Life Long Memories: Outdoor School’s Lasting Influence

The latest research shows the link between a stronger connection with nature and the resulting positive benefits on mental health, creativity and problem-solving, and intellectual development. 

Yet, it’s also clear that the value of Outdoor School goes much deeper than even that. Talk to Outdoor School “alumni” and you’ll hear some amazingly similar threads. In addition to being an eye-opening experience for how the natural world works, they’ll probably tell you how Outdoor School taught them “grown up” lessons, such as how to face new challenges and get outside their personal comfort zone. They’ll also likely share the sense of independence and self-confidence they felt from being away from home for the first time, or how they learned to love a particular outdoor activity that they still enjoy today. Dig deeper, and they’ll may tell you about how they made lifelong friendships from spending a week together as a group, interacting, cooperating and getting along with others in a way that no classroom setting could ever duplicate.

In ways both big and small, a full week of Outdoor School brings all kinds of valuable lessons home to 6th graders. Years later, even some of Oregon’s best known personalities remember their time at Outdoor School and the ways it positively influenced them and their lives today. Here, Timber Joey of the Portland Timbers shares his most favorite Outdoor School memories from his childhood growing up in Philomath, Oregon:

All Oregon kids deserve the same opportunity to experience the many benefits Outdoor School offers. Let’s rally to get the #SaveOutdoorSchool measure on the ballot this November. Please sign the petition to Save Outdoor School today.