May 29th
2018 Black Rock Rendezvous Kids Camp!

Over Memorial Day weekend, we joined friends of Black Rock-High Rock, Friends of Nevada Wilderness, and the Winnemucca BLM for the annual Black Rock Rendezvous at the Cassidy Mine above the Playa. Although the weather was a little cold and rainy on Saturday, Sunday was beautiful with sunny skies and warmer temperatures. Kids were able to learn about Leave no Trace, how to build campfires, and how to use a solar oven to make s’mores. We also went on a hike, cleaned up the area, and played a lot of fun games. We had a great weekend with good food and made new friends.


May 24th
4th Grade Ecology Fair

On May 22 and 23, AmeriCorps members from various host sites participated in our annual Ecology Fair at the Winnemucca Community Garden. During this field trip, 4th graders are given the opportunity to travel through the garden to different booths that are ran by the AmeriCorps members. These booths cover topics such as fire safety, seed planting, animal adaptations, and our local ecosystem. We were also joined by representatives from BLM fire and the US Forest Service. Students also participated in a fun, ecology-based scavenger hunt where they had to look for living and non-living things, discover how organisms use water, and look for different sources of water. Thanks to the participation and dedication of our AmeriCorps members, this field trip was a success and a fun way for students to finish the school year.

May 19th
Gerlach Field Trip to Guru Road

Yesterday, NOS worked with the local school kids in Gerlach to take them hiking at a local folk art trail outside of town. This field trip for K-4th graders included students going for a “color hike” and journaling about what they saw. The highlight of this trip was the amazing amount and variety of lizards we saw! It was a beautiful day for hiking (despite the gnats) and students had a great time getting outside, exploring and learning about their public lands. 

May 12th
Winnemucca 3rd Grade Water Canyon Field Trips

During the week of May 8-11, third grade students from Winnemucca and Battle Mountain participated in our annual Water Canyon field trip. During this field trip, students learn about our local ecosystem by participating in several interactive stations. At our first station, students learned about streams by testing the pH, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, and temperature of the water. They were also able to look for macroinvertibrates by using dip nets and identification charts. At our second stop, students learned about the animals and plants that use our local watersheds, and also learned about how they are connected through the food web. At the third station, students learned about the impacts wildfires have on our ecosystem, how they recover, and how to be safe with fire. Finally, students were led on a hike where they learned about the Leave no Trace principles and being responsible outdoors. Although the weather was cold and snowy on our last day, we had a great time educating students about one of our great outdoor recreation areas right in our backyard.

May 6th
Tonopah OHV Registration Event

This past weekend Allana and Ale participated in the Off Highway Vehicle registration in Tonopah, Nevada. The event was meant to register four wheelers, side by sides, and dirt bikes in the local area. Nevada Outdoor School was there to promote the NOS Mission, as well as how to be safe while recreating in the outdoors through Tread Lightly, and Leave No Trace!

May 3
Seeing Impact Project 

For the past two days, Mel, Jessie and Katie were in Reno for the second part of the Nevada Seeing Impact Project hosted by Nevada Volunteers. As part of this training, we are working to effectively evaluate our classroom lessons and field trip programs. It was an intense two days, but we are encouraged by the work we have done and are looking forward to pulling together our final report and being able to share that with others.

April 28th
Valley of Fire Leave No Trace Trainer Courses
This past week, Jessie and Katie were down at Valley of Fire State Park teaching two back-to-back Leave No Trace Trainer courses to a total of 16 AmeriCorps from Great Basin Institute (GBI). As part of this course, participants explored the amazing and beautiful park and camped at a fantastic group use site while learning about the history, mission and principles of LNT. Participants left with the knowledge, skills and motivation to personally practice LNT and share their knowledge with others. A very special thank you to Valley of Fire State Park for allowing us to use their park and group use areas for these courses. 

April 23rd
Earth Day Outdoor Ethics Outreach Events

This past weekend, we brought our Road Show to two Earth Day events: Tahoe/Truckee Earth Day on Saturday and Reno Earth day on Sunday. People who stopped by our booth learned more about Nevada Outdoor School, our programs and responsible recreation. People were encouraged to test their knowledge of Leave No Trace and TREAD Lightly! to win some sweet NOS swag.

April 15th
Girl Scouts Day of Service

NOS partnered with the local BLM office and the Girl Scouts of the Sierra Nevada on April 15th , a Girl Scout national day of service, to complete phase two of “Project Pollinator”. The Girl Scouts who participated in the event helped to fill, “Bee Chateaus” with wooden rounds which will create habitat for solitary bees in Water Canyon. About half way through the project we had a break for a fun and interactive pollinator snack, and learned about Leave no trace and the importance of responsible stewardship of our habitat. NOS also lead a web of life activity with the girls, to reinforce the vital role the bees play in the water canyon ecosystem.

April 14th 
Gerlach School Fly Ranch Field Trip
Yesterday, NOS worked with Friends of Black Rock-High Rock and Burning Man to bring kids from Gerlach School out to the Fly Ranch property located about 20 miles outside of Gerlach.  While on this field trip, the younger students (K-4) used their senses and observation skills to compare and contrast two geysers (Will and Fly) on the property and make predictions about how those two geysers will change over time.  The older group of kids (Grade 5+) took and recorded water quality samples (temperature, dissolved oxygen and pH) from a variety of locations around the big hot spring and Fly Geyser.  The older group also selected three locations for photo point monitoring and made predictions for how they think the property, landscape and geologic features will change over time.  The goal and plan is to make this a reoccurring field trip throughout the year starting in 2018-19.  Students will visit the property once every season to compare/contrast and track changes over time.

April 14th
2nd Grade Watershed Field Trips

During the week of April 9-12, we held our annual Watershed Field trip for second grade students in Winnemucca, Battle Mountain, and Imlay. On this field trip, students learn about our local Watershed, the Humboldt River. We began the field trip with a fun presentation from “thunder and lightning” and a plinko game that showed how water moves from a high to low point in our local watershed. Our stations included interactive activities on topics such as pollution, the ways plants and animals use our local watersheds, the way water moves from tributaries into larger rivers and lakes, and about how water moves from a high to low point by using a large model of a watershed. Students also learned about the steps of the water cycle by learning a fun, catchy song. This was our first of several field trips that allow to students to learn in a fun, effective, and memorable way.

April 9th
Black Rock Desert LNT Trainer Course

This past weekend, NOS partnered with Friends of Black Rock-High Rock to host a Leave No Trace (LNT) Trainer Course out in the beautiful Black Rock Desert. Eighteen people attended this training to learn about the history, mission and principles of LNT. This course focused on the LNT principles in general as well as how they specifically apply to Burning Man’s Fly Ranch property as well as at Burning Man itself. Participants left with the knowledge, skills and motivation to both individually practice LNT and share the message of responsible recreation with others.

April 5th
TREAD Lightly! Master Educator Course
Yesterday, we were honored to have Danielle Fowles from TREAD Lightly! travel from Utah to teach a TL! Master Trainer Course at our office in Winnnemucca.  As part of this training, participants from our Winnemucca and Elko offices as well as AmeriCorps members from Friends of Black Rock High-Rock learned about TL!'s mission, history, principles, and how to facilitate a TL! Trainer Course for others.  We are very appreciative to TL! for this great opportunity and look forward to helping them spread the message of responsible recreation across Nevada!

March 31st
National Association of Interpretation (NAI) Conference in Elko

In late March, Outdoor Ethics Coordinator, Katie Fithian, Elko Director of Programming, Jackie Lucero, California Trail Center Education Program Technician, Tim Burns and Winnemucca Director of Programming, Brandon Allen attended the National Association for Interpretation Certified Interpretive Guide Training. The event was held at the California Trail Interpretive Center. During this training, members learned how to plan and develop effective presentations by creating themes, researching certain topics, and creating an overall outline for programs. There were many hands on activities that involved skits, acting out certain scenarios, and sharing various types of programming from different organizations. On the final day, members presented their final outlines and presentations for their themes. This training allowed us to practice and develop more skills when it comes to delivering effective programming. It was also a great way to meet other organizations and learn about other types of programming such as living history and museums.

March 19th
Reno Motorsports Expo Road Show

NOS’ Traveling Road Show spent March 16-18th at the Reno Motorsports Expo and the Reno Convention Center. Reno Motorsports is a huge event and NOS was able to connect with over 370 people about responsible recreation through Leave no Trace and Tread Lightly! ethics. People who stop by the NOS booth have the opportunity to play our newest outdoor ethics game, “Wheel of Ethics,” a trivia style game about responsible recreation, Ethics ball, or make an outdoor ethics hang tag to take home with them. Reno Motor Sports is a great opportunity for NOS to connect with the motorized community and discuss the impacts and challenges that they are facing.

