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Outdoor School

Classes

Chrysalis Outdoor School classes are hands-on, outdoors, and designed to inspire curiosity, critical thinking and teamwork. For Christian schools, we offer a special program that has the added benefit of an environment that welcomes God and faith discussions.

Students in grades 4-8 may come for day or overnight programs. Classes for these grades are two hours long.

Students in grades K-3 may participate in half or full day programs with classes that are 1 hour in length. For all programs, class sizes are kept small, with an average of 15 students per instructor.

 

SCIENCE CLASSES
Chrysalis science classes are designed to meet or exceed state guidelines for each grade level. These life science and social science classes emphasize interactive science learning that stimulates scientific curiosity, conversation and stewardship.

Science Classes for Grades K-3 (1 Hour Classes)
Adaptable Animals

In this class students will learn how wild animals at Chrysalis adapt to their home environment.

Creek Creatures
There are creatures in our creek! Students will have the chance to use nets and magnifying glasses to look for, and identify, the creatures in our creek.

Habitat Homes
What is a habitat? What makes it home? In this class students will learn what makes a habitat a home for animals of the Hill Country.

Plant Parts
Plants have many parts.  Students will learn about the structure and function of leaves, roots, and stems and how they all work together.

Rock Hunt
Come with us on a Rock Hunt!  Students will have the chance to hunt rocks and discover what makes them special.

Sensory Walk
Use your senses!  In order to appreciate the natural world, students must be comfortable in it.  This class is designed to help students learn to explore the natural world and help them to be more comfortable in it.

Web of Life
How is it all connected?  Students will discover how all of life is connected in this basic food chain ecology class.

Living History
History comes alive!  The Chrysalis area has a rich heritage.  In this class, students will have the chance to try their hand at some old-time crafts such as candle dipping, rope making, leather working, and more!  Two hours is recommended for this class.

Science Classes for Grades 4-8 (2 Hour Classes)
Adaptations

Chrysalis’ plants and animals are uniquely adapted to their Hill Country environment. In this class, students will explore Chrysalis looking for evidence of how plants and animals are uniquely suited to live here. In the process, they will come to distinguish between inherited traits and adaptations that come from interaction with the environment at camp.

Basic Ecology
Knowledge of the key terms in ecology is critical to understanding more in depth science. In this class, hands-on activities and games will introduce students to some key terms in ecology such as producers, consumers, decomposers, organisms, populations, communities and ecosystems.

Basic Geology
Rocks and soil are the building blocks of Chrysalis. Students in this class will explore the Chrysalis landscape in search of evidence of how weathering, erosion, heat and pressure change rocks. Then they will move on to use test kits and charts to characterize the soil, and maybe find a fossil or two along the way.

Creek Ecology
Turtle Creek, in the Upper Guadalupe watershed, provides a beautiful setting for studying the water cycle. Students will explore Turtle Creek with collecting nets, magnifying glasses, and microscopes. Then, water quality and stream dynamics will be studied using water test kits and micro and macro biological indicators.

Edible and Medicinal Plants
Pioneers and Native Americans found many uses for the plants at Chrysalis. In this class, students will learn how plants found here were used as food and medicine, and which are still used today.

Plant Ecology
With it unique bluff, field and creek side, Chrysalis has a very diverse plant community to explore. There are annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs and herbs growing wild. Students in this class will have the opportunity to use games and a plant key system to study the plants while they develop an appreciation of the diversity of Hill Country plant life.

Predator/Prey
Predators and prey interact constantly in the natural world. This is a large group game in which each student is given a place in the food web and must try to meet their needs for food, water and shelter, while avoiding those who may want to use them as food. A shortened version of this game may be played as an evening activity. Minimum group size is 20 for this game.

Scientific Method
Understanding the scientific inquiry method is important to any scientist. In this class students will have the opportunity to formulate a testable hypothesis, select equipment to collect and analyze data, communicate their conclusions, and constructively critique each other’s methods and conclusions.

Sensory Walk
In order to appreciate the natural world, students must be comfortable in it. This class is designed to help students learn to explore the natural world. Students will participate in a series of games and activities meant to expose them to different ways to look at the natural world and help them to be more comfortable in it.

Wildlife Ecology
The animals of Chrysalis are wild! In this class students will learn about some of the animals found in the Hill Country, how they are well-suited to live here, what type of habitat they call home and their niche in the local ecosystem.

