PARKWAY SIXTH-GRADE OUTDOOR SCHOOL PROGRAM
“Planting seeds and growing minds for a healthier world”
June 30, 2012
Dear Sixth-Grade Parent,
Your child is in for a memorable, meaningful, educational experience this upcoming year in Parkway.
Each year, the sixth grade students get to experience learning in a whole new world as the teachers move the
classroom into the outdoors at Camp Lakewood. Camp Lakewood, part of the YMCA of the Ozarks (near
Potosi, Missouri), has been the site of the Parkway Outdoor School program for over 40 years. It is considered
a model program for environmental experiential education throughout the United States and has served over
60,000 Parkway sixth graders since it began in the fall of 1970. Many students find Outdoor School to be one of
the “highlights” of their Parkway School experience.
Parkway teachers and the YMCA staff work together to create an educational program that gives students a
better understanding of how the natural world works, furthers their knowledge of curriculum content through
hands-on activities, and builds the school community by building relationships. Outdoor School enhances
student learning, shapes the sense of community in the school, and increases individual confidence. Our
essential hope is that our students will experience the wonders of our natural world, develop an appreciation for
nature, and see the value of their contributions to a healthy environment.
The Outdoor School experience is a five-day, four-night field trip. Your child will attend Outdoor School with
his/her middle school team either during the fall semester (August – November) or spring semester (February –
May). The students will be transported to Camp Lakewood on Parkway buses and will be supervised by
Parkway teachers and trained high school students who serve as small group leaders. Each cabin group
(8-10 students) will have a teacher and high school student specifically assigned to help ensure your child’s
personal welfare and educational experience are maximized. A certified nurse will also be on-site 24 hours a
day throughout the week to tend to your child’s medical needs.
While at Camp Lakewood, students are involved in a prescribed curriculum of science-based field lessons and
special outdoor education activities, along with the individual responsibilities and tasks of daily living. Program
activities are selected to meet the following criteria:
1. Lessons from all subject areas or disciplines are included;
2. A majority of activities are conducted out-of-doors using topography, local pastures, and site facilities;
3. An environmental theme is emphasized throughout all lessons and activities.
The Parkway School District and the sixth grade families share the costs of the Outdoor School program.
The program participation fee ($280) is assessed per student, which covers the cost of lodging (4 nights),
meals (12), transportation, and other program expenses. A payment plan can be requested and a scholarship
program is also available for families with financial hardships (see team director at school for application).
You will be receiving more information about your child’s week at Camp Lakewood and cost information from
the staff at your middle school. Please feel free to contact me if I may be of additional service. I extend best
wishes to you and your child for an exciting new year in middle school and particularly for an enriching Outdoor
To learn more about the Parkway
Outdoor School program
visit our website at:
Ron Ramspott www.pkwy.k12.mo.us/outdoorschool
Parkway Outdoor School Program Coordinator
12657 Fee Fee Road
Creve Coeur, MO 63146
95% of Parkway 6th graders attend Outdoor School each year.
On the 2011-12 program parent survey:
96% of parents indicated that their child was satisfied or very satisfied with
their experience at Outdoor School.
95% of parents indicated that they were satisfied or very satisfied with the
Outdoor School program.
78% of parents indicated that the student fee was a reasonable value for
their child’s experience.
96% of parents indicated that the Outdoor School program provided a
unique educational opportunity for their child.
96% of parents felt their child was safe at Outdoor School.
86% of parents felt the program accommodated and supported children
with special needs.
Comments from parents:
“It was the biggest event of the year for my daughter. She loves the outdoors.”
“My daughter absolutely loved it. I have never heard her say anything negative about the experience. It was
a wonderful way for her to get to know new classmates and faculty while learning!!”
“LOVE IT! Great opportunity for every child to learn about nature and become a friend to new students and
learn that "they can do it" without their parents.”
“I think the outdoor school program is a great experience / benefit that has been around for a long time.
I still remember my 6th grade trip from the 70's. It is something I will always remember,
I hope it continues for years to come.”
Outdoor School Photos
Science-based Learning Experiences Teambuilding Opportunities Developing Outdoor Skills
PARKWAY OUTDOOR SCHOOL
Week # School From To
1 West Middle (Red Team) Aug. 27. Aug. 31
2 Central Middle (6-3 Team) Sept. 10 Sept. 14
3 South Middle (Red Team) Sept. 17 Sept. 21
4 Southwest Middle (Explorers Team) Oct. 1 Oct. 5
5 Central Middle (6-2 Team) Oct. 8 Oct. 12
6 Southwest Middle (Navigators Team) Oct. 15 Oct. 19
7 South Middle (Blue Team) Oct. 22 Oct. 26
8 Central Middle (6-4 Team) Nov. 5 Nov. 9
9 Northeast Middle (Red Team) Nov. 12 Nov. 16
10 West Middle (Blue Team) Nov. 26 Nov. 30
11 Northeast Middle (Silver Team) Feb. 25 Mar. 1
12 Northeast Middle (Purple Team) Mar. 4 Mar. 8
13 West Middle (White Team) Apr. 15 Apr. 19
Visit the Outdoor School website: