Photo and video by Jill Wells

Fall 2017 will see the launch of new state-funded outdoor schools administered by OSU Extension Service. Susan Sahnow, interim Outdoor School director, shares with Vice Provost Scott Reed what it means for OSU Extension Service.

Share a memorable outdoor school experience—or a profound experience you’ve had in the great outdoors—in the comment section below. 

One of the greatest natural cosmic coincidences likely to happen in the Pacific Northwest in our lifetimes occurs on August 21: the total eclipse of the sun. It is an experience that will be shared by millions. Visit for information about how to view the eclipse safely and much more. Learn about the events OSU has planned for the phenomenon.

For information about the eclipse in Spanish, click here.

The University Outreach and Engagement blog is reinstating People Profiles. This month, learn something about one of your colleagues: Tracy Crews. “Stop by” and say hello!

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8 thoughts on “Funding launches Oregon Outdoor School

  1. I love that you included the outdoor school name tags in the video — that brought back many fond memories!

  2. I remember a ton from Outdoor School! I went in 6th grade. I learned about sand, silt and loamy soil, the symbiosis in lichen, aquatic invertebrates, and why the west side of the mountains are rainy. We also learned why you don’t use the word “retarded” even as slang because there was a boy in camp who had a condition that caused irregular muscle movements. I was at Camp Eagle Fern in the Mallard cabin. My counselors were Hollywood, Sprout, and Goose. At campfire we learned how to make a rainstorm, one of the staff read very humorously from Uncle Shelby’s ABC’s (by Shel Silverstein), and I can still sing several songs.

    • Sounds like a terrific experience. I’m reading about the value of outdoor school education and the benefits are amazing! I remember the outstanding homemade bread!

  3. As a middle school student, I participated in an outdoor school-like experience that one of our science teachers started. This was long ago before there was outdoor school in California, where I grew up. Myself and most of my fellow campers, all kids of color, had not had experiences like this. It changed my life trajectory! In college, I majored in environmental ed. and have worked in several jobs focusing on that.
    I also successfully passed this enthusiasm on to my daughter, who loved participating in outdoor school, served as a volunteer counselor during her high school years and will start as an educator for the Naturebridge outdoor school program in Yosemite next week!
    Hurray for Outdoor School and hurray for including everyone so that all kids be inspired!

    • Hurray for sharing those memories, Ann. In addition to lots of family camping trips I was blessed to take, perhaps my California outdoor school experience is the reason I treasure our outdoor spaces.

  4. For the past few years I have participated in the Beverly Beach State Park outdoor school program, teaching about and exploring native plants with the students at the campground.

    It was there that I was first introduced to the tree cookies. The students love decorating them and stringing colored beads on them. The enthusiasm is contagious.

    Liz Olsen
    OSU Lincoln County Extension
    Master Gardener Program Coordinator


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