Outdoor Adventure Curriculum

Adventure has long played a critical role in human development, but only recently have adventure and outdoor experiences shifted from necessary or utilitarian to primarily recreational.  Nuhop has designed a variety of teaching and learning activities and experiences, usually involving close interaction with an outdoor natural setting and containing elements of real or perceived danger or risk.  It is through this process that our team provides a safe environment where students will be guided to a new comfort zone, in turn allowing for personal and team development.

Survival Skills

  • The focus of this class is placed on practicing what to do in survival situations and what might happen if their needs are not met. Students will collaborate to decide what resources they would want to have with them if they become lost in the woods. They will also have opportunities to learn how to start a fire and/or construct a shelter made from natural materials. There will be a heavy emphasis on safety for these lessons. Additionally, they will study the “rules of 3” to memorize how much time they could survive without certain needs being met.

Compass Challenge

  • This introductory course is for students who have limited or no knowledge of compasses. After receiving instruction in the basic functions and parts of the compass, students will have the opportunity to put those skills to use by designing their own navigation course and trading instructions with classmates. Then, students will search for other teams’ markers in a race to be the fastest and most accurate navigators.


  • In this class, students will start by learning basic canoeing skills and safety. After learning parts of the canoe, basic strokes, and safe boating practices, students will get into groups of two or three and canoe on Pleasant Hill Lake (Pine) or in the Hemlock pond (Hemlock). This class is weather dependent. The sum of the water temperature and air temperature must be at least 100 degrees. Approximate dates of availability: Middle of April-October.


  • A favorite pastime for many of our instructors is fishing in the pond at Hemlock or the lake at Pine Campus. We have been fortunate enough to obtain fishing supplies for our students, and would love to teach them how to safely catch and release fish while taking a look at the different species found in our environment. Students typically find more success catching fish in the Hemlock pond, so keep that in mind if you are at Pine.

Target Sports (Archery or Axe Throwing)

  • Students will work with trained and certified target sport instructors to learn the safety and technical aspects of either archery or axe throwing. Everyone in the group will have a chance to shoot arrows or throw axes. As of January 2023, we only have archery at Pine and axe throwing at Hemlock, but we are working on raising funds to purchase enough equipment for both sites to offer both activities.

Ropes Course (5th grade and above)

  • The high ropes courses involve different challenges that take place 25-40 feet in the air. Students are properly fitted into safety harnesses and helmets, and given detailed instructions in “ground school” before they begin. Each student is responsible for setting their own goals on the ropes course. Our philosophy of “Challenge by Choice” means that while we expect students to challenge themselves to achieve their goals, no one will force the student to go beyond their comfort level. Physical and emotional safety, under the watchful eye of trained instructors, is stressed in every aspect of the course.

Giant Swing (5th grade and above)

  • Participants are fitted with a full-body harness, wearing a helmet, and attached to 2 cables. Then, they can be pulled as high as 50 feet in the air by their teammates, with the option to stop at a lower height if desired. When the participant is ready, they simply release a tether and have one of the most exciting experiences we offer. Teamwork is stressed by giving each participant a responsibility, whether it is with the pulling team or as a spotter on the ladder. Participants choose the height they want to swing from 0 to 50 feet.

Rock Climbing (5th grade and above)

  • Our Pine Campus has a top-rope climbing wall which allow students to practice climbing technique and bravery as they ascend to the top with the support of their peers on the belay team

  • Our Hemlock Campus has a brand-new bouldering wall which allows students to practice climbing techniques and games on the wall much closer to the ground. They can safely fall onto the padded ground from the wall with no need for extra equipment.

Panther Pole (6th grade and above) - Pine Site Only

  • Participants will suit up with a full-body harness and helmet and will be attached to a belay system. As they climb the telephone pole, their teammates will work together to provide support from the ground. Once they reach the top, they can jump off and catch Wilson!

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