EDUCATIONAL FIELD TRIPS
Since 1967 we have offered quality residential and day programs for school groups. We are dedicated to sharing outdoor experiential learning with today’s children who face social-emotional and ecological challenges and will shape the future of our planet. We provide content that is truly aligned with learning standards, go the extra mile to support curriculum needs of schools, and take great pride in engaging young people online and in-person in inquiry-based adventures and investigations of the natural world, history and the arts. Ashokan memories last a lifetime!
Environmental Science Programs
Our traditional environmental science classes have been redesigned into a variety of student investigations of our pond, creek, and forest to inspire deeper conceptual learning embedded in the NYS Science Learning Standards. Students discover and identify indicator species to help determine the health of our waterways, investigate invasive species to discover their impact on our ecosystems, and engage in watershed inquiry using tools such as our new underwater drone, augmented reality sandbox projector, and exploratory hike to our enchanting Cathedral Gorge. View Science Programs in our catalog.
Virtual Field Trips
Eight new Virtual Field Trip offerings have expanded outreach and enabled us to reach a wider community. Each hour-long online class is aligned with the NYS Learning Standards and is enhanced by a cinematic “in the field” video segment, interactive activities, and a Q&A component. The trips include Pond & Stream Investigations, Forest Mysteries Revealed, Power of Pollinators, Rescued Birds of Prey, Explore & Draw, Tap the Sap! Maple Sugaring Science & History, and Climate Science: Evidence to Action. Programs are tailored to grade 3-7 but can be adapted for all ages. So far, students from more than 60 schools have participated in our Virtual Field Trips! Click here to learn more and schedule a virtual trip! (Can be paired with an in-person trip or booked separately.
Indigenous & Diversity Programs
We’re working to develop more inclusive programs with guidance from Indigenous leaders and local educators of color, to enable our diverse students to see themselves positively represented and to strengthen our history programs for all students. This includes a new program devoted to local Black History, bringing to life historic accounts like those found in the book In Defiance: Runaways from Slavery in New York’s Hudson River Valley, 1735-1831. Planning for Indigenous education programs has also begun, with the updating of our local Maple Sugaring history lesson and new construction of a native wigwam structure near the Esopus Creek. View History Programs in our catalog.
Resources and PD for Teachers
We now offer optional PD for teachers either in zoom, in person at Ashokan during your multi-day trip, or in your classroom if you’re within 40 miles of our campus. PLUS, pre and post-visit curriculum resources for to support teachers and get students engaged!
Classroom Visit from Ashokan Instructors
If you are located within 40 miles of the Ashokan Center, we are beginning to offer in-person visits with a hands-on activity to spark inquiry right in your classroom. More info coming soon.
Themed Day or Residential trips at Ashokan
Soon, visiting schools will have the option of choosing from a variety of pre-designed, theme-based trips for deeper conceptual learning in Living History, Ecosystem Studies, Biomimicry, Adventure, Team Building and more. Traditional build-your-own trips will also remain available by choosing from our catalog.
Residential Programs Also Include:
Before breakfast, students have the opportunity to participate in an instructor-lead morning ritual such as a short hike, tending to the barn animals, or writing in their journals.
Meals are served in our dining hall where students learn to reduce waste and sometimes get a musical visit.
An important element of the Ashokan experience, a little down time offers a chance to recharge and have fun together.
At the end of each meal, we work together to weigh our food waste and learn about composting. This is a fun part of every school’s visit.
During Open Rec time, you may choose to add an activity like beginner Ukulele lessons with our fun staff instructor!
Kids are grouped by age and gender into the clean, comfortable bunk rooms. Bunk supervisors, who reside in the bunkhouse with the students, read communally to the students before bedtime and are responsible for the students until pre-breakfast activity the following morning. This is a wonderful and memorable part of the Ashokan experience for all students, many who have never slept away from home before.