November 30th
November Hikes!
 
 
 
November was an exciting month for Nevada Outdoor School our monthly community hikes went spectacularly. The first was the hike to the W on Winnemucca Mountain where we got the chance to see the town for a different point of view. The week of thanksgiving we had the Yurt hike that was a bit colder but the views made up for it. Then on Giving Tuesday, we took a leisurely night hike to the overlook in Water Canyon. Between the three hikes, we had eleven participants join us. It was great watching the weather transition from the orange and yellow of fall to the winter wonderland we are in now.
 

October 16th
2018 Lazy P Adventure Farm Fall Field Trip
 
        
 
During the week of October 9th-12th, Nevada Outdoor School partnered with the Lazy P Farm in Winnemucca for our annual fall field trip. Throughout the week, students traveled to Lazy P to learn about the ways animals are used on farms, how pumpkins grow, and how corn is used in everyday items from paint to tires. They also participated in a fun corn maze where the students had to guess correct answers about a farm item in order to find the correct way out. Nearly 400 students from Humboldt and Lander Counties participated in the field trip. We appreciate the Lazy P Farm allowing us to partner and provide students with this fun and educational experience.

October 1st
Black Rock NPLD - Desert Dace Days
 
              
During the weekend of September 28-30, Nevada Outdoor School AmeriCorps members and staff traveled to Soldier Meadows for the annual Desert Dace Days. During this event, we partnered with organizations such as Friend of Black Rock High Rock, Friends of Nevada Wilderness, and the Winnemucca BLM. Volunteers participated in various stewardship projects such as vegetation removal and monitoring for desert dace, painting the cabin at Soldier Meadows, and performing campground cleanup and maintenance. Nevada Outdoor School AmeriCorps members ran kid’s camp on Saturday. The kids participated in fun games and activities such as hiking and Leave no Trace awareness. They also participated in a stewardship project where they were able to paint picnic tables outside the cabin. Saturday evening, we participated in the Dutch oven cookoff that took everyone to Flavortown. We enjoyed spending time camping, making new friends, and visiting with familiar faces.
 

September 24th
Water Canyon National Public Lands Day (NPLD)
 
          
 

On Saturday, September 22, Nevada Outdoor School partnered with the BLM for National Public Lands Day in Water Canyon. During this event, volunteers helped with several different projects that included trail maintenance at Bloody Shins, putting up a bat house, painting picnic tables, and removing graffiti from rocks. Nevada Outdoor School staff and AmeriCorps members helped in the pollinator garden by planting plants that are beneficial to pollinators, creating a walking path through the garden, and providing activities and a pollination lesson for kids. We finished the day with a presentation from the Nevada Monarch Society and lunch.


August 27th
NOS's Outdoor Ethics Program Nationally Recognized by the National Off-Highway Conservation Council!
 
 
 

Nevada Outdoor School has good news!  They were nationally recognized by the National Off-Highway Conservation Council (NOHVCC) at the annual conference in Michigan for their Outdoor Ethics and ATV/OHV Safety Programs with an Special Recognition Award "for all the incredible work they do in teaching children and adults safe off highway vehicle use and non-motorized Tread Lightly and Leave no Trace ethics all across Nevada".  The Nevada OHV Program, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, accepted the award on their behalf and traveled to Winnemucca to present Nevada Outdoor School with the award on August 24th.  

Nevada Outdoor School's mission and Outdoor Ethics Program outcomes align perfectly NOHVCC's mission objectives which are to: 

·         Help establish new OHV clubs and state associations where they don’t already exist;

·         Strengthen existing clubs and state associations by providing information, training and services to help them be more effective;

·         Improve and promote responsible OHV recreation management and resource protection by working in partnership with private and public land managers and recreation planners;

·         Provide and promote best management practices for OHV recreation planning, development and management to policy makers;

·         Promote a positive OHV recreation image to all publics;

·         Build a better understanding of responsible OHV recreation among all publics;

·         Build recognition and acceptance that OHV recreation is a positive activity and promotes a responsible life style;

·         Provide broad-based, ongoing educational opportunities for OHV recreationists, recreation planners and decision-makers; Provide and promote educational, safety, ethics, environmental and character-           building programs for all OHV recreationists including youth; and

·         Emphasize the benefits of responsible recreation behavior and raise awareness of the impact from irresponsible recreation activity.


