Residential Outdoor School Program (K-12)
Overnight and day-use environmental education field trips for schools and groups
What is the Eagle Bluff Outdoor School? More than your average field trip – it’s an experience unlike any other! Expanding learning beyond the classroom, students are immersed in natural surroundings while participating in experiential learning in the form of hands-on classes, naturalist programs, group challenges, and adventure activities.
Outdoor School classes, curriculum, and activities aim to sharpen students’ critical thinking skills, foster teamwork and leadership, and raise environmental awareness while inspiring an ethos of care for the earth and each other.
Through our accredited Outdoor School programming, we aim to provide students with hands-on, transformative experiences that:
- Promote a positive relationship with the outdoors
- Spark curiosity and appreciation for the natural world
- Impart life skills such as teamwork and problem solving
- Increase environmental & academic literacy
- Foster a sense of respect, stewardship and community
View sample daily schedule
11:30–12:00: Free time
Noon-1:15: Lunch/Free Time
4:15–5:00: Free time
5:00–6:30: Dinner/Free Time
6:30–7:30: Naturalist Program
7:30–9:00: Group Activities
9:00–9:30: Group Meeting Time
9:30-10:00: Quiet Time in Rooms
10:00 – 6:30: Quiet hours
Our Classes & Curriculum
All of our classes and activities are aligned with Minnesota State Academic Standards, providing students in-depth experiences in: ecology, nature identification, earth and physical science, history and people, outdoor adventure & recreation, challenge skills, and more! Our curriculum is paired with supporting materials to deepen the learning experience, including STEM connections and IB profiles.
Our Teaching Philosophy
Using research-based methodologies, four core beliefs are woven throughout the student experience and incorporated into our lessons. We believe students learn best when they: engage directly with nature, learn through discussions, think like a scientist, and follow the learning cycle. Eagle Bluff’s methodologies are based on those researched and trained through The BEETLES Project.
Our highly-trained, passionate outdoor educators provide programming that challenges students to think critically, step out of their comfort zone, and experience personal growth and connection with the natural world. We get to know our students by name and work to build a culture of mutual respect. Additionally, all of our educators have have earned undergraduate degrees or higher and are trained and evaluated in behavior and risk management and outdoor teaching techniques.
“We had a wonderful time here!”
“The kids got so much hands-on learning, had so much fun, and created such a wonderful little community together. This is definitely an experience they will look back on for years.”
– Parent chaperone
The Perfect Learning Environment
The outdoor environment of our 250-acre campus, such as the river, prairies, and forest, as well as indoor classrooms in our Discovery Center, are used for teaching lessons in science, adventure, natural history, cultural history, team building and more. Located in the ecologically-unique Driftless Area, we are home to an abundance of unique plants and wildlife, adding to the richness of students’ learning experience.
Lodging & Accommodations
Bunk comfortably in our climate-controlled lodging! Our 31-room, 248-bed, climate-controlled dormitory serves as the living quarters for students, chaperones, lead teachers, and other guests during their overnight trip to our Outdoor School. Each suite has private bathrooms and showers. Four rooms are fully handicapped-accessible. We also offer campus transportation for students with mobility impairments.
Food Service & Dining Hall
Enjoy meals in our full-service, cafeteria-style dining hall! Our menus are accommodating to dietary needs and feature scratch-made, local, and organic ingredients as much as possible. We also utilize multiple composting systems allowing us to compost food scraps from kitchen prep and guests’ plates.
We’re located in the beautiful Bluff Country of Lanesboro, Minnesota
Just 45 minutes southeast of Rochester and an hour west of La Crosse, Eagle Bluff is conveniently located for schools and groups from all over Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and northern Illinois.
Prepare for Your Trip
Teachers & Group Leaders
Here you’ll find planning resources: Overnight Planning Guide, Trip Planning Checklist, Medical Release Forms, Code of Conduct, Food Allergen Disclosure, and more.
Parents & Students
Parents, here you’ll find important information including pertinent forms, lodging & safety info, and more. Students, check here to learn about what to expect on your upcoming trip!
Chaperones are a vital part of your group’s trip to Eagle Bluff! Here you’ll find information on How to Be a Top-Notch Chaperone, Tips for Thriving During Your Chaperone Experience, and more.
Our campus gift shop is located in the dining hall and offers Eagle Bluff clothing and apparel, water bottles, plush wild animals, and many other nature and adventure-inspired items for purchase.
Rates & Trip Options
Discounts may be available on multi-day overnight programs to first-year groups! Inquire using the form below!
Two ways to visit the Outdoor School for the 2020-2021 school year:
Three Day, Two Night Program:
Four Day, Three Night Program:
Five Day, Four Night Program:
Day Use Trips
Youth group lunch rate is $7/person, or you may bring your own.
Included in the per person cost (students and chaperones) is all lodging & meals (for overnight trips), and educational programming.
We believe that everyone should have access to the outdoors. To inquire about potential funding assistance for your trip, please contact us.
Inquire about a trip
Fill out our inquiry form and our groups manager will get back to you with more information!
You may also call and talk with our groups scheduling manager at 507-467-2437.