March 5th
Public Lands Alliance (PLA) Conference in Palm Springs

NOS Executive Director, Melanie Erquiaga, spent the last week of February in warm and sunny Palm Springs, California at the Public Lands Alliance Convention and Trade Show. This is an annual gathering of nonprofit organizations and land management agencies who work together to protect, conserve and enhance visitors’ experiences on public lands. This event builds the capacity of nonprofit public lands partners and gives government leaders the tools necessary to help fulfill their agency missions. This was the first year that Melanie participated in the convention through a scholarship given out by the Public Lands Alliance for the cost of the convention fee and hotel and by Southern Nevada Conservancy who paid for her mileage. She thinks the best benefit of attending the convention is the collaboration of alliances and partnerships she was able to build and secure through her attendance of the educational sessions and roundtable conversations with other nonprofit leaders nationwide.


February 28th
February Classroom Lessons

During the month of February, our monthly classroom lessons switched to our very popular animal theme. Naturalists Allana Havernick and Tiffany Donoho were able to teach a variety of lessons about wildlife adaptations and habitats. Kindergarteners were able to learn about animal tracks by observing plaster molds, while first graders created play-doh animals and habitats. Second graders were able to learn about animal’s eating habits by observing their skulls. They also looked at different animal pelts to learn about the habitats that they live in. Third graders learned all about owls by dissecting real owl pellets and studying the bones that were inside. This gave them an idea about an owl’s prey and where they live. Finally, fourth and fifth graders participated in a new lesson that was offered about beaver adaptations. Students played a true/false game about beavers that cleared up some common misconceptions. A student then volunteered to represent different beaver adaptations by dressing up in various items such as goggles, flippers, and beaver teeth! February was a very fun, exciting, and hands on month for both us and the students.


February 14th
Project Impact Nevada

Over the past two days, Jessie, Mel and Katie attended the first part of Nevada Volunteer’s Project Impact Nevada learning from Dr. Steve Patty and Jessamyn Luis of Dialogues in Action about effective program evaluation. Last year, NOS took part in this process to evaluate our AmeriCorps program as a whole. This year, we are focusing on our classroom lesson and field trip education programs. We will be developing, collecting and analyzing qualitative and quantitative data from these programs to better evaluate our programs and hopefully make them even better!


January 29th
"W" Hike

On January 28th NOS led a community hike to the ‘W’ on Winnemucca Mountain. We exited see that seventeen hikers had shown up for this hike, and looked forward to sharing our passion for the outdoors with them. The hike to the ‘W’ can be difficult, and is just shy of four miles round trip. When the group reached the ‘W’, they paused to rest and get some photos of the view. After a quick rest, the group headed back down the mountain. When we returned the trail head, the group enjoyed some conversation with their friends, before heading home.

January 25, 2018
Thank You Newmont!
A Very special and heart felt THANK YOU! to Newmont Mining Company and all their amazing and generous employees who participate in the Newmont Legacy Fund Employee Giving Program.  Strong community and corporate support from these types of programs mean the world to us at Nevada Outdoor School and help us accomplish our mission to inspire exploration of the natural world, responsible stewardhsip of our habitat and dedication to community.
Thank You Newmont Legacy Fund!

January 15
AmeriCorps Annual MLK Dodge Ball Tournament
This past Saturday was the annual AmeriCorps MLK Dodge Ball Event in Winnemucca.  To learn more about this year's event and how it helped benefit our local communities, check out our NOS Blog by Elisa, an AmeriCorps serving with the Family Support Center:

January 21
Yurt Hike

On January 20th, NOS led a group of hikers up to the Yurt in Water Canyon. The Canyon had gotten a fresh blanket of snow overnight, and even though it made the hike a little more difficult, the snow cover enhanced Water Canyon’s natural beauty. After a fun, but challenging hike, hikers enjoyed a break inside the yurt and refueled with some snacks. This was the first time any of the hikers had been to the yurt, and it is always exciting sharing this unique gem that our community has to offer.  After everyone had a chance to rest, the group headed back down the trail. When we returned to the trail head, we warmed up with some tea and cocoa.

January 5, 2018
Hiking in the New Year!

NOS started the New Year with a night hike along the Interpretive Trail to the Overlook on January 4th. Hikers met at the second restroom site in Water Canyon at 6:00 PM before hitting the trail. Even though the sun had gone down by the time we began, the temperature was still pleasant, and the sky was clear, making it a prime opportunity for star gazing. After a quick .7 miles to the overlook, the group took in the view of the Winnemucca lights, and headed back down the trail to enjoy some hot tea and cocoa at the trail head.

December 17
Outdoor Ethics Club

On December 16th NOS held their 3rd Outdoor Ethics Club meeting. Due to inclement weather, we had to revise our original plans to head to Lamoille canyon, and instead met in water canyon for a hike to the Yurt. Before beginning our hike, we discussed principle 3 of Leave No Trace; Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces, and played durable surface hopscotch. Participants also learned the basic parts of a compass, and also how to use them. During our hike, participants used their newly acquired compass skills determine which way we were traveling, or which direction the clouds were moving. We took a snack break at the yurt, careful not to leave any crumbs behind, and headed back down to the trailhead to drink some hot cocoa.

December 4
We Have a New ATV Safety Institute (ASI) Instructor On Staff!

At the end of November NOS Outdoor Ethics Program Coordinator, Katie Fithian Headed to the Honda Rider Education Center in Colton, California to complete an ATV Safety Institute Instructor Preparation Course. Katie Spent the Week learning how to coach ATV riders on safe and responsible operation of their ATV’s, to become a certified ATV Instructor. Katie Looks forward using this knowledge to help her to promote safe and responsible practices when recreating outdoors.


November 20
Outdoor Ethics Club Meeting 

Nov. 17th was Nevada Outdoor School’s second Outdoor Ethics Club meeting. Participants who attended this meeting began the day learning about the first principle of Leave No Trace, Plan ahead and Prepare, by playing fun and interactive games like, “Will you make it” and “pack your pack.” After our Discussion about planning ahead and being prepared we hit the trail, heading to the “W” on Winnemucca Mountain. On the way back to the trail head participants collected any “MOOP” or “Matter out of place” that they found.

November 17
Community Night Hike

On Nov 16th NOS hosted one of our first “Night Hikes” of the fall/ winter seasons. Even though it was raining, we had 5 hikers show up, eager to explore water canyon in the dark. We outfitted ourselves with the proper rain gear and headlamps or flashlights and hit the trail around 6:00 PM. We hiked the interpretive trail for about .7 miles to the overlook, to view the city lights at night. After taking in the views from the overlook, we headed back to the trail head to sip hot cocoa.

November 15
NOS Classroom Lessons

In the second half of October, we began offering our classroom lessons to local schools in Winnemucca. Naturalists Allana Havernick and Tiffany Donoho began October by teaching students about history, culture, and the changing seasons. In November, we began traveling to our rural schools in places like Paradise Valley, McDermitt, and Denio. Students learned about plants, photosynthesis, and pollination. So far, we have delivered nearly 50 classroom lessons to over 700 students. We are excited to be able to travel to our rural schools more frequently and are looking forward to meeting new teachers and students in the coming months.

November 6
Community Hike
NOS hosted a community hike on November 5th to the ‘W’ on Winnemucca Mountain. Some of our hikers were new to town and were taking advantage of the opportunity to explore the area. The group met at Veterans Memorial park at 10:00 AM and hit the trail from there. When we reached the ‘W’ we stopped to take in the views of Winnemucca and take a group photo. After catching our breath we headed back to the trail head to enjoy some hot cocoa and apple cider before heading our separate ways. NOS hikes are always a great opportunity to connect with the people in our community and bond over our shared passion of getting outdoors.

October 30
Sand Mountain Outdoor Ethics Road Show

NOS spent Halloween weekend at Sand Mountain Recreation area talking to people about outdoor ethics. People who stopped by the NOS booth at Sand Mountain had the opportunity to play Treadpardy or Tread-ball some fun and interactive games about outdoor ethics. NOS also brought Outdoor Ethics Hang tags and handed out literature to participants about responsible outdoor recreation. Every year on Saturday night, NOS assists the BLM by judging the annual “Parade of Lights”. This year there were over 17 official entries in the contest, and many more that participated in the parade just for fun.

 NOS’ spook-tacular outreach booth at Sand Mountain Recreation area

October 26
Outdoor Ethics Club Rockstars! 