There were only four awards given nationwide and Nevada Outdoor School was the only Nevada program to receive an award from NOHVCC and was nominated by Nevada State Parks Recreational Trails Program Park and Recreation Program Manager, Janice Keillor and Nevada OHV Program Commissioner Eddie Booth.  

Nevada Outdoor School wishes to thank both Janice and Eddie for their nomination and support of their Outdoor Ethics and ATV/OHV Safety Programs and also wishes to recognize Jessica Snaman, Katie Fithian, Leah Stolworthy and Jen Stockton for their efforts in developing and delivering a stellar, top quality Outdoor Ethics program over the past 8 years.


August 13th
10th Annual Buckaroo Dutch Oven Cook-Off Fundraiser!
 
 

Nevada Outdoor School celebrated our 15th birthday as we hosted our 10th Annual Buckaroo Dutch Oven Cook Off fundraiser this past Saturday, August 11th where World Champions and beginners came to cook together like old friends! 
This year we had 11 teams compete in four different categories including 4 youth teams with team Pickachu West winning 1st place in the youth category with his delicious and well cooked enchiladas. Teams “Bill & Jane’s Wagon Train” and “Prairie Dogs” from Newmont Mining came in strong to compete with their tasty culinary creations to walk away with 1st place in both the Bean Master and the (International Dutch Oven Society (IDOS) categories as well as the most coveted “People’s Choice” Award.
Special thanks go out to Buckaroo Radio and Nomadic Radio for the super supportive radio coverage, Ferguson for the Yeti Cooler, Nevada Muleys for the Kodiak tent, Jerry Leon for the music and PA system, Jerry Hirsch and Tony Erquiaga for taking pictures and the Winnemucca Convention Center. 
Thank you to all of our sponsor donors and team competitors that cooked at the event. With your help Nevada Outdoor School raised over $7,800 for Outdoor Education opportunities for youth in northern Nevada! 
2018 Raffle Winners:
Yeti Cooler:  Dan Pangburn of Meridian, Idaho
Kodiak Canvas Tent: Travis Morgan of Winnemucca    
2018 DOCO Winners:
Youth (1 dish) 1st Place: Pickachu West 2nd Place: Mario Brothers 3rd Place: Trever Heard 4th Place: Catherine's Cookin' Kooks
Chuck Wagon (Main dish) 1st Place: C Bar M 2nd Place: Bree's Basque Café
Bean Master (Main dish and Dessert) 1st Place: Prarie Dogs 2nd Place: Super Cookers International Dutch Oven Society (IDOS) (Main dish, Bread, Dessert) Sanctioned category winners can go on to compete in the World Champion Dutch Oven Cook Off in Utah next year:
1st Place: Bill and Jane's Wagon Train 2nd Place: Cast Iron Maiden 3rd Place: Thompson's Dutch Oven Kooks

Thank you to all our cooks, volunteers and everyone in the community who came out to support us! We really appreciate you all and look forward to seeing you next year!  

 

August 10th
Boy's Camp  
 

During the week of August 6th-9th, Nevada Outdoor School held a Boy’s Camp at Leonard Creek Ranch, located near Denio. Fifteen boys participated in this year’s camp. On the first day, the boys learned survival skills such as fire building, what to bring on a hike, and how to build shelters from a tarp. On the second day, we spent the morning fishing in a small farm pond, where campers were able to catch and release nearly 40 fish. That evening, we held a campfire program and talent show. On the third day, the campers learned basic archery skills and how to shoot longbows. That afternoon, we learned about the Leave no Trace principles and how we were applying them throughout the week. Campers were also able to deal with the hot afternoon weather by swimming and participating in water games. We also played a variety of sports games such as Frisbee, baseball, and volleyball. It was a great week filled with fun activities, games, and making new friends. We would also like to thank Judge Montero and his family for providing us with a great location to hold Boy’s Camp.

 

August 2nd
Ruby Excursion
 
 

During the week of July 30-August 1, Nevada Outdoor School held a camp in Lamoille Canyon at Thomas Canyon Campground. During the three days, campers were able to participate in activities such as hiking to Island Lake, swimming, and star gazing. Campers also learned Leave no Trace principles and participated in a campfire program talent show. We were thankful for good weather and a fun week in such a beautiful location.


