FAQs: How do I get Outdoor Adventures in My School?

Here are several key ways outlined to promote and start OA in schools and why OA is so important for students and conservation education.


How to get Outdoor Adventures in Texas

For additional information contact the OA Coordinator, Scot McClure, (469)805-2390. The Education tab on the OTF website has general information on Outdoor Adventures.  Below is the road-map to promote and start the Outdoor Adventures course in your school.


How do I get Outdoor Adventures in my school?

This is the number one questions presented to the OTF. There are several helpful resources. If you are a school administrator or teacher, view and download ...

For more detailed information on Outdoor Adventures and answers to the following questions, watch and listen to “How do I get Outdoor Adventures in my School” webinar.

  • I need all the information to support why and how to start OA at by school?
  • How do I get OA started in my school?
  • Why is OA vital for student educational success?
  • How does OA increase wildlife conservation education in schools?
  • Will OA impact the students in a school?
  • What evidence and surveys support OA in schools?
  • How do I get the non-involved student active in school?
  • How are extra-curricular activities encouraged in OA?
  • How can a non-governmental organization such as National Wild Turkey Federation or local club get involved in OA?
  • How can a state agency or Department of Natural Resources get involved in OA?

Who do I talk to in a school district?:

Every school district is different. To get OA started in your school, you must know who the influential decision makers are for the district. For example, a school may have a very influential principal, superintendent or teacher who can help promote OA in the district. Individual school administrators and teachers to contact include but are not limited to the following individuals based on the size of the school district

District Administration Level

  • School Board
  • Superintendent
  • Assistant Superintendent – Curriculum Director
  • Secondary School Curriculum Director
  • Physical Education Curriculum Director

School Administration Level

  • Principal
  • Associate/Assistant Principal – Curriculum Director
  • Physical Education Department Head/Chair
  • Agricultural Sciences Department Head - Chair
  • Elective Courses Department Head - Chair

Teacher Level

  • Physical Education Teacher - Coach
  • Any teacher with passion for the outdoors
  • Agricultural Science Teacher

Community Level

  • Parents and students - Great resource to promote OA. If the parents want the course, they can help influence the school district. Parents can support potential funding for equipment. Archery, Fishing and Shooting Teams development can be started with parent and student initiated after school clubs.
  • Civic and Conservation Groups - Great resources for potential funding and outdoor access activities such as fishing, hunting, camping and field trips. Archery, Fishing and Shooting Teams development can be supported with parent and student initiated after school clubs.

What do I say to the schools?

There are several documents, PowerPoints, videos available to promote OA to any school administrator or teacher.

Documents include:

For specific videos, look in the video section on the OTF website.


How to get Outdoor Adventures Outside of Texas

Many of the same ways to start OA in other states is the same as starting OA in Texas. Please refer to, “How to get Outdoor Adventures in other states” for webinars and PowerPoint presentations (PDF) for more details.

Outdoor Adventures can be taught in any regular secondary P.E. class in other states because the entire curriculum is aligned to the National P.E. Standards. OA can be taught as a local elective course or supplemented in the Agricultural Sciences course, Wildlife Management. The curriculum can be also be aligned to specific individual state standards if needed.

Schools outside of Texas using OA curriculum are currently using the Texas OA version with no issues. If the demand is great to start OA in a state that requires specific state standard correlations, this can be done. The DEF has a Curriculum Coordinator who will work with teachers and modify the Texas version to meet individual state standards.

This process will require financial considerations, individual State Department of Natural Resources and Education Agencies to collaborate the process. Please contact Dr. Mike Farish, OTF Outdoor Adventures Curriculum Coordinator, for more details, mscot@GoOTF.com

Please look at the resources supporting why and how to get OA started in your school.


How to fund Outdoor Adventures

One school in a small rural community approached every local retail store and wildlife conservation and civic group and requested donations for the school’s new Outdoor Adventures program. The teacher reported in one year, the OA program had over $20,000.00 in equipment, funds and in-kind donations. One local store donated the fencing, labor to install, archery backdrop and all the archery equipment for an outdoor archery range. Another school found resources to completely renovate an old school building to include new classroom, restroom and indoor archery arena. If you don’t ask, you will not receive!

Grants and Donations

The OTF has a limited number of matching equipment grants. Contact Scot McClure to see if grant funds are available and for grant applications.

The OTF has a limited number of enrichment grants. Maximum is $500.00 to be used for activities, equipment or programs directly benefitting the students in OA classes. Contact Scot McClure to see if grant funds are available and for grant applications.

Non-Governmental Organizations have numerous grant opportunities. Please check with wildlife conservation groups, civic groups for potential grant opportunities.

Retail stores will donate if they are able but you must ask them to receive donations.

State’s Department of Natural Resources have limited grant and funding options. Again, you must ask if you want to receive anything.

Always follow-up every donation with a thank you note! 

Curriculum

The OTF has limited matching curriculum grants. Contact Scot McClure to see if grant funds are available and for grant applications.

Most school districts fund curriculum with budgets that are separate from operating cost and individual annual course budgets. Some principals will have alternative ways to recruit funds for programs that impact all students.

Maintenance/Activity Fees

Some states allow the Hunter Education and Boater Education instructors to retain a portion of the certification fees. For example, in Texas, the instructor may retain $10.00 per certification. These fees remain in the school activity accounts. The teachers can use these funds to purchase equipment, buy food for outdoor cooking or create field trips.

Some schools create an “Activity Fee” to be enrolled in the course. This is similar to an “Art Class Fee”. If the students are not economically challenged, then a $10.00 fee is required to enroll, (or whatever fee the school determines is appropriate). The teachers can use these funds to purchase equipment, buy food for outdoor cooking or create field trips.


How to Apply For Wildlife Conservation Grant

The OTF makes a limited number of grants to qualified applicants in support of wildlife conservation projects. Applicants must complete an electronic grant request form that details the nature and purpose of the project, sources and uses of funds, and specific details on how OTF’s grant would be used. In addition, applicants must provide the most current year’s financial statement along with a detailed budget. The OTF grant application form is found on the OTF Website. Contact Scot McClure to see if grants are available. The OTF grants committee meets quarterly to review grant requests. Successful applicants are notified shortly after the end of each calendar quarter.