Voyagers Outside

Connect. Create. Learn. Outside.

Our Village Home Voyagers Outside Program is an opportunity for learners to gather in small groups outdoors for the 2020/2021 learning year.

With options in Portland, Salem, and Corvallis for learners ages 7-12, the Voyagers Program offers a fun, affordable, in-person learning opportunity with an engaging, robust curriculum using our environment as a foundation for our learning together. Cohorts of up to 12 learners will be created upon registration.

Portland: Two Half-Days Option

Portland Two Half-Day Option: Tuesday/Thursday mornings from 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (for ages 7 -10) and afternoons from 1:00 – 3:30 p.m. (for ages 9-12) at Hoyt Arboretum in Portland.

For more information and registration for Portland, click here.

Salem: Half-Day Option

Salem Half-Day Option: Tuesday mornings from 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at the property of VH Salem Campus Director Loriann Schmidt.

For more information and registration for Salem, click here.

Corvallis: Half-Day Option

Corvallis Half-Day Option: Thursday mornings from 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (ages 7-12) and afternoons from 1:00 – 3:30 p.m. (ages 7-12) at MLK Park (in the Walnut Barn).

For more information and registration, click here.

Who Is Voyagers For?

Families who value high quality educational opportunities as much as learner autonomy, and who are seeking academic and social enrichment on a part-time basis for their children in the beauty and safety of the outdoors. In the Village Home Voyagers program, the parent is still seen as the student’s primary educator. Because this is an outdoor program and safety is the highest concern, learners in the program need to be able to self manage in small groups without creating a potential safety hazard for the cohort, instructors, and other learners. Because this is a cohort-based program, learners in the program need to be functioning academically, socially, and emotionally at or above their grade level.

Cohorts: Upon registration, learners will be divided into cohorts of up to 12 based on closest age ranges. Each cohort will have a Lead Instructor, with an Assistant Instructor floating between two cohorts. Lead Instructors may rotate to different cohorts to teach a specific lesson to each cohort (e.g. Teacher A will facilitate a lesson on the life cycle of a butterfly, while Teacher B teaches an art project on bird habitats, to each different age group at different times.)

What Do We Do?

Under the guidance and direction of skilled instructors, learners will explore various subjects using nature and the environment around us as our foundation for discovery. Each session will have a schedule that includes some free exploration time, a guided group learning opportunity, and some independent work. We maintain our commitment to making learning fun and engaging, while also holding a high expectation for participation.

Curriculum: The Voyagers Outside Program seeks to incorporate the following disciplines throughout the year:

  • Science: Learn about the natural world, both living and nonliving using the scientific method and observation.  
  • Math:  Explore arithmetic, statistics, ratios, measurement, and more by applying mathematical concepts to our projects.
  • Language Arts (reading and written expression): Keep a written nature journal and a log of learning activities and projects. Respond to prompts from weekly in-class readings and independent book reading.  Written expression is stair-stepped for individual learners.
  • History and Social Studies:  Studying both the local past and global history will give learners an opportunity to connect with their communities in a deeper way.  Learners will explore these topics through reading, discussion, and written or artful expression.
  • The Arts (fine art, theater, music): Using movement, music, and artifacts, we’ll explore the more tactile elements of nature in order to deepen our understanding and inform our various perspectives. 
  • Social/Emotional Wellbeing: Learn how to collaborate and communicate within a group setting as we explore questions of identity and self in relation to others.  This will be a cornerstone for all our learning together to ensure learners have a foundation for building lifelong community relationships.

Safety Guidelines:

Distancing & Safety: All participants and cohorts will maintain social distancing regulations (no mixing of cohorts) and masks will be worn by all instructors and staff. Hand sanitizers will be available in each cohort and bathroom facilities with handwashing stations are available on site for regular needs breaks. Mask-wearing for learners is required throughout this program. Our mask requirements are subject to change based on science or government mandates. If you are not comfortable with the idea of your learner wearing a mask, this may not be a good fit for you. All instructors are Adult/Child First Aid & CPR trained for safety.

Weather: We meet outside rain or shine, all year long. We will have access to a shelter, but with social distancing guidelines, it’s unlikely that all cohorts will be able to be in the same shelter at once for the entirety of the session. Be prepared to be outside, to be cold, wet, and uncomfortable in moments. This is part of the learning process! We plan to use the outdoors to expand, deepen, and challenge our learning potential and with a few exceptions made for safety, the weather is part of the experience!

Inclement weather cancellations will be determined using the following criteria to be decided by 9 pm the night before:

  • daytime high predicted to be below 40 degrees
  • ice/snow predicted
  • high wind warning
  • area school closures 

Check-in & Check-out: Due to COVID-19 safety recommendations, we will be staggering drop off and pick up times.

Note: Parents are required to check their learners in and out with a staff member each day. Upon registration you will receive a drop-off and pick up time for the term. Please arrive promptly for check-in and check-out as this will affect safety for all participants. Upon registration, you will also be asked to list any authorized pick-ups for your learner for the duration of the term and the authorized pick-up will need to provide a photo ID present for release. Each day for check-in you will need to walk your learner to meet their instructor, answer the safety protocol questions, and your learner will have their temperature checked. Upon approval of the questions and temperature check, learners will be admitted into the program that day. Any results of a “yes” response on the questionnaire renders the learner unable to participate in the program that day and possibly up to 14 days depending on the presence of any possible symptoms.

For a link to Voyagers Outside COVID-19 Protocols & Procedures, including the questions for each day’s check-in, click here