Gather your students and head to Camp Wood YMCA for an unforgettable half-day, full-day or overnight learning experience. We offer outdoor education lessons on more than 15 topics ranging from Stream Exploration to Prairie Life to Orienteering (see complete list below). Our location in the Kansas Flint Hills offers students a unique opportunity to interact with the tallgrass prairie through hands-on activities. In addition, Camp Wood offers classroom space, overnight lodging and meal service for visiting groups.

Our staff are well-trained to work with children of all ages and they love to make lessons come to life. We are happy to modify lessons to meet grade-level learning objectives and will work with you to align each lesson with your district’s curriculum. If you have a question about a lesson you’d like to explore with us, please contact us at (620) 273-8641 or email us at

Learn more about our Outdoor Education rates.

I loved camping with my 2nd grade students at Camp Wood every spring. The caring, fun and knowledgeable staff paired with the beautiful grounds and native wildlife provided the best learning environment...and unforgettable memories for each child. Thank you, Camp Wood!
— Cathy Dilts, Earhart Environmental Magnet Elementary School in Wichita, KS

Outdoor Education Lessons

Birds of a Feather: Students will explore important characteristics of several birds, visit their different habitats and identify the roles they occupy in the unique tallgrass prairie ecosystem.

Fossil Pit Primer: After learning about how fossils are formed, students will explore Camp Wood’s own fossil pit and learn to identify common fossil formations. In addition, they’ll get to make a fossil imprint to take home with them.

Owl Pellet Exploration: As students dissect real owl pellets, they’ll learn about the eating and digestion habits of these mysterious nocturnal creatures. With the bones they find in the pellets, students will reconstruct animal skeletons and, using a food web key, identify which animal the owl ate.

Prairie Life: Students will explore the unique characteristics of the Flint Hills tallgrass prairie and learn to identify the big four grasses native to the area. In addition, they’ll learn about the special conservation practices of burning and grazing that allow this unique ecosystem to continue.

Reptiles & Amphibians: Students will head into the prairie to meet the reptiles and amphibians native to the Flint Hills. They will have the opportunity to learn proper handling techniques and identify the unique characteristics of each species.

Stream Exploration: Students will explore the amazing variety of aquatic life in a Flint Hills stream using simple collecting equipment. During this lesson, students will learn to safely catch aquatic animals and identify them in different stages of life. In addition, they’ll use a dichotomous key to discover the macro organisms living in this unique ecosystem.

Tree to Turf: Students will learn about tree decomposition as they experience our “time machine”. Afterwards, our staff will lead them on a hike through the woods to find and record examples of each stage of decomposition.

Life or Death: During this interactive game, students engage in role play as a carnivore, herbivore or omnivore with the ultimate goal in mind—survival!

Night Hike: Students explore the prairie during a nighttime hike as our staff unravel the mysteries of nocturnal animals.

Canoeing: Students practice teamwork, following directions and safety as they navigate the waters of Lake Hall after an introduction to basic canoeing techniques.

Teambuilding: Help your students communicate with one another and work as a team toward a common goal. Our staff will divide your group into teams of 7-15 students each and challenge them to accomplish a variety of team-building exercises.

Orienteering: Break out of the classroom as your students explore navigation with an orienteering challenge course. They’ll learn to find their way using a compass and paces. Students will also enjoy plotting and navigating courses of their own creation.

Outdoor Cooking and Fire-building: If students learn this lesson well, a sweet reward awaits them! Our outdoor cooking course combines wood gathering, fire-building techniques and safety with the preparation of a delicious recipe over an open flame.

Archery: Students practice focus, following directions, and safety while building confidence in our new hilltop archery facility.

Fishing: Following a discussion about fresh water fish ecology, students will learn how to bait their hooks, safely cast from shore and responsibly hook, reel in and release fish. Then they’ll get a chance to test their new skills in beautiful Lake Hall. Fishing rods and bait are provided.

Games: Our staff will get your students moving as they teach them at least three new games they can take back and play at recess.

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