Laurel Highlands Outdoor School

LHOS snake show

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Laurel Highlands Outdoor School

LHOS – Parent Information

The information below is designed to help the parent understand and appreciate what a resident outdoor education experience means to your child. 
What is Outdoor Education?

Outdoor education is as old as education itself. It is a method whereby our natural environment is used as a laboratory. This method of teaching and learning offers many more opportunities for the child to become directly involved in various areas of study. This involvement leads to many direct experiences in all curricular areas. Direct experiences offer the child the chance to fully understand the learning material rather than just learning “about” it.

Where will the Outdoor School Program be held?
The facilities of the Jumonville Retreat Center, about six miles east of Uniontown, will be utilized. There are several reasons for utilizing the Jumonville facilities. It is first and foremost historically significant in the development of the Fayette County area. The Center has comfortable and clean accommodations which includes heated rooms, and shower and bathroom facilities in each room. There is a library on site which can be utilized for related research and reference work. Buildings are available which can be used for classrooms in the event of inclement weather. The grounds also include a number of nature trails which offer opportunities for first-hand experiences.
Who will be on the staff of the Outdoor School?

Mr. Bob Walters will coordinate the program. Teachers from the four elementary schools will accompany their students to the Outdoor School. Specialists in fields related to environmental studies will participate by providing special programs for students throughout the week.

Will the children be supervised at all times?

Every activity at the Outdoor School will be supervised by adults. Outdoor School staff members will be on duty 24 hours a day. Each student will receive competent adult supervision and guidance in the many experiences that he/she will have and in the responsibilities that he/she will assume. This supervision will be provided by the teachers attending the Outdoor School and college students from the elementary education department of California University of Pennsylvania.

What is the mailing address?

Camper Name LHOS Jumonville 887 Jumonville Rd. Hopwood, PA 15445

What is the telephone number?

724-439-4912

What if I need to call in the evening after the office is closed?

During the week your child attends the Outdoor School, you may have need to call us in order to convey some important information through us to your child. Please be advised that, when you call Jumonville during the daytime, you will be talking to the Jumonville staff who will then convey the information to us. They answer their business phone between 8:00 A.M. to approximately 5:00 P.M. at 439-4912. However, after 5:00 P.M., they have asked that emergency calls be made to a beeper which a member of the Outdoor School staff will be manning. Upon receipt of the call, and as soon as we can reach a telephone, we will return your call in order to get the emergency information. The beeper number is (412) 649-1435 {This is not a toll call}. We ask that parents please refrain from calling Jumonville just to see how their child is doing. We have approximately 150 children at Jumonville, and for the greater part of the day, they are at activities which are far removed from a telephone. If a child gets sick or homesick, we try to contact parents for advice and information as to how to provide the best care for the child. If the medic or parent feels the child is too ill to remain at Jumonville, we will make arrangements for the parent to pick up the child so that he or she can receive the appropriate care at home. We thank you for your consideration in this matter.

What will your child be doing at the Outdoor School?

The child will first and foremost engage in a variety of learning experiences including taking nature hikes, studying animals and plants in nature, and so on. The child will be expected to assume certain responsibilities such as making his/her own bed, helping to keep his/her room clean, and helping to set his/her table. There will also be campfires, camp songs, new friends, and new experiences to share.

How will I know what to send with my child?

In April, each child will be given a list of clothing and other essentials that he/she will need while at camp. This list will also show the items that should not be brought. That list can also be found by clicking here.

What is the procedure if a child must leave the Outdoor School?

Each child who must leave camp for reasons such as illness, family needs, baseball games or practices, dancing rehearsals, and the like must be signed out by the parent or guardian, or by a responsible adult designated by the child’s parents or guardians.

What if I have additional questions?

A meeting will be held for parents at a site and time to be announced at a later date. Parents will be notified of that correct time and date in a separate informational letter. Many of your questions will be answered at that time. A question-and-answer period will follow the meeting. Additional information will be sent to you in the next few weeks and months. If there remain any unanswered questions, please call your building principal or the coordinators of the program.

How can I help make this experience more meaningful for my child?
  1. Mail your child one or two cheery letters ahead of time in order for the letters to arrive at Jumonville during the time your child will be attending.
  2. Be at school (on Wednesday or Friday) to welcome your child back.
  3. Encourage your child upon his/her return home to talk about the experiences he/she has had.
What is a typical day’s schedule?

7:15 Rise and Shine 8:10 Flag Salute 8:15 Breakfast 9:00 Morning Activity Periods 1:15 Afternoon Activity Periods 3:30 Special Program Period 5:00 Clean Up 5:15 Dinner 6:15 Log Time 6:30 Evening Activities and Programs 9:30 Evening Snack 10:00 Prepare for Bed 10:30 Lights Out