UACES Facebook Arkansas Outdoor School

 Arkansas Outdoor School art

University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Research and Extension logo and 4-H Clover.

Engaging classes combine an outdoor setting with hands-on, experiential activities to captivate students' interest and provide a peak learning experience.

Canoeing classThe students had a wonderful time.  They all stated it was 'The best field trip ever!'     Our parents were just as impressed....organized, fun and active field trip!  GREAT!!!!”                                                                                                    Teacher Quote from 2018

Our programs enhance and supplement classroom learning and are linked to the Arkansas state standards.

It is our hope students will leave empowered to positively impact their schools and communities with the skills and knowledge they have gained by participating in AOS programs.

We offer both day and overnight programs. A typical group chooses 3 to 6 classes from our AOS Class Options, depending on arrival and departure time.

Choose from our list of exciting AOS Class Options. Each focuses on a specific outdoor education topic. Classes typically have a 1.5 hour time allotment.

All classes are taught implementing the 4-H Youth Development Life Skills. Topics can be delved into further by connecting students to a local 4-H program in their county, through the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service Office.

Outdoor Skills:

  • Archery

    This class teaches the fundamentals of archery. Archery is a tool to develop concentration skills and responsibility.

    Boy places arrow in compound bow.

  • Orienteering

    Participants in this class learn how to navigate using a compass on our orienteering course. 

    Girl holding Compass used in orienteering.

  • Fishing

    We have a six acre, stocked lake for participants to try their hand at basic fishing. We discuss species of freshwater fish in Arkansas and fishing practices. The value of patience comes to life.

    Boy holding fish near lake.

  • Principles of Survival

    Learn basic survival skills - participants will make decisions on items to bring and work as a team to build shelters.

    Youth posing near their outdoor survival shelter.

  • Nature Photography

    Using Kodak's Tips for a Great picture we work to bring photography skills to life. Students are given new skills followed by an opportunity to practice in nature.

    Girl taking pictures of a stream.

  • Camping 101

    Participants will learn how to choose a campsite, learn fire starting skills and the basics of camping equipment.

  • Outdoor Cooking

    Students will learn pointers on safely preparing foods outdoors while cooking a snack for the group.  They will learn how to build a camp fires along with important safety tips. This class can be offered in a longer session to cover the principles of Dutch Oven Cooking along with more complex recipes.

    Dutch oven cooking.


Team Building:

  • Team Challenge

    This class offers your group an opportunity to develop team building skills and work together to solve problems, communicate effectively, and achieve goals. The active challenges will give participants a chance to use leadership skills while working together as a team.

    Team standing on a tarp and working together to turn it over.

  • Canoeing

    Students will learn the fundamentals of canoeing on our 6 acre lake. Communication, management, working together, and effort are essential for the teams as they work together to navigate their canoes.

    Youth canoeing on lake.

  • Rock Climbing

    Our 20 foot, indoor climbing wall is an exciting way to learn responsibility, perseverance, and encouragement. Students will have the chance to set their own personal goal while their team provides belay support.

    Girls rock climbing.


Experiential Science/Technology/History:


  • Arkansas Wildlife

    Students will have the opportunity to learn about native species. Their learning experience will be enhanced by exploring pelts, skulls, tracks and interacting with live animals.

    Students petting and alligator in Arkansas Wildlife class.

  • Discovery Hike

    The 4-H Center offers several beautiful trails for a class to discover. An Arkansas Outdoor School instructor will be your guide to encourage discovery and interpret nature along the way.  Learn to identify poison ivy, multiple tree species and signs of animal presence.

    Youth hiking through woods.

  • Arkansas Pioneers

    Learn the history of some of Arkansas's first explorers and how they survived.  Students will try their hand at making Candles over a campfire, play frontier era games, and spend time in our pioneer log cabin.

    interior of arkansas outdoor school cabin

  • Water Ecology

    Participants work as a team to determine the health of a local stream.  They identify "indicator" organisms which help give an understanding of the stream's ecosystem.

    Youth looking for macro-invertebrates.

  • Predator/Prey

    AOS offers several educational and fun activities to teach the predator/prey relationships in Arkansas. Age appropriate versions teach the elements of a habitat and limiting factors.

  • Fish Anatomy

    There's nothing like dissections for a hands-on learning experience! Participants will work as a team to learn basic external and internal fish anatomy. (Availability can vary, depending on group size and schedule.)

  • Astronomy

    Inside our planetarium students are introduced to constellations in our night sky. They will learn to use their own star finder to continue the learning past their AOS experience.

    Class in astronomy lab.

  • Create-a-Creature

    By constructing their own creature out of recycled materials students begin to grasp the concept of adaptations. This class will give students an opportunity to be creative and build from their imagination.

  • Map Reading

    Students learn the basics of reading topography maps and navigation.  Advanced class options include learning UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator) or using a GPS to find coordinates.

    Youth working together to determine routes on topography map.

  • GPS Technology

    Students will leave with a better understanding of GPS technology as they work together to find caches or complete challenges.

  • Arkansas Geology

    Students will explore the six natural divisions of Arkansas along with the basics of rock formations and how the geologic characteristics affect flora, fauna and soil types. Experiments and activities will be conducted to help the students retain the geology formations.