On October 25th, Nevada Outdoor School had their first meeting for the Outdoor Club, a club for junior high and high school students which aims to connect youth to the natural world through education, exploration, and stewardship. At this meeting, participants played some fun leave no trace games, removed some non native plants from the native plant educational garden in Water Canyon, and hiked to the overlook to take in some beautiful sunset views. At the end of the meeting participants chatted with their new friends over some hot chocolate or hot apple cider before going home.

  Participants removing some Crested Wheat grass from the native plant garden in Water Canyon
 Participants celebrating the views at the overlook in Water Canyon

October 23
Hike to the Yurt

On Saturday October 21st NOS led a group of 9 hikers, some of which were only a few months old, along a snowy hike to the Yurt in water Canyon. The group met at 10:00 am and was greeted by a snow-covered canyon. The group reached the platform for the yurt after about an Hour of hiking. After a few minutes of rest, and conversation, the group headed back down the trail. We are looking forward to our next hike to Yurt, as the Yurt will actually be up!

 October 16
Water Canyon National Public Lands Day

On Saturday October 14th NOS spent the day working alongside the BLM and many community volunteers at NPLD in Water Canyon. NOS volunteers worked to complete a wooden fence around the area where a new Educational Native Plant Garden will be.  NOS’s Outdoor Club will be continuing to help the BLM to maintain the garden, so it was a great opportunity to kick start the project and to see the proof of concept. At the end of the day we did a ceremonial planting in the garden. 

Pictured: AmeriCorps member Allana Havernick finishes the ceremonial planning at the Native species educational garden in Water Canyon during NPLD.

October 13
Lazy P Adventure Farm Field Trips

During the first two weeks of October, NOS partnered with the Lazy P Farm in Winnemucca to help 3rd graders learn about agriculture. Over 300 students from Humboldt, Pershing, and Lander Counties were able to learn about how farms provide us with materials that we use every day, about how pumpkins grow, and were able to find their way through a corn maze. We had a great time helping students learn about the role that farms and agriculture play in our lives.

 October 11
Spring Creek 2nd Grade Fall Watershed Field Trip
We kicked off our Watershed Field Trip programming this fall, for a change, with a trip to Spring Creek Marina with the 2nd graders from Spring Creek Elementary School. The day started out with a slight chill in the air, but with a cloudless sky the world quickly heated up and brought good omens for a fun day of field tripping. The kids played games demonstrating how water flows in a watershed, made their own 3-D watershed models, heard a story about how humans use can impact water quality, looked at how animals and plants use water to survive, and got in touch with their senses to make observations about the watershed. And finally, we all boogied down to “The Water Cycle Boogie” demonstrating how learning and having fun are truly objectives that go hand-in-hand at Nevada Outdoor School.

October 9
Get Outdoors Nevada Day

On October 7th Nos AmeriCorps member Allana Havernick and Outdoor Ethics Program Coordinator Katie Fithian traveled to Henderson NV to Participate in Get Outdoors Nevada Day. This event seeks to engage communities, educate youth, enrich lives and celebrate the outdoors. NOS spent the day talking to over 125 people about responsible recreation through fun and engaging activities such as Treadpardy, a Jeapordy style game about outdoor ethics, and making outdoor ethics hang tags.  Get Outdoors Nevada day is always a great opportunity to meet other organizations with similar missions, and to talk to the people of Southern Nevada about responsible outdoor recreation.


October 8
LNT Awareness Day

On October 7, NOS participated in Leave No Trace Awareness Day at the McCarran Ranch Preserve near Sparks, NV. Nearly 50 Girl Scouts learned about the LNT principles from Bigfoot and the LNT Traveling Trainers. Afterwards, the Girl Scouts were able to visit different stations from groups such as the Audubon Society, Nevada Department of Wildlife, and the LNT Traveling Trainers. At our NOS table, the Girl Scouts made LNT hangtags and learned the LNT principles by playing a game of tread ball. Overall, it was a fun morning with beautiful weather and some great ways to learn about Leave no Trace and wildlife.


October 4
Lamoille Canyon Field Trip

In early October, Elko Nevada Outdoor School staff Jackie Lucero and AmeriCorps Naturalist Ben Jones met up with the students from the Elko Institute of International Achievement (EIAA) in Lamoille Canyon. To kick off the school year the school’s science coordinator organized a field trip for the entire student body to Lamoille Canyon and solicited assistance from Elko-based professionals to assist with the lesson delivery. Jackie met with the 3rd and 4th graders at the Road’s End. Together the students and Jackie investigated the local plants looking at their structural adaptations for seed dispersal and for survival of the harsh Great Basin conditions. Lower down the canyon along the nature trail Ben met up with the kindergarteners, 1st graders and 2nd graders. These students explored the idea of animal adaptations and thus Ben used the presence of the large beaver dam along the trail to discuss beaver adaptations and the structure of beaver dams. After the entire field trip group ate lunch at the Powerhouse Picnic Area, they were divided into groups to do other activities along the creek such as scavenger hunting and listening to speakers. In the more hands-on lessons, Jackie and Ben were present to aid teachers in discussions of plants that grow in the area. 


October 3
Black Rock Desert National Public Lands Day (NPLD)

NOS participated in National Public Lands Day on September 30 by running a kid’s camp at Soldier Meadows. In the morning, children played games, learned the Leave No Trace principles, and discussed what it meant to be good stewards of our public lands. In the afternoon, we went on a nature hike and spotted several different animals like rabbits and lizards. We played wildlife charades and made a poster of the different animals and landscapes we saw on our hike. In the evening, we participated as judges in the Dutch oven cook-off. Overall, we had a great weekend with beautiful weather, good food, and made some great friends!


October 2
Winnemucca 100 Year Birthday Celebration

This past Saturday, September 30th, NOS celebrated the 100th Birthday of Winnemucca at the Boys and Girls Club. At the NOS booth kids (and adults) learned about community events coming up, programs we have to offer, and were able to create a Leave No Trace backpack hang tag to take with them! NOS was able to connect with over 100 community members and it was a great success! We appreciate everyone who stopped by to learn more about NOS and what we have to offer. Happy Birthday Winnemucca!


September 26
Water Canyon Hike

On September 25th Nevada Outdoor School hosted a community hike in Water Canyon. We had three participants who enjoyed a brisk evening hike along the interpretive trail to the overlook. When the group reached the overlook we stopped to take in the views of Winnemucca Mountain and take a group photo before heading back down the trail. Even though the weather is beginning to get colder, all the participants had a great time getting out and enjoying the outdoors with new friends.  


September 25
Humboldt County Sheriff's Office OHV Registration Event

On September 23rd NOS partnered with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at the OHV VIN inspection and Registration event.   The event was a huge success and over fifty vehicles were registered. Nevada outdoor school provided participants with information on safe and responsible recreation through treadlightly! Youth Participants enjoyed making hang tags to put on their backpack and testing their knowledge by playing “tread Ball.”


August 14
Adventure Camp 2

NOS Closed summer camp season with Adventure camp 2, which takes kids ages 6th -8th grade into the Santa Rosa wilderness for a four day, three night campout at Lye Creek Campground. Campers spent the week hiking, learning about leave no trace, learning survival skills, and playing games. One of the camper’ favorite games was “Camouflage,” a game in which campers hide in the brush pretending to be predators, while another camper, pretends to be pray and seek them out from a set spot. The Campers did their part to ensure that they left the campground better than they found it, by completing a camp ground clean-up service project with the US Forest Service.   Campers worked hard on this project to clean out fire pits, clear invasive plants, and trim back overgrowth. As is NOS tradition, we ended camp with a fantastic campfire program on the last night.


