The tally is in –Echo Hill Outdoor School raised more than $50,000 for student scholarships at its 50th anniversary celebration on October 15, 2022. Held under a tent at Red Acres Farm in Worton, the event drew nearly 300 people and 26 leading business and individual sponsors.
“We are grateful to all who joined us as we celebrated 50 years of transformational outdoor education for students from schools all over the Mid-Atlantic region,” said Founding Head Peter Rice. “We were touched by the outpouring of support and love for the school, and we thank everyone who participated. Their contributions are helping to make an Echo Hill Outdoor School experience possible for students of all income levels and backgrounds, and we are very thankful to everyone who helped us mark this auspicious milestone.”
Founded in 1972 by a group of visionary friends who imagined and then invented a new way to teach school children about the outdoors, Echo Hill Outdoor School was one of the first of its kind in the world to offer a residential program for youngsters that would enrich traditional classroom science instruction through entirely outdoor lessons and learning.
“We have found that environmental awareness and concern do not correlate with privilege,” Richard Balaban, a member of the Board of Directors, added. “In our curious 21st century world, all kids need and deserve our kind of education. The scholarship funds we raised at this event will enable worthy students, regardless of their ability to pay, to benefit from our extraordinary programs.”
Centered on innovative teaching methods and a custom curriculum many say provides a “magical” experience for students, since 1972, Echo Hill Outdoor School has inspired more than 250,000 children with programs such as Bay Studies, the Mystery Tour, and Aqualogy that change how youngsters experience and relate to the outdoors.
Classes are conducted on an extraordinary 240-acre waterfront campus combining pristine and varied Chesapeake Bay ecosystems that encompass bay, field, wetland, stream, woods, beach, river, a half mile of Bay waterfront, and nearby villages.
In addition, the school owns and operates a fleet of historic watercraft used for classes every day to establish the bridge between Chesapeake Bay ecology and stewardship and the history and culture of the waterman community.