What's New at NOS


June 26th-29th
Winnemucca Adventure Camp

Summertime is the time to go outdoors and enjoy the weather! That is what Nevada Outdoor School and the kids of adventure camp did! We started our camp with some fun games and activities to do with the campers. We had an exciting second day with some water activities and water balloon fights! Then came some of our campers first time camping overnight and enjoying a real camping experience. We had some activities which included a hike and some activities we enjoyed. We also enjoyed an amazing campfire where we enjoyed smores and some skits and even a talent show. While doing all of this the children got to learn about Leave no Trace and important ways they can leave no trace. There were a lot of amazing memories made during this time and we all really enjoyed it!

Picture: The kids enjoy their paper cup awards!




June 22nd
Ride Safe, Ride Smart Youth Camp - Elko

On a warm and sunny Thursday, Elko hosted a Ride Safe Ride Smart Day camp! This camp is a full day of learning all about safe and responsible practices when it comes to riding ATV’s, which many of us in the community do! Campers learned all about the five Tread Lightly! Principles and how they can be responsible ATV riders. Many interactive games and team building activities were played throughout the day. The camp ended with awards and goodie bags! Here at Nevada Outdoor School we are committed to promoting safe and responsible ATV use here in Nevada and beyond. Each participant received a code for a free online e course to expand their knowledge even further.

Photo Caption: Campers with their paper plate awards and goodie bags! 


June 21st
Ride Safe, Ride Smart Youth Camp - Winnemucca

NOS started the summer off with a bang by hosting a Ride Safe, Ride Smart Day Camp in Winnemucca! We played many games and activities that focused around safe and responsible OHV riding practices for kiddos to learn whether they drive or ride a side by side, atv, or dirtbike. This even includes teaching them the 5 Tread Lightly! Principles, proper safety gear to wear, and team building games. Each one of the participants also walked away with an off road helmet to help keep them safer on their next outdoor adventure!

Picture: safety clothes relay race





June 21st
Family Bike Ride - CTIC

On the 21st of June, Nevada Outdoor School joined a family bike ride hosted by the California Trails Heritage Alliance and California Trail Interpretive Center. The trail started and ended at the California Trail Interpretive Center. As participants began to show up, NOS members Angie and Noah D. greeted and assisted them in signing themselves and anyone else in their party on a sign-in sheet. There was a decent turnout with 14 locals participating in the first ever family bike ride! People of all ages came to join the bike ride. Before the ride began, a speaker from CTIC gave a brief overview of the bike trail as well as the history of the Trail Center itself. Then a member of The California Trails Heritage Alliance spoke about their mission, which is to preserve and improve the California Trails so that countless generations have the opportunity to see and learn about this historical trail. The ride was an eight mile round trip, although participants had the option to return back to the Interpretive Center whenever they felt they needed to.  Two other NOS members, Karl and Stewart, were stationed at the halfway point on the trail to hand out water and a snack to those in need while passing by on the trail. Other members from the California Trail Interpretive Center had set up informational stations along the route where participants could stop to learn more about the trail they were riding on, as well as more information on the entirety of the California Trail and the rich history behind it.  The California Trails Heritage Alliance plans on hosting more family bike rides similar to this one in the near future! With how astronomically successful this first one was, the hope is to have an even better turn out for the upcoming ones. Overall, it was a very positive experience for the participants and for the hosts of the event!


June 3rd
NOS's 20th Anniversary Gala and Art Auction!

It is with such heartfelt gratitude that I thank everyone who came out to the Battle Mountain Civic Center Saturday, June 3rd, to help us celebrate Nevada Outdoor School’s 20th Anniversary at our Gala and “Nature Indoors” art auction!

Our partners, families and friends were so amazingly generous with their artwork donations! We collected several paintings, drawings and photographs for sure, but also unique items like birdhouses, a Native American rattle, jewelry, quilts, handmade backpacks, a songbook and matching CD, wreaths and several items made of wood.

