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Outdoor Education

Book now, pay later option for 2023 group retreats. Make plans with your groups who are meeting virtually now and would like to gather in person later. Group size limitations are based upon current state guidance and any gathering restrictions in effect at the time.

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Did you know...
...Caroline Furnace sits in a vast synclinorium?
...Fort Valley was originally surveyed by George Washington for Lord Fairfax?
...we have the darkest night sky within two hours of Washington DC? peak production in our Iron Furnace days, they made 3 TONS of iron daily?
..."Shenandoah" and "Massanutten" derive from the Native Americans who used to live here?

Join us for a day, an overnight, or a week and learn more about the history, culture, and ecology that surrounds us!


We have a variety of lodging, meeting facilities, and outdoor spaces and we would love to work with you in designing a schedule to fit your group size, trip length, community goals, and learning standards.

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What are other schools doing?

Washington Episcopal School, 7th Grade

Average Group Size: 40


  • Bonding and Community Building - both inter-student and with teachers

  • Historical, geographical, and environmental connections to 7th grade curriculum

  • Multidisciplinary, experiential education opportunities in an outdoor setting

Outdoor Activities

  • Canoe Trip - South Fork of the Shenandoah River

  • Night Hike

  • Writing (Inquiry, Adventure), Reflections, Sharing

  • Cavern Tour - Luray Caverns

  • Large Group and Teambuilding Games

  • Campfire

  • Property Hike (guided, with a focus on history, ecology, geology, and inquiry)

Specific Educational Connections

  • English - inquiry/nonfiction session - "Explore a question that connects with your experience at Caroline Furnace."

  • Science - hydrology, environmental issues, biology, plant and animal ecology, geology, astronomy

  • History - Native American settlement, Revolutionary War history, Civil War and Iron Furnace history

The Potomac School, 7th Grade

Average Group Size: 90


  • Class Bonding - groups are mixed up throughout the trip to maximize class connections

  • Outdoor Education - time away in a natural, outdoor setting

  • Tradition - The Potomac School has been coming to Caroline Furnace since 1976!

Outdoor Activities

  • Canoe Trip - South Fork of the Shenandoah River

  • Orienteering

  • Hiking

  • Campfire

  • Stream Macroinvertebrate Survey

  • Meadow Campouts

  • Blind Walk

  • Community Development Course (low ropes)

Specific Educational Connections

  • Science - watersheds, hydrology and biology

    • study and discussion of riparian vegetation and macroinvertebrates in Passage Creek and the Shenandoah River

    • water quality testing and comparison with data from a home creek and the Chesapeake Bay

  • Observation - compass navigation; use of senses other than sight in blind walk​

W.W. Robinson Elementary School, 5th Grade

Average Group Size: 200 (split into 4 days)


  • Connections to 5th grade science and history Standards of Learning

  • Activity-based review of key concepts

  • End of year celebration

Outdoor Activities

  • Canoeing

  • Community Development Course (low ropes)

  • Furnace Exploration

  • Stream Macroinvertebrate Survey

Specific Educational Connections

  • Science- ecosystems, habitats, niches and adaptations; watersheds and water resources; classification of organisms; data collection and analysis

  • History - Civil War history with local context

Contact us to plan a trip for your school group!

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