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2101 E. River Road | Tucson, AZ 85718
Phone: 520-209-7551 | Fax: 520-209-7575
Office Hours: 8:30am - 5:00pm
CARE: 520-209-7548

 

 

Travis Kolter
Director

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Kids Camping

Outdoors Badge

Where every great adventure starts!

Our after school classes, daytrips, and weekly programs challenge campers to make a more meaningful connection with the outdoors and each other while treading lightly on the planet.

Each program, no matter the level, length, or difficulty works to build character, confidence, wilderness survival skills, environmental stewardship, a respect for others and the outdoors. 

SPRING PROGRAMS

 

CS.CFSD16.ORG

 

 

MIDDLE SCHOOL HALF-DAY:

Peppersauce Caving - 6-8th grade

Caving is an outdoor adventure you don’t want to miss! Spend your half day of school exploring the underground wonders of Peppersauce Cave.  See cool cave formations, an underground lake, and shimmy your way through the rabbit hole! Learn why it is important to protect these natural wonders.  Please wear very old clothes (you will get extremely muddy), wear shoes with good tread that can get dirty, bring a flashlight, change of clothes & shoes, garbage bag, lunch and plenty of water!  Helmets and headlamps will be provided.  

 

Field Trips will leave from your middle school and return to Catalina Foothills High School.

GUIDE: Mary Grodman

DATE:  March 6, 2024

TIME:  11AM - 5:30PM

FEE: $75

DIFFICULTY LEVEL:Hiker IconHiker Icon

 

SPRING BREAK:

Unleash the Adventure: Camping in Joshua Tree National Park - 3-8th grade

Join CS Outdoors for this fun, exciting and educational adventure in beautiful Joshua Tree National Park!

Joshua Tree is a unique and stunning desert destination, offering an incredible outdoor experience for campers of all ages!  The park is known for its iconic Joshua trees, fascinating rock formations, and a wide variety of wildlife.

Joshua Tree is designated as a Dark Sky Park, making it perfect for stargazing, so we will introduce campers to the wonders of the night sky and our guided hikes will help to explore the flora, fauna, and geology of the region. Don’t miss your chance to explore the wonders of this unique desert, learn about ways to protect our environment, and develop valuable outdoor skills.

A detailed pack list will be sent out prior to departure. Tents, food, entrance fees and transportation provided. Join us for this very special camping trip during your spring break!

 

GUIDES: Mary Grodman & Polly Tanner

 

DATE:  March 25 - 27, 2024

 

TIME:  8AM - 4PM (Trip departs from CFHS at 8:00 am on Monday and returns by 4:00 pm on Wednesday.)

FEE: $350

DIFFICULTY LEVEL:Hiker IconHiker Icon

 

OUTDOOR ADVENTURE

SUMMER TRIPS

 

ENROLLMENT OPENS MARCH 13!

Please carefully read each trip description, and if you have any questions before registering, feel free to email mgrodman@cfsd16.org. We can assist in matching your child with the appropriate trip based on their level of experience.

Participating in an adventure doesn't require being a professional athlete, but it does necessitate being an active person. A keen desire to learn, have fun, strong motivation, and a positive attitude are equally crucial for success!

GEAR NOTES:

Here are some essential gear items that campers will need for all our Adventure Programs. Prior to departure, we will email you with specific pack lists for each camp.

A DAYPACK to hold lunch, snacks, water & sunscreen.

    A DUFFEL BAG if you are going on a trip with an overnight.

     Two (2) WATER BOTTLES that hold at least 1-liter of water.

    HIKING SHOES or BOOTS that have good tread.

 

Geocaching Adventure Camp

2-3 mile hikes daily, 500-1000 ft in elevation change.  Minimal physical exertion sustained for short periods of time. Supportive soled shoes required.  No flat soled shoes permitted. Suitable for those with beginning outdoor experiences.

 

Let’s go on the thrilling real-world treasure hunt known as Geocaching, happening right here in Tucson! Discover the excitement as we delve into our hometown, boasting over 1600 hidden caches – a geocacher’s paradise! Throughout the week, we will cover the essentials, including basic orientation, directional navigation, geocaching terminology, and hiking etiquette. Get hands-on experience as we learn to program, read, and navigate using handheld GPS devices.

In addition to the thrill of the hunt, we will delve into "Leave No Trace" principles, practicing responsible Geocaching by Caching-In and Trashing-Out, ensuring we leave our town cleaner than we found it. Lace up your walking shoes as we navigate with GPS to uncover hidden spots in various locations, ranging from local parks and historic neighborhoods to hiking trails and famous attractions.

Join us for a week of outdoor "hide and seek" adventure! A supply list will be provided ahead of camp to ensure you are fully equipped for the geocaching exploration.