The live auction was so fun with Jered Ballaam at the mic, and the crowd was kind with their bids and we collected over $5,000 on the donated items!

Before the auction, we had a delicious dinner prepared by the Overtime – a caterer I would definitely recommend and will use again! After the auction, Dave Bengochea and Friends helped us light up the dancefloor with some rockin’ good music that I received several compliments on.

A big thank you to the crew from the Battle Mountain Sober Seniors who showed up before and after the event to help us set up, take down and clean up. The band was especially grateful for their efforts. These kids are raising funds for their post-graduation event to help keep kids safe, occupied and injury free throughout graduation night. Let me tell you, these kids hustled and their advisor Kim Benevidas, was amazing! If you need any help or can put these kids to work on a project in exchange for a donation, I highly recommend them!

Here’s to another 20 years!

Melanie Erquiaga, Executive Director



June 1st
Rural School Splash Pad Lesson

The month of June came in with a splash for our Rural Schools who ended their school year with a trip to the Whitworth Recreational Park and splash pad, for some water fun and a NOS lesson. Sixty-eight students from Paradise Valley, Denio, Orovada, and Kings River schools expanded their knowledge of local wildlife with a hands-on lesson on Skulls and Skins; lead by NOS member Toni and with the help of NOS members Sedric, Noah C, and Jesse. Students learned how to identify herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores by their teeth structure and by the location of their eyes.  Skulls and skins from a variety of different animals were on display for interaction, here they got to touch and match which animals these items came from. While learning  interesting facts about each animal that the skull or skin belonged to. A successful and overall warm and fuzzy experience for the last day of school.      

Photo: Rural school students were engrossed in the lesson.



May 13th
Take a Kid Fishing Day - Spring Creek Marina

NOS got to participate in the Spring Creek Take A Kid Fishing Day and saw 48 people. At this event we taught fishing specific Leave No Trace ethics. We got the chance to talk to participants about different fishing poles and the types of bait to use. Participants also had the opportunity to learn how to tie different fishing knots. Lots of participants asked about different fishing locations to increase their time spent outdoors. Overall this was a fun and successful event. 






May 12th
Grammer #2 Ag Day - Elko

Grammar #2's Ag Day was a  fun and exciting event that NOS was able to participate in along with many other businesses and community members. We were able to teach kids from ages k-4 about Elk and deer and all their awesome adaptations. Some adaptations that Elks have are their amazing antlers which shed each year. As well as their long legs which are great for the harsh snowy winters of Nevada. We were also able to talk about our summer programs and the teachers were given summer camp fliers to give to students as well. Overall it was a super fun experience. 





May 10th
Eliminate the Stigma Walk

Did you know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month? On May 10th Nevada Outdoor School along with the help of the Humboldt Connection Suicide Prevention Task Force walked from Ridley’s supermarket to the Court House to raise awareness for mental health in aim to eliminate the stigma! Staff members and AmeriCorp members from both Winnemucca and Elko join in on this awareness event!

Photo Captions: Staff and AmerCorp members participating in the Eliminate the Stigma Walk May 10th in Winnemucca.




May 8th (Elko) & 12th (Winnemucca)
Gardening Workshop

The month of May started off with our NOS team members in both Elko and Winnemucca sharing their greenthumbs with the community. Elko featured Angie Heguy from Acton Academy as gardening lead and NOS member Kaitlin, while Winnemucca had members Noah and Johnny with Toni as lead.   Both teams brought their A-game  encouraging “positive growth” with engaging gardening workshops. Teaching our community basic planting techniques and composting basics, skills to help the beginner gardener and encourage sustainable gardening. The event was a success with all participants (adults and children) potting their very own plant and enjoying the process, leaving with new skills and greenthumbs.  

Photo: NOS team member Toni teaches participant how to pot a plant.





