Outdoor Education

Outdoor Education...It’s an Outdoor Adventure!

To put it simply, learning is more fun when it’s done outdoors. The hands-on learning environment at Thornhill compliments the innovative curriculum available to students and teachers. With numerous courses to choose from in a variety of content areas, study trips help students achieve real understanding and application of content standards. Click here for program descriptions.

What happens at Thornhill? 

Huntington University's 77-acre Thornhill Nature Preserve has helped thousands of children to understand, explore, and better appreciate the grandeur of nature. When students arrive at Thornhill, the Reiff Nature Center serves as the hub of classroom activity as students are actively engaged in a variety of hands-on activities. When it’s time to head outdoors, students observe diverse ecosystems and wildlife as they navigate the trails surrounding a large pond or participate in activities at the outdoor pavilion. Each season brings change to the flora and fauna of Thornhill, but the opportunity to learn is always present.

Who presents the classes? 

Huntington University students studying to be classroom teachers serve as instructors.

How does this apply to what I’m teaching in the classroom? 

Whether you’re looking to articulate an objective in social studies, demonstrate a concept in math, or provide practice for a lesson in language arts, the outdoor curriculum can help bridge the gap between content exposure and comprehension. Developed by area teachers and Huntington University professors, each course utilizes a creative approach to teaching academic standards.

How much do the study trips cost? 

There is a $3 charge per student for each course offered. The maximum number of students that can be accommodated at one time is 50.

When are the study trips available?

The study trips are available during the fall semester on Tuesdays from 12:10-2:00 p.m.; and during the spring semester on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:10-2:00 p.m.  Groups may schedule early arrival to eat lunch at the property with permission of the director.

Where is it? 

Thornhill is nestled in the northwest corner of Huntington County, Indiana, about 8 miles north of Huntington and approximately 25 miles west of Fort Wayne. Click here for directions.