard to get it out of the - of the community because it, you take Corvallis with - six weeks with 100 to 110 children going each week, that's 600 children. And 01:30:00that means if you spread that out to the families and their relatives within a community, that how quickly, if that's a good program, how quickly that, that almost umbrellas a community to the point of where a school district couldn't drop the program if they wanted to... because these children love it. And that's what's happened in Corvallis. They - I don't think they could drop the program now if they wanted to.

JL: What happened in Albany then?

MM: Well, they didn't drop the program. They still have the program. They're just having some logistical problems of administration of it, but they're still taking all their sixth graders. But it's poorly organized right now.

JL: You're not involved in the organization?

MM: No, no.

JL: Why is that?

MM: Well, we had always - see, Albany schools unified, and when they unified, 01:31:00that meant we always worked two weeks with, I think it was District Nine, one of the districts of the... of the city. When they unified, that meant that they would be taking maybe 500 children. We had already committed ourselves to Corvallis on the large basis that we just don't have the students to undertake another totally big program.

JL: Hmm. What were some of the most significant events in the last - well from '57 to now in the outdoor school movement that you can think of? Landmarks?

MM: Well, I suppose more sophisticated literature, publications that could show 01:32:00direct relationships of how environmental education could relate to the subject matter areas of the curricular, and its importance. It's just like we - it took us a long time here to develop, but even to develop study lessons that would be appropriate for teachers to use, which really are built upon some fundamental concepts that all children should learn that teachers could integrate with their science curriculums.

This literature is just beginning to come out, and I think this will be one of the biggest movements. Another one has been industry such as the Western Forestry Industry being concerned that - that children learn about the forest in their educational curriculum and developing this project, Learning Tree, which 01:33:00is a tremendous publication, one K through six and one seven through 12, which had a lot of -- of financial backing, and then carrying on teacher workshops where teachers could be... be - have been made in awareness that these materials are available. And they're very sophisticated materials, how it could relate to each subject area, where the principal and the concept... Impacts such as that have been very-

[Tape break]

JL: Okay.

MM: Oregon State, I think we were the - some of the first to - working with these agencies I talked about before, Soil Conservation and Fish and Game, started early teachers workshops, and then other universities have implemented them and are carrying them through. This has been very helpful. So teachers felt 01:34:00comfortable in how they can use the out-of-doors. I think that's a big landmark. I'm not sure what else might be. I think our own... I think if it's a - if it's a way of life or an - A value structure that our young people are having today has an impact. I think they care more about the environment.

JL: How has the outdoor school concept changed, or how has the school changed? Goals?

MM: I'm not sure it has changed [laughs]. I think it's the teachers or individual teachers within schools, or administrators that have changed...

JL: You mentioned the last five years has been different than the previous 20. 01:35:00Why is that?

MM: Oh, I think only that more teachers have become involved and-

JL: Why do you think that is?

MM: Well, some of it comes from universities where teachers - where... students that are planning to go out as - as future educators have had some exposure to it. And therefore if they - if you've done a good job with them or if they had had a good experience, they're going to go out and implement it into their teaching. And I think that's beginning to have an effect. We're not the only university that works with these. Lots of universities do. And I - it's amazing the numbers of ecology courses that are taught on any university, you know, if you really lumped them all together. It's amazing. And if those courses help our young people develop value structures, I think it has an impact.


JL: When were the terms recycling, ecology, renewable resource, endangered species come into usage in - in the outdoor school?

MM: Oh, I think we used those in the very beginning.

JL: Hmm.

MM: We did.

JL: You were aware of those concepts, then?

MM: I think recycling would be much later than the early ones. I suppose Oregon's bottle bill was the first time [laughs]. That really blew that, you know, that people became conscious, you know, to that extent. And then recycling centers. I would say that's relatively new in the outdoor school, but endangered species have been in the curriculum ever since I can ever remember. I think... I think they're - they're just basic to teaching children about the environment. We do have recycling in our program now in some places. That's, that's good. And 01:37:00I think we've moved more in the outdoor... curriculum. I know I have much more sensitivity to the importance of what we call century awareness, of the children, really getting into a hands-on kind of experience more. I think we're moving into that a little bit more, and should. But I don't see any great changes except in learning new things and ways of how we teach children better in the out-of-doors.

JL: Do you think it's a correct title for yourself to be called the mother of the outdoor school in Oregon?

MM: No, I don't think so. I don't think that's - I don't think... No, I think it was a group of people that were very dedicated. We spent hours working and developing-


JL: Sounds like there were only three, then?