GUIDES: Polly Tanner

WEEK 1 - JUNE 3 - 7, 2024

GRADES:  3 - 8

TIME:  8am - 12:00 Noon

FEE: $216

 

Mt. Lemmon Bound

3-6 mile hikes daily, 1000-2000 ft in elevation change.  Moderate physical exertion sustained for longer periods of time. Supportive soled shoes required.  No flat soled shoes permitted. Suitable for those with moderate outdoor experiences. Students should have some experience hiking prior to this camp. 

 

Join us on this cool mountain adventure as we escape the Tucson heat and head up to Mt. Lemmon! Explore diverse trails ranging from 3 to 6 miles each day on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, with exciting day trips up the mountain. The excitement will build all week for our overnight campout on Thursday, surrounded by breathtaking scenery, campfire cookouts and Smores’!

Immerse yourself in the outdoors, mastering survival and leadership skills, perfecting knot tying, honing map reading abilities, and observing wildlife. Chronicle your daily discoveries in a detailed journal, creating lasting memories.

Be prepared for each day's expedition by packing a sack lunch, snacks, and bringing a sturdy hiking backpack capable of carrying at least 2 liters of water. Prior to the camp we will email you a detailed pack list specifically tailored for the overnight adventure. Get ready for a week filled with nature learning and creating unforgettable experiences!

GUIDES: Mary Grodman & Polly Tanner

WEEK 2 - JUNE 10 - 14, 2024

GRADES:  4 - 8

TIME:  9am - 4:00pm (Monday – Wednesday), Thursday – Arrive at 9:00am for our overnight, returning Friday at 4:00pm.

FEE: $432

 

 

Southwest Explorers: Expedition to New Mexico

 

3-8 miles, 1000-2000 ft elevation change.  Moderate physical exertion sustained for longer periods of time. Hiking boots or shoes required.  No flat soled shoes permitted. Suitable for those with moderate outdoor experiences.  Must have prior camping experience.

 

Embark on an enchanting journey through New Mexico's diverse wonders! Join us as we unveil the secrets behind the Land of Enchantment, exploring ancient petroglyphs, lava fields, and a captivating cave system, all within the embrace of Smokey Bear’s National Forest. New Mexico's pristine landscapes, from white sands to majestic mountains, will serve as our playground.

Our adventure includes visits to White Sands National Park, where we will frolic amidst the iconic gypsum dunes, join in the festivities as we celebrate Smokey Bear's 80th birthday at a fire tower, learning valuable lessons in fire safety and descend into the awe-inspiring Carlsbad Caverns, among the world's best-preserved cave complexes! All while camping in the lush mountain meadows of Lincoln National Forest, Smokey's own habitat!

Get ready for a journey filled with Fun, Adventure & Education! CS Outdoors has all aspects covered – food, equipment, entrance fees, and transportation. A comprehensive trip pack list will be provided before departure, ensuring you are well-prepared for this unforgettable expedition.

GUIDES: Mary Grodman & Polly Tanner

WEEK 3 - JUNE 17 - 21, 2024

GRADES:  4 - 8

TIME:  Trip Departs at 8:00am Monday, returns 4:00pm Friday

FEE: $594

 

 

Mini Mt. Lemmon Bound

 

2-3 mile hikes daily, 500-1000 ft in elevation change.  Moderate physical exertion sustained for short periods of time. Supportive soled shoes required.  No flat soled shoes permitted. Suitable for those with beginning outdoor experiences.

 

This week is designed for beginner hikers and outdoor enthusiasts! Explore Tucson's delightful summer retreat with day hikes on Mt. Lemmon. Receive an introduction to Leave No Trace principles, basic survival skills, map reading, and plant & animal identification, gradually growing more comfortable in the natural world!

 

Each morning, venture onto different trails, and in the afternoons, engage in hands-on activities such as crafting fire-starters, paracord bracelets, and assembling your own first aid kit. To cap off the week, we will spend Thursday night camping overnight on the mountain!  

 

Ensure you are well-prepared for each day's adventure by packing a sack lunch, snacks, and wearing a sturdy hiking backpack capable of carrying at least 2 liters of water. Prior to the camp, we will email you a comprehensive pack list specifically tailored for the overnight adventure. This program serves as an excellent preparation for our full-week camping adventures!

 

GUIDES: Mary Grodman & Polly Tanner

 

WEEK 4 - JUNE 24 - 28, 2024

 

GRADES:  3 - 6

 

TIME:  9:00am – 4:00pm (Monday – Wednesday), Thursday – Arrive at 9:00am for our overnight, return Friday at 4:00pm

 

FEE: $432

 

Backpacking Horton Creek

 

3-8 miles, 1500-3000 ft elevation change.  Moderate physical exertion sustained for longer periods of           time. Hiking boots required.  No flat soled shoes permitted. Suitable for those with moderate outdoor experiences.  Must have prior camping experience.

