Experiential Learning Trips for K-12 Schools & Groups (Outdoor School)
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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.
Funding Assistance for Overnight School Trips
Eagle Bluff may be able to provide qualifying schools with up to 65% off their overnight school trip. The size of the discount is dependent on the number of students who qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch. Dates and discounts are available on a first-come, first-served basis. To inquire about funding assistance for an overnight school trip please click here.
Discounts are provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR). The Trust Fund is a permanent fund constitutionally established by the citizens of Minnesota to assist in the protection, conservation, preservation, and enhancement of the state’s air, water, land, fish, wildlife, and other natural resources. Currently 40% of net Minnesota State Lottery proceeds are dedicated to growing the Trust Fund and ensuring future benefits for Minnesota’s environment and natural resources. The goal of these discounts is to allow a minimum of 20,000 students in underserved communities to attend one of Minnesota’s five residential environmental learning centers, including Eagle Bluff.
Through our accredited Outdoor School programming, we provide students with hands-on, transformative experiences that aim to:
- 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
☑ Inquiry-based learning
☑ Classes almost all outdoors
☑ Aligned with state standards
☑ Cognia accredited
☑ STEM-connected w/ IB profiles
☑ Adventure & challenge activities
☑ Custom curriculum based on group
View a typical daily schedule for an overnight trip:
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
Our Campus & Facilities
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.
☑ Hundreds of acres of wilderness
☑ Captive wildlife onsite
☑ Dormitory-style lodging
☑ Cafeteria-style dining hall
☑ Food waste reduction practices
☑ Adventure & challenge courses
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. Guests participate in our FoodWISE program to learn about minimizing food waste. We also utilize multiple composting systems allowing us to compost food scraps from kitchen prep and guests’ plates.
Recreation, Challenge, & Adventure!
Campus recreation and adventure experiences include: high ropes courses, low-ropes courses, rock climbing wall, archery ranges, orienteering course, hiking trails, geocaching, a re-created 1860’s settler cabin, a replica Oneota dwelling site, gift shop and more!
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 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!
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.
(2022-2023 school year)
Three Day, Two Night Program: $140/person
Four Day, Three Night Program: $190/person
Five Day, Four Night Program:
(2023-2024 school year)
Three Day, Two Night Program: $150/person
Four Day, Three Night Program: $204/person
Five Day, Four Night Program:
Day Use Trips
Youth group lunch rate is $7/person (as available), or bring your own.
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.