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As part of the ODS school curriculum, students get to choose two electives per quarter. There are a wide range of electives that change quarterly. The electives for this quarter are:

Strategy, in which students play and analyze various strategy games, such as Settlers of Catan.


Outdoor Living Skills, in which students learn the basics of wilderness survival, including shelter building and knot-tying.

ODSkillzOutdoor Living Skills

Fitness, where students are challenged to improve their physical fitness.



Art, where students get to stretch their creative minds using various art methods and mediums.

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Team Sports, in which students play various team sports, focusing on the the concepts of teamwork and skills development.

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Garden, where students learn the science and methods behind growing plants.

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Our Culinary elective is offered every quarter, and provides an opportunity for students to learn the basics of working in a kitchen and preparing food.  The food they prepare is available for purchase to lunch for all students and NYC staff.

This week’s menu has been delicious, and included sauteed vegetables and pasta, red curry and rice, and spaghetti with garlic bread donated from a local Eugene Bakery.

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The menu even included cantaloupe, grapes, and raspberries that came straight from the NYC garden for a delicious fruit salad prepared by the students.

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We are excited to see what else the students will learn throughout the quarter.


We’re back!

Well, sort of.

School is back in session, but our cast for this year’s masterpiece is ever so slightly different. Of our currently enrolled students about half are new to ODS, but 5 days in it’s hard to tell as everyone settles into the year.

Our first day of school last Wednesday culminated in the team activity known as the Marshmallow challenge.

The goal: Teams of 4 or 5 set out to make the tallest standing structure that has a marshmallow on top.

The materials:

  • 20 sticks of spaghetti
  • 1 yard of string
  • 1 yard of tape
  • 1 (slightly stale in our case) marshmallow

Enjoy the photos to see the creations they came up with. Marshmallow Challenge Marshmallow Challenge3 Marshmallow Challenge2 Marshmallow Challenge4


Additionally, here are 3 of the 5 new AmeriCorps who will be working with the school this year, Dan, Katelyn and Sara.  We are excited to see what the year will bring!