Farewell, Flo!


If you have visited Heartland’s Nature Center in the past couple of years, you may have noticed our American Alligator, Flo. As one of our animal ambassadors, she has played a key role at fostering respect and appreciation for the amazing creatures sharing our planet. Flo was a favorite among students and they enjoyed the unique opportunity to pet such an interesting creature. While we enjoyed having Flo live in our nature center, we unfortunately have relocated her due to changing laws in Ohio. About two weeks ago, one of our staff members drove Flo 235 miles to the Critchlow Alligator Sanctuary in Michigan. Flo adapted immediately to her new home and is doing well. She will continue to be used for educational purposes and represent her species and the conservation concerns of the Everglades. While we will miss having her at Heartland, we know that she will be well taken care of and a valuable addition to the Critchlow Alligator Sanctuary. Farewell, Flo.

The following picture shows one of the Critchlow Alligator Sanctuary staff members releasing Flo into her new habitat



By |2016-10-13T15:26:54+00:00October 3rd, 2014|Camp Highlights|1 Comment

Nature Notes Main Articles 2013

The following are the archived main articles from the 2013 issues Heartland Outdoor School’s  newsletter, Nature Notes:

January 2013

Student Accomplishments at Camp

The last week of November ended a fantastic fall season for Heartland Outdoor School. This fall, 25 schools visited us bringing around 3900 students.  These students made countless discoveries and lasting memories. They developed team building skills, stretched their personal limits and encouraged success in their classmates. Fears were conquered in Reptiles and Amphibians class as students afraid of snakes were willing to pet and even hold some of our snakes in the nature center. When asked if the encounter made them less afraid, the majority of students reported that these creatures were not as scary as they had originally thought. In the Arthropod class, students found over thirty different types of insects and arachnids, including a praying mantis egg sack. Some students were even brave enough to hold a banded garden spider that was about the size of a quarter.  In team challenge, many groups learned how to overcome differences to achieve their goals as a team. During archery, we had a large number of students that hit a bull’s-eye.  At the creek, students found a crawdad as big as a lobster. They also found a rock covered in salamander eggs and students were even able to observe the young amphibians moving around in the eggs.  On an extreme nature hike, students had the opportunity to explore off the trail and discover everything the woods had in store. All this is just scratching the surface of all the amazing accomplishments and discoveries made by students last year.

The Heartland staff are busy this winter working on improvements to make next season even better. We know it will be excellent and look forward to seeing what amazing discoveries the New Year will bring!


March 2013

Heartland’s New Property

There are great things happening at Heartland! We have acquired some new property in the past year that will allow us to expand our hiking trails and wild areas for our guests to explore. The property also includes a scenic meandering stream called Bunker Run. It is a small tributary that drains into Alum Creek. The stream zigzags through the landscape and is filled with beautiful glacial boulders that create excellent habitat for its many inhabitants.

Some of the wildlife you may see in this area could include white-tailed deer, wild turkey, fox, coyote, many songbird species, and raptors like owls or hawks. The stream is filled with several different species of minnow as well as a few species of darter, a bottom-dwelling fish that loves fast-moving water. Darters are one of Ohio’s most beautiful families of fish. Some people even call them “The jewels of Ohio’s streams.” This is due to the striking colors that they display during the mating season.

The new property encompasses 66 acres of forested area that will provide opportunities for relaxation, hiking, and bird watching. The next time you are at Heartland be sure to head to the north side of the property and explore the forest and stream. You never know what you will discover!


May 2013

Food For Thought

Here at heartland, we have made an effort to be more conscious of how much trash we create at mealtimes. We have been encouraging the students to consider the amounts of food waste they are creating as well. Why should we care about how much food we waste? A study in 2009 calculated that Americans waste about 40% of the total food available1. That equals to about 200 pounds of wasted food per person every year2. This would be enough food to feed one person for about a month and a half! That’s a lot of waste!

To help with this, we initiated a program called Food For Thought. At the end of the meal time before we begin clean up, we show the students a short video that teaches them a fact about the worldwide food waste epidemic. We also offer tips to the students about things that they can do at home and school to help fight against this problem. By raising awareness, we hope to encourage the students to be instigators of change in their community.

