Sherwood Forest was the very first camp in the St. Louis region to offer Outdoor Education programs. Since 1948, we have partnered with schools, school districts, and youth organizations to provide their students with an experiential education curriculum. By providing an innovative “classroom without walls” and valuable learning resources, Sherwood Forest helps our school partners reach their academic goals, as well as achieve social, emotional, and developmental milestones for their students. Outdoor Education also gives urban children an essential connection to nature.
Outdoor Education is an experiential program that provides schools, youth groups, and youth-serving organizations with hands-on learning focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and character development. These programs take place in a rustic, outdoor setting, which provides a natural location to focus on STEM as it relates to the environment.
While the concept of “outdoor education” is not new, our programs provide an innovative response to the increased need for STEM education in our community. At Sherwood Forest, we provide hands-on experiences that allow children and youth to think and act like real scientists. They have the chance to be immersed in nature and to study biology and life sciences in a real environment. Outdoor sciences combine biology, chemistry, and even physics. While many schools and community organizations are looking for ways to improve attitudes towards STEM fields, Sherwood Forest offers a unique approach to the subject in an ideal setting.
We have found that students learn best when they can take an active role in what is being taught. Sherwood Forest provides a challenging environment where they can engage in experiential learning through hands-on activities and group initiatives. Students also gain confidence by climbing our Tango Tower. Standing more than 60 feet tall, the Tango Tower (the only one in Missouri) incorporates climbing walls, a dozen high obstacles, ten low initiatives, and a thrilling 250-foot zipline through the trees of Sherwood Forest. Participation goes beyond physical challenges, as participants develop problem-solving and communication skills.
Outdoor Education at Sherwood Forest is designed to emphasize team-building and group dynamics. Students build self-esteem, increase their sense of self-awareness, gain independence, and develop social skills. Programs can be two to five days in length, and are best suited for children in 5th through 8th grade, with group sizes ranging from 20 to 225 students. We work with each school or agency to develop an individualized program tailored to the needs and interests of its students.
If you are interested in learning more about our Outdoor Education programs, or renting our facility for a retreat or reunion, please call our office at 314-644-3322 and speak to Michael Castulik, our Camp Director. You can also fill out the form below and we will be happy to contact you. More details about our camp facility can be found here. We would love to work with you to give you and your group a memorable Sherwood Forest experience of your own.