As a 6th grade teacher, I have gone to Outdoor School over a dozen times. Each time it has been a very valuable learning experience for every student, but it is often most valuable for those students who struggle in the regular classroom setting. Those students often have an experience where learning is fun instead of frustrating, where they feel like a true learner.
— Kathleen Jeskey (Canby)
Resident Outdoor Schools are needed for all elementary school districts in providing opportunities for students who do poorly in classrooms with 4 walls made of bricks. Students were motivated in using Math skills to measure trees in height, circumference, radius, including age of the tree with a tree borer as a few examples.
— John F. Heilbronner (Springfield)
I am a public school educator. I used to teach at an Outdoor School in California and have attended two different outdoor schools with my students in Oregon. The Outdoor School programs are invaluable learning experiences for students. As an observer on these trips, I have had the opportunity to watch students grow individually and together. My class united in a way that only a shared experience, like attending outdoor school, can facilitate. Students who struggle in the four walls of the classroom shine as they share gifts and strengths that can sometimes go unseen or unexpressed. For many students, this is a life altering experience because it removes them from their social, academic, and sometimes physical comfort zones in a safe and meaningful way.
— Jackie Fuller (Portland)
As a student, the change of scenery from a classroom environment to the great outdoors opened up our minds and senses as we EXPERIENCED the things we were learning in a natural setting. What an amazing way to literally “knock down the walls” and get “outside the box” for experiential learning. Simply changing the environment of learning can vastly magnify and maximize the educational experience. Little did I know that after my positive Outdoor School experiences while attending Dunn Elementary School in Eugene, I would continue down my track of education and influence, being heavily involved in camps and experiential learning environments as a Program Director.
— Dave Mertz (Eugene)