July 27th
Winnemucca Adventure Camp 2
 
 

During the week of July 23rd-26th, Nevada Outdoor School held Adventure Camp II at Lye Creek campground near Paradise. The camp kicked off with a day camp in Vesco Park, where campers played get to know you and team building games, and enjoyed an afternoon of swimming. During the campout at Lye Creek, campers learned various survival skills such as fire building, and what to bring in your day pack when going on a hike. Campers were also introduced to archery, a new and fun activity that we have reintroduced this year which campers really enjoyed. Campers also participated in a stewardship project for the forest service, where they cleaned out fire pits at the campgrounds and removed trash from the area. Unfortunately, both nights saw thunderstorms and campers were unable to stay overnight. However, campers were still able to finish the camp at Pioneer Park with a fun day of sports and water games.


July 24th 
Nature at Noon 
 
 
 

Beginning on June 12, Nevada Outdoor School began our annual Nature at Noon summer program at Vesco Park. Nature at Noon allows kids ages 2-8 to learn a wide variety of outdoor topics ranging from animals to space. This year, Nature at Noon is being led by our summer naturalist, Tiana Herrera. On our first day, kids were able to learn about different types of animals by observing pelts, skulls, and tracks. Over the next few weeks, students have learned about worms, birds, bats, and constellations. Kids are able to participate in a variety of activities during Nature at Noon such as crafts, story reading, and fun games. Our largest day at nature at noon had over 20 kids! Our Nature at Noon program takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12-1 at Vesco Park and is free to all participants.  


July 21st
Elko Girls Camp 
 

 

The Nevada Outdoor School’s 2018 Girl’s Camp began with an activity-filled day in the Main City Park. The campers and staff played games helping them get to know one another while creating a sense of community. Campers and staff also tie-dyed bandanas, decorated buckets (which they filled with kind notes throughout the rest of camp), and enjoyed an outdoor lunch. In the afternoon, camp traveled to Great Basin College where they tried indoor rock climbing and learned the basics of first aid. Over the next three days campers dove into a variety of outdoor activities including a plant tending service project, hiking, yoga, swimming, and 2 nights of camping. The campers learned the importance of Leave No Trace and mastered basic camping skills. On the final day of camp, the campers received camp awards and their personalized buckets filled with encouraging messages from their peers. 
 

July 14th
Lassen Volcano Camp 

 
 

During the week of July 9-13, Nevada Outdoor School held a new camp at Lassen Volcanic National Park. We received a grant from the Lassen National Park Foundation that allowed us to experience a fun and exciting week filled with ranger-led activities and programs. Fourteen 6th-8th grade campers participated, along with our naturalists, Allana Havernick, Ale Cruz, and Irma Mendoza. Throughout the week, campers participated in activities that were led by Lassen Park rangers, such as hikes, orienteering, bear safety, and forest ecology. They also learned Leave no Trace principles at a ranger-led campfire program. To beat the hot weather, campers swam in one of the many lakes in the park. Both the campers and staff were excited to experience a new camp in a new and beautiful location. We hope to return next year to make more great memories and learn new and exciting things from our friends at Lassen. 


June 30th 
Winnemucca Adventure Camp I

 

During the final week of June, Nevada Outdoor School held its largest and most popular camp for campers going into 3rd-5th grade. 25 campers participated in a week full of learning and fun activities. Our first three days were held in Vesco and Highland Park, where campers participated in fun-themed days. On Monday, campers played a variety of team building games, where they learned fun facts about each other and made new friends. On Tuesday, campers played a variety of sports games such as kickball, summer, and NOS baseball. On Wednesday, campers played water games in order to beat the hot summer weather, which ended in a big water balloon fight! Finally, we held our overnight campout on Thursday in Water Canyon. Campers learned about Leave no Trace, searched the creek for macroinvertibrates, and watched the sunset after hiking to the overlook. We finished the day with a campfire program and talent show. On the final day, campers participated in a stewardship project and finished the day with a pizza party before they went home.