May 5th
Animal Track and ID Hike - Winnemucca

On May 5th we hosted a skills hike in Sonoma Canyon with a plan to teach participants and their families about identifying animal tracks and how to track animals. Due to heavy rain for a couple of days prior most tracks and animal footprints had been washed away. Even with minimal animal tracks we were still able to find some and show them to the participants. The few tracks we were able to find included lots of cow tracks and a few antelope and dog tracks. The kids were having fun looking  for the tracks as we walked and when we found one we would all gather around and talk about what animal we think made it and what direction they were going. The Elko group did an animal track & id hike as well; they only had one participant but were still able to get out and do the hike. Overall both hikes went very well. The kids learned a new skill and we got some families up and active.

Photo caption: Americorps members and group participants at the end of hike.


April 29th
Zero Suicides Event - Elko

On April 29th, we were able to attend the Zero Suicides Elko event at the Elko Convention center. At this event NOS as well as many others had booths for participants to look at and learn about. At this event there were multiple guest speakers for the vendors and the public. They talked about mental health and suicide awarness. We feel so lucky to have been able to participate at this event and help support mental health awareness. At NOS, all members are trained in safeTALK and suicide awarness. NOS is a supporter of mental health awareness and helping people get outdoors to aid mental illness. 







April 27th
Great Basin Greatness

On April 27th all of the current AmeriCorps members went to Grass Valley Elementary to put on the “Great Basin Greatness” event hosted by the Grass Valley PTA. At the event we showcased several types of lessons/ programs that NOS provides such as our elk trunk, Leave No Trace, animal skins, skulls, and tracks, and Ride Safe, Ride Smart sample program. We were also able to educate the families about the actual content in our programs and inspire the kids to think about animals and some of the ways we can affect them. In addition we had a general information booth all about our upcoming summer programs we have to offer this year as well!

Photo caption: AmeriCorps Member, Noah hands out sticker prizes to participants after they answer RS2 questions.


April 21st
Triple "R" Party - Elko

On the afternoon of April 21st, the day before Earth Day, members of the Elko community came together to create Earth Day bags and learn about trash decomposition. We started with our trash timeline game, where participants guessed how long some of our everyday trash takes to decompose. Some items were pretty surprising, for example, did you know fishing line can take up to 600 years to decompose! Next, every participant was able to decorate their very own Earth Day bag to be used for picking up or storing trash.

Photo Caption: Participants creating their Earth Day bag. 






April 20th
Health and Wellness Carnival

On the evening of April 20th, NOS was able to participate in the Level Up 4 Health School Carnival. This event was hosted at Flagview Intermediate Level Up 4 Health is a community initiative promoting health and wellness in children and teens. The booth NOS set up showed students and their families the importance of ATV safety with our NOS Toss game. Every student won a prize and left with more knowledge of ATV safety!

Photo Caption: NOS booth at the Health and Wellness Carnival 



April 20th
RS2 Outreach with Renown - Minden

Nevada Outdoor School traveled to Minden, Nevada with our Ride Safe Ride Smart OHV Safety program partnering with Jorge Montano, Renown Hospital’s Pediatric Injury Prevention Specialist, to do a presentation about OHV Safety Education to five Douglas High School Health classes and 130 students.  Jorge shared stories and photos of several Nevada youth that have suffered traumatic brain injuries from preventable accidents while not wearing head protection or helmets while recreating off road.  Mel from NOS engaged the students in conversations about positive and negative impacts with riding OHVs and the choices that can be made to positively impact themselves and the environment and limit negative impacts whenever possible.   

NOS’s Ride Safe Ride Smart Nevada program is really expanding and evolving with our renewed partnership with Renown, Tread Lightly and the NV Offroad Association.  Youth or adults can take an online OHV Safety Course by visiting https://www.offroad-ed.com/nevada and use the coupon code NOSRS2 to complete the course for free.  Hands on OHV Safety Courses and Ride Safe Ride Smart school-based curriculum can be brought to your community.  Just reach out to information@nevadaoutdoorschool.org!