For more information about the waste we make and ways to reduce the amount we put in a landfill, visit the following site: http://www.naturebridge.org/garbology.php. This website has an interactive activity called “My Garbology” which allows students to learn about recycling, reusing, and composting.


  1. Hall, K. D., Guo, J., Dore, M., & Chow, C. C. (2009). The progressive increase of food waste in America and its environmental impact. PLoS One, 4(11), e7940. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0007940
  2. Walsh, D. (2011, Sept 15). A war against food waste. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/15/a-war-against-food-waste/
By |2018-03-13T17:26:57+00:00October 18th, 2013|Camp Highlights|0 Comments

Nature Notes Main Articles 2012

The following are the archived main articles from the 2012 issues Heartland Outdoor School’s  newsletter, Nature Notes:

January 2012

New Arrival at the Nature Center

Our nature center has just obtained a new animal that our students can learn about and enjoy, a savannah monitor lizard named “Ramses.”  These lizards are found in central to northern Africa and are believed to have originated near Egypt.  The name “monitor” is derived from folklore about the Nile monitor, which locals believed “monitored” the river for approaching crocodiles (it is more likely they were feeding on the croc eggs). The monitor’s primary diet in the wild is insects. They can also be very voracious eaters.  A healthy monitor is active, inquisitive, highly intelligent, and very clever at escaping its enclosure as a means to pass the time.  Despite the frequent sale of monitor lizards they are not recommend for pets, as misinformation on their proper care has resulted in an average survival rate of one year in the pet trade.  Within the specialized care of our nature center, however, Ramses can be expected to live anywhere from 12-20 years and grow to a length of 3-4 feet.  He will be joining a host of other creatures within our nature center to be studied and enjoyed by countless school students for many years to come.


April 2012

New Classes for Grades K-2

Wow, this winter is just flying by! Our program staff members at Heartland have been working hard writing some new curriculum during our off season. The curriculum focus this winter has been writing classes for our younger students in kindergarten through second grade. We have some really exciting classes to share this year!

Whether it’s learning about mammals, getting wet stompin’ through the creek, looking under logs, or quietly listening for a creature in the woods, our new classes offer a variety of topics for the younger generation. In Wild Ohio, our mammals class, you’ll get to see and touch real animal skins and then get to hold some real live mammals! Creek Critters, our aquatics class, will take you down to Alum Creek to discover all of the wonderful creatures living in our stream. You could find a beautiful Rainbow Darter or elusive Water Scorpion. Don’t worry, it’s not a real scorpion, but it can sting you if you aren’t careful! We also have a new class called Sounds of Nature. You’ll get to sing songs about nature and listen quietly to hear what’s around you. You never know, you may just hear a coyote in the distance or the beautiful song of a tree frog calling out to its friends.

Our new set of classes will help to instill a love for nature in the younger students. Be sure to request a copy of the curriculum guide if you wish to see a list of the new classes. We hope to see you at Heartland soon. Have a great Spring!


May 2012

Prairie Additions

When driving into the property of Heartland Conference Retreat Center, you will find yourself surrounded by a beautiful prairie habitat. In the fall of 2010, this prairie area, along with a wetland area centered in the prairie, was created and is now home to a variety of plants and wildlife. During the creation of this habitat, bird houses and bat boxes were added to attract wildlife to the area. This past winter, we erected an additional 12 new bluebird boxes in the prairie habitat with the hopes of seeing an increase in the already diverse bird populations at Heartland. While these boxes are specifically designed with bluebirds in mind, other species such as chickadees and swallows utilize these nesting areas, so keep an eye out for many types of birds around the nest boxes. In addition to the 12 bluebird boxes that were already set up, we hope to add nest boxes for owls, kestrels, and wood ducks, along with more bluebird boxes.

