Description: Northwest Outdoor Science School is a multi-day, overnight experiential education program for sixth-grade students. Students live in and learn about the natural world in an outdoor setting, spending many hours each day on different science field studies. Learning takes place in small groups and the activities are hands-on, short, interactive and fun. Students study forest & aquatic habitats and life forms, soil and water quality, and more. At Outdoor School, students develop an understanding and appreciation of the natural world and their place in it.
Social growth occurs as the students learn, live and play together. Students live in cabin groups and participate in evening campfire programs, cabin unity games, camp duties, recreation, and homeroom time with their classroom teachers. They learn to function as a team as they perform basic duties such as serving meals, presenting a weather forecast, or cleaning their cabins. Family style dining reinforces table manners, etiquette and nutritional diet. All sites have comfortable sleeping cabins with heat and electricity, restrooms with showers, a dining hall and covered areas for field studies.
College and high school students volunteer as counselors for one week. They live in the cabins with the sixth-graders, engaging the students in a variety of fun activities (games, songs, icebreakers, skits) to build cabin unity and forge friendships. Counselors also teach the activities on the science field studies, allowing the average study group size to be 5 students per instructor.
Outdoor School staff provides training in good child management, field study activities and teaching techniques, game and song leading, and camp duties. Counselors arrive a day before students to begin training, and are mentored throughout the week. The staff is always available to assist counselors in any way.
Time Commitment: Student Leaders will volunteer for 4-6 days and will stay on-site at one of our four camp locations throughout that time.
Qualifications: No prior camp experience is required! Nor are counselors expected to be experts in science. You only need to be ready and willing to learn at Outdoor School. People wishing to counsel at Outdoor School must:
1. Enjoy spending time with children
2. Enjoy spending time in the outdoors
3. Take initiative to engage students in activities
4. Be responsible & mature
5. Be enthusiastic & positive
6. Be flexible to do whatever is needed
7. Be able to communicate clearly
8. Focus all of their energy on making Outdoor School as rewarding an experience as possible for students.
We have four camp locations available:
- Cedar Ridge (located in the Oregon coast range near Vernonia, OR)
- Trickle Creek (Located in the forests NW of Salem, OR)
- Magruder (located along the Oregon coast, near Rockaway Beach, OR)
- Westwind (located along the Oregon coast, north of Lincoln City, OR)
- Teaching / Instruction
- Environmental Education
- General Education
- Outdoor Recreation
- People Skills
- Environmental Science
Good Match For
Requirements & Commitment
- Must be at least 15
- Orientation or Training
- 5 to 6 days
- Student Leaders volunteer for one week between March 12th - June 2nd