Outdoor School Programs

During your school field trip to Frost Valley YMCA, we invite you and your students to visit our outdoor classroom—the forest, fields, hiking trails, lakeshore, and riverbeds—where education lives and breathes. Here, students learn the natural way and experience transformation.

Our Frost Valley YMCA staff can help you design and conduct programs that meet the standards of New York and New Jersey curriculum and the requirements of New York City Watershed Education grants. But we do more than offer top-notch environmental education, academic support in reading, writing, math, science and art, challenging adventure courses, and recreation. We impart our values—the foundation of everything we do—to students and teachers alike, sparking the transformation from student to leader in just a few days, inspiring a passion for lifelong learning.

Outdoor School Programs Brochure:

In addition to our robust environmental education curriculum, Frost Valley offers a wide range of team building programs designed to bring your students together as a cohesive team through games, challenges, high ropes and low ropes courses, thoughtful reflection and much more. 

Learn More About Team Building Programs For Schools

Contact us to book your school field trip!

Environmental Educations School Field Trips For Students

School Field Trip Programs

The programs offered at Frost Valley YMCA have evolved during our forty years of bringing people closer to their environment. It is our hope that these experiences will have an impact beyond the student’s time here at Frost Valley. Whether they are on an all day ecology hike, on our team building course, or in the greenhouse, Frost Valley instructors strive to incorporate our core values through practices that instill awareness and appreciation of the beauty and diversity of nature. We feel that learning should be discovery-based, interactive, and perhaps most of all—fun. Join us in creating an experience that will last a lifetime. Below is a list of the classes and programs we offer. Download the detailed descriptions of all the programs


  • Acid Rain Studies Grades 6-12
  • Forest Ecology Grades 4-12
  • Geology of the Catskills Grades 7 – 12
  • Organic Gardening Grades 3- 9
  • Orienteering Grades 7 – 12
  • Raptor Center Grades 4-12
  • Resource Recovery Grades 5 – 12
  • Watershed and Wilderness Grades 5 – 12
  • Wildlife Ecology Grades 3 – 12
  • Winter Ecology Grades 5 – 7 (winter)


  • Apple Cidering Grades 3 – 12 (fall)
  • Castle Tour Grades 3 – 12
  • Ice Cutting Grades 6 – 12 (Winter only)
  • Maple Sugaring Grades 6 – 12 (late winter – early spring)


  • Catapult Communication experience Grades 7 – 12
  • New Games Grades 3 – 12
  • Outdoor Living Skills Grades 6 – 12
  • Project Adventure Grades 3 – 12
  • Ropes – Low Grades 6 – 12
  • The Beast Communication experience Grades 6 – 12
  • Trust Trip Grades 3 – 8


  • Catskill Hikes Grades 3 -12
  • Half Day or Full Day Ecology Hikes All grades


  • Climbing Tower Grades 4 – 12
  • Flying Squirrel Grades 4 – 12 (fall and spring, temperature and weather permitting)
  • Giant’s Ladder Grades 7 – 12 (fall and spring, temperature and weather permitting)
  • Giant Swing Grades 7 – 12 (fall and spring, temperature and weather permitting)
  • Leap of Faith Grades 7 – 12 (fall and spring, temperature and weather permitting)
  • Ropes – High Grades 7 – 12 (fall and spring, temperature and weather permitting)
  • Zipline Grades 7 – 12 (fall and spring, temperature and weather permitting)


  • Catskill Crafts All grades
  • Seasonal Recreation All grades


  • Sensory Explorations Grades 3 – 6
  • Catskill Writing Grades 6 – 12


  • Action Auction
  • Astronomy/Observatory Grades 6-12 (best with small groups)
  • Campfire
  • Catapult
  • The Lorax
  • New Games
  • Night Awareness
  • Predator – Prey Games
  • Raffa Raffa Grades 7 – 12
  • Snow Tubing Grades 4 – 12 (winter)
  • Town Planning Meeting Grades 6 – 12
  • Tractor Hayrides
  • Zingers


The Speakers listed below are available for an additional fee. Please contact eepc@frostvalley.org for prices.

Herpetology – Jack DiMuccio
Reptiles and their natural history is the focus. Jack works with live snakes and other reptiles, and often gives students a “hands-on” experience. An emphasis is to develop respect and understanding for the important role these animals play in nature.

Native American Dance – Little Hawk
Students will develop an understanding of the cultural contributions of the Native Americans through music, dance and movement as well as crafts. Little Hawk demonstrates many interactive dances. Interwoven with his dancing are teachings about the history of the Iriquois Confederacy.

Ornithology – Bill Robinson, Brian Robinson
Emphasis is placed on bird adaptations and natural history in this lesson as it is taught using raptors (birds of prey). Bill uses live birds such as hawks, eagles, owls and vultures to highlight their important role in nature. Keep your eyes open because birds will be flying around the room.

Revolutionary War Soldier – Sheldon Stowe
Period tools and costumes from America’s past are the highlight of this program. Sheldon helps to bring this important historical period to life through all the senses.

Square Dance – Joyce Hartsfield or Sandy Corey
Students learn several different dances. Caller emphasizes student mixing and fun dancing. Joyce can get the most challenging group of non-dancers “swinging their partners.”

Catskill Storyteller – Laurie MacIntosh, Ira MacIntosh
Students will share in the rich history and culture of the Catskill region through traditional stories, songs, legends, anecdotes, and Catskill Mountain lore. Covering topics such as natural resource-based industries, The Hudson River, the building of the NYC reservoirs, the Anti-Rent War, the railroad era, and everyday life in the old days and the present.

Evening Program List

  • Action Auction: A camp-style game show.
  • Astronomy/Observatory: A spectacular show of night-sky viewing. Weather permitting.
  • Catapult: Who can build the best catapult? A team building exercise.
  • Campfire: Songs, skits, and games around the campfire!
  • Night Awareness/Naked Eye Astronomy: Use your five senses to get to know the world after dark.
  • Predator/Prey Games: Learn about the life cycle through interactive games.
  • Snow Tubing: Snow, speed, and smiles! Weather permitting.
  • Tractor Drive Hayride: Ride along the Neversink River, weather permitting.
  • The Beast: A physical game of Telephone. But only one team can build the Beast!
  • Zingers: Quick, fun, competitive games led by our staff.
  • Evening Guest Program Options

A separate fee is charged for the speakers listed below. Please contact your coordinator for details.

Catskills Tales and Tunes Storytelling: Stories and songs for younger audiences.
Herpetology: Our “Snake Man” shares knowledge and stories while he introduces you to his “friends.”
Interactive Native American Culture: Little Hawk shares stories, songs, and dances about his native culture.
Ornithology: Meet and learn about raptors with the help of our “Bird Man.”
Revolutionary War Soldier: Learn about soldiers during the Revolutionary War.
Square Dance: Get ready to party! Learn traditional American Square Dancing.

Contact us to book your school field trip!