To aid in viewing this diverse wildlife population, we have built a Prairie Tower overlooking the wetland, prairie, and surrounding woodlands. This tower is eight feet off the ground with a platform size of 15 by 15 feet. This tower is a perfect spot for anyone hoping to observe some of our magnificent wildlife at Heartland. You may get the opportunity to see swallows flying over the prairie eating emergent insects from the scrape. Or perhaps you will see adult birds going in and out of the nest boxes to feed their chicks. You may hear a gentle breeze rolling over the tall grasses or a symphony of crickets and frogs rising up from below you. There is so much to be observed from the Prairie Tower. Come on up and see what you can discover!


September 2012

Drought Tolerant Plants

Wow, it’s been hot and dry this summer! If you’re like me, you may have noticed that some of the plants don’t look as good this year. They’re not growing as tall, but they still have some beautiful flowers on them! Many of the wildflowers native to Ohio are tolerant of drought conditions. Native means that the flowers were already here when America was colonized. This year has been an unusual year because we don’t often have droughts in Ohio. We typically get one inch of rain each week. When we have consistent rain, the flowers grow tall and are covered with blooms. Most of the wildflowers are found in open prairies, areas dominated by flowers and grasses. You won’t find very many trees growing on these sites! If the sites aren’t mowed or burned every 5-10 years, woody vegetation will begin to grow and take over.

Wildflower gardens can be a very fun way to invite nature to your home. They are easy to design and care for as well. Some drought-tolerant wildflowers native to Ohio include: Purple Coneflower, Black-Eyed Susan, Bee Balm, Blazingstar, Goldenrod, and New England Aster. This group of plants will provide color and flowers in your wildflower garden from late spring through fall. Now you can go out and plant a wonderful garden full of beautiful wildflowers and enjoy all the birds and butterflies that will be attracteded to your back yard!


October 2012

New for Fall 2012!

Coming to Heartland this fall are two new and exciting classes for our students: Mad Scientist and CSI.

Mad Scientist uses exciting and spectacular experiments to explore the scientific method.  The students will be presented with a fun science question, encouraged to create a hypothesis, and then put their theories to the test in a fun and memorable experiences of the laws of physics.

CSI gives the students the chance to become investigators of animal behavior.  The students will get to go to a “crime scene” with all sorts of animal sign which they will then use as clues to decipher what went on there.  This is an innovative way to teach students to hone their observation skills and their appreciation for the evidences of animals all around us.

These new and exciting offerings from Heartland outdoor school will provide even more opportunities for your students to learn in a fun and engaging environment.  Remember to ask about these and many other classes as you plan your visit to Heartland.


November 2012

Heartland’s Winter Curriculum

In the Midwest, we are blessed by living in an area that experiences a changing of the seasons. Each season has different characteristics and activities that can be experienced at no other time of year. In the fall, people can enjoy the changing leaves and eat pumpkin pie. Spring offers beautiful flowers and new life. Summer has sunshine and swimming pools. Finally, winter has Heartlands’ new Winter Curriculum! During the winter kids will be able to encounter the great outdoors on a whole new level, from our aviator’s class to exploring various ecosystems, kids will be able to see animals more easily and learn how and why plants and animals change with the coming of each new season. Additionally, kids will have the opportunity to experience our new afternoon activities and evening programs including: winter olympics, broom ball, discovery hikes, sledding, snow forts, and much more.  We are also offering 10% off of our normal rates for schools signing up between January 15th and March 15th. Come discover the unique opportunities offered by Heartland’s winter curriculum!

For more information please feel free to contact us at:

Phone: 740.747.0220 ext. 107


Web: www.heartlandOE.com

By |2018-03-13T17:27:08+00:00October 17th, 2013|Camp Highlights|0 Comments

Nature Notes Main Articles 2011

The following are the archived main articles from the 2011 issues Heartland Outdoor School’s  newsletter, Nature Notes:

February 2011

Class Updates

This spring many of our classes are undergoing exciting changes to create a greater experience for our students.  Two of our classes which are being given a makeover are Geology and Native American.