August 7th
9th Annual Dutch Oven Cook-Off Fundraiser!
 This past Saturday, on August 5th, we held our 9th Annual Dutch Oven Cook-Off Fundraiser at Vesco Park.  The new location was a great setting to this super fun and delicious event.  In total, 15 teams competed in 4 different categories: Youth (1 dish), Chuck Wagon (Main Dish), Bean Master (Main Dish and Dessert), and IDOS (Main Dish, Bread, Dessert).  We were super stoked this year to have our biggest youth turn out ever, 6 teams!  Thank you to all our cook and volunteers who helped make this event possible.  A very special thank you to our wonderful judges:  Mayor Putnam, Sheriff Allen, Marlene Brissenden, Steven Field, Lisa Campbell, Terry Bell, Melissa Harmon, Mark Hall and Paige Brooks.  
Winners for this years DOCO were as follows:

1st Place - Mario Brothers
2nd Place - Spunky Cookers

3rd Place - Trevor Parker

Chuck Wagon (Main Dish):
1st Place - Black Rock Heat Wave
2nd Place - Cast Iron Maiden

3rd Place - C Bar M

Bean Master (Main Dish and Dessert):
1st Place - Stardust and Dreams
2nd Place - Country Calf "A"

3rd Place - Super Nova

IDOS (Main Dish, Dessert, and Bread):
1st Place - The Coach and the Conductor
2nd Place - Rose Creek Duo

3rd Place - Pandmonium

Overall People's Choice Award Winner:  Black Rock Heat Wave


August 3
Tahoe Excursion

Tahoe Excursion kicked off on July 31st. The kids got to participate in several activities that included swimming at Speed Boat Beach, checking out emerald bay, hiking, and kayaking. Leave No Trace principles were practiced during camp and campers left with a better understanding of how to responsibly recreate and camp. The camp was a huge success and campers left with many more outdoor skills then they came with and a greater appreciation for the outdoor world.


July 31
Elko ATV Camp

On July 27th and 28th, AmeriCorps Naturalists led our ATV safety camp. 11 kids attended the 2-day course focused on ATV safety and Tread Lightly outdoor ethics. On the first day of camp, campers learned the importance of wearing safety gear and proper vehicle maintenance, and are introduced to the concept of “Active riding.” On day two of camp, the campers learn about riding responsibly through treadlightly! outdoor ethics. All of the concepts introduced at ATV Safety Camp are reinforced through a variety of active and engaging games.


July 27
Ruby Excursion

During the final week of July, we held the Ruby Excursion. 15 kids attended camp coming from Fernley, Winnemucca, Elko and Spring Creek. It was a great camp mixing kids from the various communities. Although it rained the first day, it didn’t dampen the spirits of the campers or the counselors. Much fun was had over the three days and 2 nights of camp. Kids had a campfire program which included a spectacular magic show, hiked up to Lamoille Lake, played numerous games of “Camouflage,” made nature boats, and learned about Leave No Trace. It was a great success.

July 24
Elko Girls Camp

Elko Girls Camp took place the third week in July. A total of 9 ladies attended. While at camp, the girls learned survival skills such as Leave No Trace, first-aid, and rope tying; they learned about dealing with stress and building self-esteem; and they learned about trust. We spent one morning of camp on the campus of Great Basin College where the ladies went on a tour and discussed the opportunities of higher education and then challenged themselves and each other attempting to ascend the school climbing wall. On the last morning of camp the girls helped the Forest Service with some light trail work lopping and removing rocks from the trail up Thomas Canyon.


July 10
Black Rock NCA Leave No Trace Trainer Course
This past weekend, we partnered with Friends of Black Rock-High Rock to host a Leave No Trace Trainer Course in the Black Rock Desert High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trail National Conservation Area.  During the course, participants explored the Black Rock area while learning about the history and principles of Leave No Trace (LNT).  Participants left with the knowledge, skills and motivation to both individually practice Leave No Trace as well as teach others about the importance of responsible recreation.  If you would like to become a LNT Trainer, contact NOS!

July 3
Elko Adventure Camp

Elko Adventure Camp took place the last week in June. A total of 13 participants attended. While at camp, the kids learned survival skills such as map and compass, first-aid, and rope tying; they learned about their place in the universe; and they learned about the importance of clean water. One afternoon camp traveled to the Forest Service office where the kids volunteered by repainting informational signs. In addition to these high-quality learning and service opportunities, the kids played hours of games, went climbing at Great Basin College, swimming at the local pool, and hiking and camping in nearby Lamoille Canyon.


June 28
Nature at Noon Off to a Good Start!

This year’s season of Nature @ Noon was kicked off with a lesson on what animals leave behind. After a reading of Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? the children explored different stations featuring various animals’ tracks, skins, and skulls. The following lesson focused on the behaviors and defining characteristics of fish, the kids enjoyed a story, various games, and a craft featuring our fishy friends. During the second week of the program we emerged from the water to learn about the lifecycle of frogs. The children explored the necessary journey of development frogs must take in order to one day make great leaps. After learning all about frogs we moved on to the Slithering Snakes lesson where we zeroed in on the habits and characteristics of snakes. Viper, a milk snake made an appearance and kids were delighted at their surprise visitor, most of them were excited to hold and greet their new slithering friend. In the most recently Nature @ Noon lesson, we took to the skies, specifically the night sky to learn about bats. Kids learned about the multiple differences between bats and birds with a reading of Stellaluna. The kids also played a game which attempts to imitate a bat’s use of echolocation when navigating their way through the dark of the night. The next lessons will remain sky-bound as we explore the lives of butterflies and birds! We are looking forward to a great Nature @ Noon season, come check it out Tuesdays and Thursdays at Vesco park in Winnemucca (we also run Nature at Noon in Elko) from 12-1pm. 

 June 24
Winnemucca Girls' Camp
Girls camp was a huge success. The girls had time to swim in Tahoe's cool waters, kayak with their friends, and had plenty of time to run around and explore. They were taught many skills such as putting up a tent, practicing Leave No Trace principles, how to make and put out campfires. They also had the opportunity to tour the University of Nevada Reno campus, and get a firsthand look at all the academic programs the university has to offer. One of the girls said, "I can't wait to come here someday."  Girls’ Camp was a big team, constantly looking out for each other and supporting one another with their good ideas.

 June 17
Nevada Outdoor Experience
This weekend, NOS took our Road Show to the Carson City Gun Club for Nevada Outdoor Experience.  This was a fantastic event for kids (and adults) of all ages to explore and learn more about different types of outdoor recreation.  At the NOS booth, people tested their knowledge about responsible recreation on our Treadpardy! Board and outdoor ethics ball to get a chance to spin the NOSome wheel and win sweet prizes.  Kids were also able to put on our ATV safety gear, climb up our our youth ATV and get a polaroid picture taken of them "riding safe" to take home.  Overall, it was a great day and we look forward to being back there next year!

June 16, 2017
Winnemucca Adventure Camp 1

On the first day of camp, campers choose their camps names. Various activities and games were done throughout the whole day to promote team building and community among the campers. The following day campers took to the lab and created their very own bouncy balls and exploding soda fountains. Campers learned about the series of steps utilized by scientists during research and investigations following the day’s theme of Mad Science. It was a water wonderland in Pioneer Park on Wednesday as campers and AmeriCorps members alike escaped the heat with the help of water balloons. And from tie dye to birdfeeders, campers completed a variety of crafts throughout the day in between intense rounds of capture the flag. On Thursday campers set up camp and took to exploring Water Canyon by hiking down the Interpretative Trail, searching for macro-invertebrates in the creek, and most importantly learned to enjoy the outdoors safely while incorporating Leave No Trace principles. The camper’s day came to an end with an epic campfire program chalk full of singing, dancing, jokes, and skits. The final day of camp was mainly occupied by a stewardship project to improve the existing hiking trails in Water Canyon. After all their hard work campers enjoyed a pizza party and some much deserved down time until it was time to break camp and head home.

May 31, 2017
Spring Watershed Field Trips

By far our biggest and longest running field trip is the 2nd grade Watershed field trip, which in some cases, isn’t just for 2nd graders. This year, our Watershed field trip reached 933 students from 11 different schools all across rural northern Nevada including Gerlach, Imlay, Winnemucca, Battle Mountain, Elko and Spring Creek! During this field trip, students learned about their local watershed and the impact they can have on helping keep it healthy. A very special thank you goes to the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection (NDEP), Small Mines Development and Silver Standard for their generous funding and donations that helped make all these field trips possible. 

May 29, 2017
Black Rock Rendezvous Kids Camp!

This past weekend, we joined Friends of Black Rock-High Rock, Friends of Nevada Wilderness and the Winnemucca BLM on the playa for Black Rock Rendezvous! The weather was AMAZING, the food was FANTASTIC and (obviously) Kids Camp was a BLAST! We had 7 kids on Saturday and 13 on Sunday. During camp, kids participated in a wide variety of team-building games and activities, learned about Leave No Trace, helped clean-up camp, went hiking, learned about different animals in the area and made solar pizzas! 

May 24, 2017
Ecology Fair

Wow, it’s been a busy couple of days! Yesterday and today 282 students from Grass Valley, Winnemucca Grammar, Sonoma Heights and Battle Mountain Elementary Schools joined NOS at the Community Garden for our 5th annual 4th grade Ecology Fair! This Ecology Fair field trip is fun, active and exciting way to learn about Ecology. Students participate in two different 30 minute stations where they go for a scavenger hunt and then transform into birds trying to catch worms to learn about camouflage for one part and then explore the fair for the other part. In the fair, students get a passport and go around to as many different hands-on, interactive booths as possible, getting their passport stamped at each one. Some booths include learning about the role worms play in decomposition, examining tree cookies, panting seeds, calculating percolation rates through different types of soil and making mountains erode, just to name a few! A very special thank you to all the amazing AmeriCorps volunteers to helped make this event possible.

