Outdoor Learning Lab

Outdoor Learning Lab

Experience the outdoors from the inside

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Live online 6-week courses to help your child connect to the outdoors

In these uncertain times, we know that you as a parent want to find fun, engaging enrichment opportunities for your child that will also help them learn and grow.

Our virtual courses will help your child engage in the outdoors – from the comfort of home – so they can grow into happy, healthy young adults.

Registration in one of our 6-week courses includes:

 Live online teaching for one hour a week for six weeks

 Kit with activity materials

Rewards to celebrate the end of the course

“Offline” activities to complete as a family

 Connections with other students

 Activity learning packet

Your child will be excited to log on every week to learn about the outdoors and the environment.

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Featured Fall Course: Survival Series 6-Week Course

Six weeks of fun, engaging activities that will teach your child outdoor skills

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Navigation

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Leave No Trace

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Outdoor Shelters

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First Aid

Survival Series Course

For 4th-9th grade

Choose either Tuesday or Wednesday class

September 29 – November 4

4:30p – 5:30p EST

Activities: shelter building, Leave No Trace, navigation, knot tying, species ID, first aid

Inside the Kit: compass, construction paper, Leave No Trace and species ID worksheets, first aid kit (gloves, band-aids, gauze)

Award: Certificate, sticker, carabiner

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Explorer Series Course

For 2nd-5th grade

Mondays from Nov 9 – Dec 14

4:30p – 5:30p EST

Activities: animal camouflage, shelter building, first aid, mindfulness/yoga

Inside the Kit: first aid kit (gloves, band-aids, gauze), yarn, nature BINGO set

Award: Certificate, sticker, explorer buttons (8)

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STEM Series Course

For 4th-9th  grade

Tuesdays from Nov 10 – Dec 15

4:30p – 5:30p EST

Activities: chromatography, heat/light experiments, air quality, parachutes, spectroscopes

Inside the Kit: cups, coffee filter, life savers, tape, CD, construction paper, yard

Award: Certificate, sticker, magnifying glass

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Meet the teachers

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Ms. Lo

Lo is our Youth Program Manager and has been with Venture Outdoors for over five years. Prior to her role at Venture Outdoors, she joined Teach for America and taught middle school math and science for three years. Lo is a Leave No Trace Master Educator and American Canoe Association kayaking instructor.

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Ms. Kelly

Kelly is our Youth Education and Training Coordinator and has been with Venture Outdoors for two years. She was a camp counselor for eight years at resident summer camps with the Girl Scouts. She has hiked portions of the Appalachian Trail and recently completed her first 70-mile ultramarathon.

Survival Series Course

Thank you for much for this virtual course! My son is really enjoying the activities and interaction. And I'm thrilled to know he's doing something fun and educational while I work (instead of playing video games).

Kim C.
Parent

Explorer Series Course

Both of my children really enjoyed the course. My daughter is really enjoying watching her sunflower grow.

Tishla
Parent

STEM Series Course

I really liked building the parachutes and doing the water experiments. I want to sign up for another course!

Alannah
Student

Over 100

live lessons already delivered

92% of youth

reported "I would recommend this to a friend"

94% of youth

reported "I learned something new"

We are Venture Outdoors

Our mission: Inspire. Educate. Equip. We remove barriers and create access to outdoor experiences.

We are a non-profit with almost 20 years of experience connecting people to the benefits of the outdoors, working with over 1,000 youth annually.

FAQs

Your child will join other kids from all over the country to engage in outdoor activities from the comfort of your own home. Children will explore the outdoors by participating in various activities, including STEM experiments, outdoor educational activities, nature crafts, and more! Venture Outdoors staff will log on every week on Zoom for 1 hour to lead your child through activities and encourage them to try “offline” activities on their own as a family or with friends.

All camps will use Zoom and are accessible via a computer, laptop, tablet or phone.

Participants will receive an activity toolkit with materials for course activities. Depending on the course, the kit may include items such as a compass, a field notebook, species ID guides, seed planting materials, magnifying glasses, and more. Toolkit pick-up days will be scheduled for Pittsburgh participants or can be shipped to your address for an additional charge.

Enrollment in the six week course costs $50 per child. Cost includes 1 hour of online teaching once a week for six weeks, a materials kit, and “offline” activities. Information regarding material delivery will be distributed at least one week prior to the start of camp. All programs are subject to a minimum and maximum number of participants.

We teach youth in a live online session for one hour once a week for six weeks. We will encourage kids to try an activity at home with family members after each lesson (can you teach Mom how to build a shelter?) so you may spend a half hour learning from and talking to your child about what they did in their session each week. The instructor will send an e-mail out to parents throughout the week issuing a “Family Challenge”, including questions to ask your child or other activities that supplement what they’ve learned. Lastly, we will also provide optional “offline” resources that you and your family can participate in.

Kelly Sarkis, Youth Education and Training Coordinator, has been with Venture Outdoors for two years. She has been a camp counselor for eight years at resident summer camps with the Girl Scouts and has taught virtual lessons with kids since April.

Lo Zemanek, Youth Program Manager, has been with Venture Outdoors for over five years. Prior to her role at Venture Outdoors, she joined Teach for America and taught middle school math and science for 3.5 years. Lo is a Leave No Trace Master Educator.

E-mail kelly@ventureoutdoors.org or call 412-255-0564 x227 with any questions.

We would like to thank NOVA Chemicals for sponsoring our virtual courses. Their generous donation makes giving children outdoor experiences possible.