This spring our geology class has moved outside.  Students will get a chance to hike the Shale Ridge Trail to view some of the unique cliffs and ravines of Heartland.  The geological landscape of Heartland includes many amazing features such as: glacial erosion, exposed bedrock, iron oxides draining through the shale layers, and the spectacular effects of geology on the natural landscapes.  The students will get a chance to see how the effects of erosion alter the landscape, collect rock samples, and discover the impact of the forces of geology in a firsthand way.

The Native American Life class has been given a complete facelift to increase the hands-on experience.  The students will get a chance to experience economics within a trade system, Native American sign language, pictograph reading, fire building, trapping, hunting implements, and enjoy the atmosphere of our new outside classroom (weather permitting).

We are always seeking new and innovative ways to introduce the outdoors to today’s youth.  Keep an eye out for each new issue of Nature Notes to keep up to date with the latest developments in Heartland’s Outdoor Education program.


October 2011

New Sights at Heartland

This fall season marks the debut of several new Heartland experiences including our pond and our new trail systems.

For many years it has been the dream of the staff at Heartland to have a pond for our guests to enjoy.  That dream has now come to fruition with our one acre pond located in the field near the basketball courts.  The pond has a 700 foot gravel walkway going around it as well as a beautiful waterfall, new landscaping, and a footbridge.  There are future plans to further extend the landscaping into a park, pavilion meeting area, and a possible location for a future nature center.

This summer our staff have been working tirelessly to complete three beautiful new trails that are part of a plan to have a trail system allowing a guest to walk the full perimeter of our property (a trek that could be as long as three miles!).  Along these new trails you can see a variety of landscapes, ecosystems, secluded bridges, and new treasures around every turn.  Two of the trails can be accessed from behind the dorms and the third is on our new property north of the living history village.

By |2018-03-13T17:27:16+00:00October 17th, 2013|Camp Highlights|0 Comments

Nature Notes Main Articles 2010

The following are the archived main articles from the 2010 issues Heartland Outdoor School’s  newsletter, Nature Notes:

October 2010

Climbing wall

New at Heartland is our climbing wall! Students can climb the 20 foot wall using one of three sections. This allows three climbers on the wall at one time. The wall encompasses all skill levels so students and adults of any age and ability can enjoy climbing. The level of difficulty increases from section to section and the path taken. You can make use of the wall in two ways. The first is as an Afternoon Activity, and secondly, you can choose the climbing wall as an hour long class where you can learn more about climbing and good techniques. Climb On!

Wetland/ Grassland

We have a new addition to our property, a beautiful Ohio native grass prairie and wetland. Driving into Heartland you will see the 32 acres used to create an area with native grasses and wildflowers. The wetland area has become a habitat for many wetland plants and flowers as well as many birds and other native wildlife. We are currently adding nesting boxes which will be home to animals like blue birds, owls, ducks, and bats. You are free to walk the nearly two miles of trails to see all of the beauty our wetland and grassland project has to offer.


November 2010

Ohio Living History

The fall leaves crunch under the feet of the settlers as they journey to their new home on the Ohio frontier.  The long hunter, serving as their guide, seems nervous and constantly motions for silence while clutching his musket and peering into the woods with apprehension.  A shot rings out from the bushes accented by the blood-curdling war whoops of a war party!  Immediately, the woods seem to explode with thunderous volleys as the defenders return fire to protect the students.  Wait! Students?  The party wandering through the forest is not just settlers from the distant past but also students, teachers, and cabin leaders on their way to one of Heartland’s exciting classes; Ohio Living History.

The Ohio Living History village is one of many exciting opportunities that awaits campers at the Heartland Outdoor Environmental School.  Students take the role of settlers in 1798 and begin their experience with a hike through a hostile wilderness guided by long hunters from the village. At the settlement, students can experience frontier skills such as: butter making, carpentry, candle making, farming, sewing, tomahawk throwing, campfire cooking, frontier games, and enlisting in the village militia.  Students can also watch as our blacksmith molds and shapes red hot metal into useful items or try their hand at trading furs and trinkets with the local fur trader.

