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!

Thursday, March 26, 2020

A message from NOS Executive Director - Urgent Help Needed

Dear Friends,

Coronavirus Consequence – Emergency Funds Needed Now

Due to the current state of affairs and preexisting cuts to traditionally reliable funding sources this year, the future of Nevada Outdoor School is in turmoil and we are facing the real and unfortunate reality of shutting down. We need community support through monetary donations now to keep our doors open and ensure the future of Nevada Outdoor School. 

Nevada Outdoor School programs provide real and important value to the communities we serve, providing experiential outdoor education to our local youth. We are working hard right now to help package food relief to families in need in our communities, and ensuring our students are well fed and taken care of. While we have to practice social distancing, this does not mean the education has to stop. We can continue to help our youth, teachers and parents by providing them outdoor education through online videos and lessons. This will help our youth be able to utilize this time to slow down, better themselves, and appreciate and care for our natural world.  

Your action is needed now for the future of our organization and outdoor education in Nevada.  Your monetary gift of any size will help us continue to serve, support, and educate our students.

I wish you and yours well during this unfortunate and turbulent time.  Remember the outdoors is still a safe place to visit and recreate, but we must act responsibly and practice social distancing while doing so.

Kind regards,

Melanie Erquiaga
Melanie Erquiaga, Executive Director

Monday, March 23, 2020

Peter Lassen

Two years ago, Nevada Outdoor School began taking kids to a new summer camp located at Lassen Volcanic National Park. However, who is the park named after? Well it is a man named Peter Lassen and he was a blacksmith by trade in the 1800s. He travelled from Missouri to Oregon then to California in 1840. In 1845, he obtained his citizenship in order to purchase 22,000 acres at Deer Creek and established the Bosquejo Ranch. He set to return to Missouri to bring people to live at a township he developed on his land. This group of emigrants were the first to cross the Lassen Trail.

Peter Lassen

In 1855, Lassen found gold and held many leadership positions between Native American tribes and his party. He continued searching for additional locations for prospecting when he discovered a silver mine near the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. He organized a scouting party of two groups to meet at Black Rock Canyon. The day after he and his two traveling companions, Edward Clapper and Lemericus Wyatt, arrived at the site in April of 1859, Lassen and Clapper were shot and killed. Speculation remains if members of his own scouting party or Native Americans were the culprits of his death. There is a Lassen Monument in his memory located under a Ponderosa pine tree.

Lassen Trail

To read more about Peter Lassen and his pioneer lifestyle by going to: 

Enjoy the journey!

1. “Sierra Nevada Geotourism.” Peter Lassen's Grave (No. 565 California Historical Landmark) - Sierra Nevada Geotourism MapGuide,

Monday, March 9, 2020

Reflections on AmeriCorps Service - Nevada Outdoor School

I love this job. Plain and simple, right out of the gate. 

I was a little leery about it at first being that it was an education-based position. I love kids, I have worked with kids most of my life, but educating/forming young minds can be a little intimidating. 

The last few months I have been a part of multiple lessons.


My favorites being 1st Grade with Snowflakes and 2nd Grade with Animal Tracks. Seeing these kids learn something new or find a new favorite animal makes this work all the more worth it. In this position, I have learned more and more about where my strengths are in education.

With snowflakes, we teach kids how to cut snowflakes out of hexagons. Working on shapes, counting and teamwork. 
Animal Tracks works with deduction and kinesthetic learning. 

Being there to work with these kids and help solidify these principles in their education really makes the entire process worth it. 

I look forward to continuing to serve as an AmeriCorps member and continue learning the skills I have and will use in the future.


BayLee Kirkendoll