 May 18, 2017
Lovelock Cave Days

This week, NOS has been working with the Winnemucca BLM to help run Lovelock Cave Days for fourth grade students. NOS ran the interpretive trail where students learned about native vegetation, history, geology and archaeology as they hiked up to the Lovelock Cave where they met with an archaeologist from the Bureau of Land Management who took them into the cave and taught about the many uses it served throughout the past. At the cave site, in addition to hiking along the interpretive trail and going into the cave, students also practiced their atlatl throwing skills, examined local wildlife, and learned about life along the emigrant trail. Also as part of the field trip, students spent half the day in the town of Lovelock at the Marzen House Museum. 


 May 12, 2017
3rd Grade Water Canyon Field Trip

This week 328 students from 4 different elementary schools in Winnemucca and Battle Mountain join us for our 3rd grade field trip in Water Canyon. Enjoying the beautiful spring weather, field trip participants rotated around four stations learning about and exploring this local recreation gem located right outside of Winnemucca. At one station, students explored and discussed the process of succession and examined how Water Canyon’s riparian area has recovered after the fire about a decade ago. At another station, students tested the water quality in the Canyon and examined macroinvertebrates! Students also went for a hike during one of the stations where they actively learned about the culture, plants, animals and different uses of the area. Finally, students built a model ecosystem at the fourth station and discussed the role plants and animals and other natural resources play in Water Canyon. Overall, it was a fantastic field trip. Thank you to all our wonderful participants, parent chaperones, teachers and bus drivers who help make this field trip a success!


May 9, 2017
Community Hike to the "W"
On Monday May 8th NOS Led a group of 7 hikers on an evening hike up to the “W” on Winnemucca Mountain. The hike started at 6:00 PM and the weather was perfect for a hike. As we approached the “W” the sun was beginning to go down and temperature dropped. Luckily, all of the participants had planned for a change in temperature, and they had plenty of layers. The group made it back to the parking lot around 8:00 PM, with just barley any sunlight left. If you haven’t hiked the “W” before, it is a great 3.8 mile hike with beautiful views of the Sonoma Mountains. This hike can be a bit difficult at times, so we are super proud of all of our participants for tackling the challenge and finishing the hike!
May 7, 2017
Water Canyon Interpretive Trail Hike

On Saturday May 6th NOS accompanied 7 hikers on the interpretive trail in Water Canyon. When we reached the Overlook, the group enjoyed taking in the views, and reading the informational kiosk. It was beautiful weather and all of the participants were able to complete the 1.5 mile hike easily. We were excited to see some new faces and make new friends during this hike.

April 24, 2017
Earth Weekend!
This past weekend we took our Road Show to the Olympic Village at Squaw Valley on Saturday and Idlewild Park in Reno on Sunday to help celebrate Earth Day!  At the NOS booth, Earth Day participants tested their Tread Lightly! knowledge on our Treadpardy board and made Outdoor Ethics Hang-tags to learn more about responsible recreation.  It was a great weekend and we appreciate everyone who stopped by to learn more about NOS and our natural world.  Happy Earth Day!

 April 16, 2017
ACA Leadership Conference
This past week our education programming team was down in Palm Springs for the 2017 American Camping Association (ACA) Leadership Conference! 

The conference theme was Safari Chic and the NOS team showed up ready to wow in their attire. More importantly we showed up with open minds and hearts and were all able to attend various educational sessions that interested us or were out of our comfort zones. The sessions ranged from new activities to try at your camp to managing millennial staff. When not in sessions, the team was able to connect with other camps and learn about their organizations, successes and struggles.

April 1, 2017
Water Canyon Hike

On Saturday April 1st, NOS AmeriCorps member Katie Fithian led a group of 5 hikers on the Interpretive Trail in Water Canyon. It was a Beautiful sunny day for a hike and the trail had finally dried out after all of the precipitation the area had received in the previous weeks. At the Overlook, the group stopped to take in the magnificent views and learn a little bit about the Water Canyon area before heading back down the trail. After the hike, the group shared their plans for spring break over some hot tea and Cocoa.

March 25, 2017
Winnemucca LNT Trainer Course
This week, NOS's education programming team participated in a Leave No Trace Trainer Course in Winnemucca.  Our staff and AmeriCorps learned about the history, mission and principles of LNT and had the opportunity to practice teaching a variety of LNT games, activities and lessons.  Our NOS team is now trained, ready and motivated to spread and share the message of responsible recreation with others during our spring and summer programs including community hikes, Road Shows, classroom lessons, field trips and summer camps!

March 23, 2017
Trout Release
 NOS once again helped run stations at the annual 5th grade Water Canyon Trout Release field trip in partnership with NDOW.  During the day, students rotated around a variety of stations including Nevada Outdoor School's two covering erosion and Leave No Trace.  At the Erosion station, students actively became water and vegetation on a hillside to investigate how vegetation and erosion are related.  At the Leave No Trace station, students visited "Camp Oh-No" and evaluated what make a good camp like respecting wildlife, disposing of waste properly and camping on durable surfaces.  
March 20, 2017
Reno Motorsports Expo
 NOS AmeriCorps Members Katie Fithian, Brody Goucher, and Irma Mendoza Traveled to Reno in order to Participate in the Reno Motorsports Expo over St.Patrick’s Day Weekend. The 3 day long Expo takes place at the Reno Convention Center, and draws a variety of outdoor enthusiasts. NOS AmeriCorps members spent their time at this even spreading awareness about responsible outdoor recreation, and Tread lightly! through various hands on and engaging Tread lightly! games. Tread lightly! Is an organization that promotes responsible outdoor recreation through education, ethics, and stewardship, and all of our AmeriCorps members are certified Tread lightly! trainers. The Reno Motorsports Expo was an incredibly successful event for us this year. Our AmeriCorps members talked to Over 575 people about responsible recreation, and we are excited to see all of them do their part, to help ensure that our public lands continue to have access for all types of outdoor recreation.
March 13, 2017
Cabela's Spring Great Outdoors Day Road Show
March 10, 2017
Winnemucca Tread Lightly! Trainer Course
On Thursday, March 9th, NOS hosted an "in-house" Tread Lightly! Trainer Course for NOS programming staff and Naturalists as well as the new Nevada Tread Lightly! State Coordinator, Brian.  Overall it was a great day and participants left with a better understanding of Tread Lightly's history, mission and principles and how to share that message with others.  
 March 6, 2017
Elko Outdoor Sportsman's Expo
The 2nd Annual Elko Sportsman's Expo was held March 4 - 5, 2017 at the Elko Convention Center and Nevada Outdoor School (NOS) was chosen, along with Nevada Outdoorsmen in Wheelchairs (NOW), as the charity partners for the two day event. 
NOS was able to collect several items from local businesses to have on display for silent auction over the two days and we were able to raise $1,050 to be used towards outdoor education programming in Elko County.  The event saw about 1,200 folks walk through the doors and we were able to speak to over 350 individually about NOS programs including Elko Summer Camps, Outdoor Ethics and ATV Safety, the Buckskin/Table Mountain ATV loops and we also recruited cooks and tasters for the 9th Annual Buckaroo Dutch Oven Cook Off fundraiser in August.  
A special thank you to the Elko Daily Free Press and KRJC Radio for choosing NOS and NOW as the charity partners for the weekend and to Elko Coin and Currency, Picture This, Hayley's Fine Gifts and Antiques, Cedar Creek, JM Capriolas, Susan Summer Elliott, Ship's Cycle, Gun World and Archery, California Trail Interpretive Center, Ferguson Enterprises, Elko General Mercantile, Big 5 Sporting Goods, Carlin Trend, Tony Lesperance, Sportsman's Warehouse, Sage Hill Arms, Jim Dandy Productions, Wendover Fun, Jessie Snaman, and Taylor Canyon Resort for their generous donations!

March 4, 2017
Water Canyon Hike

On Saturday March 4th AmeriCorps Naturalist Katie Fithian Led a group of 11 hikers on the interpretative trail Hike in Water Canyon. The group consisted of a few families with hikers of all ages and abilities. It was a Sunny day but, there was also quite a bit of wind. The trail was a little muddy in some areas, but all of the hikers were able to make it up to the lookout safely! When the group reached the look out, they took a quick break to snap some photos of the beautiful views, and then headed back down the trail. After the group finished the hike, they enjoyed some hot tea and cocoa, and shared with each other some of the other actives that they enjoy in the local area.