The settlement is now composed of our newly completed cabin, the unoccupied cabin of the unfortunate Walker family (they didn’t quite make it through the winter), the blacksmith shop, bread oven, smokehouse, trappers shack, and much more.  The Living History program is available as a traditional two hour class, as an evening program (seasonally available), or as a one day field trip event. To give your students a taste (literally) of what you can experience here at Heartland, we have included our tasty fry bread recipe for you and your students. This is the same recipe use for our Living History class.

4 cups flour                                          ½ cup shortening                     Cooking oil

2 tbsp. baking powder                         1 cup warm water                     Cast iron skillet

Mix flour, baking powder, and salt well.  Gradually add water and shortening until dough sticks together.  Roll into pancakes and fry in hot oil until golden brown.

By |2018-03-13T17:27:23+00:00October 17th, 2013|Camp Highlights|0 Comments

Archived Director’s Notes 2013

The following is the director’s note from the January 2013 issue of Nature Notes, Heartland Outdoor School’s newsletter:

January 2013

Connect with Us!

You can now connect with Heartland Outdoor School on your favorite social media sites.  We are on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn.  Like or follow our pages to keep up to date on all the latest happenings at Heartland!  Check out our Pinterest page for some excellent resources for your classroom.  Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook to see what is going on at Heartland, connect with staff, win prizes and see what happens when you’re not here!  Lastly, you can connect with us on LinkedIn to help spread the word about Heartland and connect with our staff on a professional level.  We are excited to join the social media community and for you to join us.  We are also excited about all the benefits and possibilities this brings not only for us but for you as well!  Feel free to share your experiences, pictures, videos, and ideas with us on Facebook. We would love to hear from you!

Also, don’t forget about our two promotional initiatives we are currently offering.  The first initiative is our newly designed winter program. The winter program offers a unique experience for your students at a 10% discount. Students will enjoy the same high-quality program with added winter weather features and activities. This is a great opportunity for students to discover the beauty of nature beneath the snow! Please call for dates and availability.

The second initiative is our “Refer-a-School” program. If you refer a new school to our camp and they book at least a three day stay, you may be eligible to receive a 5% discount off your entire school’s next visit to camp! Please call or email for more details.

To connect to our various social media pages, please visit our website (www.heartlandoe.com) and click on the social media links in the right hand column.  I am looking forward to connecting with you and we all would love to hear from you, so please check us out and share your experiences with us!

Joe Hughes

By |2018-03-13T17:27:59+00:00October 17th, 2013|Camp Highlights|0 Comments

Archived Director’s Notes 2012

The following includes all the past director’s notes from the 2012 issues of Heartland Outdoor School’s newsletter, Nature Notes:

January 2012

We always want to make our program better each year. At Heartland, some of the best things happen during the winter months. This is our time of the year to brainstorm, develop, and make improvements to our program. During this time we re-evaluate everything we offer and look for ways to better meet the needs of all of our school and guest groups.

Our programming team is busy working on a myriad of improvements.

These projects include:

  • Evaluating / implementing changes based on feedback from teachers
  • Aligning our program with the new state curriculum standards
  • Revamping current classes
  • Developing new activities
  • Enhancing our nature center with new animals and animal displays
  • Adding new features to Heartland’s landscape

We are also working to develop classes and activities for use during the winter months. While most of our classes can be done in cold weather, we would like to be able to offer specific winter classes in the future for our winter guests.

This year is going to be an exciting year of serving over 5000 school students and we are looking forward to it!



April 2012

The Power of Camp


The informative graphic

[in the above link] is a very sobering reality and shows the very real need for young people to attend camp. (Please click on the graphic to zoom in). The staff members here at Heartland truly believe in the power of camp and are on a mission to encourage as many students as possible to attend.  Those of you who have brought students to camp can attest to the social, emotional and academic growth students experience during and after their trip to Heartland.  Because we believe so strongly in the power of camp, Heartland is starting two initiatives to help you bring more of your students to camp and to encourage other schools to join our program.

