Outdoor School (middle school)

Gorge Ecology Outdoors Outdoor School emerged out of a shared passion and belief in experiential outdoor
education coupled with restorative actions to heal our relationships with each other and to the living earth.
These core convictions united the lead instructors personal and professional experiences: (1) 30 years of
outdoor education and commitment to ecologically sound stewardship; (2) decades working with youth in
diverse immigrant and Native American populations and witnessing the human experience of trauma and
resilience; (3) the staff’s personal connection with self, others and healing in nature.
We believe that connection to self, community and the living world are necessary help us engage positively in
the world. Promoting wellness and compassion for the good of oneself as well as one’s classroom, school,
family, community and environment are essential to inclusive just citizenry in a democratic society and are at
the core of how we approach diversity, equity and inclusion in our programming.
Gorge Ecology Outdoors Outdoor School or GEOODS curriculum uniquely and centrally
incorporates human socio-emotional wellness into environmental, ecological learning. Students who
experience GEOODS will learn about nature and of personal wellbeing by being in nature as they develop
awareness of their own comfort zones and learn about what it means to take a healthy risk for themselves
and to act on behalf of others and earth by engaging actively in life whether as stewards of the
environment or as healthy, productive members in family, community and society.
We believe our Outdoor School fosters responsible thoughtful decision makers – a cornerstone to success in
school and in life. Our multiple intelligences approach to learning recognizes the many ways we learn, build
resilience and heal from trauma which is particularly powerful and important for diverse under-resourced
communities where historic and continual trauma, marginalization and cultural exclusions to varying degrees
have led to responses that create barriers to participating in Outdoor School and, more generally, stifle effective
learning and engagement for individual students and their ability to connect with and succeed and participate
with the wider community.