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Summer Camp

The Value of Outdoor Education to Your Students and School’s Curriculum

By NCOAE Headquarters February 22, 2024

Outdoor Education

For as long as we can remember, private and independent schools have recognized the transformative power of experiential learning, and that’s particularly true when it involves outdoor and adventure-based activities. While all educators are trained and encouraged to seek innovative ways to engage students in their own education, private and independent schools have traditionally been more likely to partner with an organization like ours to create a custom outdoor program that reinforces their curriculum and culture.

Here at The National Center for Outdoor Adventure and Education (NCOAE), we assist all types of schools — including private and independent ones — to seamlessly incorporate outdoor and adventure-based experiential education into their curricula. 

By exploring the benefits, practical considerations, and implementation strategies, we work closely with these schools to enhance their educational offerings. And when we succeed, we find we have awakened and nurtured a sense of adventure in their students. In addition, we have supported the development of well-rounded youth who are better equipped for success in academics, peer interactions, and the communities in which they live.

Benefits for Students

Participation in our highly customized and curriculum-based outdoor education programs contributes to higher student retention rates, higher grade averages, and positive changes in a student’s  “Five C’s” — Competence, Character, Connection, Confidence, and Caring.

At NCOAE, our custom programs for private, independent, and even open enrollment summer camp expeditions for teens are built on our Theory of Change: (more…)

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What’s the Difference Between NOLS, Outward Bound, and Other Outdoor Programs?

By NCOAE Headquarters June 16, 2023

NOLS and Outward Bound

As an accredited outdoor and adventure education provider, we here at The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE) know that people are diligently doing their homework in their search to find the best guided wilderness trips for their children or for themselves.

And topping their list of questions is this query: What makes NCOAE different from programs like Outward Bound, programs like NOLS, and even traditional summer camps? How do you make a well-informed choice between our outdoor education company’s offerings and those offered by a summer camp, tour operator, GAP semester provider, or an unaccredited outdoor adventure programming company?

Many organizations like ours seek to set themselves apart from the top two standard bearers, namely, The National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and Outward Bound (OB). Truth be told, NCOAE’s similarities to those organizations far surpass our differences. In fact, like so many other organizations, we trace our pedigree back to programs like Outward Bound and NOLS.

NOLS and OB are leaders in the field, and for very good reason. They’ve been around longer than most every other outdoor education and adventure programming organization out there. Both brands are highly recognizable and trusted, and each has trained hundreds of thousands of people — many of whom have gone on to found outdoor recreation companies of their own.

In addition, these two organizations play leading roles within the outdoor education industry, from convening the annual (more…)

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