About Outdoor School


The curriculum at the Outdoor School includes the same subject matter areas found in the regular classroom, but more emphasis is placed on "doing" activities. The underlying theme is the relationship between soil, plants, water, weather, animals, and man. Typical activities include:

  1. Determining the quality of soil and water through pH testing.
  2. Identifying characteristics of wildlife through observing pelts and bones.
  3. Survival skills.
  4. Identifying some of our important natural resources.
  5. Create an art project using natural objects found in the forest environment.
  6. Participation in recreational activities geared to the forest environment.
  7. Carrying out individual and group responsibilities.
  8. Accumulating information and communicating that information in written and spoken forms.

Before leaving for Outdoor School, students study basic ideas and concepts in their classrooms in order to lay important foundations for on-site ODS studies led by teachers and professional consultants.

The Outdoor School Living Organization

Approximately 80 sixth grade students and their teachers attend each session of Outdoor School. They are joined by a dozen or more Pendleton High School student leaders who serve as camp counselors, a cook, resource consultants, and an on-site director.

Students are assigned to living groups of 4 to 6 sixth graders and one or two high school counselors. The counselors live with the students throughout the ODS experience and are closely supervised by the teaching staff.

Student Responsibilities

Outdoor School places emphasis on individual and group responsibility. Students are expected to be responsible for cleanliness, making their own beds, cabin and camp neatness, and dining hall manners. They will experience a variety of assignments, such as setting tables, gathering wood, leading a flag ceremony, and participation in campfire activities.

Health and Safety

Teachers will service each student's health record before departure to Outdoor School. In the event of serious illness or injury the ODS staff will make every effort to contact parents for direction. In the case that parents cannot be reached, the child will be transported to Pendleton for medical attention at the hospital or by a local physician. Parents will be contacted as soon as possible in any serious medical situation.

Because living group counselors are in closest and most constant contact with students they are required to make daily inspection of each camper and report any condition needing attention to the ODS staff. The camp infirmary is well stocked with medication and equipment recommended by health authorities. Minor problems will be treated at the infirmary by ODS staff. All possible protection will be provided for your child's stay at the Outdoor School. ODS certified staff will dispense any medication your child may need during the stay at camp and all medications will be kept in the possession of the camp infirmary.

Food Planning and Preparation

Every effort is made to serve your child wholesome food. A menu of balanced meals will be served under the direction of a qualified cook. There will be no candy, gum, soft drinks, or other snacks sold in the camp, and you are asked not to send any with your child. Nutritious snacks will be provided each afternoon. For students with special dietary needs, our menu can be adjusted. Please notify your child's teacher for this service.


In the "home away from home" setting at Outdoor School, students do very well, but a letter from parents gives them the assurance and confidence to enjoy the experience to the fullest. Students are encouraged to write home and relate their ODS experiences at least once during the week. Mail should be addressed to the student and taken to SUNRIDGE where it will be picked up daily.


Sunridge Middle School

700 SW Runnion Ave.

Pendleton, OR 97801

Phone: (541) 276-4560

FAX: (541) 966-3410

 Sunridge Middle School

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