April 18th
Trout Release - Carlin

The Carlin trout release was on April 18th in Carlin, NV. At this event, NOS was able to teach students about erosion and prey vs. predator. We played games and talked about vegetation and how having a heavily vegetated area can help with areas that have erosion. We were also able to talk about the prey and predators of trout, such as bears for predators and bugs for prey. NOS was able to reach an awesome 4th grade class, and although we weren't able to release any trout, we were still able to learn and play.

Photo Caption: Students at the Carlin Pond for Trout Release


April 15th
Ducks Unlimited Dinner

On April 15th one AmeriCorps member and one staff member went to the Ducks Unlimited dinner. We were able to reach out to parents and tell them about our upcoming summer camps and our other activities for the month. During the event the children were able to make and decorate reusable bags for Earth day and Leave No Trace hang tags. Overall the event was really fun and we were able to reach out to quite a few people who don't know what we do.

Photo Caption: Participants making Leave No Trace hangtags



April 15th
Tahoe Truckee Earth Day Road Show

In April two AmeriCorps members went to the Tahoe Truckee Earth Day Festival. 

We had a booth that saw 434 people. At the event we educated people about the 7 Leave No Trace principles and how they can be applied to when they are outdoors exploring. We taught the principles through the Leave No Trace hang tags as well as educated people on how to choose actions that have a lesser impact when outdoors through our wheel of ethics. Overall this was a great event where we got to educate many people.

Photo Caption: AmeriCorps members at outreach booth



April 14th
Homeschool Program - Winnemucca

With our lesson for the homeschool group we had fun teaching them about compasses and counting paces. When the kids first got a hold of the compasses they learned how to sight their compasses to always keep the direction arrow ready and then they learned how to read coordinates. The kids at the homeschool group got to do a scavenger hunt and coordinates following to find pieces of a paper flower to build a picture for spring. Overall the students enjoyed learning about compasses, their uses, the history of them, and building the spring flower for their parents.


April 6th
Full Moon Hike - Winnemucca

On the first full moon of April NOS hosted a nighttime hike to watch the full moon over Water Canyon and Southfork Meadows. In Winnemucca the snow was still present on the trail so the use of snowshoes became necessary to reach the end of the trail. During this event the participants got to experience snowshoeing as well as nighttime navigation. NOS puts on these hikes for the community so they can see what nature has to offer them as far as recreation and general wellbeing.

Photo: Winnemucca office on top of the lookout at Water Canyon


April 5th
NDOW and NOS Spring Break Leave No Trace Camp - Elko

During the week of Elko County Spring Break, NOS partnered with NDOW to help with Wild Week. During the week there are different activities each day such as Hunters Ed, Archery, Biologist Day and more! For our day, we hosted a Leave No Trace Awareness Workshop. Participants learned all 7 Leave No Trace Principles, which are ways to be safe and responsible while recreating outdoors. The principles are taught through a series of fun and interactive games. A favorite was, “Save the Forest” where students learned the importance of putting out campfires and how firefighters help to prevent the spread of wildfires!

Photo Caption: Participants learning the importance of putting out campfires through a fun game! 

March 29th-April 2nd
Reno Motorsports Expo Road Show

On March 29th through April 2nd, NOS members were able to attend the Reno Motorsports Expo in Reno, NV. The event was exciting and fun and NOS was able to reach out to community members of Reno and surrounding areas. At this event, we were able to explain Leave No Trace and the 5 Tread Lightly! Principles. We were able to do this with our large question wheel that participants got to spin, answer a question and get a prize! We also had the opportunity to explain our summer camps. At this event we were able to reach out to 401 people and explain what we do here at NOS and impact the participants of the Expo in a fun way!

Photo Caption: Nevada Outdoor School’s outreach booth at the Reno Motorsports Expo.



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