Outdoor School has been an Oregon tradition for more than 50 years. For half a century, 5th and 6th graders across the Beaver state have been afforded the opportunity of a week-long, outdoor science-based learning experience. Outdoor School helps students develop a sense of place, and an understanding of Oregon’s natural resources, history, and most importantly fosters a real connection to the great outdoors. Unfortunately, this program that was born fifty years ago, looks a bit different today. Today less-than-half of all the students in the state have the opportunity to take their learning outside of the classroom due to school district budget cuts.
KEEN is an Oregon business headquartered in the heart of Portland and home to many Oregon Outdoor School alums, even former Outdoor School Counselors. For many of us, our first experiences in the outdoors were at Outdoor School. We have first hand experience of the transformation and realization that occurs during a week exploring and learning from nature.
Every child in Oregon deserves a week at Outdoor School, therefore we have endorsed the initiative with a $10,000 capacity building grant and are committed to using our business voice to encourage like-minded companies and individuals to join us in supporting our great state’s future leaders. It makes sense for us to support an initiative that brought so many of us into this industry.
Teaching kids about the natural environment is an essential life lesson, a lesson that often breeds to a lifetime of environmental awareness, or even stewardship. As a brand rooted in the outdoors, we feel a responsibility to preserve and protect our country’s special places and fostering a love for the outdoors, and satiating a quench for adventure in our Kids, is just the right thing to do.
Our very own Megan Vinton – the KEEN Kids’ Product Line Manager – was a two time Outdoor School counselor. In her role at KEEN, she sees the positive difference that an appreciation for the outdoors brings to kids and their families every day. Her story was recently featured on the Outdoor School for All blog.
“Let’s get them up and outdoors, fill them with wonder about the world, and teach them the lifelong joy of exploration and teamwork, through new challenges, play and discovery. From enriching the lives of our children and the long term benefits it offers, an investment in Outdoor School is one we’ll all be better off for making.”
Learn more about Outdoor School for All