 

Looking for a WILD backcountry adventure this summer? Horton Creek, just outside of Payson, AZ, offers an enchanting perennial creek hike that travels from Horton Springs at the base of the Mogollon Rim down a lush, forested canyon. Along the trail, numerous spots allow you to soak your feet and relish in the cascading beauty as we backpack in for the night.

Throughout this experience, we will delve into map reading, teamwork dynamics, leadership skills, safety and emergency procedures, Leave No Trace Principles, and even explore some delectable backcountry recipes! 

Our first night sets the stage at a Payson campground, where we will prepare for the expedition, pack our backpacks, and acquire the essential survival skills for the program. The following morning, we will set out bright and early with all our gear for our overnight trek on the Mogollon Rim!

Rest assured, all necessities, including food, tents, entrance fees, and transportation, will be provided. Backpacks for overnight use may be available upon request. Before departure, a comprehensive trip itinerary and pack list will be emailed to ensure you are fully prepared for this exciting adventure. 

This program is suitable for both first-timers and seasoned backpacking enthusiasts. Campers should have hiking boots or shoes, a sleeping bag or pad & be able to carry at least 20-30 lbs on their backs.

GUIDES: Mary Grodman

WEEK 5 - JULY 1 - 3, 2024, (Mon - Wed)

GRADES:  5 - 9

TIME:  Trip departs 8:00am Monday and returns 5:00pm Wednesday

FEE: $356


 

Mt. Lemmon Bound - Backpacking Edition!

 

 4-8 miles, 1000-2000 ft elevation change.  Challenging terrain and physically demanding activity for extended periods of time. Moderate physical exertion sustained for longer periods of time. Suitable for those with moderate to advanced outdoor experiences. Designed for those looking to push their limits. Must have prior camping experience.

 

This week is tailored for campers ready to enhance their outdoor adventure skills and deepen their knowledge of the Coronado National Forest! Anticipate more challenging and extended hikes, with campers taking on responsibilities such as map reading, leading the group, and help with planning the overnight backpacking trip. Immerse yourself in the natural world, focus on exercise, leadership development, backpacking techniques and honing outdoor skills throughout the week. Campers will conclude this adventure with a heightened understanding of themselves and the local environment around them.

 

Ensure you are well-prepared for each day's activities by bringing a sack lunch, snacks, and a sturdy hiking backpack with the capacity to carry at least 2 liters of water. A supply list for the overnight backpacking segment will be provided before the start of camp, and backpacks for overnight use may be available upon request. Campers should have hiking boots or shoes, a sleeping bag or pad & be able to carry at least 20-30 lbs on their backs.

 

GUIDES: Mary Grodman

 

WEEK 6 - JULY 8 - 12, 2024

 

GRADES:  4 - 8

 

TIME:  9:00am – 4:00pm (Monday – Wednesday), Thursday – Arrive at 9:00am for our overnight, return Friday at 4:00pm

FEE: $432

 

Starry Nights & Alpine Heights: Great Basin Getaway

 

3-8 miles, 1000-2000 ft elevation change.  Moderate physical exertion sustained for longer periods of time. Hiking boots or shoes required.  No flat soled shoes permitted. Suitable for those with moderate outdoor experiences.  Must have prior camping experience.

 

Join us for the grand finale of summer camp as we embark on an extraordinary journey through the northern reaches of Arizona! Our first night will be spent at Coral Sand Dunes State Park in southwestern Utah, where the mesmerizing dunes offer fantastic opportunities for exploring, hiking and witnessing breathtaking sunsets against the stunning red hues of the dunes.

Our expedition continues northward to Great Basin National Park in Nevada, a dry and mountainous region nestled between the Sierra Nevada and the Wasatch Mountains. This area is renowned for its groves of ancient bristlecone pines, the oldest known living non-clonal organisms. From the 13,063-foot summit of Wheeler Peak to the sagebrush-covered foothills, Great Basin National Park provides a myriad of outdoor adventures. We will embark on day hikes to crystal-clear alpine lakes with panoramic views of glacier-covered peaks, explore the subterranean passages of Lehman Caves, and marvel at the stunning night skies in this designated dark sky national park.

Before heading home, our final stop will be the North Rim of the Grand Canyon! Here, we will absorb the highest and most expansive views of the canyon, relishing in the serenity and solitude that the North Rim offers as we reflect on the adventures of the week. It is a perfect way to unwind and prepare for the upcoming school year!

This week promises to be a blend of Fun, Adventure & Education! CS Outdoors has all aspects covered – from food and equipment to entrance fees and transportation. A detailed trip pack list will be provided before departure, ensuring you are well-prepared for this unforgettable expedition.

