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Pendleton Outdoor School Carries On Despite Budget Woes In Recent Years


Rob Brooks, with the National Weather Service, talks about different types of weather with a group of Sunridge Middle School sixth-graders during Outdoor School at the Kiwanis Camp in the Umatilla National Forest east of Pendleton.

Rob Brooks, with the National Weather Service, talks about different types of weather with a group of Sunridge Middle School sixth-graders during Outdoor School at the Kiwanis Camp in the Umatilla National Forest east of Pendleton.

E.J. Harris/East Oregonian

Gorgie Jones-Hoisington cupped the moth tightly in both hands as she rushed over to show her teacher, Chris Schulze, at Buck Creek Camp in the Umatilla National Forest.

Field studies had just wrapped up Thursday afternoon at Pendleton Outdoor School, where roughly 90 sixth-graders were given an up-close look at the environment from local experts. Jones-Hoisington, 12, used what she learned to correctly identify the moth she caught earlier as female, based on its size.

“Those are good moments,” Schulze said as Jones-Hoisington hurried to her next activity. “It makes you proud as a teacher.”

Outdoor School is an annual rite of passage for sixth-graders in Pendleton, as well as fifth-graders in Hermiston, as they head out into the forest for several days of hands-on activities and adventure. The program brings kids to Buck Creek, adjacent to the North Fork Umatilla Wilderness Area, for three days of hiking, campfires, art projects and interactive science.

Read more at the East Oregonian.

Watch: In 2016, Oregon voters approved Measure 99 to guarantee a portion of state lottery dollars go to Outdoor School programs.

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