NOS Mission

Nevada Outdoor School inspires exploration of the natural world, responsible stewardship of our habitat and dedication to community.
This is the spot for us to share stories, fun ideas or general musings. When you aren't in here, we hope to see you out there!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Reflections on AmeriCorps Service- Nevada Outdoor School and the Frontier Community Action Agency

My name is Kiko Ramirez and I have served 3 year long AmeriCorps terms through the Nevada Outdoor School AmeriCorps program. I began my first term in the fall of 2015, immediately following my high school graduation. Since the commencement of my first term of service, I have grown exponentially in all areas of my life. I began my journey of national service at Nevada Outdoor School (NOS) where I served as a Naturalist. I began my term as a kid and by the end of my term I was a young adult with a great resume including leadership skills, communication skills, and so much more. I got years of growth in one jam packed year! This did not come easy, however. My position at NOS has been the most challenging position I have held, but it was well worth it! Along the way I made memories with fellow members who would become lifelong friends who I would have never met without AmeriCorps. It was also during my service at NOS that I discovered my passion for working with children and my career path. Gaining experience in a field involving working directly with children gave me the opportunity to decide on a career based on first hand knowledge of what that career entails. National service is a great way to discover your career path and passions!

Following my successful completion of my contract with NOS, I entered into my second AmeriCorps term at the Frontier Community Action Agency (FCAA). This position was vastly different from my position with NOS. During my first month at the agency I helped with their food commodities distribution along with my fellow AmeriCorps members. After loading cartons of milk onto a cart to be distributed, we pulled the cart to arrange the milk. We had stacked the milk too high and realized our mistake much too late. The next thing we knew the milk came tumbling down and came crashing down on the floor around us. The milk exploded from the cartons and spilled all over the floor. It was quite a mess to clean up but it is now a great memory to look back on with individuals who served at the FCAA with me. At the FCAA I have made professional connections through participation in community meetings. I have acquired experience in coordinating programs and have had the opportunity to take a look behind the scenes to discover what it takes for a non-profit to thrive.
Another bonus to serving with AmeriCorps has been the flexibility of my host sites pursue a higher education while completing my AmeriCorps service. Not only have I gained an experienced unparalleled to any other, but I was also able to earn my Associate of Arts degree simultaneously. I was able to earn my degree completely debt-free thanks to the Education Award members can earn upon successful completion of service contracts.  My AmeriCorps service experience has been nothing short of life-changing and I could not recommend national service more! 

Happy Trails!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Having Fun in the Fall

If you ask most people what their favorite season is, the chances are likely that it’s fall. Fall is a busy time of year where the weather finally starts to cool down, the leaves change colors, and the days get shorter. Growing up, fall was my favorite time of year for several reasons. It seemed like something was going on every weekend. Hayrides, holidays, and hunting season are a few great memories that come to mind. At Nevada Outdoor School, fall is a busy time for us as well. These are a few of the fun things that we have experienced in the month of October.

At the beginning of October, NOS participated in National Public Lands Day in Water Canyon. During this event, we partner with the BLM for different stewardship projects. This year, we planted in the community garden, created a pathway, and provided a fun educational lesson to kids about different types of pollinators. The following weekend, we traveled to Soldier Meadows for Desert Dace Days. This is one of our favorite events where we camp out and provide a kids camp with fun and educational activities such as Leave no Trace. We also participated in a Dutch Oven Cookoff with lots of good food. Both of these events allow us to join the public and partner organizations and take care of the lands that we use for camping, hiking, and other types of recreation.


On October 6th, we traveled to Reno to participate in the Leave no Trace Awareness Day with the Girl Scouts. At this event, the Girl Scouts were able to play our wheel of ethics game where they answer questions about Leave no Trace. They were also able to create hangtags that display the principles of Leave no Trace. The same day, I presented a living history program at the California Trail Center where I portrayed an emigrant traveling to California during the gold rush. This was a fun event and I look forward to presenting more living history programs in the near future.

October also saw the beginning of our monthly classroom lessons. During the fall and winter, we travel to local and rural schools to present different lessons based around nature and hands on learning. In October, our theme is archaeology and culture. Students are able to learn about the signs of fall, dinosaurs, Native American myths, and the California Trail. We also held our annual Lazy P fall field trip. At this fun field trip, kids learn about animals on the farm, how pumpkins grow, and how corn is used in everyday materials. They were also able to go through a fun corn maze where they learned about different farm items that showed them the correct way to go.

Although October has been a busy month, we enjoy the different experiences and programs that we get to participate in. Fall is definitely my favorite season and I look forward to the upcoming programs that we have in November. 

Happy Trails!