Meet Our Founder, Jim Schoel – 1943-2023
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our founder, Jim Schoel.
GMS Adventure Camp is the brainchild of Jim Schoel. We began as a program of the Gloucester Public Schools in 1971 and our primary focus was on the development of an alternative program program focused on experiential education. The theme for the program was Gloucester, and the city became a “living museum” for our students—hence the name Gloucester Museum School which became a 501 c-3 in 1976..
During these early years, and with help from the same teachers and counselors responsible for the GHS program, Jim also recruited the Gloucester Recreation Department as a sponsor of our GMS Adventure Camp, a summer program focused on serving 6-15 year olds.
Jim’s entire professional career was devoted to helping youth thrive through hands-on experiential learning. He helped conceive and execute the Harlem Street Academics and Prep School, co-founded Project Adventure, and was a key figure in the development of Adventure Based Counseling and the field of Experiential Education. Additionally, Jim was also the author of several books on the theories and activities that form the foundation of Experiential Education methodology.
Nothing delighted Jim more than getting outdoors and engaging in activities with kids of all ages, and our camp was a subject that never failed to bring a twinkle to Jim’s eyes.
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