  • Birding Skills

    Field guides, field marks, bird sounds, and flight patterns - learn the basics of bird identification and use binoculars to find birds on a trail.

    Students using binoculars for birding.

  • Investigating Insects

    Go on a hike and investigate the clues of the insect life cycles. Students will use magnifying glasses and learn some basics of collecting insects and data.

  • Water Cycle

    Students can learn about the water cycle through experiential group activities. 

  • Forest Ecology

    Students will leave with a better understanding of Arkansas forests and how to identify specific trees.

 Come for a day or stay overnight. We'll even come to you! 

Enjoy an experience full of hands-on learning and fun.

Hills at the Arkansas 4-H Center framed by blooms on a buckeye tree.

Give your students a fun and educational experience with their classmates that will be a highlight of their school year.

Once you've decided on a time frame choose the classes that best fit your group's needs.  Each class is designed to last 1.5-hours.

Research shows that the longer the educational program, the more impact it will have on students

  • Day Program Schedule - Typical
    • 9:30-10:00 Program Orientation
    • 10:00-11:30 Class #1
    • 11:30-12:00 Lunch
    • 2:00-1:30 Class #2
    • 1:30-3:00 Class #3
    • 3:00-3:15 Program Closing

                       *Times can be adjusted to better fit your schedule.

  • Overnight School Programs - Typical

    Day 1

    • 10:30-11:30 Arrival and Orientation
    • 11:30-12:00 Lunch
    • 12:00-1:30 Class #1
    • 1:30-3:00 Class #2
    • 3:00-3:20 Break/Snack
    • 3:20-4:50 Class #3
    • 4:50-5:00 Evening Orientation
    • 5:00-5:30 Check into Rooms
    • 5:30-6:15 Dinner 6:15- Evening Option* (Camp fire, skits, movie, group games, etc.)

    Day 2

    • 8:00-8:30 Breakfast
    • 8:30-10:00 Class #4
    • 10:00-11:30 Class #5
    • 11:30-12:00 Lunch
    • 12:00-1:30 Class #6
    • 1:30-2:00 Program Closing

                         *Times can be adjusted to better fit your schedule.


Adult Programs

Are you looking to step outside of the office and into the outdoors? The natural world is not just for children to enjoy.  Do you want to see if you still have the archery skills you acquired years ago at camp?

Come and participate in outdoor activities for any age with supervised by our professional instructors. Contact us and we can design a program to fit your group's needs.

  • Activities
    • Archery  Beginning or intermediate (Compound)
    • Canoeing
    • Discovering Hike
    • Basic Fishing
    • Climbing Tower
    • Nature Photography
  • Program Cost

    Program fees are dependent on the number of participants, programs, meals, chaperones, and facilities used.  Call 501-821-6884 for a specific quote.  

    Day Program:

    A typical youth day program, with up to 3 activities and lunch, is $25.00 per youth and $16 per adult.

    The minimum fee for education programs is $325.

    Saturday Program:

    A Saturday with up to 5 activities and lunch, is $28.50 per youth and $16 per adult.

    The minimum fee for education programs is $325.

    Overnight Program:

    A typical youth overnight program with 6 classes, four meals, and lodging, is $95 per youth and $70 for adults.  Small groups will be charged for a minimum of at least 12 participants.

    Offsite Program:

    Offsite youth program fees are $15 per participant (up to 4 activities).*

    *Additional fees for mileage and lodging may apply to distant locations.

    Adult Program:

    Call for Adult Program pricing.  We can come to you.

    501-821-6884 or Email (


 501-821-6884 - - Directions to 4-H Center 

Other 4-H Center Programs:



Our ExCEL program offers experiential team building programs ranging from a few hours to a few days.
Programs are customized for your group's specific needs. We offer ground based team building initiatives, low ropes course elements, outdoor climbing tower and giants ladder with team belay, static high ropes course with 23 elements including a 300ft zip line. Onsite and offsite programs.

Learn more about ExCEL.
girl doing DNA extraction on plants


SEEK is a science enrichment program for home-schooled students in Arkansas.  Students attend classes one day per week for 12 weeks and leave the program with over 60 hours of lessons and labs.  Lessons include dissections, life science, geology, and more!

Learn more about SEEK.
Day camp art work

Day Camp

The Arkansas Outdoor School is proud to offer the AOS Summer Day Camp for 7-15 year olds.  Each day camp session has be tailored to give campers a chance to get out and explore, discover and learn about the world around them and have fun in the process. All camp activities place an emphasis on team work, self esteem, communication and cooperation.

 Learn more about Day Camp.
Young boy in pool with goggles on his head.

4-H Overnight Camps

The Arkansas 4-H Camping Program offers camping and training opportunities for youth 5-19 years old and adults. Our overnight camps take place at the C. A. Vines Arkansas 4-H Center 10 miles west of Little Rock.  Canoeing, swimming, archery, fishing, rock wall climbing, high ropes challenge course, and off-site backpacking/canoeing adventures are just some of the exciting possibilities.

Learn more about 4-H Camps.