March 1, 2017
Southern Nevada LNT Trainer Courses
The end of March, Elko Director of Programming,  Jackie Lucero and Outdoor Ethics Coordinator, Leah Stolworthy traveled down to southern Nevada to run two back-to-back LNT Trainer Courses at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.  In total, 28 people attended these two courses and left with the knowledge and skills to spread the message of responsible recreation with others.

February 13, 2017
Hike to the Yurt
 On Saturday February 12th 2017 NOS Outdoor Ethics Program Coordinator, Leah Stolworthy and NOS AmeriCorps Naturalist, Katie Fithian led a group of 8 hikers, up to the Yurt in Water Canyon. Participating Hikers ranged in age and hiking experience, but all were looking forward to a great hike! It was a beautiful sunny day, with warm temperatures however, because of the beautiful weather, the trail was muddy, and the stream crossings were high. The group powered through the adverse trail conditions, careful to not widen the trail as they continued. After about an Hour and a half of hiking, the group made it to the yurt! The group rested and Enjoyed soaking up some sun on the Yurt deck, before heading back down the trail. When the group finished the hike, they rewarded themselves with some hot tea and cocoa, and chatted with the new friends by the fire. If you have never been to the yurt up Water Canyon, we highly recommend you check it out!
February 6, 2017
South Lake Tahoe Leave No Trace Trainer Course
Photo Credit: Madeline Kitagawa
This past weekend, eight people from California and Nevada including NOS Master Educators, Jackie Lucero and Jessica Snaman met in South Lake Tahoe for a fun, snowy 16 hour LNT Trainer Course.  Participants learned about the history and mission of LNT, practiced responsible recreation while snowshoeing and learned a variety of games, activities and lessons to teach others about Leave No Trace.

January 8, 2017
Water Canyon Snowshoe Hike

On Saturday, January 7th, Outdoor Ethics Coordinator Leah Stolworthy and Naturalist Katie Fithian went on a snowshoe hike up in Water Canyon. It was snowing lightly but there wasn’t any wind and the conditions were perfect for a hike! They were joined by only one other hiker, but they all had a great time trekking through the snow! Some well deserved hot chocolate was enjoyed after the hike.

December 2, 2016
Night Hike 

As the sun went down on December 1st, Outdoor Ethics Coordinator, Leah Stolworthy, lead a short hike up the overlook trail in Water Canyon. There was a small turnout for this hike, but it was a blast! The temperatures were cold, but hiking always warms you up! The clouds made for a beautiful sunset and the lights of Winnemucca twinkled cheerily in the distance. Flashlights were a must but they also made the hike a little more fun!

November 14, 2016
Super Full Moon Hike to the "W"

Full Moon

Although the actual Supermoon was at it's biggest on Monday morning the 14th, the moon on Sunday night, November 13th was so bright that during the hike to the “W”, no one really needed flashlights! Nine ambitious hikers showed up to climbed to the rocky letter and we made amazing time! There was very little wind and almost no clouds. The view was spectacular at night! We will definitely be doing more hikes like this one.

November 7, 2016
Water Canyon National Public Lands Day

Group Picture of Volunteers at Water Canyon NPLD

On Saturday, November 5th, the BLM partnered with Nevada Outdoor School, the Rotary Club, Jeep Junkies, Girl Scouts, and CarWil, along with several other volunteers, to put on a National Public Lands Day up in Water Canyon. Everyone worked hard to clean up the trash, paint the picnic tables, put up new kiosks, and rebuild the Interpretive Trail. Prehistoric Pit Catering came out to the event and cooked up some amazing food for everyone to enjoy once the work was done. After only one day, the canyon looks almost brand new! Be sure to go check it out!

November 1, 2016
Sand Mountain Halloween

Sand Mountain Road Show Booth

Naturalist, Katie Fithian, and Outdoor Ethics Program Coordinator, Leah Stolworthy, went to Sand Mountain for Halloween Weekend to help promote responsible recreation of off road vehicles in areas such as that one. There were between 800-1000 people camped there, and although they were only able to directly reach out to about 40 people, their presence was not unnoticed! People smiled and waved as they drove by in their dune buggies and side-by-sides, and the people who did stop to talk were very thankful that NOS was there. Although most people are respectful of their public lands, it’s always good to help remind people why it’s important to keep on caring!

October 21, 2016
Lazy P Farm Field Trips

Group Photo

October has been a very exciting month for Nevada Outdoor School! We just finished up our Third Grade Fall Farm Field Trip! What a wonderful time we all had out at Lazy P Adventure Farm learning about the role that agriculture plays in our everyday lives.

Thanks to our partnership with the Lazy P Adventure Farm, we were able to have over 300 students come out for a learning adventure!

October 7, 2016
Water Canyon Interpretive Trail Hike

Group Photo

On Thursday, October 6th, Outdoor Ethics Coordinator, Leah Stolworthy, lead a fantastic group of hikers up the Water Canyon Interpretive Trail. The leaves on the trees were just beginning to turn yellow, but most of them were still on the trees, which made it feel like we were in a forest rather than in a desert! The kids all did very well, keeping up the pace with the adults and paying attention to the interpretive part of the hike. Although the weather was a little chilly, and the trail a little overgrown, it was a wonderful evening hike and I’m greatly looking forward to the next one!

September 28th, 2016
"W" Hike

Group Photo

On September 27, Outdoor Ethics Program Coordinator, Leah Stolworthy, and Education Coordinator, Kate Contreras, led a group of seven hikers up to the “W” on Winnemucca Mountain. It was an evening hike and started at about 6:30pm. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect! The sky was completely clear and when the sun went down, the stars came out shining full force! With only a couple of rest stops, the hike lasted a little under two hours. We had people of all ages and everyone finished strong! It was a great night and we’re all looking forward to another one soon!

September 26th, 2016
Solider Meadows NPLD - Desert Dace Day

Cabin Resoration at Solider Meadows

This past weekend we partnered with Friends of Black Rock-High Rock, Friends of Nevada Wilderness and the Winnemucca BLM to host the first annual Desert Dace Day for this year’s Black Rock NPLD event. We were scheduled to run a kids camp on Saturday, however, since no kids were there, we go to participate in the service projects helping to clean up Solider Meadows campground and the Solider Meadows cabin. Overall, it was a great weekend! Volunteers got a lot of work done to help protect the Desert Dace and help improve the area. Everyone pitched in, had tons of fun and ate really well. (Photo Credit - Richie Bednarski)

August 21st, 2016
8th Annual Buckaroo Dutch Oven Cook-Off Fundraiser!

2016 DOCO Cooks

This past Saturday, we held our 8th Annual Buckaroo Dutch Oven Cook-Off Fundraiser at Riverview Park. 17 teams competed in three categories: Chuck Wagon (main dish), Bean Master (main dish, desert) and IDOS (main dish, bread, desert). There was music, drinks, great raffle prizes (including the coveted Yeti and Dutch Oven Package raffles), and of course, tons of delicious food for everyone to taste.

This year’s winners were:

Chuck Wagon:

1st Place – What Happens at the DOG… (Andy Hart)

2nd Place- Country Calf-A Cookers (Gene and Chrissy Hunt)

3rd Place- The Cast Iron Maiden (Kristen Page and Levii Anthony)

Bean Master:

1st Place – Country Calf-A Cookers (Gene and Chrissy Hunt)

2nd Place – Super Nova (Alan and Lisa Davis)

3rd Place – RLM Ranch and Friends (Leflar Family and Michael McCampbell)


1st Place – Coach and the Conductor (John Gist and Paul Tremayne)

2nd Place – Panda Monium (Ron Rathbun)

3rd Place – Bad Eye Bob’s (James and Bob Lage and Jim Smith)

People’s Choice Award Winner:

What Happens at the DOG… (Andy Hart)

August 15th, 2016
Winnemucca Girls Camp

Winnemucca Girls Camp

Winnemucca Girl's Camp finished up last week and boy, did those girls have a blast with their counselors Ranger, Fritter, and Pterodactyl- no boys allowed! Monday was our Team Building Day where campers got to know one another by playing games, eating snacks, and going swimming. Tuesday was our Diversity Day where campers learned a little more about where they each came from by doing a family tree craft, what some of the different cultures around Winnemucca are and participating in a traditional Mexican dance (complete with costumes), and they even played some games and ate some snacks from all around the world. Wednesday was our Self-Expression Day where campers got to express themselves by making collages, tie-dying t-shirts, spraying their hair hair crazy colors, getting temporary tattoos, doing yoga, and eating some delicious, customized frozen yogurt. Thursday, we drove off to Lake Tahoe to camp out and learn about Healthy Lifestyles. We swam, cooked out, had a campfire, and ate s'mores. Instead of heading straight home on Friday, we stopped off at the University of Nevada in Reno where campers explored possible Future Careers. We did a walking tour around campus and then ate lunch with the swans at Manzanita Lake. What a week!

