Outdoor School

Every sixth grader in Carroll County has the opportunity to attend Outdoor School at Camp Hashawha, Carroll County’s residential environmental school. The mission of Outdoor School is to empower students to act upon their environmental knowledge and skills. Students learn about different aspects of the environment and then have the opportunity to put their knowledge in to action by participating in a service project such as tree planting to improve the riparian buffers, maintaining habitat plantings, building bird nesting boxes and feeders and other worthwhile projects. Upon successfully completing Outdoor School, students receive 10 service-learning hours. Students have the opportunity to earn 10 additional service-learning hours after returning home from Outdoor School. Students must complete their project (project ideas) and the Outdoor School Reflection Form by October 31st of their 7th grade year.

Outdoor School: Service-Learning Ideas

Below please find a list of ideas for the “additional” service-learning project to be completed at home. Students must complete this project by October 31st of their 7th grade year in order to receive 10 service-learning hours. This project must be documented on the Outdoor School Service-Learning Reflection Form found in the Student Journal and on this web site. The ideas listed below are ONLY suggestions. It is appropriate for a student to develop their own project based upon interest, expertise, parental involvement, home location, and need.

  • Re-vegetation/tree shrub or planting 

  • Grass planting on erosion areas 

  • Placement of erosion bars 

  • Butterfly/hummingbird garden or meadows

  • Evaluating and implementing water conservation techniques

  •  Re-vegetation along a stream or pond 

  • Survey of household pollutants and implementing alternatives 

  • Survey of household water use and water drainage

  • Development and implementation of compost pile or vermiscomposter

  •  Stream/pond clean up 

  • Planning and modifying energy usage at home 

  • Letter writing campaign to support/reject legislation. Many important environmental laws are being revised by state and federal legislatures.

  •  Install conservation devices to reduce water flow in sinks and toilets

  •  Survey school year habitate features 

  • Construct and place a bird house in a park or environmental center (with permission) 

  • Write an environmental letter to the newspaper editor

  • Interview a long-time Carroll County resident to find out how Carroll County’s envirnoment has changed throughout the years.

Outdoor School Service Learning Reflection Form


Students enrolled in Ecology Class throughout Carroll County are involved in the reforestation efforts of the American Chestnut Tree. Many high schools are involved in growing chestnut seedlings in mini-orchards on school grounds. Students track their growth, test trees for blight resistence, study soil composition, and compile data for the American Chestnut Foundation. This project provides the opportunity for students to utilize the skills learned in Ecology by putting them in to action to support this important environmental effort.