 

GUIDES: Mary Grodman & Polly Tanner

WEEK 7 - JULY 15 - 19, 2024

GRADES:  4 - 8

TIME:  Trip Departs at 8:00am Monday, returns 5:00pm Friday

FEE: $594


M E E T  Y O U R  G U I D E S

All programs led by qualified, experienced, outdoor professionals.
 

M A R Y  G R O D M A N

FOUNDER . GUIDE . PROGRAM COORDINATOR

Mary Grodman, Adventure Guide & Program Coordinator, is one of our founding staff of the OA program. Mary has been teaching classes and leading outdoor adventure programs for over 10 years! Mary has a degree in Environmental Science & Criminal Justice from Stockton University in New Jersey and is a certified backpacking, canyoneering and rock climbing guide. Mary has worked as a naturalist, on a trail crew and holds certifications in CPR, Leave No Trace Guidelines, Food Handling, Basic Water Rescue and Wilderness First Aid. Mary handles all the program logistics from making camping reservations, securing permits, ordering supplies and helps design the curriculum for each trip. She loves to GET OUTSIDE and is ready for another year of Fun, Adventure and Education with your camper!

Ms. Grodman. Ms. Grodman

Ms.Tanner

Ms. Tanner

P O L L Y  T A N N E R

ADVENTURE GUIDE

Polly Tanner, Adventure Guide, spends the school year at Manzanita Elementary School's Library where she has been encouraging & inspiring book-readers for 29 years! When she does manage to get some time outside, she spends it trail running around Tucson and kayaking Arizona’s rivers and lakes. Polly is certified in CPR, Leave No Trace Guidelines, and holds a NOLS Wilderness First Aid certification. She has worked on perfecting every detail of our trip itineraries and journals; incorporating the history and wilderness education for each adventure since 2013! She is excited to incorporate a focus on night sky education into our program this year!

 

B L A K E   H I N S O N

ADVENTURE GUIDE

Blake Hinson, Adventure Guide, is a teacher at Catalina Foothills High School and loves hiking, camping and recreating! He moved to Tucson from Colorado where he worked for Rocky Mountain National Park for 8 years. He has an undergraduate degree in Science from Colorado State University and a Masters Degree in Education from University of Northern Colorado. During his free time, he loves to run and bike. Blake is the Girl’s Cross Country and the Track & Field Throwing Coach for Foothills High School. He is excited to share his knowledge about the Sonoran Desert and all the great outdoor opportunities it presents!

 

 

Mr. Hinson. Mr. Hinson

 


Community Schools Outdoors Staff

  • Everyone on our Outdoor Staff is fun, friendly, helpful, and sincerely interested in making sure that your camper has a great time on their trip!
  • Feel safe sending your camper with Guides who have certifications in Wilderness First Aid, Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics, Basic Water Rescue, Backpacking & Canyoneering and Safe Food Handling.
  • Our staff is well versed about the geology, ecology and history of the areas in which we operate, and we enjoy answering questions and sharing our knowledge with your camper. We pride ourselves in having good equipment and taking care of it. We also work continuously to implement new and innovative ideas that make our trips even better and more comfortable for everyone.
  • We keep our trip enrollment numbers small so we can put a personal touch on every adventure program.  We strive to make sure everyone receives individual attention!
  • Camp food will be abundant and delicious, nutritious meals are served throughout our 5-day trips and always with some help from the campers.
  • We provide a pack list & itinerary for each trip, so you and your student know how to prepare for your program.


Our motto is Fun, Adventure & Education; Community Schools Outdoors can meet all your child’s outdoor adventure needs!

Check back often to see our most current offerings! 

LEVELS OF DIFFICULTY:

To facilitate a better understanding of the challenges you may encounter on your Adventure Camp, we have established a grading system that assesses the technical complexity and physical demands of each trip.  When registering for a camp, it is crucial to be aware of the physical difficulty level to ensure that you are adequately prepared.

Our scale begins with one hiker,Hiker Iconwhich means low to moderate exertion. Participants should be capable of moving or hiking for several hours at a stretch with short stops every hour. Participants should be in good health!

Our scale ends at four hikers,Hiker IconHiker IconHiker_Dude.jpgHiker Iconto which only the highly experienced outdoor enthusiast should enroll. Good health and hiking or backpacking experience is required. These trips may contain 6-8 hours of walking per day and often involves carrying your own gear. Participants must be able to carry up to a 30 lb pack for up to 5 miles throughout the duration of the hike, while maintaining the pace of the group.

Please read each trip description carefully and call us (520-209-7551) if you have questions before you register. We can help match your child with the correct trip for his/her level.

You do not need to be a professional athlete to take part in an adventure, but you do need to be an active person. A keen desire to learn, have fun, strong motivation and a positive attitude are equally important to success!