June 23rd
Elko Adventure Camp 
 
 

Elko’s Adventure Camp I provided 3rd – 5th graders with a week of learning and fun. During the first three days of day camp, participants fostered new friendships through team building games and activities. Rock climbing at the Great Basin College Gym was an exciting challenge for all that built trust and confidence. On Tuesday, campers performed their service project in the Elko City Park, weeding gardens, raking playground areas, and having a trash-collection contest. We celebrated their hard work with tie-dye and a nature scavenger hunt. Wednesday was all about outdoor skills and wilderness readiness. Campers learned basic first aid, made mini first aid kits, built tarp shelters, and practiced their skills with a compass. On Thursday, we headed up to the Thomas Canyon Campground for our camp-out. We spent most of the day hiking up the Lamoille Lake trail. Though we did not quite make it there, it was a great experience. For some of the campers, it was their first hike ever. After returning to the campsite and setting up our tents, campers played games and splashed in the river to cool off. That evening, everyone showed off their talents around the campfire and enjoyed s’mores. Friday morning, we packed up and headed down the nature trail to explore the beaver ponds. We finished the week with lunch, crafts, and games at the Powerhouse picnic area. 


June 15th
Winnemucca Girls Camp 
 
 
 

During the week of June 11-14, Nevada Outdoor School kicked off its summer camp season with Girl’s Camp, for girls entering 5th-7th grade. This camp took place at Lake Tahoe and was led by our naturalists Irma Mendoza, Ale Cruz, and Allana Havernick. Ten girls participated in a week full of fun programming activities such as swimming, making tie dye t shirts, and hiking. One of the highlights of the camp was a trip to Tahoe Treetop Adventures, where campers were able to participate in the many high ropes and zip lining activities throughout the forests of Lake Tahoe. Campers also learned outdoor skills such as setting up a campsite and practicing the Leave no Trace principles. It was a fun week of making friends, learning, and having fun!


June 11th
Black Rock Desert Leave No Trace Trainer Course 
 
 
Photo Credit: Karina O'Connor 
 
This past weekend, NOS hosted a LNT Trainer Course with Friends of Black Rock-High Rock in the beautiful Black Rock Desert NCA.  The main audience for this course was Fly Ranch Volunteers and Burning Man staff/volunteers/participants.  Karina O’Connor and her family from Earth Guardians (Burning Man’s Leave No Trace Camp) came out to help contribute to the course. Saturday was WINDY and a little cold but the amazing weather on Sunday more than made up for it. As a group we traveled around to the different hot springs in the area to compare and contrast use level and impacts. Overall, it was a fun course that left participants more knowledgeable about the area, LNT principles and how to personally practice and teach others about responsible recreation. A very big THANK YOU to Karina O’Connor for the fantastic video!

June 6th
NOS Summer Camp Training - Here We Go! 
 

On June 4th and 5th, NOS staff headed up to Lye Creek in the Santa Rosa range for a two-day campout designed to prepare the AmeriCorps members for the upcoming summer camp season. Everyone was assigned a topic that aligned with their area of expertise and over the course of the two days we learned backcountry first aid, stove safety and fire buidling, how to teach the Leave No Trace principles at camp, team building and name games, the paperwork of camp, behavior management, and much more. In addition to all the learning that we accomplished, the overnight campout was a great opportunity to connect with our cohorts and create an environment of support.     

 

May 29th
2018 Black Rock Rendezvous Kids Camp!
 
 

Over Memorial Day weekend, we joined friends of Black Rock-High Rock, Friends of Nevada Wilderness, and the Winnemucca BLM for the annual Black Rock Rendezvous at the Cassidy Mine above the Playa. Although the weather was a little cold and rainy on Saturday, Sunday was beautiful with sunny skies and warmer temperatures. Kids were able to learn about Leave no Trace, how to build campfires, and how to use a solar oven to make s’mores. We also went on a hike, cleaned up the area, and played a lot of fun games. We had a great weekend with good food and made new friends.

 

May 24th
4th Grade Ecology Fair
 
 
 

On May 22 and 23, AmeriCorps members from various host sites participated in our annual Ecology Fair at the Winnemucca Community Garden. During this field trip, 4th graders are given the opportunity to travel through the garden to different booths that are ran by the AmeriCorps members. These booths cover topics such as fire safety, seed planting, animal adaptations, and our local ecosystem. We were also joined by representatives from BLM fire and the US Forest Service. Students also participated in a fun, ecology-based scavenger hunt where they had to look for living and non-living things, discover how organisms use water, and look for different sources of water. Thanks to the participation and dedication of our AmeriCorps members, this field trip was a success and a fun way for students to finish the school year.


