Arkansas Outdoor School  

List of Available Classes AOS - Arkansas Outdoor School logo




The lifetime sport of archery “…is one of the few physical activities that actually teaches success. Regardless of physical ability, previous experience, social skills, etc… archery has proven time and time again its ability to break down barriers and improve self esteem…” (National Archery in the Schools Program). Students will learn proper safety rules, techniques of firing, and range commands. Each will then try their hand at shooting bows and arrows.


Arkansas Pioneers

Learn the history of some of Arkansas's first explorers and how they survived. How would life have been different for early Arkansas homesteaders? Students will try their hand at making candles over a campfire, playing frontier games, and spending time in our recreated pioneer log cabin .


Arkansas Wildlife

Wildlife includes the diverse indigenous animals that inhabit Arkansas' forests, swamps, and fields. As stewards and caretakers of the earth, students realize the important roles and responsibilities they have toward the environment. Ecosystems and habitats are heavily emphasized in this class.



Explore the nighttime sky in a unique teaching laboratory. Discover how ancient travelers used the stars to guide them to their destinations. A portable interactive planetarium and the dark night skies at the 4-H Center will provide an ideal environment for minds-on, hand-on learning about the stars above.


Camping 101

Have you ever wanted to go camping but didn’t know where or how to start? Participants will learn how to choose a campsite, set up a tent, start a fire, and the basics of camping equipment.



Canoeing is offered on our six-acre lake as an exploration of a non-competitive recreational activity. Problem solving, working together and communication, as well as learning a life-long recreational skill are the main objectives of the canoeing class. Basic water safety is taught before students go onto the lake. Instructors will explain the parts of the canoe and paddle, demonstrate strokes, and give examples of movement techniques . Emphasis is given to the importance of safety around a body of water. Students are required to have parental/guardian permission and will wear a personal flotation device at all times.


Create a Creature (Indoor or rain day activity)

This class brings out creative skills, imagination, and analysis as well as allowing students to work together. Students are introduced to the concepts of animal habitats and adaptations; they will then apply those concepts as they determine how and where the creature will live and survive in the real world. Small groups of students will create their own special creatures with natural and recycled materials.


Discovery Hike

Explore one of the 4-H Center’s many trails, such as the Southern Ridge Nature Trail or the Deer Meadow Tr ail for a special look into the natural world of Arkansas. Students will have the opportunity to discover special animals and their signs, plants, communities and geological features of the 4-H Center. The hike can be geared towards a specific subject or general ecology. 


Investigating Insects

This class uses observational and interactive activities to explore the natural world of insects.  Students learn characteristics, look at the way habitats provide protection for insects, and how insects have adapted to survive. Students will explore and seek out numerous insects, identify them, and determine why they are so important to us.


Forest Ecology

This class blends sensory experiences and hands-on activities to convey appreciation and awareness of the forest as a community of living things. The class identifies trees and discovers unique characteristics of each. Students also investigate different parts of the forest ecosystem.



The geocaching class will engage students in a fun outdoor activity learning Global Positioning System (G PS) technology and navigation skills. Students will use GPS units to navigate cooperatively in teams as they hunt for “treasure” all over the 4 Center property. 


Geology and Soils

Explore the forces that make up and change our earth. What is soil? What are the different soil types? How do rocks form and what are they made of? Why is it so important to us? All these questions and more will be answered in this class. 


Hooked on Fishing

Students will learn how to identify fish in our lake, casting techniques, and go fishing. They will learn how fish survive by utilizing their special adaptations. All will have the chance to test their fishing skills as well as their patience from the banks of the 4-H Center's six-acre stocked lake. 


Let’s Go Birding

Birding is a popular nature activity in Arkansas. The many natural areas, schoolyards, and backyards offer a place to view, study, and enjoy Arkansas’ many bird species. In this class, students learn how to use binoculars and how to identify one bird from another. This class can be specialized for your needs (histories, songs, migration patterns, etc.) or can be about the general diversity in Arkansas birds.


Nature Awareness

Our senses play an important part in recognizing and appreciating the natural world around us. Students will use their sense of smell, hearing, touch, and vision to heighten their awareness of the environment and understand their role in taking care of it. This allows them to see the interdependence of all things.


Nature Photography

Do you like taking pictures? This class explores how to take better pictures of nature and landscapes by teaching simple tricks and techniques. After learning how to use their cameras, students will explore the beauty of the outdoors and practice their new skills. All needed equipment is provided.


Outdoor Cooking

Students will learn how to safely prepare food outdoors by cooking a snack over coals. They will learn how to build a campfire and important safety tips. This class can be offered in a longer session to cover the principles of Dutch Oven Cooking along with more complex recipes. A $2 per person supply fee is added for this class.



The orienteering class will engage students in a fun outdoor activity learning new compass skills while making practical application of their math skills. Students will use a compass to navigate cooperatively in teams through a given course.


Plants and Their Pollinators

Explore the garden at the Environmental Education Center to review plant parts, plant roles in our world, or the journey of plants from the seed to the kitchen. Students will also discover the benefits of pollinators such as butterflies, other insects, or birds to a garden and native plants.



Introducing students to predators and prey and how they fit into the food chain is the focus of this class. Using tools such as skulls, students learn to identify the differences in omnivores, carnivores, and herbivores and how these differences affect the predator/prey relationship. Through activities, the uniqueness of diverse habitats is also experienced.


Principles of Survival

Students learn and practice basic outdoor survival skills. What can you do to prevent and prepare for survival situations? What are your priorities?  How do you make shelter? How do you signal for help? What should a survival kit include? All these questions and more are covered in this class. 


Reptiles and Amphibians

Students are introduced to reptiles and amphibians that inhabit Arkansas's forests, fields, streams and lakes. By learning the difference between venomous and non-venomous reptiles, the students are encouraged to develop positive attitudes and respect rather than fear and prejudice toward these unique creatures. This class emphasizes reptile and amphibian importance in the ecosystem.


Rock Climbing

Students will have the opportunity to challenge themselves on an indoor or outdoor climbing wall. Students learn about basic rock climbing skills and equipment. The Leadership Life Skills will be incorporated through individual and team activities. Students discover how climbing walls relate to the challenges young people have to face in their everyday lives. Safety is stressed and permission is required from parents before students will be allowed to participate. All participants will wear the required climbing seat harnesses and helmets.


Team Challenge

Team initiatives, unlike traditional games, are more than just fun. Cooperation, trust, and problem-soling activities will enhance a group's cohesiveness and ability to work together. The activities promote teamwork skills as well as strengthen communication in a group. Emphasis is placed on enjoyable interactions between students in a non-competitive, non-threatening, physically active way. 


Water Ecology

The Water Ecology class explores how the water cycle affects lakes, springs, and streams, as well as the relationships between plants, animals, macro invertebrates, people and physical features of a body of water. Students will use skills such as prediction, observation, and classification. This class increases awareness of the role of water ecosystems in our world.

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