Living History
The Chrysalis area has a rich heritage. In this class students will be transported back in time as staff portray local historical pioneers who will show students how they make soap, rope, candles, rootbeer and more, all while incorporating an awareness of students of what many generations did without.

Astronomy
The stars at night are big and bright… In this class, students will have the opportunity to find constellations and hear their ancient stories, look through a telescope, learn about the moon cycle and stars, and develop an appreciation for the speed of light. This is primarily an evening class, but it can be offered during the day with LCD projection.

Night Walk
Night is a time to explore at Chrysalis. In this class students will learn about the adaptations of nocturnal animals by playing games and testing their own senses. This is an evening class only.

SKILL CLASSES
Chrysalis skills classes are designed to facilitate group and individual character development while challenging students to develop specific outdoor skills.

Skill Classes for Grades K-3 (1 Hour Classes)
Chrysalis Bluff Hike
The Chrysalis bluff is a place to explore. Students are surrounded by wilderness as they move from the creek side to an overlook at the top. With a group perspective facilitated by Chrysalis staff, the hike becomes a community building adventure.

Crafts
Take home a craft. Chrysalis has a variety of craft options available for campers for a small additional fee. For overnight campers, kiln fired crafts are available.

Creative Writing
Being surrounded by nature often brings out the creative side of students. In this class students will be shown simple forms of structured poetry and expository writing and be encouraged to express their views of their experience at camp creatively.

Group Building Games
Communication, cooperation and commitment are emphasized in this class in which students participate in a series of games that require them to work together to succeed. After each activity, staff will facilitate a short discussion to help students to realize how they are working together, and help them to translate their experience to their life at home and school.

Maps
Find the treasure! Students will learn the basic parts of maps and then use one to find the clues to the hidden treasure.

Skill Classes for Grades 4-8 (2 Hour Classes)
Archery

Archery is a skill that is both modern and ancient. Students in this class will have the opportunity to learn some basics of the sport, from stringing a bow to target shooting, from a qualified instructor.

Canoeing
The quiet waters of Turtle Creek are a wonderful place to learn the basics of canoeing. In this class students will have the opportunity to learn the basic canoe safety procedures and strokes as they practice under the supervision of a trained lifeguard and instructor.

Chrysalis Bluff Hike
The Chrysalis bluff is a place to explore. Students are surrounded by wilderness as they move from the creek side to an overlook at the top. With a group perspective facilitated by Chrysalis staff, the hike becomes a community building adventure.

Crafts
Take home a craft. Chrysalis has a variety of craft options available for campers for a small additional fee. For overnight campers, kiln fired crafts are available.

Creative Writings
Being surrounded by nature often brings out the creative side of students. In this class students will be shown simple forms of structured poetry and expository writing and be encouraged to express their views of their experience at camp creatively.

Maps and Compasses
Find yourself at Chrysalis! In this class, students are given the opportunity to learn how to use a compass and topographic map, and then follow an orienteering course through camp.

Outdoor Cooking
Cooking over the campfire is a lost art! In this class, students will learn basic fire building and then cook and eat several different items. Fire and food preparation safety will be emphasized.

Survival Skills
What do you really need to survive? Students will play a game that will help them to determine what they should bring with them when exploring the outdoors, how to prioritize their needs if they are lost, and the basics of finding food, water, shelter and help.

Group Building Games
Communication, cooperation and commitment are emphasized in this class in which students participate in a series of games that require them to work together to succeed. After each activity, staff will facilitate a short discussion to help students to realize how they are working together, and help them to translate their experience to their life at home and school.

Low Ropes Challenges
This is the next level of group building activities as campers work together to overcome challenges on a series of low obstacle elements. Groups who will continue on to high ropes have the option of completing their low ropes class at Ebert Ranch. Transportation will be provided to Ebert Ranch.

High Ropes Challenges
Step into a harness and climb. This class lets students set their own goals and, with the support of the group, reach for them. Students will have the opportunity to climb 27 feet off the ground, hooked into a belay and harness system, as they take on the challenge of different high rope elements. The Low Ropes class is a pre-requisite for High Ropes.  Ropes at Chrysalis include a rock wall climb, zip line, incline log, high wild woozy, cargo net, giant ladder, and giant swing.  More information on the Chrysalis Challenge Course can be found here.



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