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, August 10, 2022

NOS Programming Highlight: Nature @ Nine!

Those of you who have been attending our summer programming over the years may have noticed a difference in one of our programs for this summer. We moved our 4-7 year old Nature program from noon to nine.

We made the decision to move our program to earlier in the day thanks to helpful input and suggestions from parents and youth who attended the summer program last year. This move in time helped beat some of this famous Nevada heat this year! 



Nature @ Nine at the Spring Creek Marina. A lesson all about dinosaurs!

Our Nature @ Nine program is geared for 4-7 year olds but is open to anyone who would like to participate. Each lesson includes games, songs, a book, and a craft. For nine weeks throughout the summer months Nevada Outdoor School comes to eight different locations throughout Nevada to deliver these Nature @ Nine lessons! The areas serviced this year are Elko, Spring Creek, Carlin, Wells, Winnemucca, Imlay, Paradise Valley and Battle Mountain. 

Each week is a new nature based topic. Some topics have included; worms, butterflies, dinosaurs, habitats, birds, flowers, and animal tracks! One of the more popular lessons was our worm lesson! Youth got to learn all about worms; how they move, what they eat, and why they are important. Youth also got to explore, hold, and pet a real worm! At first many were nervous to hold the worm but by the end of the lesson, most students were holding and touching the worms. It was fun to see all the different reactions and watch as youth giggled, laughed and explored! 


If you haven’t had a chance to make it to one of our N@N programs yet, don’t worry! We still have one more week of fun activities until summer is over! Our last week is August 15th-18th and we look forward to seeing YOU there! 

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Discoveries Await

 Imagine the discoveries that the emigrants made as they traveled along the California Trail.  Discoveries about the landscape, about plants and animals, about those they traveled with, and themselves.  Summer camps at Nevada Outdoor School are full of discovery also!  While we may not travel thousands of miles over many months, our campers are transported by our outdoor educators into discovery mindsets, no matter where they are.

Nevada is a state that can boast about great biological diversity and a deep and rich historical story.  If one were to only stay on I-80 passing through at 80 miles an hour, much of the beauty and legend will be missed, but when one opts to step off the beaten path, treasures await. 

Great Basin National Park is one of those treasures.  Located about 1 hour southeast of Ely, this national park is a great place to sample the diversity of Nevada and discover things about nature and yourself.   Campers, ages 11 - 13, attending the Great Basin Excursion were able to walk among the ancient bristlecone pine trees, experience total darkness and stunning stalactites, stalagmites, and cave shields inside Lehman Caves, and observe one of the darkest night skies in our country.  Four nights of camping also afforded campers the opportunity to work together as a team to make meals and take care of one another, while sharing many laughs around the evening “campfire”.  Due to the campfire ban, along with daily afternoon thunderstorms, campers discovered how they could adapt, overcome, and make the best of a situation.

The California Trail Interpretive Center is another Nevada treasure that is ripe with discovery, celebrating the tenacity and spirit of the nearly 250,000 people who bravely set out for California between 1841 and 1869.  Spending a day there is like going back in time, with an added bonus of air conditioning.  Day-campers, ages 8 - 13, walked along the nature trail discovering animal tracks and scat, cooked their lunch in a Dutch oven, explored the Center exhibits conveying them from Missouri to California, made crafts, shot bows and arrows, and threw axes.  


California Trail Interpretive Center Day Campers spent time learning and practicing with bow and arrows.


Kids with bows and arrows and throwing axes? Is that safe?  That may be an initial reaction by many, but at Nevada Outdoor School we know that outdoor education is risky business that can be carefully managed with training, thoughtful prior preparation, and careful management of participants.  Allowing kids to fully participate in activities like archery and axe throwing helps them to discover and stretch their physical abilities while teaching them about safety and how risk can be managed by choices.  

If bows and arrows and axes weren’t enough, in Battle Mountain at Borealis Park another group of day campers, ages 8 - 13, were launching rockets and discovering the power of the sun and its ability to warm up their lunch of chili and cheese in a solar oven.  Dreaming of space travel and learning about our solar system inspires campers to reach for the stars.

Children (and adults, too!) who spend time outdoors are known to be happier, stronger, and more confident.  Why?  At Nevada Outdoor School we love to get people outdoors where they can experience discoveries through the use of all five senses - a complete submersion into situational awareness that simply does not occur indoors.  Physical, mental, spiritual discoveries happen outdoors.  Get outside, it is good for humans everywhere.