Straub Outdoor School is unique.

We pack more outdoor instructional time in each day than any other program we know - but not without plenty of time for quiet reflection and self-directed exploration.

We keep the student-to-instructor ratio low and ensure the highest quality learning experience. Our nurturing instructors focus closely on each child's educational and emotional needs in what, for many kids, is their first outdoor experience. We use the "heart and the head" method of natural science education where children make an emotional connection to nature firstfollowed by an intellectual connection to the natural world.

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Our standards-based outdoor school curricula revolve around innovative STEAM practices, including scientific inquiry, community partnerships and applied learning.

Our campus is the Great Outdoors in the Willamette Valley, offering an educationally rich landscape including Oregon oak groves, Douglas fir forests, ponds and meadows.

We offer two, unique outdoor school experiences: Nature Academy and Nature Scouts.


Outdoor School: Nature Academy

Nature Academy is an overnight natural science education experience located at The Ranches at Silver Falls State Park. Amidst spacious, rolling meadows, both the Old Ranch and New Ranch offer overnight lodging in rustic-yet-comfortable dormitory-style bunkhouses. Picnic tables and a large centralized fireplace adorn the great room; bunk beds line the open loft above. The New Ranch is nestled among the trees at the edge of a great meadow; this facility is insulated and offers sweeping views from the upper decks. Formerly the barn of a sheep ranch in the early 1900s, the seasonal Old Ranch overlooks a vast meadow and forested hillsides. Exposed beams and a large barn door add to the charm of this historic, spacious venue.

Who is eligible: 5th and 6th-grade classrooms and home-school groups. 20 student minimum 110 student maximum. If you’d like to learn about site-specific capacity, please refer to our Outdoor School Guide for more information.

What we provide: All standards-based natural science curriculum, planning and instruction plus overnight accommodations (including camping pads, exclusive of sleeping bags) for two nights and all meals, except lunch the first day.

Curriculum: Our Nature Academy curriculum revolves around innovative STEAM practices, which include scientific inquiry, community partnerships and applied learning. All lessons are aligned with Common Core, NGSS and the Oregon Environmental Literacy Plan and all support the Four Cs of learning innovation.

Where: The Ranches are located at Silver Falls State Park, not far from the campground.

Cost: $198 per student. $45 per chaperone. Most schools are now eligible for state funding to cover these costs. Please contact us if you have questions about state funding. No charge for classroom teachers and school instructional assistants. Minimum of 4 and maximum of 6 adult chaperones (including teachers, exclusive of assistants) per classroom.

Contact us:  For Nature Academy inquiries and to reserve Fall 2019 or Spring 2020 dates, e-mail Info@StraubOutdoors.org or call 503-779-5227. For available dates, see our 2019-2020 Outdoor School Schedule.

More Information: Additional information about camp specifics, curriculum, and our philosophy is available in our Outdoor School Guide.

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Outdoor School: Nature Scouts

Nature Scouts is a series of three day field trips in one week to one of three regional state parks. It is designed as an educational alternative or preview to our Nature Academy overnight outdoor school experience. Through a partnership with the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department, we are able to offer educationally rich site options for our Nature Scouts experience. 

Who is eligible: 5th and 6th-grade classrooms and home-school groups. 20 student minimum and 140 student maximum. If you’d like to learn about site-specific capacity, please refer to our Outdoor School Guide for more information.     

What we provide: All standards-based natural science curriculum, planning and instruction. Please bring your own sack lunches, snacks and water for students and chaperones. 

Curriculum: Our Nature Scouts curriculum revolves around innovative STEAM practices, which include scientific inquiry, community partnerships and applied learning. All lessons are aligned with Common Core, NGSS and the Oregon Environmental Literacy Plan and all support the Four Cs of learning innovation.

Where: Willamette Mission State Park (located north of Keizer), Champoeg State Heritage Area (located north of Woodburn), and Cascadia State Park (located southeast of Salem).

Cost: Most schools are eligible for state funding. $96 per student. Most schools are now eligible for state funding to cover these costs. Please contact us if you have questions about state funding. No charge for chaperones, classroom teachers, and school instructional assistants. Minimum of 4 and maximum of 6 adult chaperones (including teachers, exclusive of assistants) per classroom.

Contact us: For Nature Scouts inquiries and to reserve Fall 2019 or Spring 2020 dates, e-mail info@strauboutdoors.org or call 503-779-5227.  For available dates, see our 2019-2020 Outdoor School Schedule.

More Information: More information on camp specifics, curriculum, and our philosophy is available in our Outdoor School Guide.