Outdoor Education

Each year our Upper Elementary students have the opportunity to attend The Discovery Program at Camp Allen in Navasota, TX. This Outdoor Education Program acts as an extension of the classroom. We provide students with hands-on, outdoor experiences to enhance awareness, understanding and a sense of responsibility toward each other and our environment.

Students are supervised at all times during their stay at Camp Allen. They will be placed in study groups of approximately 12 students learning together under the direction of a Discovery Instructor.

Smaller Scholars provides chaperons who will reside with the students during non-instructional times.

outdoor education for kids

Discovery Program Options

Collection, observation, and analysis of pond inhabitants. Key Concepts: adaptation, cycles, food chain/web, succession.

Students acquire hands-on experience at a dig site where they learn the terminology, tools, and techniques used by archaeologists to uncover our shared human history.

Identification and examination of tree structure, function, and classification.

Students explore human impact on the environment. Suggested Topics: erosion control, sustainable agriculture, natural resource consumption, solid waste management, etc.

Plant, weed, compost, learn non-chemical ways to grow flowers and vegetables.

Collection, classification, identification, and analysis of insects. Activities related to the study of characteristics of insects, metamorphosis, and the important role insects play in the environment.

Exploratory, experimental, dramatic, and sensory activities in a piney wood/ hardwood forest. Key concepts: habitat, community, niche, interdependency, cycles, adaptation.

View and handle several species of snakes. Familiarize students with snakes in general, their place in the environment, and the differences between venomous and non-venomous species.

Students explore the characteristics of mammals, and participate in activities that teach them about the range of adaptations that mammals have developed for their different lifestyles. 

Students participate in activities that teach them about bird behavior and adaptations, then go on a guided identification walk with binoculars.

Survey a water source (creek or lake) using the senses and laboratory experiments and draw conclusions concerning plant and wildlife sustainability.


Adventure-Related Activities (Group Development)

This block works to enhance the student’s understanding and respect for one another. The Discovery class groups are presented with tasks that they must cooperatively solve and accomplish.

Students will learn the basics of a bow and arrow via the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP). Trained instructors will assist students’ in learning the steps to archery success and giving them ample time progress to a bullseye!

An adventurous opportunity to develop cooperative skills.

Students participate in group-oriented problem-solving activities. Emphasis on cooperation and communication skills.

Series of activities on the low challenge course which builds trust in one another and a feeling of teamwork in accomplishing a task. Emphasis on trust, teamwork, problem-solving, and encouragement. A trained instructor facilitates the experience, including safety instructions and follow-up discussions that will help the group transfer their experience to their everyday lives.

Practice in the use of a map and compass, including an experience following a compass course.

Choices: Outdoor cooking, wild edibles, shelter building. This session promotes group cohesion and relational development.


Social Studies Activities

An overview of the prehistory of Texas, archeological principals, and Native American ceremonies. Class topics and activities range from storytelling to our native American trade game.

An outdoor dramatization representing life in the Texas Territory during the Revolutionary Period (1835-1836). Students participate with the staff to perform this production, taking the role of . NOTE: One adult chaperone must be provided per small group of students for supervision and guidance on the trail.


Night Activities

Relax, laugh, perform, and socialize by fire light. Our staff tells stories, leads skits and songs which involve the students. Students perform skits or songs in their small groups.

A sensory hike in the dark that provides students with the opportunity to explore and become comfortable with the night time world in safety.

Presentation of information related to the stars and the universe through storytelling and observation. If skies do not allow for telescope viewing, alternate indoor options are available.

A night-time, fun game played in an open field. The game helps students become comfortable with traveling without flashlights in the dark and introduces nocturnal animal behavior.

Many three-hour blocks may be a combination of two classes: for example, aquatics and entomology. Night blocks could include a hike and a campfire. The Challenge Course and Horseback riding are also available, pending group size, age, and duration of stay.