May 19th
Gerlach Field Trip to Guru Road
 

Yesterday, NOS worked with the local school kids in Gerlach to take them hiking at a local folk art trail outside of town. This field trip for K-4th graders included students going for a “color hike” and journaling about what they saw. The highlight of this trip was the amazing amount and variety of lizards we saw! It was a beautiful day for hiking (despite the gnats) and students had a great time getting outside, exploring and learning about their public lands. 


May 12th
Winnemucca 3rd Grade Water Canyon Field Trips
 
 

During the week of May 8-11, third grade students from Winnemucca and Battle Mountain participated in our annual Water Canyon field trip. During this field trip, students learn about our local ecosystem by participating in several interactive stations. At our first station, students learned about streams by testing the pH, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, and temperature of the water. They were also able to look for macroinvertibrates by using dip nets and identification charts. At our second stop, students learned about the animals and plants that use our local watersheds, and also learned about how they are connected through the food web. At the third station, students learned about the impacts wildfires have on our ecosystem, how they recover, and how to be safe with fire. Finally, students were led on a hike where they learned about the Leave no Trace principles and being responsible outdoors. Although the weather was cold and snowy on our last day, we had a great time educating students about one of our great outdoor recreation areas right in our backyard.


May 6th
Tonopah OHV Registration Event
 

This past weekend Allana and Ale participated in the Off Highway Vehicle registration in Tonopah, Nevada. The event was meant to register four wheelers, side by sides, and dirt bikes in the local area. Nevada Outdoor School was there to promote the NOS Mission, as well as how to be safe while recreating in the outdoors through Tread Lightly, and Leave No Trace!


May 3
Seeing Impact Project 

For the past two days, Mel, Jessie and Katie were in Reno for the second part of the Nevada Seeing Impact Project hosted by Nevada Volunteers. As part of this training, we are working to effectively evaluate our classroom lessons and field trip programs. It was an intense two days, but we are encouraged by the work we have done and are looking forward to pulling together our final report and being able to share that with others.


April 28th
Valley of Fire Leave No Trace Trainer Courses
 
 
 
This past week, Jessie and Katie were down at Valley of Fire State Park teaching two back-to-back Leave No Trace Trainer courses to a total of 16 AmeriCorps from Great Basin Institute (GBI). As part of this course, participants explored the amazing and beautiful park and camped at a fantastic group use site while learning about the history, mission and principles of LNT. Participants left with the knowledge, skills and motivation to personally practice LNT and share their knowledge with others. A very special thank you to Valley of Fire State Park for allowing us to use their park and group use areas for these courses. 
 

April 23rd
Earth Day Outdoor Ethics Outreach Events
 
 

This past weekend, we brought our Road Show to two Earth Day events: Tahoe/Truckee Earth Day on Saturday and Reno Earth day on Sunday. People who stopped by our booth learned more about Nevada Outdoor School, our programs and responsible recreation. People were encouraged to test their knowledge of Leave No Trace and TREAD Lightly! to win some sweet NOS swag.


April 15th
Girl Scouts Day of Service

NOS partnered with the local BLM office and the Girl Scouts of the Sierra Nevada on April 15th , a Girl Scout national day of service, to complete phase two of “Project Pollinator”. The Girl Scouts who participated in the event helped to fill, “Bee Chateaus” with wooden rounds which will create habitat for solitary bees in Water Canyon. About half way through the project we had a break for a fun and interactive pollinator snack, and learned about Leave no trace and the importance of responsible stewardship of our habitat. NOS also lead a web of life activity with the girls, to reinforce the vital role the bees play in the water canyon ecosystem.


April 14th 
Gerlach School Fly Ranch Field Trip
 
 
Yesterday, NOS worked with Friends of Black Rock-High Rock and Burning Man to bring kids from Gerlach School out to the Fly Ranch property located about 20 miles outside of Gerlach.  While on this field trip, the younger students (K-4) used their senses and observation skills to compare and contrast two geysers (Will and Fly) on the property and make predictions about how those two geysers will change over time.  The older group of kids (Grade 5+) took and recorded water quality samples (temperature, dissolved oxygen and pH) from a variety of locations around the big hot spring and Fly Geyser.  The older group also selected three locations for photo point monitoring and made predictions for how they think the property, landscape and geologic features will change over time.  The goal and plan is to make this a reoccurring field trip throughout the year starting in 2018-19.  Students will visit the property once every season to compare/contrast and track changes over time.

