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Outdoor Classroom

for homeschooling families

NOTE: Both Wednesday and Thursday sessions for the spring 2024 semester of the Outdoor Classroom are full.

Families can get on a waiting list by completing the registration form below. Although registrations for the entire semester are closed, parents can still register their children for up to three individual sessions after the first week, Feb. 28 & 29. The class schedule will be completed and posted in January 2024.

Every year more parents choose to school their children at home. It can be a daunting task.

That's where the Outdoor Classroom comes in.

 

Homeschooling families generally have little difficulty covering the core subjects (reading, math, language arts), but sometimes they can use a little help with other parts of the curriculum (science, history, geography and fine arts).

Camp Trinity introduced the Outdoor Classroom in fall 2020 to assist homeschooling families with disciplines outside the core curriculum. The Outdoor Classroom has included sessions on wildlife flora and fauna, history, wilderness survival, physical and cultural geography, mountain music, sculpture, drawing, photography, archeology, botany, engineering, and orienteering. Classes are taught by Camp Trinity staff and guest presenters.

Guest speakers have included Petit Jean State Park interpreters, Arkansas Game & Fish Commission officers, University of Arkansas Extension agents, zookeepers, cowboys, master gardeners, law enforcement officers, helicopter pilots, firefighters, EMTs, historians, professional musicians and artists, zoologists and exotic animal keepers, as well as an archeologist and a veterinarian. 

Because of the large number of early registrations for the fall 2022 semester, Camp Trinity added a second option. Courses are now taught not only on Thursday but on Wednesday as well.

Families can choose when to participate and pay just for the classes they attend or they can sign up for the entire 10-week semester at a steep discount (prices below). Those who sign up for the semester are not required to attend every session but can attend only the classes of most interest.

The sessions are for school-aged children (6-18). Depending on the subject, participants may be divided into groups by age.

 

The fall schedule dates are below, with details to be added later. Classes are subject to change as scheduling conflicts arise for guest speakers:

Feb. 28/29: BIRDS THAT HIT TREES WITH THEIR FACES

A bird expert from the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission will teach all about woodpeckers — shelters, diet and unique features. (Did you know that a woodpecker's tongue wraps around its brain to cushion it while it is hammering its beak against a tree trunk?)

March 6/7: FOLK MUSIC & DANCE

David and Donna Peterson, founders of the Arkansas Country Dance Society, will demonstrate traditional music of our state on fiddle, guitar and their own handmade hammered dulcimers. They will also teach students songs and dances, so come ready to step!

March 13/14: COON DOGS & HUNTING

Shane Williams of R&W Outdoors will brings tales of raccoon hunting — which is done at night with the help of trained coon dogs, and Shane is bringing along his coon dogs for students to see. We recommend that families read Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls prior to this class.

March 20/21: PICTOGRAPHS & PETROGLYPHS

More than 1,000 pictographs are found on Petit Jean Mountain, making it one of the country's most important sites for studying ancient Native American rock art. Students will see many examples of both pictographs (cave paintings) and petroglyphs (rock carvings). Don Higgins, the foremost expert on rock art in Arkansas, will lead this session.

March 27/28: SUMMER CAMP SAMPLE

Summer camp at Camp Trinity is a place where kids can grow in the faith, make new friends and have loads of fun. In this session we'll pack a week's worth of fun into one day! Expect canoeing, archery, campfires with s'mores and more

 

April 3/4: BIRDS OF PREY

Trent Powell from the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission will teach students about eagles, hawks, vultures, kites and owls native to Arkansas.  Students will learn what raptors like to eat and how they hunt. Trent is bringing at least one live bird, so leave your pet mice at home!


April 10/11: A DAY ON THE FARM

Students will travel off the mountain to a working livestock operation where Cowboy Ben will demonstrate working livestock on horseback. Students will tour the farm to see animals and learn about living a self-sufficient life.

April 17/18: POLLINATOR GARDENS

Interpreter Jake Curry of Petit Jean State Park will show students a pollinator garden and tell about the many benefits. Jake will tell about vegetable gardening, and students will plant seeds in pots to take home.

April 24/25: MARINE ENGINEERING

Marine engineer Ben Sturtevant will tell about the fascinating work of merchant marines and the equipment they use to move cargo all around the world.

May 1/2: FIELD DAY

Races, relays, long jump, basketball shooting and softball throwing will be part of this session, where students will compete individually and in teams to test their skills.

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SESSION PREPARATION

Homeschooling families as well as students from school classrooms attending will need to bring their own lunches and water bottles. Children should wear sturdy shoes and clothes they can get dirty. They may also need raincoats, binoculars, flashlights, gloves or compasses, depending on the session and weather. Families may also need to bring facemarks for use off-site.

FEES

The cost for a single session is $35 for the first child from each family, $15 for each additional child from the same family.

The cost for the entire semester is $175 for the first child from each family (half price), $75 for each additional child from the same family (half price).

No one will be turned away because of finances. Financial assistance is available to any who need it. To request financial aid simply email the camp office: director@lutherancamp.org

STAY A LITTLE LONGER

Families are invited to stay overnight in cabins, tents or RVs and enjoy other activities at Camp Trinity: canoeing, fishing, archery, disc golf, softball or kickball, gaga ball, basketball, sand volleyball, ping pong, foosball, cornhole, horseshoes, campfires and board games. Lodging fees are modest. Check out the Facilities page under the ABOUT pull-down menu at the top of the page for options and pricing for lodging.

REGISTER WITH FORM BELOW. PAY WITH YELLOW PAYPAL BUTTON

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