Community Schools Logo

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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Celebrating ten years of fun, adventure, and education.

Kids Camping_Website.jpg

 

 

community schools outdoor adventures logo

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. 

UPCOMING PROGRAMS

 

Explore the Outdoors

OGMS: Tuesdays 11/29, 12/6, 12/13

ECMS: Thursdays 12/1, 12/8, 12/15

 

Join CS Outdoors for this 3 week program to learn the basics of becoming a confident and inspired leader, outdoor adventurer and environmental steward for our planet! Some beginning skills will include map reading, fire safety, basic first aid, knots, how to build shelters, nature observation skills, as well as, basic safety skills for outdoor travel in the desert. Our program goal is to get your student out of their indoor habitat and into the great outdoors creating their own special connection to the natural world.

Grades: 6 - 8

Time: 2:45pm - 4:15pm

Guide: Mary Grodman

Fee: $45

DIFFICULTY LEVEL:HIKER ICON

 

WINTER BREAK PROGRAMS


Adventures in Picacho

Monday - Dec 19, 2022

Winter is the perfect time to conquer the 1,500 ft peak of Picacho Peak State Park! Come enjoy the gorgeous views and learn about this area's unique geological significance. After our summit we will celebrate with S’mores before we head home with stories of our adventure!! Bring plenty of water, your lunch, snacks and wear shoes with good tread! 

Field Trip will leave from and return to Catalina Foothills High School.

Grades: 4 - 8

Time: 8am - 4pm

Guides: Mary Grodman, Polly Tanner & Claire Yarrington

Fee: $80

DIFFICULTY LEVEL:HIKER ICONHIKER ICONHIKER ICON

 

Southern Arizona Hop-thru-History Geocaching Adventure -

Tombstone Edition!

Tuesday, Dec 20, 2022

Bring the history of Southern Arizona alive with this adventure in geocaching! Relive tales of the wild west and pick up some geocaching swag along the way! Brand new geo-cachers and old pros alike are welcome! We will start at the High School with a lesson in geocaching before heading off to Tombstone, ”The town too tough to die!" Bring plenty of water, your lunch, snacks and wear shoes with good tread!

Field Trip will leave from and return to Catalina Foothills High School.

Grades: 4 - 8

Time: 8am-4pm

Guides: Mary Grodman, Polly Tanner & Claire Yarrington

Fee: $80

DIFFICULTY LEVEL:HIKER ICON

 

Madera Canyon Exploration

Wednesday - Dec 21, 2022

Did you know Madera means wood in Spanish? Come discover this amazing wooded canyon sprinkled with bubbling springs! We will identify all the big trees and birds on this winter day hike to Bog and Kent Springs! Our hikes will also afford us long distance panoramic views of Baboquivari and Kitt Peak! We will grill hot dogs, drink hot chocolate and make S’mores over the fire after our hike! Bring plenty of water, snacks for the hike and wear shoes with good tread!

Field Trip will leave from and return to Catalina Foothills High School.

Grades: 4 - 8

Time: 11:30 - 6:00pmam-4pm

Guides: Mary Grodman, Polly Tanner & Claire Yarrington

Fee: $85

DIFFICULTY LEVEL:HIKER ICONHIKER ICON

 

Mt. Lemmon Day Trip

Thursday - Dec 22, 2022

Get ready to hit the trails and enjoy a day of winter hiking in Southern Arizona's Sky Islands. We will learn a few outdoor survival skills, observe wildlife, identify plants and animals and make some 'Smores' while we learn about fire safety! Get your hiking gear out, bring plenty of water, your lunch to eat on the hike, snacks and wear shoes with good tread!

Field Trip will leave from and return to Catalina Foothills High School.

Grades: 4 - 8

Time: 8am-4pm

Guides: Mary Grodman, Polly Tanner & Claire Yarrington

Fee: $80

DIFFICULTY LEVEL:HIKER ICONHIKER ICON

 

 

SPRINGTIME PROGRAMS


Adventures in Sabino Canyon

Wednesday - March 8, 2023

Ready for an adventure in the desert? On arrival we will make our own crazy concoction of trail mix to energize us for an afternoon exploration of this unique ecosystem of the Sonoran Desert. Come hike and explore with us and we learn to use the Seek App to help us identify plants and animals in Sabino Canyon. Bring your lunch, a water bottle, sunscreen and hat in a backpack you can carry and wear shoes with good tread.

Complete details will be emailed out prior to our trip.

Grades: 6 - 8

11:00am - 4:30pm

Guide: Mary Grodman

Fee: $60

DIFFICULTY LEVEL:HIKER ICONHIKER ICON

 

Peppersauce Caving - Middle School

Thursday - March 16, 2023

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), bring a flashlight, change of clothes, garbage bag, lunch and plenty of water! Helmets and headlamps will be provided.

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

Caving is like hiking on all fours!

Grades: 6 - 8

11:00am - 5:30pm

Guide: Mary Grodman

Fee: $70

DIFFICULTY LEVEL:HIKER ICONHIKER ICON

 

Peppersauce Caving - Manzanita & Sunrise Drive

Friday - March 17, 2023

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), bring a flashlight, change of clothes, garbage bag, lunch and plenty of water! Helmets and headlamps will be provided.