August 4th, 2016
Elko Girls Camp

Elko Girls Camp

NOS Naturalists Fiona and Kiko went to Elko at the beginning of the month to put on Elko Girl's Camp, which lasted 3 days. Day 1 was all fun and games while campers got to know each other. We finished the day with snacks and swimming. The theme of Day 2 was "Wellness in Lamoille Canyon" so of course we took the campers hiking up to Lamoille Lake! Campers also practiced how to keep the environment healthy and safe for everyone to use by learning a little Leave No Trace on the trail. To finish camp off on Day 3, campers played more games, tie-dyed t-shirts, and did some crafts. We ended the day at the bowling alley, after filling up on some ice-cream. What a great group of girls!

July 11th, 2016
Dutch Diva Workshop

Hinky Summit ATV Ride

This past Saturday, the Dutch Diva and the Dutch Dude traveled from Reno to help us host a Dutch Oven Workshop up in Water Canyon. It was a great (and delicious) time filled with many tips and tricks for general and competitive Dutch Oven cooking. Some of the delicious meals prepared included pineapple upside-down cake, two types of yummy biscuits, and root vegetable stew. Is your mouth watering out of jealously? Don’t worry, come to our Buckaroo Dutch Oven Cook-Off Fundraiser on Saturday August 20th at Riverview Park and eat up!

July 9th, 2016
Water Canyon Community Campfire

Hinky Summit ATV Ride

Yesterday, we hosted a community campfire up in Water Canyon. Participants had a chance to hike in the back of the canyon, build a campfire together, hang out and eat 'Smores! A great time was had by all.

June 27th, 2016
Hinky Summit ATV Ride

Hinky Summit ATV Ride

On Sunday, June 26th, Members from the Winnemucca ATV Association joined Outdoor Ethics Specialist Leah Stolworthy for an ATV ride up Hinkey Summit. They started where the pavement stopped and rode for a total of five hours, up to Lye Creek Campground and beyond. The views were incredible and the weather couldn’t have been any better!

June 27th, 2016
Winnemucca ATV Rider Camp

Winnemucca ATV Rider Camp

The first of three ATV Rider Camps was held in Winnemucca this past week. During the actual “camp” participants played games and did activities which taught them about safe and responsible riding practices such as proper ATV safety gear and how to Tread Lightly! while riding. The last day of camp took place at the Winnemucca Sand Dunes, were the kids had a chance to get on the NOS youth ATV to actively learn and practice safe and responsible riding techniques. The other two ATV Rider Camps this summer will be held in Elko and Reno.

June 27th, 2016
Adventure Camp 1

Ad Camp 1

This past week, 25 campers participated in our first Adventure Camp 1! Throughout the week campers played teambuilding games, swam, did arts and crafts and even got to campout in Water Canyon!

June 20th, 2016
NV Outdoor Experience

Road Show Booth

This past Saturday, NOS took our Road Show to the Carson City Gun Club for Nevada Outdoor Experience. Those who stopped by the NOS booth learned about safe and responsible riding and recreation through some fun, hands-on activities.

June 18th, 2016
Sierra Excursion

Sierra Excursion

Twelve 6th and 7th graders from Winnemucca traveled to Lake Tahoe for a 2-night, 3-day Sierra Excursion! Campers had a blast hiking, skipping rocks on the lake, swimming (in SUPER cold water), hanging out around the campfire and eating ‘Smores. One of the highlights was getting to go to the Tahoe Treetops Adventure Course on the last day. A very special thanks to the Frontier Community Coalition who through generous funding helped make this and our future Ruby Excursion possible.

May 31st, 2016
Black Rock Rendezvous

BRR Kids Camp

Over the Memorial Day weekend, NOS members traveled to the Black Rock Desert for the annual partner group celebration and stewardship event known as the Black Rock Rendezvous. Jessie talked about Leave No Trace with everyone and helped lead a hot springs tour while the AmeriCorps members ran the kids camp. Fiona, Simon, Kiko, Ruthie and Leah played games with the kids while teaching them about the principals of Leave No Trace on Saturday. On Sunday the kids got to go around the entire camp and audit all the campsites, making sure the campers were doing the best they could at Leave No Trace. It was a great weekend with perfect weather and tons of fun!

May 26th, 2016
Ecology Fair

Tree Cookies at Ecology Fair

Nevada Outdoor School’s 4th grade Ecology Fair takes place every spring at the Winnemucca Community Garden and provides students the opportunity to investigate, discover, and learn about ecology through hands-on, interactive and self-guided exploration. Unfortunately this year, due to weather, only 2 out of the 3 schools were able to attend. Those that did had a great time learning about a variety of ecological concepts such as wildlife, soil, water, plants and much, much more! A very special thank you to all the AmeriCorps and community volunteers who helped make this year’s event a success.

May 19th, 2016
Lovelock Cave Days

Lovelock Cave

NOS was in Lovelock, Nevada Monday through Wednesday for the Lovelock Cave Days Fourth Grade Partnered Field Trip which aimed to teach students about the history of Lovelock, all the way back since the days of the famous duck decoys to the present. NOS Naturalists Fiona Taylor, Kiko Ramirez, Ruthie Cathers, and Simon Fierst each led a stop on an interpretive hike where students learned the historic uses of native plants and animals before reaching the cave's entrance. NOS Education Supervisor Megan Kuskie facilitated the museum portion of the field trip where Outdoor Ethics Specialist Leah Stolworthy led students around the second floor of the museum and later, outside in the equipment yard, where students explored old-time Lovelock farming equipment. Before heading home, students also saw atlatls (ancient spear throwers) in action, explored Lovelock Cave, experienced what it is like to be immigrants travelling west, learned about the geography of the area and its rich mining history, listened to a Paiute woman tell stories, and so much more. Winnemucca Grammar School, Sonoma Heights Elementary, Grass Valley Elementary, Denio Elementary School, and Lovelock Elementary all came out for this field trip.

May 16th, 2016
Nevada has 9 New Leave No Trace Trainers!

FNW LNT Trainer Course

Over the weekend, NOS and Friends of Nevada Wilderness partnered together to host a Leave No Trace Trainer Course at Washoe Lake State Park. It was a great weekend filled with lots of learning, laughs, hikes, friends and great food! Congratulations to Nevada’s nine new LNT Trainers. We look forward to hearing about all the fun you have in the future spreading the message of responsible recreation!

May 13th, 2016
2016 3rd Grade Water Canyon Field Trips

3rd Grade Field Trip

Local 3rd graders who went to NOS’s 3rd grade field trip in Water Canyon this year rotated to four stations which included Succession, Stream Ecology & Water Quality Testing, an Interpretive Trail Nature Hike, and the Web of Life. At the Succession station students learned about the different stages of succession and the role it played in Water Canyon after the fire years ago and had the opportunity to search for signs of succession in the Canyon. At the Stream Ecology and Water Quality Testing Station, students collected and tested water samples from Water Canyon creek and determined its health using the data they collected. They enjoyed searching for and collecting macro invertebrates which they were able to use to determine the health of the creek by identifying the species found. At the Interpretive Trail Nature Hike station, students had the opportunity to enjoy nature while learning about the history of Winnemucca and Water Canyon along and gained knowledge of their public lands. At the Web of Life station students learned about the different components of an ecosystem an analyzed how they are connected. They also evaluated how ecosystems are affected by changes to a watershed and discussed how human actions impact ecosystems & watersheds both positively and negatively. Students came away from the field trip with newfound knowledge and a strengthened stewardship values.

May 4th, 2016
2016 Watershed Field Trips

2nd grade Watershed FT

The last couple of weeks of April were an exciting time for Winnemucca and Elko 2nd grade students. They got to take a break from their school day to learn about their watershed, the Humboldt River Basin Watershed. NOS naturalists and other staff created interactive stations which included games, journaling and other activities. After singing the “Water Cycle Boogie”, playing “Be the Change” tag, doing their best animal impression, and writing about what they sensed around them, students understand that a watershed is an area of land where water moves from a high point to a low point. They also learned that they can make a difference in their watershed through a variety of ways.

