Volcano Outdoor School For All

In order to make the volcano accessible to ALL youth from around the region, Volcano Outdoor School for All provides reduced-rate and fee-waived programs for schools and youth groups that qualify. Additionally, we offer a limited number of transportation subsidies for qualifying schools. Volcano Outdoor School for All is only possible through the support of our generous supporters, donors and members.

Each school/group is evaluated individually, based on the needs of the group.

HOW IT WORKS

APPLICATION

AWARD RECIPIENTS


How it Works

General Information about Volcano Outdoor School for All

  • Funds are limited and will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • You must submit your application at least 6 weeks prior to your intended visit. Earlier is better.
  • Field trips are available mid-April through October. Inquire about winter adventure field trips.
  • Applying for fee-reduced, fee-waived or transportation assistance does not schedule your trip. You will be notified on how to register if you are selected.
  • If selected, your school or group must submit a final invoice from a charter transportation company or your school/organization within 60 days of your visits to receive a transportation reimbursement.
  • If you have any questions please email learn@mshinstitute.org

Eligibility

  • Location: Some funding is unrestricted for location though we focus our support to schools and groups in our surrounding communities and the Portland/Vancouver metro area. A subset of funding is set aside specifically for youth-serving groups and public schools in Cowlitz and Clark counties.
  • Age: Some of our funding is unrestricted for age; although some of our funding is specifically for 4th grade youth.
  • Public schools must show at minimum 50% of students receiving free and reduced-price meals.
  • Youth-serving groups must show non-profit status (IRS determination letter) and provide a statement as part of the application which includes a description of the youth audience and how visiting Mount St. Helens will benefit youth.  
  • Volcano Outdoor School for All is designed to support under-represented communities in the outdoors and in STEM fields, youth-at-risk, low income youth, 4th graders and schools serving youth from low-income families.

Fee-waivers

  • The Mount St. Helens Institute has secured funding to offset program fees for selected youth groups.
  • All scholarship recipients are required to participate in a Mount St. Helens Institute program, but if time allows may also visit the Mount St. Helens Visitor Center and/or the Johnston Ridge Observatory.
  • Volcano Outdoor School fee-waivers are available for day trips to eligible groups. See Day Trip details
  • A limited number of fee-waivers are also available for overnight trips to eligible groups. See Overnight Trip details.

Transportation Assistance

  • The Mount St. Helens Institute secured a limited amount of funding to provide transportation reimbursements to eligible groups.
  • Eligible and selected schools/groups will be reimbursed at a rate of up to $8/person and/or up to $400/vehicle.

Application

To apply, please submit an online application for a field trip in the 2018 calendar year.  Please allow two weeks for your application to be processed. If selected, the Mount St. Helens Institute will send you information regarding registration and field trip planning.

APPLY NOW

Criteria for Selection

  • Youth audience
  • Purpose of visit
  • Field trip connection to classroom program objectives
  • Youth age
  • Youth group or school locations

Award Recipients

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM THE MOUNT ST. HELENS INSTITUTE

  • Coordinator planning guide
  • Field trip itinerary
  • Chaperone expectations
  • Pre-trip phone meeting to review field trip details
  • Pre-trip lesson materials
  • Hands on learning lessons at Mount St. Helens
  • Post-trip lesson materials
  • Financial assistance as determined in the application process

EXPECTATIONS OF TEACHER OR GROUP ORGANIZER

  • Complete registration materials for each site you intend to visit.
  • Recruit youth to the anticipated attendance listed in the application.
  • Recruit chaperones and share chaperone expectations (to the ratio of 1 adult per 10 youth).
  • Hold at least one phone meeting with the Mount St. Helens Institute to review field trip details.
  • Collect participant waivers. We may ask you to provide a roster for overnight trips or for large groups.
  • Organize students/youth into groups as advised by the Mount St. Helens Institute.
  • Complete the post-program survey.
  • If selected for transportation funding: follow up with the school/organization administration to submit transportation invoice to the Mount St. Helens Institute.

ACTIVITIES & LESSONS

The Mount St. Helens Institute will determine activities based on the time your group is available on the mountain and the learning objectives listed in your registration. Click HERE to view our 2018 Volcano Outdoor School Activity Guide.

Sites & Locations

VIEW ALL SITES

Science & Learning Center at Coldwater
  • The Mount St. Helens Institute’s base camp for education programs
  • Approximately 2 hours from Vancouver, WA
  • Google Maps
Hummocks Trail
  • A lovely 2.5 mile loop hike through landslide deposits, now teeming with life
  • Approximately 2 hours from Vancouver, WA
  • Google Maps
Coldwater Lake
  • A lake formed as a result of the 1980 eruption
  • Short loop hike
  • Approximately 2 hours from Vancouver, WA
  • Google Maps
Johnston Ridge Observatory Visitor Center
  • The stunning visitor center, operated by the US Forest Service, is at the end of the Hwy 504.
  • Fantastic view of the volcano, films and exhibits
  • Approximately 2.5 hours from Vancouver, WA
  • Google Maps
  • If you are also planning on visiting Johnston Ridge Observatory Visitor Center during your trip, please register your group at Teacher's Corner. Registration is free but required.
Mount St. Helens Visitor Center at Silver Lake
  • Nestled along Silver Lake, this visitor center operated by WA State Parks shares the stories of people and a long history of Mount St. Helens.
  • Approximately 1 hour from Vancouver, WA
  • Google Maps
  • If you are also planning on visiting Mount St. Helens Visitor Center during your trip, please register your group at Teacher's Corner. Registration is free but required.
Ape Cave
  • A lava tube formed approximately 2000 years ago
  • Short hikes available
  • Approximately 1.5 hours from Vancouver, WA
  • Google Maps
  • If you are also planning on visiting Ape Cave during your trip, please register your group at Teacher's Corner. Registration is free but required.

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