“That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it.” Isaiah 41:20
The natural world is an ideal classroom for students of all ages. Rain or shine, we offer outdoor classes that encompass a broad variety of topics related to the natural sciences. All of our classes are taught from a Biblical perspective and emphasize Christian principles that can be learned from the environment. These classes maintain a high standard of academic quality by adhering to the West Virginia Content Standards and Objectives for Science and N.A.A.E.E. Guidelines for Learning.
Hike Through History (Gr. K-6)
The thickly forested hills of Alpine were once the rolling fields of a dairy farm. On this hike, students will observe historical evidences of former settlers and gain insight into the ways of life long ago. Concepts of succession and environmental change will be experienced firsthand.
Appalachian Ridge Hike (Gr. 4-8)
On this rugged hike, students will journey through a variety of ecosystems, observing the diverse species that inhabit the steep slopes of West Virginia. This hike serves as an introduction to the learning experiences at Alpine Outdoor Education and covers a broad spectrum of natural science topics.
Glade Creek Hike (Gr. 5-12)
Encounter the beauty of the New River Gorge! As students travel 3-6 miles alongside breathtaking Glade Creek, they’ll explore a wide diversity of species unique to a wooded mountain stream. This long hike includes transportation and lunch. In warm weather, we may even take a dip in the best swimming hole in southern West Virginia.
Forest Floor Search (Gr. K-4)
How much life can be found on the ground we walk on every day? Students will discover the answer to this question and many more as they investigate the multitude of living and non-living elements that make up the forest floor. Discussions will focus on the importance of every creature on the forest floor.
Rotten Log Ecology (Gr. 4-8)
Is an old rotten tree stump good for anything? In this class, students will explore the hidden mysteries and complex processes within a decomposing log. Through the investigation, they will gain understanding of the importance of death and decay within a forest ecosystem.
Trees: The Heart of the Forest (Gr. 5-12)
Trees, the largest and most noticeable organisms of the forest, are an essential part of life as we know it. Through hands-on activities and observation, students will examine the structure, growth, and identification of trees, as well as their importance in forest ecology and human industry.
Incredible Invertebrates (Gr. K-4)
Within the forest community is a world of seen and unseen “creepy crawlies” called invertebrates. The relationships, behaviors, and characteristics of these creatures are essential to the life of an ecological community. In this class, students will look closely at the amazing world of these animals.
Reptiles and Amphibians (Gr. K-4)
What’s the difference between a salamander and a lizard? A frog and a pollywog? How do snakes move without legs? Students will answer these questions and many more as they discover the fascinating truth about reptiles and amphibians through fun games and firsthand encounters with live specimens.
Tracks and Other Critter Clues (Gr. K-8)
Who’s been here? In this class, students will investigate “critter crime scenes” to uncover the truth about tracks, scat, and other animal signs.
The Birds of the Air (Gr. 4-8)
In this class, students explore the incredible designs of several types of bird beaks, feet, and feathers that enable them to hunt, fly, and thrive in a variety of habitats. As students try their hand at building bird nests, they will gain a deeper appreciation for the innate skill of our fine feathered friends.
Exploring Animal Habitats (Gr. 4-8)
What creatures make their homes in the woods, fields, and forest edges? This interactive class will journey through a variety of animal homes and determine the specific habitat requirements of several woodland birds and mammals.
Nature Learning Games (Gr. K-12)
Students will learn concepts such as habitat, carrying capacity, animal characteristics, and ecological relationships through fun and interactive group games. These outdoor games will motivate students to learn in a fun and structured setting.
Animal Populations (Gr. 7-12)
How many bears can live in the forest? Through a role-playing activity, students learn the rise and fall of animal populations in a specific environment. Concepts of wildlife populations and bio-diversity are reinforced as students conduct an actual wildlife survey within a small habitat.
Pond Community (Gr. K-6)
The underwater habitat is home to many fascinating creatures that play an important part in our world. Students will collect and identify macroinvertebrates and other inhabitants of the pond community as they discover the relationships that make up an aquatic habitat. Life cycles of various invertebrates will be explored.
Stream Studies (Gr. 4-8)
Can anything survive in shallow, fast-moving waters? Even a small trickle can provide homes for a multitude of plants and animals. As students wade through Alpine’s streams in search of living things, they will discover truth about stream geology, hydrology, and ecological relationships within the unique environment of a stream and its banks.
Water, Air, Rocks, and Soil (Gr. 4-8)
The soil beneath our feet has a rich and diverse history. Students will get down and dirty as they build mountains, take apart soil, and play educational games. This class focuses on the components of soil and the roles of water and air in the breakdown of rocks and formation of soil. Concepts of chemical and mechanical weathering will be introduced.
Star Lab Planetarium (Gr. K-6)
See the stars in a whole new way with the Star Lab inflatable planetarium! This indoor classroom can seat up to 25 students and covers topics such as star navigation, constellation identification, and the wonders of the solar system.
Night Life Exploration (Gr. 4-8)
When the sun goes down, the forests come alive with animal activity. Through sensory activities, learning games, and observation, students will learn to feel comfortable in the darkness and understand what it means to be nocturnal.
Observing the Night Sky (Gr. 5-12)
The majesty of our Creator can clearly be seen in the immense universe that He has made. Students will gain a deeper appreciation for the magnitude of creation when they observe the clear night sky through a telescope. Major constellations, individual stars, planets, and other celestial objects will be identified.
Incredible Wild Edibles (Gr. 4-8)
Forget the grocery store— visit the forest for a variety of fantastic foods! In this class, students will discover the cultural history of foraging in West Virginia and learn the edible and medicinal uses for many plants and herbs commonly found in the wild. Depending on the season, we will even cook up some simple recipes using wild plants.
Papermaking (Gr. 4-8)
The average American uses nearly 700 lbs of paper every year, but few people really understand how that paper is made. After discussing the process and resources required to produce paper, students have the opportunity to make their own paper out of natural and recycled materials. We’ll also discover the paper-makers of the natural world: wasps.
Basic Compass (Gr. 7-12)
A compass always points in one direction and is a faithful guide to the student who knows how to use it. In this class, students will become familiar with compass usage and terminology and will gain the orienteering skills necessary to pace distances and follow bearings. Fun activities will reinforce the mathematic skills necessary for compass proficiency.
Map and Compass Skills (Gr. 9-12)
Orienteering is the skill of using a map and compass to find your way from one location to another. Students will learn how to orient a map, interpret a map legend, understand topographical markings on a map, and use a compass to plot the best path through a multi-stage orienteering course.
Rocketry (Gr. 5-12)
Students will experiment with several kinds of rockets as they learn the science and math involved in rocket science and the principles of flight. Each student will get to build a rocket out of household materials and then launch it sky-high! Fun, hands-on activities reinforce quality instruction. Your class is sure to have a blast!
Canoeing I (Gr. 2-8)
Can you canoe? After learning the basics of paddle strokes, waterfront safety, and the parts of a canoe, your class will feel confident to test out their skills in tandem canoes as they paddle around Alpine Lake. Leadership and “follower-ship” are emphasized as partners work together to navigate their canoe. Be prepared to get wet!
Canoeing II (Gr. 6-12)
Venture into deeper waters in Canoeing 2! In this class, students canoe 1-2 miles on the quiet waters of nearby Plum Orchard Lake. Canoeing skills will be developed and canoe rescue techniques are introduced. Previous canoeing experience is preferred, but not required. Be prepared to get soaked!
Geocaching (Gr. 7-12)
Geocaching is an intriguing new outdoor pursuit that combines the innovative technology of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) with the adventure of treasure hunting. In this class, students will learn the basics of GPS technology and then put their knowledge in action as they search for the hidden geocache on Alpine’s property.
Survival Basics (Gr. 7-12)
If you were stranded in the backcountry without modern resources, would you have what it takes to survive? Students will learn the basics of wilderness survival as they build fires, identify water and food sources and construct a shelter out of natural materials.
Team Building (Gr. 4-12)
Challenge and risk are effective teachers of life skills and social development. Physically and mentally challenging activities will encourage students to make decisions, solve problems, think creatively, communicate, build trust, resolve conflict, and have fun! The primary focus of these activities is to build teamwork and healthy relationships.
Adventure Swing (Gr. 4-12)
Fly through the air as classmates pull you up our 40’ adventure swing. An unforgettable experience!
Indoor Climbing Wall (Gr. K-12)
Our indoor climbing wall offers four levels of challenge for climbers of all ages!
Zip Line (Gr. 4-12)
Students will enjoy a bird’s eye view as they whizz down our exciting Zip Line, finishing with a splash in the Alpine Lake. Be prepared to get wet!
40' Climbing Tower (Gr. 4-12)
Students will push themselves to the limit on our exciting outdoor climbing tower. This activity helps students face their fears and put faith into action in a controlled environment. Climb one or all three of the rock walls—each one presents a different challenge!
High Ropes Course (Gr. 7-12, or age 12+)
Take the adventure to a higher level! Students will experience problem solving, teamwork and trust as they journey across elements 20’ to 40’ off the ground. Certified facilitators help create an environment of challenge that encourages students to move out of their comfort zones into new levels of learning and growth.