Caving is like hiking on all fours!

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

Grades: 3 - 5

Schools:  Manzanity and Sunrise Drive ONLY

11:30am - 6:00pm

Guide: Mary Grodman

Fee: $70

DIFFICULTY LEVEL:HIKER ICONHIKER ICON

 

 

MULTI-DAY CLUBS

 

Geocaching 101 with OGMS

Thursdays - January 5, 12, & 19

Geocaching is the real-world treasure hunt that’s happening right now, all around you. There are 2,303,488 active geocaches worldwide and quite a few near Orange Grove Middle School! So if you are looking for a fun way to exercise both mind and body, come give geocaching a try! This will be an outdoor activity that combines walking with a tech-aided treasure hunt. Instead of a map where X marks the spot, you use an app on your smartphone or one of our GPS's and of course your power of observation. Instead of hunting for a buried chest, you're looking for a cache hidden in an eco-friendly site above ground. We will create our own geocache accounts online to keep track of our findings, learn how to cache in and trash out each week as we visit nearby locations to find our treasures each week on foot! Transportation will be provided to off site caches during class.

Grades: 6 - 8

Time: 2:45pm - 4:15pm

Instructor: Mary Grodman

Fee: $50

DIFFICULTY LEVEL:HIKER ICON

 

Sunrise Drive Hiking Club

Tuesdays - January 17, 24 (3:00pm - 4:00pm)

Tuesday - January 31 (3:00pm - 5:00pm)

Come discover the beauty of our unique and curious Arizona environment with Community Schools Outdoors. Learn outdoor skills that you can utilize at any level! We will discuss Leave No Trace principles, the hiking 10 essentials, outdoor etiquette and more. We will finish our short session with a hike on a local trail to experience the outdoors with our new knowledge. Transportation to and from the trail on 1/31 will be provided. This is a 3-week class! Tuesdays, 1/17, 1/24 - 3:00-4:00pm & 1/31 from 3:00-5:00pm

Grades: 3 - 5

Time: 3pm - 4pm (except 3pm - 5pm on 1/31)

Instructor: Mary Grodman

Fee: $45

DIFFICULTY LEVEL:HIKER ICON

 

Manzanita Hiking Club

Mondays - January 23, 30 (3:00pm - 4:00pm)

Mondays - February 6 (3:00pm - 5:00pm)

Come discover the beauty of our unique and curious Arizona environment with Community Schools Outdoors. Learn outdoor skills that you can utilize at any level! We will discuss Leave No Trace principles, the hiking 10 essentials, outdoor etiquette and more. We will finish our short session with a hike on a local trail to experience the outdoors with our new knowledge. Transportation to and from the trail on 2/6 will be provided. This is a 3-week class!

Grades: 3 - 5

Time: 3pm - 4pm (except 3pm - 5pm on 1/31)

Instructor: Mary Grodman

Fee: $45

DIFFICULTY LEVEL:HIKER ICON

 

Esperero Canyon Hiking Club

Tuesdays - February 21, 28, & March 7

Come discover the beauty of our unique and curious Arizona environment with Community Schools Outdoors. Learn outdoor skills that you can utilize at any level! We will discuss Leave No Trace principles, the hiking 10 essentials, outdoor etiquette and more. We will finish our short session with a hike on a local trail to experience the outdoors with our new knowledge.

Grades: 6 - 8

Time: 2:45pm - 4:15pm

Instructor: Mary Grodman

Fee: $45

DIFFICULTY LEVEL:HIKER ICONHIKER ICON

 

 


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.  She is excited to celebrate 10 years of adventure with your camper this year!  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 holds certifications in CPR, Leave No Trace Guidelines, Food Handling and Wilderness First Aid through Base Medical.  Mary handles all the program logistics from making camping reservations, securing permits, ordering supplies and helps design the curriculum for each trip.  She is ready to get back OUTSIDE and have a year of Fun, Adventure and Education with you!

 

 

 

mary grodman with sunset background   Mary Grodman posing in front of a slot canyon

polly tanner hiking on a trail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

polly tanner posing in a grassy trail.

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 28 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 First Aid, CPR, Leave No Trace Guidelines, and holds a NOLS Wilderness First Aid certification.   She has worked on perfecting every detail of our trip itineraries, incorporating the history and outdoor learning for each adventure for our campers and their journals since 2013!

 

 

 

 

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. He is excited to share his knowledge about the Sonoran Desert and all the great outdoor opportunities it presents!

 

 

 

blake hinson posing in front of a beach sign   Blake Hinson on a trail with a line of kids following.


 

 

Community Schools Outdoors Staff

  • Everyone on our Outdoor Staff is fun, friendly, helpful, and sincerely interested in making sure that your student has a great time on their trip!
  • Feel safe sending your student with Guides who have certifications in Wilderness First Aid, Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics, Basic Water Rescue, Backpacking & Canyoneering and Food Sanitation.
  • 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 student. 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 students.
  • 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! 

 

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 ICONHIKER ICONto which only the highly experienced outdoor enthusiast should register. 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!

 

Links to Waivers for Outdoor Adventures:

Health information Waiver (Required for ALL Outdoor Programs)

Policies

Forms

WEB ACCESSIBILITY

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