Outdoor Education

Gold Rush History, River Science, Life Skill Development

Imagine your typical classroom. Now imagine that classroom without walls, a ceiling or a floor…welcome to Outdoor Education (OE)!

Mother Lode is excited to offer a wide range of outdoor education programs for students and teachers. Come learn about the California Gold Rush or about the importance of the river banks along the American. Our programs are designed with age appropriate lesson plans, with a focus on hands on learning, exploration, and HAVING FUN! We can adjust our activities and lesson plans to tie in concepts being discussed in the classroom.

Our 20-acre facility is located on the banks of the American River and is uniquely structured to support the campus-like feel of our outdoor educational programs.

Students can spend the day learning about a singular theme or rotate through stations covering a variety of different outdoor education topics. This flexibility allows us to pair outdoor educations with some of our other programming like the ropes course and rafting. Please contact us to discuss all of the possible program options.

American River Outdoor Education California

Sample OE Itinerary (Gold Rush)

  • 9:00AM: Arrive at Mother Lode
  • 9:30AM: Introduction and expectations
  • 10:00AM Morning Activity Rotations at Camp
    • Native Plant Walk, Acorn grinding, cornbread baking, gold panning, journal writing
  • 12:00PM Break for lunch
  • 1:00 Offsite trip to Marshal Gold Discovery State Historic Park
    • Tour of museum
    • Hike the trails
    • Visit miners homes and businesses
    • Explore where gold was first discovered in California
  • 4:00 Wrap up activities and debrief day

Outdoor Education Programs

Gold Rush History Field Trips

We use hands on activities to cover a unique blend of topics, from the physical and human geography of California, to Native American cultures and the economic, social and political effects of the California Gold Rush.

The students had a great time in the outdoors while reviewing information they have studied and learning new things. The hands on experience of gold panning was one of the high points for the kids. It was a lot harder than they thought!

Gold Rush Panning American River
Gold Rush History

River Science Field Trips

Students will learn hands-on leadership skills, problem solving, respect and teamwork, as they’ll be tested to work together physically and mentally through outdoor adventure activities.

The programs utilize experiential learning modules to focus on observation and appreciation of change, cycles, adaptations, interdependence and eco-responsibility.

River Skills

Students will learn on the water skills including river safety….

Our experience at Mother Lode was exceptional. Your staff was eager to help us make the most of our trip. It brought what we were learning in the classroom to life, allowing my students to make an unforgettable experience and connection. All your activities were well planned and, most importantly, fun!

family rafting fun
Gold Rush History
Raft and Camp on the American River

South Fork American River Rafting

The West Coast's Most Popular Class III River

North Fork American River

Advanced Class IV+ Spring Rafting

Middle Fork American River

California’s Most Popular Class IV Whitewater

50th Anniversary Ropes Rafting

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