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!

Monday, December 9, 2019

#OptOutside Everyday

A few years ago, REI’s CEO started a program called #OptOutside where he closed all of his stores on Black Friday and paid his employees to recreate.  

In 2018, #OptOutside spread to more than 170 organizations and on November 29, 2019, it was even bigger. 

Over the years, #OptOutside has become more than merely going outside on Black Friday, but to taking action and making life choices that are with respect to the outside.  To facilitate this goal, this year REI compiled a list of 52 weekly challenges for how each of us can #OptOutside every day.   

At Nevada Outdoor School, it is our mission to “…inspire…responsible stewardship of our habitat.” Sometimes it is hard to see what we can do to care for the natural world outside of a facilitated conservation service project.   

This list gives people power with simple ideas and background information to understand the positive changes we can make through simple choices. 

Here are December’s four to get you started.
Week 1:
Make cleaning up a part of your daily habits.
Week 2:
Go bagless.  Make reusable bags for all shopping.
Week 3:
Opt out of junk mail.
Week 4:
Forgo traditional wrapping paper to cut down on waste this holiday season.

For more information about how each of these actions affect the natural world and to learn about the other 48 challenges from REI please go to

Happy Trails!

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Reflections on AmeriCorps Service - FCAA

The Frontier Community Action Agency is the non-profit organization that I serve as an AmeriCorps Member. Serving such a great organization that helps so many different people is so amazing. Being able to see all of the individuals that gain so much from our programs is truly rewarding. 

Right now, during the holidays is when we get the busiest. Whether people come in for applications, commodities, Project Santa, Thanksgiving basket sign ups or simply for help filling out or reading applications, we are SLAMMED. 

For Project Santa last year over 300 kids were able to receive gifts that maybe wouldn't have been able to receive any. I love kids and being able to know tons of kids will receive gifts on Christmas morning, warms my heart. We have been crazy busy this year with this program so hopefully that number will increase. Another great thing I would like to talk about is commodities that we give out the last week of every month. During this week, we get PACKED to say the least. We have had to start distributing the Friday before to minimize waiting times for the upcoming Monday. People were waiting for over an hour to receive food because of how many people we had coming through our doors. For the month of the September, we served 125 households and 323 individuals and we only keep getting busier. For the month of November, during commodities, we have been giving Thanksgiving baskets to families of 2 or more that need a little extra food for Thanksgiving dinner. We received 120 of those baskets. 

These programs are only a couple of the programs and help we offer. So far, serving as an AmeriCorps member has helped me gain experience in many different aspects such as office work, social work, and community service, helping me further expand my knowledge of what I truly want to do in the future. 

Jenny Torres

Monday, November 18, 2019

Practicing Leave No Trace While Hunting

The fall has always been my favorite time of year. 

The cooler weather brings back memories of growing up in the Shawnee National Forest of Illinois during hunting season. For myself and many others, hunting has become a family tradition that involves great memories, stories, and providing healthy food year after year. I spent many days during the fall and winter months hunting deer, waterfowl, and turkeys, all while making great memories. 

In order to set a positive example for future generations and continue building family traditions that revolve around hunting, it is important to follow the Leave No Trace principles. The following are tips from Leave No Trace about how to do so. 

Plan Ahead and Prepare
Most states require you to take a hunter safety course before you can obtain a hunting license. These courses go over firearm safety, ethics, and safe practices for hunting.
Check with land management agencies if you’re hunting on public land. Familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations. Get permission to hunt on private land. Make sure you have the proper tags and licenses, and obey bag/possession limits.
Carry extra food, clothing, first aid, and be prepared for extreme weather. Tell your family/friends where you will be and when you plan on coming back. 

Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
If you are hunting in the backcountry, choose a campsite that will have the least amount of impact to the area and keep your campsite small.
When using ATV’s, stay on established trails. Avoid driving through riparian areas and creating new trails. Leave gates as you find them, unless noted otherwise. 

Dispose of Waste Properly
Pack out your trash. This includes spent brass, shotgun shells, and leftover food.
Drag gut piles away from water sources, trails, or highly visited areas, as they attract bears, wolves, and coyotes.
Wash yourself and tools away from streams or lakes using biodegradable soap. 

Leave What you Find
Observe cultural and historic artifacts instead of touching/taking them.
Sight in your firearms at home or a shooting range, away from the area you will be hunting.
Use manufactured blinds instead of tree branches or other vegetation. Avoid transporting non-native seeds and vegetation.

Minimize Campfire Impacts
If you’re camping, try using an established fire ring or fire pan. If possible, use a camp stove.
Keep trash out of your fire, as it usually doesn’t burn completely and can attract wildlife.
Keep your fire small. Use sticks that are already on the ground and can be broken by hand. 

Respect Wildlife
Take only clean, safe killing shots, then properly retrieve and handle your game. If the weather is warm, clean and cool your game as quickly as possible.
Never feed animals, as it can damage their health, alters their natural behavior, and can expose them to predators.
Store your food and trash securely and only hunt animals that are in season. 

Be Considerate of Other Visitors
Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t shoot near developed areas, near campsites, or across roads.
Be respectful towards other hunters and visitors to protect the quality of their experience.
Be aware of your firearm around others. Always keep it pointed in a safe direction.

Following these principles can help protect and preserve the areas we enjoy hunting, and ensures their use for future generations. Hopefully, you’ll have a successful season and make great memories!

Happy Trails,