Adventure-Based OE Programs

One of the drawing factors for school groups who attend the Outdoor Education programs at W.E. Skelton 4-H Center is our life skill development model that permeates every activity that students engage in. Our adventure-based programming includes some traditional camp activities and challenge course activities that help students build on classroom foundations of teamwork, confidence, fine and gross motor skills, and problem solving.




 In prehistoric times, the bow was an important weapon of war and of hunt throughout the world.  Throughout time, activities with the bow evolved into the modern sport of archery.  In this class, students will become more aware and appreciative of archery as a safe sport.


Students canoe in pairs or groups of three on Smith Mountain Lake.  The Canoeing class allows for the introduction of basic paddling instruction and is a great activity for demonstrating the need for teamwork.  Instructors are encouraged to promote students exploration of the natural world within Smith Mountain Lake coves.  

 Challenge Course I & II  

Whether the group is investigating an environmental issue, working together on a group project or playing a game on the playground, our daily lives are full of opportunities to work cooperatively with others.  Through a series of activities of increasing difficulty and challenge, students are encouraged to cooperate with one another, draw on inner resources and to use assets brought to the group by the individual.  Group discussions and processing of the events help the students transfer the activity lessons back to everyday lives.

Climbing Wall

The Climbing Wall offers a variety of challenges for every skill level.  Our trained staffs create a safe setting in which individuals can explore issues such as risk taking, goal setting, maintaining a positive attitude, asking and giving positive peer support and accepting other’s decisions and goals for themselves.  Group discussion and processing help the students transfer their experience back to everyday life.

Collaboration Stations

Overview:  Participants work in small groups on innovative activities such as Tinker Toy Towers, Catapult and Egg Drop.  All students are encouraged to participate in this unique approach to creative construction and demonstration.  Group discussion and procession help the students transfer the lesson back to everyday life.

Map & Compass Mayhem

Overview:  Map & Compass Mayhem is a basic introduction to using map and compass.  The skill of map reading, sightings and taking bearings are also introduced.  Students learn basic orienteering skills and use them to guide the group on a hike through the woods.

Synergy Trek

Overview:  A unique approach to teambuilding can take place while students explore Skelton and the surrounding natural areas of Franklin County.  A combination of Challenge Course 1, Map & Compass Mayhem and Wilderness Survival all come together on this half to full day adventure.  Intense group discussion, processing and solo journaling allow the students to apply the lessons and skills learned back to their everyday life.

Wilderness Survival

This subtle approach to teambuilding will teach students basic wilderness survival skills such as shelter building, fire starting and water collection.  Leave No Trace ethics and low impact camping will also be addressed.

For more information, feel free to contact our Outdoor Education Coordinator:
or (540) 721-2759 ext. 253