A Bird in the Hand is Worth a Lifetime of Memories...
- Fosters a sense of respect, stewardship and community: live and learn with peers and teachers.
- Imparts life skills such as teamwork and problem solving: face challenges and find success together.
- Increases environmental & academic literacy: dive into accredited curriculum aligned to state standards and STEM principles.
- Promotes positive outdoor experiences: experience the outdoors with an enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff.
- Sparks curiosity and appreciation for the natural world: see the Big Dipper, hear toads at the pond, or hold a bird in your hand.
- Our Teaching Methods >
Every Eagle Bluff instructor is a professional educator and has earned a bachelor's degree or greater in an educational or environmental field. Our educators learn every student by name and use leading-edge techniques to facilitate positive and effective outdoor learning experiences. These methods include:
Engage Directly With Nature
Most youth have few opportunities to explore nature, and don’t know how to be in nature without becoming bored. If taught how to interact with and explore the natural world (not just taught about it), students leave excited to seek out time in nature. If students develop tools for directly engaging with nature, then instructors can step aside, guiding only as necessary. Direct observation of organisms and phenomena is a profoundly moving, even transformative experience, and one that is not often accessible in classrooms. When students look closely at a part of the natural world–like a leaf or a salamander–then ask questions or form explanations from their observations, they fall a little in love with it. They cultivate a relationship with and deeper understanding of the natural world. These experiences are essential building blocks of environmental literacy.
Think Like a Scientist
When students make careful observations, ask questions, attempt to explain mysteries in nature, and understand the importance of evidence, their wonder and curiosity explodes. An emphasis on developing scientific habits of mind and reasoning skills helps students do science, leads them to better understand science, helps them become critical consumers of information, and deepens their relationship to the natural world. When instructors model science language and students use it to share observations and ideas, students build academic language and disciplinary literacy.
Much learning takes place when students make sense of experiences by putting their ideas into words and comparing their ideas to those of others. To be truly effective, educational experiences need to be rich with intentional opportunities for student discourse. When students engage in discussions that build on prior knowledge, encourage divergent thinking, and challenge the strength of their evidence, they actively deepen their conceptual understanding of complex ideas. In discussion, students practice clarifying their thinking, communicating ideas effectively, and asking productive questions. They learn to think critically and creatively. Discussion validates students’ contributions to their own learning. To an instructor, student talk and discussion can be a window into students’ brains, providing a view of their prior knowledge and current understanding. Instructors who lead productive discussions use broad questions, cultivate a safe space for sharing ideas, focus on interesting topics, and respond non-judgmentally to students’ ideas. Most of all, they’re genuinely interested in how students are putting ideas together to make sense of their experiences.
The learning cycle is an effective, flexible, transformative, and widely used model for designing instruction that’s based on how people learn. It can be used to improve any lesson or program. This practical and memorable model helps instructors design educational experiences consistent with what we know about how people learn. The learning cycle includes five phases: invitation, exploration, concept invention, application, and reflection.
- Explore Our Curriculum >
Hands-on. Applied. Engaging. Outdoors. There are LOTS of words to describe our classes. Our curriculum >
You'll also practice hands-on conservation efforts through the Eagle Eye Resource and FoodWISE Conservation Challenges while staying in the dorm and eating in the dining hall. The FoodWISE program >
- Check Out Our Campus >
Eagle Bluff is situated on over 200 acres of restored prairie and mixed hardwood forest and surrounded by nearly 1,000 acres of state forest land. Our campus overlooks the Root River Valley and boasts modern facilities including climate controlled buildings. All to provide a comfortable and inspiring setting!
- Connect to Your Classroom >
Weave environmental education into your own classroom as well as bookend your residential ELC experience with pre-designed, integrated activities. Earn a stipend for using them too by registering for the TeachingWEB.
- Rates & Scholarships >
2016-2017 & 2017-2018
Included in the per person cost is all lodging, meals, and Eagle Bluff educational programming.
*25% discount on multi-day overnight programs to 1st-year schools.*
Three Day, Two Night Program: $116 /person
Four Day, Three Night Program: $160 /person
Five Day, Four Night Program: $200 /person
Day Trip: $20 for ½ day, $30 for full day, Lunch $6 or may bring your own.
- Scheduling Steps >
Once you are ready to schedule a trip to Eagle Bluff, the exciting planning begins! Our K-12 Coordinators work closely with you to guide you through the planning process and provide you with all the materials and tools you will need to plan a fabulous experience for your students!
› Step One: Request a Date for your Trip
Find a date that works for your school and will fit into Eagle Bluff's schedule. Request a date below and our scheduling coordinator will contact to discuss your options.
› Step Two: Reserve your dates
After dates have been determined, you will be sent and asked to fill out a Reservation Contract to secure those dates for your group.
› Step Three: Visit and Review the Trip Leaders Page
This is where you will find the tools you need to help plan your trip, including planning forms and special documents. Visit the Trip Leaders Page »