Outdoor Education


A signature component of the St. James curriculum is the Outdoor Education program. All scholars participate in age-specific excursions that explore the greater world, making practical applications of lessons learned in the classroom. 1st and 2nd grade levels participate in field trips where parents are invited to attend. Starting in 3rd grade, outdoor education trips are specifically coordinated with classroom curriculum, and are instructed by designated sponsors and faculty. Below are the planned excursions, by grade:

3rd Grade: Trip to NASA

Scholars make a day-long trip to Houston for an adventure at the NASA Johnson Space Center Houston
where scholars can experience space — from its dramatic past and exciting present to its compelling future.
It’s one of the only places on Earth where visitors can see astronauts train for missions, touch a real moon
rock and take a behind-the-scenes tour of NASA. The world class exhibits and hands-on activities tell the story
of America’s manned space flight program, giving guests an out-of-this-world experience like no other.

4th Grade: Trip to Camp Zephyr

The 4th grade Outdoor Education trip is a day long trip to Camp Zephyr – a Christian camp located off of Lake
Corpus Christi. The camp encourages development in spiritual, intellectual, emotional, social, and physical areas.
Scholars participate in both high and low ropes courses which help enhance their teamwork, trust, and problem-solving skills. This trip is the perfect introduction for what adventures scholars can expect in their upcoming 5th grade year when they begin overnight Outdoor Education trips.

5th Grade: Trip to Mo Ranch

Mo Ranch is located on 500 acres along the spring-fed Guadalupe River in the beautiful Texas Hill
Country. The skilled staff offers team-building programs, including a first-class low elements ropes
course. Scholars spend three days and two nights fine tuning skills of archery and compass navigation,
engaging in freshwater environmental studies, owl discovery projects, and stargazing.

6th Grade: Trip to Big Bend

This five day/four night trip into the heart of the Chihuahuan Desert engages scholars in the unique and
austere topography and ecology of the region. The National Park contains more than 1,200 species of
plants, more than 450 species of birds, 56 species of reptiles, and 75 species of mammals. Scholars camp
in tents in the Park for two nights of their stay. Scholars then move on to the rustic comforts of the
historic Prude Ranch in Fort Davis where they have to opportunity to visit the McDonald Observatory –
one of the world’s leading centers for astronomical research, teaching, public education and outreach.
Other facets of the trip include: orienteering, lunch at the Desert Research Institute, a challenge course,
and of course, campfires and s’mores.

7th Grade: Trip to Austin, Camp Eagle, San Antonio

Seventh Grade scholars spend one full day in the city of Austin, our state capitol. Guided on a full tour of
the capitol building, scholars will get a close up look at the legislative branch of our state government.
Then, just across the street, they will interact with “the story of Texas” at the expansive and
comprehensive Bob Bullock Museum. That evening, scholars retreat to the Hill Country to Camp Eagle,
where they spend two days as outdoor adventurers or extreme sport enthusiasts. Relationship building
activities are at the heart of Camp Eagle and scholars are encouraged to think and engage morally, spiritually, and relationally on a deeper level. The trip concludes with for a tour of the Alamo and the San Juan Missions in San Antonio.

8th Grade: Mo Ranch – August

Eighth grade scholars begin the year with a two day/one night trip to Mo Ranch for an intensive time of
team building. Through the skilled instruction of the Mo Ranch staff, scholars are led through a series of
challenge courses including the high elements ropes course. In the safety and serenity of the scenic
landscape, our teenagers are given opportunities to intentionally develop trust, self-esteem, dignity,
respect, and compassion for others.

8th Grade: Trip to Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. – April

This six day/five night trip is the culmination of our Outdoor Education programs. Scholars arrive in
Philadelphia for two days, for a tour of the city, receiving an intensive look into the minds of some of the
great men and women who fought for freedom and liberty. They will hear stories of Colonial America,
relive the emotional climate and patriotism of the times, and rediscover the hopes and dreams the
founders had for their new nation. Visits to the Founding Fathers Place, the Liberty Bell, and the Rocky
Statue help comprise this rich glimpse into our nation’s history and the City of Brotherly Love. The
following three days are spent in Washington, D.C., exploring the world-renowned museums, the
Smithsonian, the National Cathedral, Arlington Cemetery, the Capitol and the White House.

For more information on any of the above trips, costs and billing, please contact Galen Hoffstadt in the
School Office.