What is Outdoor Education

What is Outdoor Education

What is outdoor education Ondessonk 1What is Outdoor Education?  Camp Ondessonk works closely with educators and group leaders to create a dynamic experiential curriculum providing students with hands-on learning.  An Ondessonk Outdoor Education experience promotes group building, communication skills, and leadership development as well as creates a sense of stewardship towards the natural world.  Our programs focus on the principles of interdependence, in particular, one’s relationship to the natural world, as well as a relationship with the people around them.  A school program at Ondessonk also promotes a student’s personal growth in the areas of self-esteem, trust, and teamwork.

Our curriculum includes programs in outdoor/environmental education, adventure education, equestrian education programs, team building, spiritual retreat programs, and evening activities.  All programs are facilitated under the assumption that participants learn best through direct experience with opportunities for thoughtful guided reflection to follow.  Our activities also maximize the use of the natural environment, taking advantage of the unique outdoor opportunities that Camp Ondessonk’s location provides.

What is Outdoor Education?

  • A process that uses a wide variety of teaching styles and resources to take learning into the outdoors.  Our teaching methods and techniques are based on a philosophy of experience-based learning through direct contact with the natural world.
  • Multi-disciplinary in nature.  Our programming options provide curriculum enrichment to many subject areas on the elementary and secondary levels.
  • Active exploration, drawing on the senses of touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing.
  • A strong focus on group interaction, cooperative learning, and critical thinking/ problem-solving skills.
  • The development of skills, attitudes, and concepts focusing on the interdependence between human beings and the natural environment.
  • Cognitive skills: Critical thinking, problem-solving, decision making, awareness of choices and alternatives, development of solutions.
  • Affective skills: Ability to empathize with other people’s feelings, identify and acknowledge one’s feelings, awareness of other’s needs, development of positive self-efficacy.
  • Behavioral skills: Accountability, effects of choices and decisions on others, goal setting, and acting on opportunities made.
  • Interpersonal skills: Active listening, constructive conflict resolution, cooperation in work and play, and validation (the ability to focus on the ‘positives’ in self and others, and the skill of communicating appreciation).

Click here to download the School Group Reservation Form, waiver, maps, and other information.


For more information and questions about reservations, please contact:

Greg Santen

Program Services Director
Email: greg.santen@ondessonk.com
Phone: 618.695.2489 x129


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