- a $15 donation covers the cost of a student participating in a Mystery Tour class where students venture into the surrounding community to discover the importance of seemingly commonplace things and reexamine their perceptions about people, places, and the past.
- a $25 donation provides for student classes such as Sensory Exploration of the Environment, Swamp Canoe, and Survival which take place in the field, forest, bay, beach, or swamp, and they provide opportunities for students to know the world of nature and science first hand.
- a $50 gift allows students to experience the Adventure Challenge course that features low and high elements and an Alpine Tower.
- a $100 contribution allows students to study and discover first-hand the wonders of Chesapeake Bay ecology on one of Outdoor School's historic wooden Chesapeake Bay work boats.
However, no gift is too great or too small!
Why is this important? The recent unrest in Baltimore has illustrated to us a continued unmet need for programs to address the frustration expressed by our inner city youth. Our goal, therefore, is to provide an outdoor adventure experience that stresses teamwork, individual achievement and success.
From 1995 to 2001, the Madeline Victoria Leckie School in Washington D.C. took it's 6th grade classes for a 3-day trip to Echo Hill Outdoor School. The intent was to have students live and learn closely with nature in a safe and supportive environment.
These trips were started by Hilda Taylor, a sixth grade teacher who knew the importance of exposing her students to environmental education while spendng time in nature. On 9/11 Ms. Taylor and her 11-year-old student, Bernard Brown were on the flight that crashed into the Pentagon. After that tragedy other M.V. Leckie teachers continued to bring their students and attend Echo Hill as long as they were able. Like many schools, funding for environmental education and outdoor programs was subsequently diverted to other areas.
M.V. Leckie was one of many Washington D.C. and Baltimore city schools that attended Echo Hill Outdoor School, sending thousands of students to three and four days of exposure to the forest, meadows, ponds, streams, swamps, marshes, beaches, fields, farms, towns, and the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. At Echo Hill they have the opportunity to feel challenged and successful with the freedom to think, question, and express themselves. Echo Hill Outdoor School’s mission is to provide students with positive experiences in the outdoors that are exciting, interesting, and fun. Through our programs, students learn more about the wonders of nature, the value of history, and the diversity of individual qualities.
Echo Hill is looking to raise $20,000 to cover the funding gap with these inner city schools and give them the opportunity to have students live and learn closely with nature. Direct experience out of doors stimulates and reinforces learning across many areas, and the use of the outdoors encourages young people to take greater responsibility for our environment and their own learning. The latest research shows that children who regularly experience the outdoors in a meaningful way are healthier and happier.
Echo Hill Outdoor School is a 501(c)(3) organization that is committed to continuing to provide environmental outdoor education opportunities for diverse student populations, keeping costs low and working with both public and private school groups. We have a strong case to make—and there has never been a more important time to make it. We can't solve all these challenges, but with your help we can continue to make a difference. If you have already contributed, please consider contributing again. Will you make an extra commitment?
For information about Echo Hill Outdoor School and our mission, please visit our website at www.ehos.org .