The first initiative is our newly designed winter program.  The winter program offers a unique experience for your students at a 10% discount.  Students will enjoy the same high-quality program, with added winter weather features and activities.  This is a great opportunity for students to discover the beauty of nature beneath the snow!  Please call for dates and availability.

The second initiative is our “Refer-a-School” program.  If you refer a new school to our camp and they book at least a three day stay, you may be eligible to receive a 5% discount off your entire school’s next visit to camp!  Please call or email for more details.

As educators, we understand your passion and calling to positively impact kids.  Your decision to bring students to camp directly supports that effort!  Thank you for joining with us as we promote the amazing power of camp.  As we all work together, we will continue to make a difference in the lives and future of the youth of this generation and generations to come!


May 2012

I personally attended outdoor school in sixth grade.  I went into the experience a poor, neglected girl with extremely low self-esteem.  One of just three kids in the entire sixth grade in my elementary school being raised in a single parent home (by my dad), I felt like something was wrong with me.  We were poor; my shoes had holes in them; and my hand-me-down clothes were outdated.  My hygiene was poor.  Whether other kids ignored me or I pushed them away, I’m not totally sure.  What I do know is that I wanted so badly to fit in, to feel special, and to be accepted by my classmates.   During my outdoor school experience I fell in love with the out-of-doors.  The teachers there recognized my potential and inspired me to dream big.  At outdoor school my background and social status disappeared.  My hopelessness was replaced with all of the possibilities life held for me!   The outdoor school impacted me in unexpected ways.  I made new friends, fell in love with science, my grades improved and I actually began realizing I was someone special!

Camp is a powerful, transformational experience filled where kids encounter new possibilities and make new discoveries.  It is a place where caring adults invest in kids’ lives.  A safe place to explore, make friends and ask some of life’s biggest questions.  A place where kids struggling with their identity, longing to be accepted, and faced with huge peer pressure, discover who they are and who they are meant to be. That’s my story.  And that’s our dream. At Heartland, we want every kid to experience The Power of Camp!   To experience that life-changing moment when a child moves from the question, “Who am I?” to the realization that “I’m someone special!”  The moment when kids learn to accept and respect each other’s differences.  Where hands-on discovery impacts attitudes and provides memories that will last a lifetime.

Sue Nigh

By |2018-03-13T17:28:09+00:00October 17th, 2013|Camp Highlights|0 Comments

Archived Director’s Notes 2011

The following includes all the past director’s notes from the 2011 issues of Heartland Outdoor School’s newsletter, Nature Notes:


February 2011

Spring is here!  Well, at least it feels like it, although this Ohio weather can be tricky sometimes.  Never the less the Heartland OE staff is getting geared up for the spring OE season.  We are all anxiously awaiting the arrival of our first group of students so that we can implement the many new things we have been working on all winter.

Since Brandon and I took over leading the OE program in 2009, we have made a commitment to excellence.  We are committed to asking the question, “Is our program the best it can be, or can we make it better?”  We are continually looking at every aspect of the program to see how it can be improved.  Or goal is to provide you with the best OE program in the state.

With this in mind, here are a few of the things we have been working on.  First of all, we have been creating new classes and improving old ones.  See the above article for a few of these changes and be looking for more information to come on others that we are currently working on.  Another thing that we have added for teachers is the option of golf cart rentals while you are at camp.  Please contact Brandon or me for more information.  Other improvements include updates to the website, writing the newsletter, archived newsletters on the website, new trails, prairie grass area, new and improved themeing ideas, moving the flag pole and many more.

These are just a few of the many exciting improvements that we have made.  Many of these ideas came from you.  Thank you to everyone who filled out our survey, as it was very beneficial in knowing what to change and improve in our program.  If you did not receive the survey or could not fill it out and would like to, please let us know and we will send you a new one.

Once again we are excitedly looking forward to seeing you all this year and experiencing the great outdoors together.  See you soon….



October 2011

Heartland is Growing!

Since the birth of Heartland’s Outdoor Environmental School (OES) it has been our goal to always ask, “How can we improve our program?”.  We are continually planning, dreaming and working to answer this question and implement new ideas.  We are excited to see many of these plans, dreams and hard work starting to come to fruition.  We have seen a lot of growth over the last year, and because of our philosophy, we are confident that we will continue to grow.

