Outdoor School experiences shape students


Isabel Homsi

Students experiment with plants during Outdoor School at Camp Angelos in April 2019. Lincoln students have praised Outdoor School for providing a great opportunity for leadership and fun.

Sophomore Anna Loy attended Outdoor School at Camp Howard in 2016 as a sixth-grader from West Sylvan. She remembers playing capture the flag with her class when suddenly things got heated. 

The competitive spirit was too great, and a fight broke out between the teams. Shoes were thrown, friends were slapped and someone was thrown down a hill. After the fight was interrupted by the counselors, a bonding activity was held in the group lodge to cool hostilities between any adversaries. 

“It was really crazy,” says Loy. “But in the end, it was a really great experience. I made lots of good friends.”

According to the Outdoor School website, Outdoor School was created in Oregon in 1957. It was meant to be a way for young children in fifth or sixth grade to be immersed in nature and to learn science and interpersonal skills in order to meet the diverse needs of a changing world.” The students are accompanied by counselors who watch over and teach them.

Many high school students volunteer at Outdoor School as counselors, and many went to Outdoor School when they were younger. They can counsel at one of seven sites: Namanu, Angelos, Arrah Wanna, Canby Grove, Howard or Kiwanis.

Michael Braim is the Namanu Site Supervisor. As supervisor, Braim oversees the staff and counselors who guide the students attending camp. Braim recommends becoming a counselor at Outdoor School. 

“It’s a great opportunity to display and utilize a variety of skills,” says Braim.

Senior Alice Gustavson has been a counselor for Outdoor School twice, as a sophomore and junior. She remembers how having the opportunity to be in nature allows children and counselors to show a part of themselves that they wouldn’t normally. 

“It gives you an opportunity to explore yourself outside of a classroom,” says Gustavson.

Applications to become an Outdoor School counselor close Mar. 12 and are available on the Outdoor School website.

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