Fresh Air Learning

Outside Classroom

Field Studies

Like you, we believe students thrive in an outdoor setting, where experiential learning approaches are considered fundamental to a student’s all-encompassing learning journey. Vancouver Outdoor School, with our dynamic team, is committed to providing exceptional outdoor educational services and activities for schools from September to June. 

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Our full-day classroom field study streams follow Outdoor Council of Canada’s School Age COVID-19 principles and best practices in keeping teachers, learners and us safe and engaged while exploring the outdoors. All field studies are designed to promote physical distancing between students while learning 100% outside in the sun, rain and snow.

All of our field studies are designed to engage students in outdoor activities while building upon their skill-set and level of interest. Students are immersed in the wonders of nature-based learning while they develop a deeper “understanding” and “wisdom”. Students work, discover, and play in nearby parks, schoolyards, forests, hiking trails, beaches and lakes. Our learning experiences support and promote a base for social-emotional well-being in collaboration with the schools and teachers who we support.

We work with schools, organizations and individuals to custom-design a program that fits your needs, budget and curriculum goals.

How does it work with picking field studies for my class?

First step: Contact us directly for us to learn more about you, your class and your ideas.

Second step: Read the set field studies below and decide on your favourite top three. Keep in mind, each field study is 1.5 to 3 hours in length and most classes average three studies per day.

Third step: Based on our conversation, we will put together an overview, set goals and date, deposit and description of the day.

Fourth step: Let’s get outside and give your class awesome outdoor learning experience.

Fresh Air Learning Field Studies:

Nature & Locally Based

VOS offers a range of dynamic and seasonal field studies utilizing local parks as our outside and dynamic classroom.   Examples of our field studies are:

  • Forest Medicine and Fire Starting – Connecting the importance of risk management and leave no trace principles with a flint and steel fire challenge, fire building essentials, plant-based medicine walks and forest edibles.

  • Wild Gourmet: Cooking and Creating Delicious Bush Snacks – a hands-on outdoor cooking lesson making delicious and healthy “bush snacks” with an experienced wilderness gourmet cook.  Students will make fruit & chocolate kabobs, bannock and oatmeal crisp.

  • Introduction to Parkour and Photography – I know what you are thinking? Parkour? Is it safe? Absolutely! We work with students to learn about risk management, safe body movement techniques and physical literacy while also working with students to capture their experience on film. A very popular field study and something the class does outside and year around.

 

  • Wilderness STEM: Design Thinking – the “art & design” of shelter building using basic principles of engineering, hand tools and mathematics. Students placed on teams compete in engineering and building the best forest fort. Science. Technology. Engineering. Math – STEM in the forest.

  • Indigenous Perspectives students learn the importance of acknowledgments and welcome when visiting a community, the significance of oral storytelling, participate in the blanket exercise (understanding the impact of colonialism and the importance of reconciliation) and play numerous Indigenous games.

  • Green Gorilla: All Natural Toothpaste and Lip Balm Making – students learn the simple steps of reducing their ecological footprint while working on making various projects such as seed balls, all-natural toothpaste, lip balms and more!

  • Climate Change Education and Expressive Arts – students learn about the impacts and causes of climate change, and receive support in expressing their hopes, concerns and ideas about climate change through various creative outlets and art installations.

  • Things That Fly: Goofy Science – an action-packed workshop with students making various types of paper airplanes, shooting comet balls into the sky, mentos in a soda bottle, kite making and more. Designing things that fly and estimating how high and/or far they will go!

  • Where The Wild Things Play –  100% environmental camp-style games and nature-based activities that are educational, active and fun for students, where they can engage with each other and the environment around them. Letting students get wild as they play.

  • Wilderness Pursuits: Essential Outdoor Skills – learning about the importance and basics of how to make knots, use tools, build shelters, orienteering, setting up tents, and outdoor risk management.

Contact us to learn more and to customize your upcoming field trip experience.

inclusive for everyone

Sample Day

9:00 am   –     Arrival and Introduction
9:15 am   –     Welcome & Indigenous Acknowledgement
9:30 am   –     Team Building Activities
10:45 am  –     Snack
11:00 am   –     Learning Station (i.e. Green Gorilla, Outdoor Quests, Forest Cuisine)
12:30 pm  –     Lunch
1:00 pm    –     Group Activity (super fun and engaging)
2:15 pm     –     Debrief
2:30 pm    –     Departure

*can be modified to fit your schedule,  needs, and interests.

“I just love when the learning curve is steep.
And I love being in nature, in the wild.” 

– Peter Heller

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Attention Teachers:

When students go to outdoor school, they develop a sense of independence, new skills and build friendships while unplugging from their digital and urban world to connect with nature and to simply have fun. That is to say, students leave the four walls turning places into “forest classrooms” that allow the students to grow in an integral way.

Outdoor activities are not only a fundamental element for the enjoyment of childhood, but also, they teach children crucial life-skills such as problem solving, teamwork and creativity. 

Vancouver Outdoor School operates a local and nature-based outdoor school for students in grades 3 to 12. Our overnight school camps and day-long field studies are designed to provide the perfect mix of fostering children’s social-emotional learning, skill-based trainings, gourmet cooking lessons and immersion in the local beautiful wilderness. Imagine your students preparing a fabulous dinner, hiking, exploring, dancing, building, creating, dreaming, laughing and just enjoying the precious moments of being a kid at their favourite outdoor school. It’s a kodak moment for every season.

 Why Choose Us?

  • We are all about building longstanding and meaningful relationships with your students, staff and school community.
  • We adjust our field study experience to best suit your students’ learning, in collaboration with their teachers.
  • Our staff are skilled outdoor educators, or aspiring teachers. We hire the best, and bring our best.
  • We have the equipment, staffing and experience to serve up to 30 students at a time while supporting COVID-19 BCCDC Recommendations.
  • We are flexible, fun, and 100% experiential.
  • We can go anywhere! You pick: your schoolyard, local urban park, or a nearby lake or forested area.
  • We work within multiple lenses or frameworks of learning. This means that we are NOT a one-dimensional type of education service. We take into account the students’ age, level of interest and comfort, cultural background, and the core competencies that are in place at your institution.