About Us

Mission

Outdoor Education Adventures’ mission is to provide equitable opportunities for positive educational experiences in nature.

How We Strive to Achieve Our Mission


Through nature immersion, exploration, and discovery we increase scientific literacy, knowledge of our local natural history and ecology, and inspire ecological stewardship in our communities.

We believe strongly that we are teaching the leaders and community members of the future, and that exposing them to nature as much as possible will help them make more informed decisions and become conscientious citizens. Access to outdoor education programs should be readily available to every child, regardless of socioeconomic status, race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, marital status, parental status, national origin, disability, genetic information, or political belief. We are looking for opportunities for our programs to be more inclusive of people from all backgrounds, and welcome community involvement to that end. We know that there are many reasons why a family might not be able to pay full tuition, and we invite families in need of assistance to take advantage of our honor-system based, sliding scale financial assistance program. 

Specializing in creating intimate relationships with nature, Outdoor Education Adventures (OEA) encourages curiosity and creativity as well as getting dirty and having fun. We also sneak in learning about science and the wonders of nature (just don’t tell the kids they’re learning!). While OEA focuses primarily on educating children, we welcome people of all ages to join us in our adventures and explorations. Come out and play with us!

 

Values and Philosophy


Our teaching methods reflect the qualities that we value in people and organizations, including:

  • Student-guided inquiry: We engage students in learning that is guided by their curiosities.
  • Empowering Stewardship: We are mindful of our actions and choices, living life in concert with the natural world to the best of our ability.
  • Generosity: We try to be generous in our thinking of others, that they too are doing the best that they can.
  • Humility: While we take pride in our achievements and encourage others to do the same, we also encourage collaboration and a sense of humility. We are able to do great things together.
  • Kindness and creating empathy for one’s self and other living things: We create space and time for making mistakes, and encourage forgiveness and patience when mistakes are made. We encourage kind thoughts and actions towards others and one’s self.
  • Honesty & Integrity are developed and nurtured when people trust that they will be treated fairly, justly, and with empathy when they make mistakes.
  • Gratitude is expressed towards the people in our lives as well as the natural world around us. We begin and end each day with discussions that encourage grateful thinking.
  • Respect: We demand respect for all living things and natural systems, including other people.
  • Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion: Broad diversity brings strength and resiliency to the whole. We strive for equitable access to natural surroundings and quality education regardless of age, ability, ethnicity, national origin, religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, or socio-economic status. We are mindful of history and are open to ideas for creating programs and spaces that are inclusive of people from diverse backgrounds.

 

 

History and Future Adventures


Outdoor Education Adventures started as Watershed Education Adventures (WEA) in 2012 by Theresa Crain to meet the environmental education needs in Yamhill County. In 2015, Neyssa Hays joined WEA and the team decided to become part of the Greater Yamhill Watershed Council (GYWC). Early in 2017, Theresa and Neyssa set off on their own, creating Outdoor Education Adventures, LLC. OEA began transitioning to a nonprofit and began the process of restructuring, including adding a Board of Directors in 2020. As the cofounders of Outdoor Education Adventures, Theresa and Neyssa are excited to be stepping into a new phase for the organization and look forward to seeing where this new trail leads.

Outdoor Education Adventures is growing, adding camps, volunteers, and increasing the number of campers we can have at each adventure. We’re now hosting nearly forty days of camp adventures for ages 5-12, plus Nature Play Adventures for preschoolers and their adult playmates.  We’ll be continuing our all-ages events around the county, and as before OEA is also available for field trips and in-class nature programs that focus on hands-on learning. In order to expand our reach, OEA regularly partners with other organizations in Yamhill County, including the Yamhill Soil and Water Conservation District, the Yamhill Watershed Stewardship Fund, McMinnville Parks and Recreation, and school districts around the county. 

 

Awards & Recognition


 In 2015, the team was honored by Yamhill Soil and Water Conservation District with the Frieda L Miller Conservation Educator Award.

In support of their educational programs, they have also been recipients of grants from the Yamhill Watershed Stewardship Fund, Spirit Mountain Community Fund, and the Oregon Wildlife Foundation.