Get Outside (and Learn): The Top Texas Outdoor Education Programs

Getting outside is important for a litany of reasons, regardless of how old you are. Research shows that people that engage with the outdoors on a regular basis aren’t only happier and healthier, but they’re also better learners, to boot.

So, naturally, it only makes sense that outdoor schools have been enjoying a strong second wind in popularity these past few years. And Texas, it seems, is swept-up in that gust.

Here are the best outdoor school programs currently holding strong in the Lone Star State:

The Outdoor School Education Program

Photo sourced from The Outdoor School Educational Program.

The Outdoor School Education Program is the perfect compliment (or complete substitution) to curriculums conducted in traditional classrooms. Meant to accommodate students who are in grades 4-12, their programs incorporate both academic and “adventure-based” tracts that all, for the most part, revolve around good ol’ Mother Nature.

Better yet, all courses are TEKS correlated and uniquely designed to foster students’ appreciation for how the outdoors plays a role in learning – in or outside a traditional classroom.

Camp Tyler

Photo sourced from Camp Tyler.

Perched alongside postcard-worthy Lake Tyler, Camp Tyler sits on 400 acres of forest, prairie, and meadow. Like all the best outdoor learning programs, Camp Tyler and clan believe that the outdoor learning experiences set in au naturale environments are as critical to a person’s education as the subject matter, themselves.

Classroom teachers and group leaders aim to individualize learning experiences as much as possible. Students can choose between multiple day and overnight stays to maximize the impact of your visit to Camp Tyler. The programs, too, focus on STAAR prep and are TEKS aligned—so you can rest easy knowing your tike, driving-age or not, will score higher on those state-implemented standardized tests.

Earth Native Wilderness School

Photo sourced from Earth Native Wilderness School.

Located in wild-and-weird Austin, Earth Native Wilderness School is an outdoor school that teaches young and old alike the skills and know-hows to fully embrace the woods (and more). They offer youth and adult courses, ranging in subjects from “Wilderness Survival” and “Bushcraft Skills” to “Wildlife Tracking” and “Native Plant Identification and Use.” Students can also opt to learn about indigenous skill sets and history, and even how to make an

Learn Indigenous skills like “Natural Clay Pottery,” “Natural Basketry,” “Traditional Bow and Arrow Making,” Flintknapping and so much more! For those, truly, looking for a no-frills, straightforward way to learn the ins-and-outs of the natural world around us, look no further.

Outward Bound Collective: Texas Big Bend Educator

Photo by Erin Mcleary, sourced from Outward Bound Big Bend.

Outward Bound Collective is one the most prolific outdoor programs in the nation—and their Texas Big Bend Educator is a favorite among many. Outdoorsmen (and women) who choose to embark on the educational odyssey, which spans over 50 days, can expect to learn all the tools and trick on how to master the Texas wilderness…and beyond. From the heart of Big Bend’s deserts and canyon landscapes to the Rio Grande’s water worlds, the course will surely expand your mastery of wilderness techniques.

Learn about canoeing, backpacking, rock climbing, rappelling and first aid, while simultaneously exploring group dynamics, experiential education theory and methods, and wilderness activity management. This course, also, encourages students to act as educators within their class, as well, helping peers who may be struggling; it’s all about teamwork.

5 of Our Favorite Hipcamps in Texas

Photo by Rachel Veale, at Crystal Mesa Campground, TX.

After sponging-up all that outdoor knowledge, consider checking out some of our favorite Hipcamps in the state.

Campsites are already being booked. Stay up to date on the latest outdoor hotspots in the Lone Star State by following Hipcamp on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

"We find ourselves, and our shared humanity, through stories." SF transplant, Starbucks gypsy. Outdoorsman by heart, barefoot by choice.

Recent Posts

A Note From Alyssa: Supporting Our Community During COVID-19

Dear Hipcamp community,  We, like many of you, are paying close and serious attention to COVID-19 and its widespread impact…

2 weeks ago

Coronavirus Prevention While Hosting and Hipcamping

The health and safety of our community is our top priority, and as such we have created guidelines for safer…

2 weeks ago

14 Live Wildlife Webcams Perfect for Getting Your Nature Fix at Home

Sometimes you need some outdoor immersion in a pinch. That’s why we’re bringing the outdoors to you with this list…

3 weeks ago

Is There Cell Service at Big Bend?

Yes, there is some spotty cell phone service in Big Bend National Park and the area around Big Bend, however…

3 weeks ago

3 Easy Campsites to Build in Less Than a Day and Start Earning Money

Hipcamp partners with landowners like you (who become Hipcamp Hosts) to list your property on our platform so that folks…

3 weeks ago

25 Hacks and Tips to Help You Earn Extra Income on Your Land

Hipcamp partners with landowners like you (who become Hipcamp Hosts) to list your property on our platform so that folks…

3 weeks ago