April 14th
2nd Grade Watershed Field Trips

During the week of April 9-12, we held our annual Watershed Field trip for second grade students in Winnemucca, Battle Mountain, and Imlay. On this field trip, students learn about our local Watershed, the Humboldt River. We began the field trip with a fun presentation from “thunder and lightning” and a plinko game that showed how water moves from a high to low point in our local watershed. Our stations included interactive activities on topics such as pollution, the ways plants and animals use our local watersheds, the way water moves from tributaries into larger rivers and lakes, and about how water moves from a high to low point by using a large model of a watershed. Students also learned about the steps of the water cycle by learning a fun, catchy song. This was our first of several field trips that allow to students to learn in a fun, effective, and memorable way.


April 9th
Black Rock Desert LNT Trainer Course
 

This past weekend, NOS partnered with Friends of Black Rock-High Rock to host a Leave No Trace (LNT) Trainer Course out in the beautiful Black Rock Desert. Eighteen people attended this training to learn about the history, mission and principles of LNT. This course focused on the LNT principles in general as well as how they specifically apply to Burning Man’s Fly Ranch property as well as at Burning Man itself. Participants left with the knowledge, skills and motivation to both individually practice LNT and share the message of responsible recreation with others.


April 5th
TREAD Lightly! Master Educator Course
 
Yesterday, we were honored to have Danielle Fowles from TREAD Lightly! travel from Utah to teach a TL! Master Trainer Course at our office in Winnnemucca.  As part of this training, participants from our Winnemucca and Elko offices as well as AmeriCorps members from Friends of Black Rock High-Rock learned about TL!'s mission, history, principles, and how to facilitate a TL! Trainer Course for others.  We are very appreciative to TL! for this great opportunity and look forward to helping them spread the message of responsible recreation across Nevada!

March 31st
National Association of Interpretation (NAI) Conference in Elko

In late March, Outdoor Ethics Coordinator, Katie Fithian, Elko Director of Programming, Jackie Lucero, California Trail Center Education Program Technician, Tim Burns and Winnemucca Director of Programming, Brandon Allen attended the National Association for Interpretation Certified Interpretive Guide Training. The event was held at the California Trail Interpretive Center. During this training, members learned how to plan and develop effective presentations by creating themes, researching certain topics, and creating an overall outline for programs. There were many hands on activities that involved skits, acting out certain scenarios, and sharing various types of programming from different organizations. On the final day, members presented their final outlines and presentations for their themes. This training allowed us to practice and develop more skills when it comes to delivering effective programming. It was also a great way to meet other organizations and learn about other types of programming such as living history and museums.


March 19th
Reno Motorsports Expo Road Show

NOS’ Traveling Road Show spent March 16-18th at the Reno Motorsports Expo and the Reno Convention Center. Reno Motorsports is a huge event and NOS was able to connect with over 370 people about responsible recreation through Leave no Trace and Tread Lightly! ethics. People who stop by the NOS booth have the opportunity to play our newest outdoor ethics game, “Wheel of Ethics,” a trivia style game about responsible recreation, Ethics ball, or make an outdoor ethics hang tag to take home with them. Reno Motor Sports is a great opportunity for NOS to connect with the motorized community and discuss the impacts and challenges that they are facing.


March 5th
Public Lands Alliance (PLA) Conference in Palm Springs
 

NOS Executive Director, Melanie Erquiaga, spent the last week of February in warm and sunny Palm Springs, California at the Public Lands Alliance Convention and Trade Show. This is an annual gathering of nonprofit organizations and land management agencies who work together to protect, conserve and enhance visitors’ experiences on public lands. This event builds the capacity of nonprofit public lands partners and gives government leaders the tools necessary to help fulfill their agency missions. This was the first year that Melanie participated in the convention through a scholarship given out by the Public Lands Alliance for the cost of the convention fee and hotel and by Southern Nevada Conservancy who paid for her mileage. She thinks the best benefit of attending the convention is the collaboration of alliances and partnerships she was able to build and secure through her attendance of the educational sessions and roundtable conversations with other nonprofit leaders nationwide.

