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Kids Get Smarter Outdoors

“Average Americans spend less than 5 percent of their life in classrooms, and an ever-growing body of evidence demonstrates that most science is learned outside of school,” according to two Oregon State University researchers. Children and Nature Network co-founder Richard Louv believes that sending kids outside increases their odds of getting into Harvard. Among his findings: “A yet-to-be published study of over 500 Chicago schools suggests that greening our schools may be one of the most cost-effective ways to raise student test scores.” Read more here. Something to consider: How can your school partner with camp to help kids experience the outdoors?

Helpful Documents
Basic Information

Contact Information: Tim Houser, Program Manager 

Email:  •  Phone: 971-239-1347


Physical Address: 13000 Finlay Rd NE Silverton OR 97381   •   Mailing Address: P.O. Box 128 Silverton OR 97381


Costs: $75.00 - $200.00/person.  We offer a Field Day and 3 day experience. 


Permit/Permission Requirements: Basic paperwork and permission forms may apply


Facilities Description: 

  • Parking available free, bus access

  • Oak lodge: dining and meeting hall, fireplace, capacity 300

  • Fir Lodge: basic kitchen, gas fireplace, admin office room, nurse station, capacity 50 

  • Gymnasium: full size basketball court, game room with ping pong, billiards, foosball, carpet ball and air hockey tables 

  • Outdoor campfire: stadium seating for 120

  • Large open grass fields for group games and activities 

  • Housing: cabins, capacity 80-120

  • Activities: lake, fishing, canoes, swimming (seasonal), archery, challenge course, zipline, candle making, crafts, sports, physical science, nature science, outdoor cooking


Programming: Your program or ours.  

Adult Supervision: You will need to provide adult supervision who need to be present day and night.  


Class Subjects: Macro-invertebrates, Physical Science, Nature Science, Angling Science, Horse Science, Archery, Canoes, Outdoor Cooking, Paracord Crafts, Team Building Challenge Course, Escape Room (History Lesson). You are welcome to bring your own curriculum, instructor and teach a subject special to your group as well. 

Natural Resources Description: Forest land, fir, oak, cottonwood, alder, pine trees, nature trails, Drift Creek runs through camp, 2 lakes, bass, bluegill, catfish, rough skinned newts, bull frogs, ducks, a blue heron, hawks, scrubjays, steller's jays, chickadees, woodpeckers, hummingbirds, cows, horses, deer.  

Staff: Our staff is professionally trained for class instruction, camper supervision and all are trained in First Aid, CPR/AED.  We have a seasonal counseling staff to provide class instruction.  Programs are typically led by our staff and can also be facilitated by school teachers.  The early spring can be a challenging time to hire counseling staff as most colleges don't release until May or June. During those times it may be needed to have teachers or school chaperones to stay overnight with campers.  Schools would need to ask for that availability to Tim Houser, Program Director. 

Partnerships: Oregon State University Extension Service, Friends of Outdoor School, BEETLES (Better Environmental Education, Teaching, Learning, Expertise Sharing), ODFW, Salem Keizer School District and Salem Academy. 

Child Protection Plan Video
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