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Welcome to Glen Helen Outdoor School 

Glen Helen Outdoor Education Center offers transformative learning experiences that engage learners in the practices of sciences; promote self-discovery and growth; cultivate community; and create a connection to our natural world. We have provided residential environmental science learning and summer camps for students all across southern Ohio since 1956.


Glen Helen Outdoor Education Center's Outdoor School is designed to engage students grades 4 - 7 in environmental education, intentional social emotional learning, and a life-changing experience in nature. 


Each day of our residential program, small student groups adventure into our 1000+ acre nature preserve to immerse themselves in hands-on science learning led by our dedicated Naturalist Teachers. They explore, investigate, and learn about the environment and how to protect it. Lesson hikes are aligned to the Ohio Content Standards to complement classroom learning; themes include: forest ecology, birds, geology, ecosystems, stream investigations, animal adaptations, environmental problem solving, and teamwork & cooperation - check out our Curriculum Guide for a full catalog of options! 

Along with structured lessons, students eat meals together, visit the onsite Raptor Center, meet reptile animal ambassadors, enjoy afternoon activities and evening programs, and explore the nocturnal world on a night hike!


Before schools arrive at the Glen, we work closely with teachers to design a program that is appropriate for their particular group of students. We also work to ensure classroom learning objectives are central to the experience provided at Outdoor School. Naturalists facilitate instruction with the students out on the trails, while teachers provide behavior management support, and supervise students during dorm time.

3-Day, 2-Night Outdoor School program experience includes 4 structured lesson hikes, 2 evening programs including a night hike, 3 meals per day, and lodging in one of our student dormitories! The 2023-24 program fee  is $130 / student. 

4-Day, 3-Night Outdoor School program experience includes 6 structured lesson hikes, 3 evening programs including a night hike, 3 meals per day, and lodging in one of our student dormitories! The 2023-24 program fee is $160 / student.


Outdoor School 2023-24 is almost full and we are currently taking reservation requests for the 2024-2025 school year. 
If you are interested in joining us for a transformative Outdoor School experience, please reach out to OEC Ass
istant Director, Kelsey Mazur.
Information for Teachers & Schools:
The complete Planning Guide for Outdoor School 2023-2024 is available here. Or download what you need below:

Planning for Your Program - Welcome, Planning Timeline, and Outdoor School Policies

Outdoor School Curriculum Guide - UPDATED 2024!

Preparing for Your Program - Guidelines for Teachers and Chaperones

Sample Outdoor School Schedules

Outdoor School Program Information Form - please complete 3 weeks prior to your Outdoor School visit (or download a pdf)

Outdoor School - COVID-19 Policies

Information for Parents & Guardians:

Guidelines for Parents & Guardians

Outdoor School - Suggested Packing List

Outdoor School - Student Forms

Outdoor School - Campstore Order Form

Information for Students:

Social Story to prepare students for their Outdoor School Experience

Welcome Video

Letter for Students

Glen Helen Residential Outdoor School
Glen Helen Residential Outdoor School
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