Category Archives: Applied Learning

The Story of Stuff

This Earth Day it is important to think about how our consumption of goods affects the world at large. Next time you pull out your phone to check the weather or read a text, think about all of the people and resources used to get you that information and technology. We live in a society that reveres infinite consumerism and struggles with finite resources.

What are some ways to alleviate the stress placed on the planet in order to maintain a healthy balance of consumption and environmental sanctity?

Here is a video to help you find a solution:

As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.

-Henry David Thoreau

Wild Edibles

The Outdoor Skills class put together a list of some food items one might find on an outing in the Pacific Northwest. By learning to identify and prepare nature’s bounties, students will be more in touch with where food comes from and how to survive on their own.

Common Name: Dandelion

Latin Name: Taraxacum
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        If you have ever left your couch and looked around you should know what a dandelion is. As you can see in the top left side of your screen you will notice that they look yellow and have small long oval-ish leaves and the top right side is when the dandelion starts to die and is getting ready to spread its seeds. It’s not just a weed or plant that when you blow it you get a wish. It has other uses to. They are also very good in a salad when you stir fry them or boil them. If you have never thought to eat one you should go out and try it.


High Mallow

Malva Sylvestris
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It grows in meadows, roadsides, and disturbed sites and gardens. All leaves are edible raw. Young leaves tend to be tender and less bitter than normal leaves. It is edible raw. Leaves are good to eat as a soup to make it thicker. You can eat seeds raw. Seeds have a tasty, nut-like flavor. Flower buds, flowers and fruits are edible. It only grows in meadows, roadsides, disturbed sites and gardens.


Indian pipe or Ghost Plant

Monotropa Uniflora
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Indian pipe also known as Corpse plant, is really easy to recognize. It grows ten inches tall. It is usually found by dead tree stumps. You can eat it raw or cook it. Too much can be poisonous.



Epilobium augustifolium

Fireweed is a small, slender plant grown in the pacific northwest that flowers purple. This plant is easy to find, and is commonly grows in burned areas, thus the name Fireweed.4765

The entirety of the plant is edible raw including the shoots, flowers, and stems, but be careful if you eat to much this plant may act as a laxative. If your ever stranded, and hungry go pick some Fireweed to eat.

-Will Hopson

Stop Invasive Species

As we enter spring, many plants are flowering, seeds are germinating, and wildlife is becoming more active with the abundance of food. A healthy ecosystem contains all of the activity of spring, including the symbiotic relationships between plants, animals and microorganisms. With the influx of activity, there is more opportunity for invasive species to spread. These invasive plants and animals change the relationships in an ecosystem from symbiotic to parasitic. Invasive species take more than they give.

Our conservation efforts often focus on the removal of these invasive species. NYC makes concentrated efforts to keep ecosystems healthy by educating youth and putting in hundreds of hours of exhausting labor to remove plants like blackberry and scotch broom.

Help validate our student’s efforts by being conscious minded individuals and advocates for land conservation! 

Northwest Adventures



Northwest Adventures

A Great Eugene Summer Camp Adventure!

Week-long Adventure Camp For Age groups 12-13 & 14-15.

Have Fun Outdoors: Each week is filled with fun new experiences like hiking to a viewpoint, visiting waterfalls, discovering animal tracks, and rafting on the river.  Evenings bring learning and laughter in camp.

Learn New Skills: Learn outdoor skills like camping, map and compass, shelter making, and knot tying.  Participants help set up camp, cook group meals outdoors, and learn the basics of Leave No Trace camping.

Explore Western Oregon: A week with Northwest Adventures allows you to explore western Oregon from mountain passes to river valleys.  Get an up-close look at our natural treasures.

Make New Friends: Northwest Adventures participants come from all over the Northwest. They are young adventure seekers just like you.

Engage in Service:
Start making a difference in our world today! During every Adventures week, we spend half a day giving back to the outdoors by doing a service project like campground maintenance, stream clean-up, or invasive plant removal.

Program Summary

Each Northwest Adventures week begins and finishes at our Eugene Headquarters. The adventure group does a different outdoor activity each day and camps at a safe and secure location in the Cascades.  Two experienced adult NYC Teamleaders provide education, transportation, and supervision for the group throughout the week. Activities include hiking, camping, rafting, and service.  The program is focused on fun and adventure, while introducing participants to conservation and outdoor skills.  Evenings are filled with education and camp games.  NYC’s instructors facilitate valuable team building exercises and Leave No Trace camping, as well as other fun and useful outdoor leadership skills.  Every team member gets the chance to participate in a safe and guided environment with our trained staff.

Your new home – the great outdoors! Teams spend the week camping in tents. Never camped before? No problem, we are here to teach you.  For more information call our office (541) 349-5055.

All food is provided by Northwest Youth Corps. Crewmembers all participate in preparing breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day.

How to Register? 

To register, it’s simple, just follow this link to register online. It is quick and easy.  Have questions?  Call (541) 349-5055, we are here to help!


Northwest Adventures’ cost is $400 per session.  Tuition includes food, all group camping gear, and a t-shirt.  For more information or payment, please call our office.

Shelter Building Exercise

On Friday, students built shelters using materials found in the woods. They navigated their way through the urban jungle to a secret location using map and compass skills. For legal reasons, we were not able to test out the shelters overnight, but we hope this activity provided some insight into the struggles and joys of survival outside of the classroom.IMG_20150217_112019 IMG_20150217_111938

Congratulations Kyle Wickham!

The Jubokko Blood Forest (Part One)

Kyle Wickham, a senior at ODS, has published a short story on He has distinguished himself among staff and students for his achievement in this publication. Kyle consistently demonstrates determination and pride in his work, which is evident in his newly published story. We look forward to his future accomplishments and are proud to have him here at ODS.

“A hunk of bark began to peel from the tree, moulding into the shape of a man until  man of bark stood with his back to an exposed ripe patch. Something clung together, clad from bark, shouldn’t have moved with such grace.”

Kyle’s relief print made in the art class