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

Snowy Owl at Fern Ridge!

This handsome fella has taken over Tern Island at Fern Ridge reservoir. ODS went to catch a glimpse of the only snowy owl in the Willamette Valley and we succeeded!

Courtesy of Alysha Thompson

Rumors in the birding community have led us to believe that this owl got the boot from the Arctic. The larger, more seasoned males tend to pick on the younger birds while competing for mates. Having fled the abuse of the Arctic flock, this young bachelor is finding it hard to blend in among the black rocks of Tern Island. We are lucky to have seen him!

Courtesy of Alysha Thompson


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

The Personal Finance class tracked their spending….

And here are our results…

Our class of about ten collected grocery receipts for two weeks and this is what we found: ODS loves processed foods!Pie chart

According to NPR’s food blog, our results are not far off from the US population. Processed foods have made a huge jump on the spending ladder in the past 30 years.

pm-gr-foodprices-462-03Still, our class encountered a difference in opinions; Are healthy foods more costly, or cheaper than processed foods? We spent the most money on processed foods, but we also bought the highest quantity of these foods. Fruits and vegetable tend to have less calories per dollar than processed foods and sweets.

This article from NPR demonstrates Why Processed Food Is Cheaper Than Healthier Options.

However, the government found that healthy food is no more costly than junk food.

Our conclusion: Gathering data is a complicated process with many factors that can skew our results. Politics, nutrition science and food availability make it nearly impossible to reach a conclusion!


Cascades Raptor Center


Have you been out to Cascades Raptor Center? Students at ODS spent their week of Field Education with the raptors. Over the humming of chainsaws on the job site, students were able to learn and work among the resident animals.

The Raptor Center had a close call last summer when a fire on Spencer Butte forced an evacuation of resident and rehab birds. Considering the heavily wooded setting at the Raptor Center, the staff requested that ODS and Northwest Youth Corps’ CCC work to fire-proof the perimeter. One week and many chainsaws later, the Raptor Center can feel at ease about the safety of the birds.


Relief Printing

As a class, we made our own relief prints using supplies donated by the University of Oregon and staff members.We were given linoleum tiles, which are malleable and have a smooth surface.


We cut our designs into the pads using small, bladed tools. Our designs were based on pictures we drew beforehand. After our designs were cut out, we rolled ink onto the tiles making sure there were no globs on the lino-cuts.


Once the ink was rolled we could print the design onto paper, finishing the process. It was a creative and interesting process.

-Will Hopson


Fibonacci Sequence


The Fibonacci sequence repeats in the growth of the plant kingdom and the animal kingdom from the buds on a succulent, to the shell of a nautilus.

As a class, we applied the Fibonacci sequence to artwork. The tiles of our classroom offered us a grid, which we used to align autumn leaves in a Fibonacci spiral. Andy Goldsworthy helped inspire our work after watching his documentary, “Rivers and Tides.” Below are some examples of Mr. Goldsworthy’s work.

By Kyle Wickham


GrassRoots Garden

If you have not visited GrassRoots Garden, a trip up Coburg Rd. is a must. This Food for Lane County garden provides food security to all of Lane County and serves as a model for urban farmers throughout the region.

GrassRoots Garden
GrassRoots Garden

Our trip to GrassRoots was set up to show the students how they could get involved in the local community. There are opportunities for learning in each garden activity, from harvesting and packaging produce to preparing and cooking the volunteer lunch. GrassRoots is where people from all areas of the community come together and grow food for one another.

Merry and the group showing off our fall colors.

Thank you to all who contribute to theTwin Rivers Charter School. Support by the Oregon Youth Conservation Corps and its Community Stewardship Corps (CSC) program helps TRCS students gain valuable education, employment and leadership skills while learning about the environment through classroom and field-based learning. To learn more about OYCC, visit