 

February 28th
February Classroom Lessons
 
 

During the month of February, our monthly classroom lessons switched to our very popular animal theme. Naturalists Allana Havernick and Tiffany Donoho were able to teach a variety of lessons about wildlife adaptations and habitats. Kindergarteners were able to learn about animal tracks by observing plaster molds, while first graders created play-doh animals and habitats. Second graders were able to learn about animal’s eating habits by observing their skulls. They also looked at different animal pelts to learn about the habitats that they live in. Third graders learned all about owls by dissecting real owl pellets and studying the bones that were inside. This gave them an idea about an owl’s prey and where they live. Finally, fourth and fifth graders participated in a new lesson that was offered about beaver adaptations. Students played a true/false game about beavers that cleared up some common misconceptions. A student then volunteered to represent different beaver adaptations by dressing up in various items such as goggles, flippers, and beaver teeth! February was a very fun, exciting, and hands on month for both us and the students.

 

February 14th
Project Impact Nevada

Over the past two days, Jessie, Mel and Katie attended the first part of Nevada Volunteer’s Project Impact Nevada learning from Dr. Steve Patty and Jessamyn Luis of Dialogues in Action about effective program evaluation. Last year, NOS took part in this process to evaluate our AmeriCorps program as a whole. This year, we are focusing on our classroom lesson and field trip education programs. We will be developing, collecting and analyzing qualitative and quantitative data from these programs to better evaluate our programs and hopefully make them even better!

 

January 29th
"W" Hike

On January 28th NOS led a community hike to the ‘W’ on Winnemucca Mountain. We exited see that seventeen hikers had shown up for this hike, and looked forward to sharing our passion for the outdoors with them. The hike to the ‘W’ can be difficult, and is just shy of four miles round trip. When the group reached the ‘W’, they paused to rest and get some photos of the view. After a quick rest, the group headed back down the mountain. When we returned the trail head, the group enjoyed some conversation with their friends, before heading home.


January 25, 2018
Thank You Newmont!
 
 
A Very special and heart felt THANK YOU! to Newmont Mining Company and all their amazing and generous employees who participate in the Newmont Legacy Fund Employee Giving Program.  Strong community and corporate support from these types of programs mean the world to us at Nevada Outdoor School and help us accomplish our mission to inspire exploration of the natural world, responsible stewardhsip of our habitat and dedication to community.
 
Thank You Newmont Legacy Fund!
 

January 15
AmeriCorps Annual MLK Dodge Ball Tournament
 
 
 
This past Saturday was the annual AmeriCorps MLK Dodge Ball Event in Winnemucca.  To learn more about this year's event and how it helped benefit our local communities, check out our NOS Blog by Elisa, an AmeriCorps serving with the Family Support Center:
 
 

January 21
Yurt Hike

On January 20th, NOS led a group of hikers up to the Yurt in Water Canyon. The Canyon had gotten a fresh blanket of snow overnight, and even though it made the hike a little more difficult, the snow cover enhanced Water Canyon’s natural beauty. After a fun, but challenging hike, hikers enjoyed a break inside the yurt and refueled with some snacks. This was the first time any of the hikers had been to the yurt, and it is always exciting sharing this unique gem that our community has to offer.  After everyone had a chance to rest, the group headed back down the trail. When we returned to the trail head, we warmed up with some tea and cocoa.

 
January 5, 2018
Hiking in the New Year!

NOS started the New Year with a night hike along the Interpretive Trail to the Overlook on January 4th. Hikers met at the second restroom site in Water Canyon at 6:00 PM before hitting the trail. Even though the sun had gone down by the time we began, the temperature was still pleasant, and the sky was clear, making it a prime opportunity for star gazing. After a quick .7 miles to the overlook, the group took in the view of the Winnemucca lights, and headed back down the trail to enjoy some hot tea and cocoa at the trail head.