What does growth mean to Heartland, you may ask?    Over the last year we have seen many new schools join our program, nearly doubling our numbers from the previous year.  We are excited to welcome all of the Dublin City Middle Schools as well as schools from Worthington, Olentangy, Pickerington, Columbus City, and several rural districts such as North Union and Elmwood.

Growth at Heartland also has meant the addition of 5 new OES staff.  With the influx of schools it was necessary to add four new teaching staff and an additional Health Officer, as well as several adjunct staff.  We are extremely excited about the quality and passion of these new staff members.  Other growth also includes many new hiking trails, a pond with a waterfall, new class offerings, and a new office for Brandon and me.

What does all this growth mean to you? It means that Heartland is committed to continual improvement of our program and offering you one of the best outdoor education programs in the state at a consistently affordable price.  We are committed to excellence and the growth of our outdoor school.  You can rest assured that each year you return to Heartland the program will be better than before.


By |2018-03-13T17:28:16+00:00October 17th, 2013|Camp Highlights|0 Comments

Archived Director’s Notes 2010

The following are all the Director’s notes that were published in the 2010 issues of Heartland Outdoor School’s newsletter, Nature Notes:


October 2010

Now that the new school year has started, I am sure that you are all looking forward to a year of exciting new possibilities.  One of those new experiences will be your visit to Heartland Outdoor School.  The Heartland staff is excitedly awaiting your arrival at camp and can’t wait to spend time with you all.

Something new that we will be sending out this year is our Nature Notes e-newsletter.  Why a newsletter you may ask?  Nature Notes will be a great way to communicate with teachers and students all of the new and exciting things that are being added to our program and curriculum.  This is also a great way for students to get excited about camp, meet our educators, and enjoy some fun facts and activities.  Please feel free to print and hand out copies of Nature Notes to students, fellow teachers, and parents.  They can also visit our website and sign up to receive it by email.

In addition to the newsletter, we have many additions to our camp program.  Some of these include: an indoor climbing wall, wetland/prairie grass area, new classes emerging in the spring of 2011, “Email A Camper” link on our website, a new health form and teacher packet, and a new evening program option.  Teachers, please be sure to visit our website to download the new health form and view the new teacher packet.   You will also want to be sure to inform your parents about the “Email A Camper” link on our website.

One final note, we are now accepting new schools to our program.  If you know of any teachers or schools that would be interested in an excellent outdoor education experience, please let them know about Heartland and have them contact us.

Thank you all for reading Nature Notes and we hope you have an exciting, adventure-filled school year!



November 2010

Why camp? What are the benefits? Why should we spend money to go to camp? These are all questions that school teachers and administrators have either thought about or will consider in the near future, especially in today’s tough economy. The fact is, that the camp experience we offer at Heartland, provides major bang for the buck.

The most useful benefit of camp is that it helps to build the character skills necessary for success in life. At camp, students experience a sense of community, where they can develop relationships and social skills through first-hand experiences. Students also come “out of their shells” during camp because camp provides a new and different environment. Many times, teachers have told me that the “trouble” kids at school behave differently while at camp and often times the camper that comes to camp is not the same camper when they go home.

Camp is also academically educational. Our programming and classes are designed to meet state curriculum standards which means our offerings fit in with what is being taught at school. While students are having fun, they are also learning and teachers can have peace of mind that we are reinforcing their efforts in the classroom.

Finally, camp provides an invaluable experience that students and teachers will remember for the rest of their lives. Those of us who have gone to camp still remember singing zany camp songs, shooting a bow and arrow, or holding our first snake. Students not only see and hear, they get an experience through hands-on learning. Memories are built at camp—memories that last a lifetime.

At Heartland, everything we do is intentional, even down to the last detail. We want to give students an experience that not only educates them but allows them to have some fun all at the same time.

Brandon Steed

By |2018-03-13T17:28:24+00:00October 17th, 2013|Camp Highlights