The Crest is offering weekly 3-day Outdoor School sessions geared towards 5th and 6th grade students! Join us at Willow-Witt Ranch for a program immersed in the volcanic geology, wetlands, and organic farm.
We will explore the quiet forests, hiking trails, and turtle pond at the 445-acre property.
Fall 2023 Program
Spring 2024 Program
Outdoor School is offered Monday through Friday each week.
Three consecutive day trips, 8:30am – 3:30pm. (Times can be adjusted according to specific time constraints.)
Residential Three-Day Program:
Outdoor School bird nest activity
The Crest is a place-based, educational non-profit located at Willow-Witt Ranch, a 445-acre in-holding in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument east of Ashland, Oregon. It is nestled in a valley at almost 5,000′ elevation. As the only farm-associated Outdoor School program, our unique setting allows students to interact with animals such as goats, chickens, ducks, and dogs, and assist with farm and garden tasks.
The ranch is located on the traditional homelands of the Shasta, Upland Takelma, Latgawa, and Athabaskan peoples. We acknowledge that this land was not given to us, but taken from others.
The mission of The Crest is to cultivate the integral connection between people and nature. We learn from nature the interdependence of humans and the air, soil, food, forest, and water upon which we all depend and the earth to which we all return.
Outdoor School students watching wildlife with binoculars
As we acknowledge the traumas of the pandemic and regional wildfires, we are committed to creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture that integrates social-emotional growth and self care into the Outdoor School experience. Our staff is trained in practices that embrace various learning styles and address the individual needs of each and every student.
As per Measure 99, Outdoor School is funded by the State of Oregon for 5th and 6th graders. This requires 18 hours of immersive outdoor education. Other grades are welcome, but are not covered by the state. To apply for funding, visit: Outdoor School OSU Extension Services.
Expedite the reservation process by completing The Crest Outdoor School Interest Form. This form helps The Crest understand and plan for your class’s needs.
From a Teacher’s Perspective
“My class really enjoyed their experience with The Crest at Willow-Witt. The activities were engaging and grounded in building environmental awareness and stewardship. The beautiful location made the perfect backdrop as students reflected on what they observed. I was impressed with the organization and planning that was evident in making the farm accessible and engaging to students. Thank you for a fantastic experience!”
Our facilities can host up to 60 students for day-programs and up to 45 students for residential programs.
Environmental education at Oregon’s only farm-based Outdoor School.
Located in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, this biodiverse landscape carries rich cultural and natural history.
Our programs prioritize trauma-informed care and social-emotional learning.
Flexible scheduling and lessons to meet the needs of your class.
Outdoor School campers enjoy petting our hand-raised farm goats
Lessons and Learning Objectives
Discussions, games, crafts, hikes, hands-on science, self-guided explorations, traditional knowledge, and nature journaling are woven into our lessons and group activities.
5-LS1-1 Structures and Processes
H.E.7.4.2 Standard 7: Health-enhancing behaviors
MS-LS2-4 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, & Dynamics
MS-LS1-5 Structures & Processes
5-ESS3-1 Earth & Human Activity
5-PS1-3 Matter & Its Interactions
4-LS1-1 Structures & Processes
MS-LS2-1 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
5-ESS2-1 Earth’s Systems
3-5-ETS1-3 Engineering Design
4-ESS2-1 Earth’s Systems
5-LS2-1 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
MS-LS1-5 From Molecules to Organisms
5-ESS3-1 Earth and Human Activity
4-LS1-2 From Molecules to Organisms
ESS3.C Human Impacts on Earth Systems
LS2.A Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
LS2.B Cycles of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems
LS2.C Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience
Meals will be provided for Residential Outdoor School programs. For Three-day programs, a morning snack will be provided upon arrival. Lunch should be brought from home.
Your student should come prepared to get dirty! Willow-Witt Ranch is located at 5,000 feet elevation and campers should dress in layers.
Outdoor School students on a hike at Willow-Witt Ranch (above) and participating in a birding survey (below)
Outdoor School is offered Monday through Friday each week. Want to combine your class’s Outdoor School experience with other teachers from your school? Multiple classes can come throughout the week, up to 45 students per residential program and up to 60 students per day-program.
Please check out our most recent Outdoor School Booklet which contains more program details, a sample day schedule, and overview of lessons and learning objectives.