May 2nd, 2016
Cabela's Camping Classic

The last weekend of April was a lot of fun for Naturalist, Kiko, and Outdoor Ethics Specialist, Leah! They went to Reno for a Road Show at Cabela's. On Saturday, they participated in a Boy Scouts event, playing Treadpardy with several groups of Scouts who were competing for the fastest time. On Sunday, they talked with several people about the upcoming Dutch Oven Cook Off, happening this August! They also lead a Leave No Trace discussion to help inform people about the importance of responsible recreation in the outdoors. The girls had a ton of fun and were able to reach out to over 120 people!

April 25th, 2016
Earth Day Road Shows!

Reno Earth Day Road Show

It sure was a fun Earth WEEK for us here at NOS! We kicked off Earth Week on April 16th at Squaw Village with our Road Show booth at Tahoe/Truckee Earth Day and wrapped it up the same way at Reno Earth day this past Sunday. All together, at both events we reached close to 500 people with the message of responsible recreation. Those who stopped by our booth had a blast making outdoor ethics hang-tags, testing their knowledge on our TreadPardy board and just generally getting information and sharing their stories/experiences about Leave No Trace and Tread Lightly!

April 7th, 2016
Valley of Fire LNT Trainer Courses

VOF LNT Group#1

Jessie and Leah traveled down south to Valley of Fire State Park this past Friday for two back-to-back Leave No Trace Trainer Courses. In total, seven people participated in one of the two 16 hour, 2 day, 1 night courses and became LNT Trainers prepared and pumped to share the message of responsible recreation with others. The weather was beautiful, the scenery breathtaking and the company was great! We are very proud of all the new trainers and look forward to hearing about the wonderful work they do in the future!

Check out our Flickr pages to see more photos:

March 22nd, 2016
2016 Reno MotorSports Expo!

Reno Motorsports Exop

Over the weekend of March 18-20, Naturalists Simon, Ruthie, and Outdoor Ethics Specialist Leah, went down to Reno, NV, to teach Tread Lightly! and Leave No Trace programs to people at the Reno Motorsports Event. Several children got their pictures taken on the ATV and learned about the importance of safety gear while riding. Adults and children alike played Treadpardy, a jeopardy themed education game that teaches the five principals of Tread Lightly! and promotes responsible stewardship of the environment. Other visitors caught a beach ball with outdoor ethics questions on it and when they answered a question, they were able to spin the prize wheel for some awesome prizes! Between the three of them, Simon, Ruthie, and Leah were able to reach out to about 400 people.

March 19th, 2016
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Banquet

RMEF Banquet Display

We were cordially invited to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Banquet on March 19 to present our programs and projects. NOS has had a strong partnership with RMEF since 2009 and has been receiving yearly monetary support for the past three years to help support our summer camp programs. This year, the funding will help to support a new program to take at least 24 students to the Sierra Mountains or the Ruby Mountains for a back country camping excursion.

While at the banquet, NOS also had a display of one of our major trail projects, the Buckskin/Table Mountain ATV loops in the Santa Rosa Mountains, where we took a series of existing roads and trails and tied them together into two ATV/OHV loops with ATV cattle guards at the gate crossings. The larger Buckskin loop is 25 miles and the smaller Table Mountain loop is just 8 miles. For more information or to acquire a map of the trails, please stop by our office at 655 Anderson St.


March 17th, 2016
Trout Release

LNT Activity at Trout Release

On Wednesday, NOS, together with the Nevada Division of Wildlife and the National Forest Service, took part in the French Ford Middle School annual Trout Release Field Trip in Water Canyon. During this field trip, students rotated through 7 stations (Fish Release, Erosion, Small Mammals, Riparian Area, Electrofishing, Leave No Trace, and Large Mammals) to learn more about the animal habitats, water ecosystems, and landscapes of Water Canyon. Nevada Outdoor School Naturalists ran the Erosion station (Fiona Taylor) and the Leave No Trace station (Ruthie Cathers). Students also completed a Scavenger Hunt and Word Search, wrote poems, and drew pictures of their experience.

Over 160 5th graders from 11 classrooms participated in this event.

March 10th, 2016
Water Summit

Water Summit

On Wednesday, employees from Nevada Outdoor School attended the water summit, to learn about the state of our tap water in Winnemucca, and especially Grass Valley. Several speakers gave input on potential hazards to our water sources, and ways we can mitigate these risks, including proper septic tank maintenance. After the speakers, several naturalists, including our newest members, gave a dynamic and hands-on presentation about watersheds, and how we can continue to live our lifestyles, while minimizing the risk of pollution to the water that we depend on.

February 23rd, 2016
Full Moon Hike

Hikers use their sense of hearing

On Monday the 22nd, naturalists Fiona and Simon led people of all ages on a full moon hike through water canyon. The hikers learned a little bit about the nature and history of Water Canyon, completed a ridgeline ascent, and did activities to better learn about how to hike at night in a safe way. They finished the night with hot chocolate and a gorgeous view of the full moon rising over the mountains.

February 16th, 2016
Grass Valley PTA Night

Kids play with worms at GVE PTA meeting

Last Thursday evening, Nevada Outdoor School was invited to participate in Grass Valley Elementary PTA Night. After the PTA meeting adjourned, students and parents were invited to visit the four tables we set up, each with interactive displays and activities focusing on animals. We had a Skins and Skulls exhibit where everyone could touch a variety of animal skins, skulls, feathers, track casts, and scat casts and learn a little about the animals they belonged to. At our Bats! table, students and parents explored a kid-sized bat box, examined a preserved bat specimen, and researched interesting bat facts with an assortment of books. At our Wiggly Worms table, everyone was able to learn why worms are so important by examining live worms, reading an assortment of interesting worm facts, looking at pictures, and doing a craft in which kids got to take home their own 'wiggly worm'. And finally, at our Snakes Alive table, students and parents alike faced their fears by touching and handling a live corn snake. Kids also enjoyed flipping through snake and reptile books, testing their knowledge with a snake fact sheet questionnaire, and observing our other snake ambassador to learn about common snake misconceptions. Overall, parents learned more about our organization and its goals and students had fun exploring different animals.

February 11th, 2016
2016 Beat the Winter Blues Photo Contest

Kit for near the Toiyabes

Throughout the month of January, we encouraged people to get outdoors, have fun and help beat the winter blues that sometimes overwhelm us when the weather turns colder and the days get shorter. We asked people to submit photos of their outdoor excursions and posted them on our facebook page to inspire others to do the same. In total, 10 people submitted photos throughout January. The NOS staff, with help from those “liking” pictures on social media all voted on our favorites to award 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners who all received some sweet NOS gear including a Hoo-Rag, hat and mug. A very special congratulations goes out to our 1st place winner, Nick Prasser’s “Kit Fox Near the Toiyabes” (pictured above). Thank you to everyone who participated! We hope everyone keeps having fun out there and continues to help beat the winter blues by getting outside and exploring the beautiful winter landscape.

February 8th, 2016
Snowshoe Hike!

Snowshoe Hike in Water Canyon

Last Saturday we had our second snowshoe hike of the season in Water Canyon. Everyone had a blast, and got to learn a little about the history and culture of “Winnemucca’s playground.” Afterward everyone warmed up with some hot chocolate and good conversation. If you missed this one, don’t forget to come to our third and final snowshoe hike on February 22, which will be a full moon hike.

January 29th, 2016
Thank You Newmont Legacy Fund!

Newmont Legacy Fund

We would like to give a very big Thank You to the Newmont Legacy Fund for their generous donation of $36,700 to help support our mission to inspire exploration of the natural world, responsible stewardship of our habitat and dedication to community.

January 19th, 2016
2nd Annual MLK Dodgeball Tournament

MLK Dodgeball Group

On January 16th, 2016, Americorps members from Winnemucca, Lovelock, Elko, and Reno hosted the 2nd Annual Dodgeball Tournament as a service project in honor of Martin Luther King Junior Day. This year all proceeds from the Dodgeball tournament went towards the fight against childhood hunger in Humboldt County by funding programs such as the Summer Food Service Program, the Backpack Kids Program, and assisting with nutritional needs in the rural schools of Humboldt County. A total of 17 teams registered and the total amount of money raised was $1789.85 paid to FCAA!

January 5th, 2016
Thank You Southwest Gas Fuel for Life!

Southwest Gas Check

We would like to give a very big heartfelt Thank You to the Southwest Gas Fuel For Life Employee Giving Campaign for their generous $6,586 contribution to help fund our programs this coming year!

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