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, October 12, 2022

Time in Nature

 Living in rural Nevada affords us wide-open spaces, big vistas, and a relatively small population for all this space.  Having access to nature, in our yards, parks, and public lands in which we can get outside and spend quality time in nature is something we should not take for granted.  

Research shows the negative effects when humans, of all ages, do not get enough time outside.  If you or your kiddos are suffering from moodiness, crankiness, short tempers, and anxiety it may be time to plan some time outside and let nature do it’s healing work.  Outside time does not have to be an intense hike up a mountain or an exhaustive gear-laden camping trip.  Healing outside time can also be very simple.

Here is a list of ideas from Richard Louv, Co-founder of the Children & Nature Network and author of several books on the Nature-Deficit Disorder.

1.    Create a “sit spot”.  Build a fort, den or tree house that provides a safe space outdoors.  Getting outside reduces our sense of isolation.  Creating these things helps children learn planning, problem-solving, and creativity.  Your sit spot does not need to be fancy, just safe.

2.    Deck camp.  There is nothing wrong with simply camping in your backyard!  Let kids create their own tepee from blankets, play flashlight tag, have a shadow puppet show on the wall. 

3.    Read or paint outdoors.  Take that favorite book or canvas outdoors!

If you cannot get outside, for whatever reason, you can still experience the benefits of nature by:

4.    Watching from a window with awe.  Look at the clouds if you can, watch for birds flitting by, be intentional about opening curtains and blinds and looking outside.

5.    Read an outdoor adventure book.  Inspirational titles include Island of the Blue Dolphins, Julie of the Wolves, Tom Sawyer, The Jungle Book, and The Curious Garden.  For older kids, The Thunder Tree, What the Robin Knows, Desert Solitaire, and The Sense of Wonder.

6.    Electronically watch.  Utilize the web to watch live nature cams.  It’s not exactly the same as being outdoors, but it does switch our focus from inside to outside and may start conversations that lifts spirits.

Getting outside shifts our focus from an internal-focus to an external-focus and that is what our minds, hearts, and souls need for health.  When we stay in our own heads for too long, things get dark, stale, and gloomy.  Short stints outside can be beneficial; as little as a 5-minute walk can change a mood.  In rural Nevada we have no excuse not to get outside daily. 

If you are looking for support to help you get some more outside time, join us at Nevada Outdoor School!  We offer programs each month and you can find the latest events on our website:  This month, in October, you can find us enjoying the outdoors while making paracord bracelets and walking local trails in and out of costume!  We hope to see you at one of our upcoming events.  Get outside, it is good for humans everywhere!

Monday, September 12, 2022

14th Annual Buckaroo Dutch Oven Cook-Off Fundraiser!

 A great big THANK YOU to all our cooks, judges, donors, sponsors and public tasters that came out to support NEVADA OUTDOOR SCHOOL at our 14th Annual Buckaroo Dutch Oven Cook off Fundraiser!  Thanks to their efforts and generosity, NOS raised $3,400 to support outdoor education in rural Nevada.

There were four categories in the competition.  The Chuck Wagon – main dish category, the Bean Master – main dish and dessert category, the Marshall – main dish, dessert and bread category and the Youth category where they can choose to cook any dish they like.  And the winners were………

Youth 1st Place – Da Cookin Cousins

Youth 2nd Place – Mario Brothers

Chuck Wagon 1st Place – Gene Hunt for County Recorder

Chuck Wagon 2nd Place – Hot Pots

Chuck Wagon 3rd Place – California Trail Interpretive Center

Bean Master 1st Place – Timbo Slice

Bean Master 2nd Place – Dream Catcher Kitchen Ranch

Bean Master 3rd Place – His Watchman Christian Motorcycle Association

Marshall 1st Place – Super Nova

Marshall 2nd Place – Voluntolds

And the most coveted People’s Choice trophy went to the Voluntolds!!


Thank you to our main event Sponsor – Med X Air One


Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Clear Skies, Clear Minds

 At Nevada Outdoor School we are singing praises for a summer of clear skies!  No smoke is worthy of celebration!  We are thankful for wet afternoon thunderstorms and fire prevention behavior because without the fires and smoke of years past we have been able to really enjoy Nevada blue skies for our own recreation as well as our opportunities to share nature with kids.  There is no doubt that when the air is fresh and clean there is a positive reaction in our bodies and our minds.

There is a vast amount of research that supports the ‘clear skies, clear minds’ mantra.  The book Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative by Florence Williams, and many others, present the data that tells us what we intrinsically know, when we choose to listen to our spirits, minds, and bodies.  Getting outdoors, where pollution is minimal and the sun shines bright, makes a human feel better.  Spiritually, we enhance our nature connection, recognizing that we are part of something much bigger than just ourselves.  Mentally, the disconnection from phones and screens frees our minds for other inputs and outputs.  Physically, blood pressure decreases, cortisol and other stress hormones dip, and vitamin D production is sufficient.  When we say “get outside, it is good for humans everywhere,” there is a lot of scientific knowledge backing us up.

We wrapped up our summer with our final summer camp at Angel Lake.  Nevada Outdoor School purchased a group fishing license for the 10 Angel Lake campers and they were able to attend the fishing clinic hosted by the Nevada Department of Wildlife.  Campers went to different stations learning important fishing skills. At the end of the clinic, every camper was gifted a brand new fishing pole by NDOW that they got to test out while at camp!  Many fish were caught! 


Nevada Outdoor School campers fishing with their new fishing poles provided by the Nevada Department of Wildlife, after campers completed a fishing clinic at Angel Lake.

Time Spent Outdoors is one of the many metrics we record at Nevada Outdoor School to help us measure success.  This summer we were able to spend over 600 hours outdoors with our campers and Nature at Nine participants.  Clear skies made that easy and enjoyable!  Earlier this year, as an organization we challenged ourselves to accumulate 500 hours of outside time from January to June.  In order to accomplish our goal each individual needed to spend about 10 hours a week outside.  One might think this was an easy challenge for an outdoor school, but in fact, it was not.  We had to consciously make choices and put forth effort to be outside, especially when it’s dark and cold. 

In the 21st Century getting outside is not as easy as one may think it should be, at any time of the year!  There are a lot of inside attractions and distractions.  Televisions, couches and comfy recliners, food pantries, computers, gaming systems, and temperature control are things that easily woo us to remain inside.  Something important to remember, is that to ‘be outside’ does not only mean that you hiking or overly physical.  There is value to sitting on your porch!  That is an easy misperception to have, and one that we too at Nevada Outdoor School get caught up in.  There are so many things that can be done outside!  Both high and low movement activities have value.  It is less about what you do and more about the setting in which you are doing it, outdoors!  Things like hunting, hiking, kayaking, shooting a bow and arrow, gardening, and walking a dog are amazing and get your heart pumping a bit more, but things like reading under a tree, napping in the shade, painting outside, barbequing dinner, dining al fresco, and floating on an innertube are also worthy activities to dedicate outside time too. 

As we being to transition in to fall, check out for our upcoming outdoor activities.  Community hikes, our Dutch Oven Cook Off fundraiser in Winnemucca, and outdoor skill workshops are just a few of the activities we have coming soon that will get you outside.  Go on, get outside, clear that mind in our clear skies, it is good for humans everywhere!