 
December 17
Outdoor Ethics Club

On December 16th NOS held their 3rd Outdoor Ethics Club meeting. Due to inclement weather, we had to revise our original plans to head to Lamoille canyon, and instead met in water canyon for a hike to the Yurt. Before beginning our hike, we discussed principle 3 of Leave No Trace; Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces, and played durable surface hopscotch. Participants also learned the basic parts of a compass, and also how to use them. During our hike, participants used their newly acquired compass skills determine which way we were traveling, or which direction the clouds were moving. We took a snack break at the yurt, careful not to leave any crumbs behind, and headed back down to the trailhead to drink some hot cocoa.


December 4
We Have a New ATV Safety Institute (ASI) Instructor On Staff!
 
 

At the end of November NOS Outdoor Ethics Program Coordinator, Katie Fithian Headed to the Honda Rider Education Center in Colton, California to complete an ATV Safety Institute Instructor Preparation Course. Katie Spent the Week learning how to coach ATV riders on safe and responsible operation of their ATV’s, to become a certified ATV Instructor. Katie Looks forward using this knowledge to help her to promote safe and responsible practices when recreating outdoors.

 

November 20
Outdoor Ethics Club Meeting 

Nov. 17th was Nevada Outdoor School’s second Outdoor Ethics Club meeting. Participants who attended this meeting began the day learning about the first principle of Leave No Trace, Plan ahead and Prepare, by playing fun and interactive games like, “Will you make it” and “pack your pack.” After our Discussion about planning ahead and being prepared we hit the trail, heading to the “W” on Winnemucca Mountain. On the way back to the trail head participants collected any “MOOP” or “Matter out of place” that they found.


November 17
Community Night Hike

On Nov 16th NOS hosted one of our first “Night Hikes” of the fall/ winter seasons. Even though it was raining, we had 5 hikers show up, eager to explore water canyon in the dark. We outfitted ourselves with the proper rain gear and headlamps or flashlights and hit the trail around 6:00 PM. We hiked the interpretive trail for about .7 miles to the overlook, to view the city lights at night. After taking in the views from the overlook, we headed back to the trail head to sip hot cocoa.


November 15
NOS Classroom Lessons
 
 
 

In the second half of October, we began offering our classroom lessons to local schools in Winnemucca. Naturalists Allana Havernick and Tiffany Donoho began October by teaching students about history, culture, and the changing seasons. In November, we began traveling to our rural schools in places like Paradise Valley, McDermitt, and Denio. Students learned about plants, photosynthesis, and pollination. So far, we have delivered nearly 50 classroom lessons to over 700 students. We are excited to be able to travel to our rural schools more frequently and are looking forward to meeting new teachers and students in the coming months.


November 6
Community Hike
 
 
 
NOS hosted a community hike on November 5th to the ‘W’ on Winnemucca Mountain. Some of our hikers were new to town and were taking advantage of the opportunity to explore the area. The group met at Veterans Memorial park at 10:00 AM and hit the trail from there. When we reached the ‘W’ we stopped to take in the views of Winnemucca and take a group photo. After catching our breath we headed back to the trail head to enjoy some hot cocoa and apple cider before heading our separate ways. NOS hikes are always a great opportunity to connect with the people in our community and bond over our shared passion of getting outdoors.

October 30
Sand Mountain Outdoor Ethics Road Show

NOS spent Halloween weekend at Sand Mountain Recreation area talking to people about outdoor ethics. People who stopped by the NOS booth at Sand Mountain had the opportunity to play Treadpardy or Tread-ball some fun and interactive games about outdoor ethics. NOS also brought Outdoor Ethics Hang tags and handed out literature to participants about responsible outdoor recreation. Every year on Saturday night, NOS assists the BLM by judging the annual “Parade of Lights”. This year there were over 17 official entries in the contest, and many more that participated in the parade just for fun.

 
 NOS’ spook-tacular outreach booth at Sand Mountain Recreation area
 

October 26
Outdoor Ethics Club Rockstars! 

On October 25th, Nevada Outdoor School had their first meeting for the Outdoor Club, a club for junior high and high school students which aims to connect youth to the natural world through education, exploration, and stewardship. At this meeting, participants played some fun leave no trace games, removed some non native plants from the native plant educational garden in Water Canyon, and hiked to the overlook to take in some beautiful sunset views. At the end of the meeting participants chatted with their new friends over some hot chocolate or hot apple cider before going home.

 
 
  Participants removing some Crested Wheat grass from the native plant garden in Water Canyon
 Participants celebrating the views at the overlook in Water Canyon
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