Parents and Students

While in residence, students participate in activities designed to develop academic and social skills, as well as encourage a general comfortability with nature. These outdoor experiences combined with community building often make this experience one of the most memorable events in a student's academic years. This packet provides some basic information about the program to assist you and your child in preparing for the Outdoor School experience. On site is abundant wildlife and diverse habitat including grassland, ponderosa forest, and ponds. At Woolman, the outdoor environment becomes the classroom - and the weather, land, natural communities, water and sky become the tangible content for the lessons. We take pride in providing hands-on, field based activities that bring science to life for students.


Students stay in either the Fern House Lodge or the Meetinghouse Lodge. Both spaces are equipped with up to 20 bunk beds or mattresses, a common area/living room type space, and electricity. The Fern House can be heated by a wood-burning stove and the Meetinghouse has a central heating system. These residential buildings promote community living, responsibility over sharing common living spaces, and are supervised by the sending school’s staff and teachers. Both buildings are situated less than a minute walk from the Bathhouse. The Student Bathhouse is equipped with single stalled toilets and showers. Our student Infirmary is located inside the Main Office.


Classroom teachers, chaperones, and Outdoor School Instructional staff work together to provide around-the-clock supervision of students. Every school that attends is required to recruit adult, volunteer Chaperones if there are not enough teachers to supervise both student living spaces. These Chaperones stay in the Lodges with the students as well as support activities on trail. All Chaperones receive a full orientation and training upon their arrival. The Chaperones, along with the teachers and Instructional staff, provide consistent 24 hour supervision for students.

Outdoor School Staff

All Woolman staff are carefully screened, background checked and are certified in First Aid and CPR. The Woolman staff are professional educators whose top priority is the safety and well being of each individual student. They are dedicated, positive individuals who know how to make learning hands-on, fun and inclusive.


Kid-friendly, nutritious, well balanced meals are prepared by food service staff. A large percentage of our produce is provided by local farms and or the harvest from our own organic garden. Every effort is made to provide menu alternatives for students with special dietary needs.

Preparing for Your Student’s Trip

Health and Dietary Information – Please take special care to thoroughly complete and sign the required Student Health and Dietary Forms and return them to your child’s school. We do everything possible to properly care for each student who participates in the Woolman Outdoor School program. Please be in close communication with your child’s teacher regarding any special needs that your child may have, and be sure to clearly articulate specific concerns and/or instructions on the Student Health Form so that Instructors, teachers, and Chaperones will be informed as well.

In some cases, student health issues or concerns may arise between the time you submit your child’s Health Form, and their arrival at Outdoor School. In this case, it is critical that you communicate clearly any additional information that teacher and outdoor school staff should be aware of in caring for your child. In some cases a doctor’s clearance for participation may be required.

Additional Voluntary Information

Please note that there is space included on the Health Form for you to voluntarily provide any additional information about your child that will help us to understand how we can best support their success at Woolman. This may include special concerns with respect to sleeping space assignments, emotional concerns, anxieties about being away from home,  gender identity or expression, or any other aspect of your child that you believe may be helpful to outdoor school staff. Please note this information will be kept confidential and will only be shared with appropriate school staff working with your child.

Please list ALL medications your student will be bringing to Outdoor School on the Health Form. Note that the Health Form includes a separate page for medication approval. It is important that this form be completed and signed by a physician for any medication (prescription or over the counter) that is brought to Woolman. All medications must be clearly labeled with student’s name, the name of the medication, and instructions for administration. Medication must be provided in the original container, if not, medication will not be administered. Do not mix medications into one container.

The Classroom teacher assigned as Healthcare Coordinator is responsible for ensuring that medications are administered daily. Place all medication containers together in a labeled zip lock bag and turn in to your school teacher before your student leaves for Outdoor School.

Open House

We hold an Open House for families and teachers every fall and winter. You will receive announcements with more detailed information about the Open Houses from your school. 

Heath Care

Your child’s classroom teacher acts as the primary caregiver for your child in terms of providing basic first aid, administering medication, and otherwise ensuring that any specific special needs are met. In case of sickness, injury or an emergency at the Outdoor School, your child’s teacher or the Woolman staff  will contact you directly. If you are unavailable for any reason, we will contact your child's school, appointed guardians or emergency contact person. Be sure you have signed the emergency medical treatment section of the health form and have included contact phone numbers.

Homesickness and sending mail

For many of the students attending the Outdoor School, this will be their first time away from home for an extended period of time. Our staff is very sensitive to issues of homesickness, and takes great care in helping students work through the challenges of being away from home and family. Cheerful letters or postcards from friends and family are welcomed. Please send mail early in the week, or perhaps even the week prior to your child’s attendance. Mailing address:

Woolman Outdoor School

Student’s Name

13075 Woolman Lane

Nevada City, CA 95959



We do not allow visitors on site during programing. However, you may arrange with your school to attend arrival day or closing ceremony on departure day.

Packing List

Warm jackets and sweaters are the most important items at any time of the year. Your child should bring rain gear, as wet weather can occur at any time of the year. Woolman has gear available to lend if necessary - please see the Loanable Gear section after this packing list. We urge you NOT buy new clothing or equipment. Expensive items are not recommended. Older clothing is best. Mark luggage and each item of clothing with your child's name.

Essential Items for the Week

(for 5 day programming, adjust as necessary for length of your child’s stay at Woolman)

  • One heavy jacket or coat (regardless of the weather)

  • 1-2 warm long sleeved shirts

  • 2-3 T-shirts

  • 2-3 pairs long pants

  • 1-2 pair of shorts

  • 5-8 pairs of socks

  • 5 changes of underwear

  • 1 pair of pajamas

  • Warm hat / Beanie

Basic Needs

  • Backpack (School Sized Backpack)

  • Water Bottle: at least 24 - 32 oz and refillable.

  • Sweatshirt

  • Sleeping Bag and Pillow OR 2 sheets & a blanket

  • 2 Pairs of sturdy shoes (hiking boots or athletic shoes)

  • Hat with brim / Baseball Cap

  • 2 Plastic garbage bags for laundry

  • Raincoat / rain poncho (It can rain at any time of year)

  • Sunscreen

  • Closed toe hiking shoes

Shower Kit / Toiletries

  • Bath Towel

  • Wash cloth

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Soap

  • Comb or hairbrush

  • Shampoo/ Conditioner

  • Flip Flops

  • Chapstick

  • Swimsuit (optional for showers)

Optional Items

  • Flashlight and batteries

  • Deck of Cards

  • Book

  • Rubber Boots

  • Water shoes

  • Stationery, pre-addressed stamped envelopes and pen

  • Inexpensive Camera

  • Kleenex tissues

  • Bandana

Loanable Gear

We understand that not all students already possess the necessary field gear for outdoor school, nor can they reasonable acquire them before their arrival. We have a small selection of gear we can lend to students to use for the entirety of their stay.

  • Rain Coats

  • Water Bottles

  • Rain Boots

  • Flashlights

Can my child bring a cell phone or electronics?

We ask that students do not bring phones, ipods, or any other electronics (cameras are OK if they are not also phones or music players) to the Woolman Outdoor School. This is a rare opportunity to experience a week free from television, video games, cell phones and the internet. Our goal is to immerse ourselves in the natural setting at Woolman.

Prohibited Items

∅ No valuables, money, or jewelry

∅ No candy, gum or snacks

∅ No knives or hatchets

∅ No cologne or perfume

∅ No curling/flatIrons

∅ No electronic devices such as iPods, games, or laptops

∅ No cell phones

∅ No aerosol sprays (Bug spray, cologne, etc.)

∅ No items described as contraband by the school or the state of California