Program Location
This project is located in Multnomah County. See more projects in Multnomah County.
Outdoor School Multnomah

A Teacher’s Perspective

Laurie McDowell has attended Outdoor School with her students for some 20 years, giving her a deep perspective on how the program impacts students’ lives, often long past their return to the classroom. Not only do kids get to learn whether or not an area is a healthy habitat for animals and plants, Outdoor School also gives them important social interactions that simply can’t be replicated at regular school.

Additionally, for many students in her urban school, Outdoor School was their first encounter with Oregon’s natural beauty beyond the manicured borders of a city park. She remembers checking in with a student who had been very challenging in the classroom, just to see how his Outdoor School experience was going. His unexpected response was, “Mrs. McDowell, no one’s ever told me that this was here. How come I didn’t know this was here before?” The experience at camp revealed a world previously unknown to him. According to McDowell, these are the “Aha” moments that Outdoor School brings to students’ lives long beyond the sixth-grade.

More About Outdoor School

Outdoor School

Building Friendships

“When you’re at Outdoor School, everyone is on equal footing,” explained McDowell. “Kids got to know students from other parts of the city that they never would have had a chance to get to know.”

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