MM: Really three that did a lot of the initial work. And since I'm the only one that's left in this state, I guess that's how one gets that. But I don't - I don't think that's true. I think it - I think Bob Brown was a very dedicated person and Austin Hamer and I, the three - I don't think anyone could have done it alone. I had some knowledge and experiences that, because of my truly camping background and the understanding of organization and administration, I didn't have the strong ecology background the other two had. And I think it takes, -- it would - took all of us to put it all together, and I think no one should have credit singly for it.

JL: How did the university further this concept?


MM: Well, when Dr. Phyllis Ward came - and I'm not sure when she came to the University of Oregon - she had background training at Indiana University, and of course they were strong in... in outdoor education.

JL: No, I mean this university.

MM: Oh, this university. I thought you were talking about our neighbors down the way.

JL: No [chuckles]. How did they help you or...?

MM: Well, they were supportive of the program and that's about all.

JL: How were they supportive?

MM: Only that - that I could introduce the classes I wanted and that they would allow me to do these pilot programs, and be supportive of that.

JL: Who were the most supportive?

MM: Dr. Langton and - he was - see we were - at that time we were in the School of Physical Education. Then it was called a division. And you have to have permission from your administrators any time you move into a programs that's different, such as taking groups of students away for a week and - of being 01:40:00supportive of paying your mileage and your expenses to go and help initiate these programs within the school districts.

JL: He saw a place for this within his curriculum?

MM: He saw it, mm-hmm.

JL: Hmm. Um...

MM: [Whispers] I got to call a person.

JL: Okay, I just have a few more questions.

MM: Mm-hmm.

JL: Where do you feel the outdoor school program is headed? When you leave, what's going to happen to it?

MM: Oh, I don't know because that's a good question. I guess I... if there was someone else who had the dedication and who - I don't know where they would be right now on campus. And I'm not - I feel certain that maybe it might not continue. There's no one in - within this department that would continue it. And 01:41:00in Science they had - there might be the possibility Jake Nice might do it, but Jake has other concerns and research. There's no one in the School of Education, and certainly, they're not going to hire somebody in the School of Education to do it. We only work - I only work on a 0.25 FTE and I put in a full 1.0 FTE carrying out that, just to continue the outdoor school. And there are not many people that - it's a dedication and individual house within them. But I'd - I doubt it would continue.

JL: How do you feel about that?

MM: Well, you can't worry about those things. I'm sure we've been pulling it - I think the school districts will continue one way or another, you know, and they may have to hire. Maybe they'll hire some of our students that have the expertise that'd like to have the work, you know, that are qualified to do this. 01:42:00That's always a feeling I've had that maybe we are a crutch to these school districts. You know, like with Corvallis, we're really doing what professionals do. They may have to hire professional leadership to carry on their outdoor school program, which is a logical way to go. And that would provide jobs for our young people. So I don't feel unhappy about that. At this point, I think because of my interest, and I think it's a good program for our college students, it's one way to do it. There are many other ways school districts can do it.

JL: It's not going to die out then, in Oregon?

MM: Oh, no. Oregon outdoor schools won't die out, no.

JL: What do you feel are some of your major accomplishments then in your life?


MM: Oh, I... I support one prioritizes - I still think just teaching and working with young people is - and it's not an accomplishment; it's a satisfaction. It's an accomplishment to me. I suppose if you wanted accomplishments, might be in helping to initiate the outdoor school program in Oregon, developing some curriculum materials that relate very specifically to the that... And I suppose, you know, I'm not one of these people that has to have reached the epitome of something, or an award is rec-I've received a State Conservation Award, the Beaver award, the American Camping Association Award. I've received my awards. But those are not the things that are important. What's important to me is that 01:44:00I've done in my life what I've enjoyed doing... and I'm happy at it. And I'm at peace in mind and heart and... I've done my stint almost and I'm willing to let somebody else come in and try their wings. That's my philosophy. I've enjoyed every minute of it.

JL: You don't have any regrets in your life, wish you'd done differently?

MM: No regrets. No.

JL: That's wonderful.

MM: That's terrible to feel that way, isn't it? But it's the way I feel about life. I did what I wanted to do and I've been happy doing it.

JL: I don't think that's terrible at all.

MM: [Laughs].

JL: One other question. I read that - I read in the GT that the Corvallis school district had said specifically avoids instruction that might be seen as propaganda on behalf of the conservation ethic.


MM: Wow, where did you read that [laughs]?

JL: In the - September 1979. Do you know - it was some - it was a teacher, a sixth-grade teacher that said that, representing the school. You don't - then that's not really anything significant?

MM: I don't think that's significant. I don't know. I'll have to find out enough about that.

JL: Do you have anything else to say about your experiences?

MM: No, I just, as I say, I'm - I'm truly... pretty much happy with - with my experiences in life. I don't think my life has been a failure, and I think I've made some contributions, but... and I suppose we all could do more, but... but it's been a satisfying, rewarding life.