About our Outdoor Education Program

Taft's Outdoor Education Program teaches an appreciation, understanding, and awareness of the natural community by studying and interacting with the natural world. Underlying a visit to Taft is the belief that learning is not only restricted to the classroom, but is also accomplished in the world around us. Through the combination of related, multidisciplinary activities and an interaction with the natural world, we hope that students will not only acquire new knowledge, but will also come to appreciate this philosophy.

Instruction

School and Taft Staff prepare a variety of activities and projects. The activities take advantage of the area's natural surroundings using the environment as a natural stimulus for learning. Activities may include reading and language arts, science, health, social studies, and physical education.

Staff

Each school is assigned a specialist to work with school staff to design a program that meets the students' needs. Classes are taught by Taft staff and school staff.

Facility

Taft Campus is located near Oregon, Illinois. The scenic campus is next to the Rock River and adjacent to Lowden State Park. Students sleep dormitory style in bunk beds with boys and girls housed in separate rooms or buildings. Meals are served family style in the dining hall.

Supervision

School staff and adult chaperones are responsible for supervision and discipline. The ratio of adults to students is approximately 1 to 10.

Health

Taft Campus employs a nurse who is on site from 7:30 AM to 3:00 PM. The nurse packages medications and dispenses them at morning and noon meals. School personnel dispense evening medications. All students are required to have a completed and signed health form before they can participate in the program. Taft Campus carries a basic accident and illness insurance policy on all participants. In addition, Taft staff are trained in First Aid, CPR, and AED.

Accessibility

Taft Campus has handicapped accessible dorms and buildings. The school staff needs to make Taft staff aware of limitations so accommodations can be made.

Telephones

Students do not have access to a telephone during their visit. In the event of an emergency, a message can be delivered to school staff.

Security

A Taft staff member is on site in a manager-on-duty role throughout the school's visit. Maintenance personnel are available to take care of any emergencies in the evening.

Packing

Students need to dress for the weather since classes will be outside. Pack only old clothes and shoes. New clothes may be ruined by heavy outdoor use. Students must bring a sleeping bag or bedroll. A pillow is provided. Refer to the packing list for specific items.

For more information contact:

Melanie Costello, Outdoor Education Coordinator
Lorado Taft Field Campus
1414 North River Road
P.O. Box 299
Oregon, IL 61061
Phone: (815) 732-2111 ext. 132
Fax: (815) 732-4242
melcostello@niu.edu