About Our Programs

Adventure Programs Adventure Programs

Echo Hill Outdoor School offers a wide array of engaging classes and programs during every season of the year. The strength of Echo Hill's programs is the staff's total investment in the School's purpose, philosophy, and curriculum. Echo Hill teachers work with groups of 8 to 12 students to maximize student participation. Our flexible classes and programs can be custom-designed to meet any group's educational goals. Through each unique program, students experience aspects of Echo Hill's three curriculum areas: Science and Ecology, History and Human Environment, and Individual and Group Development.

Echo Hill provides a general outdoor education program to students from grades three through eight on a weekly basis. Additional programming is offered to younger children, high school and college students, and adult groups. The School's facilities can be adapted to meet the needs of groups ranging from first graders to business executives, but the majority of the programming is focused on middle school aged students. Echo Hill is committed to providing opportunities for diverse student populations, keeping costs low, and working with both public and private school groups.

Adventure Programs

Seasonal Availability

Residential outdoor education programs, Adventure programs, and Day programs are offered to school groups, private groups, clubs, and other organizations from March through mid-December.

Chesapeake Heritage Initiative programs are offered to groups of students from schools, private groups, clubs, and other organizations. These programs are available in the spring and fall seasons only. Overnight programs can accommodate groups of 6 to 12 students. Groups of 8 to 30 students may participate in day programs.

Summer Explore Trips programs are available in the summer months only for students aged 8 to 18.

Residential Outdoor Education

Residential Outdoor Education Residential Outdoor Education Residential Outdoor Education

Wake up to see the sunrise, milk a cow at a local dairy farm. . . fall asleep to the sounds of The Big Marsh as a breeze drifts through your tent. Students in Echo Hill's residential programs become fully immersed in the outdoor environment. These residential programs are designed to complement classroom learning by providing unique opportunities for academic and social growth. Guided by Echo Hill teachers, students learn and interact with peers and teachers in a new and exciting environment. Residential programs last 2, 3, 4, or 5 days.

Students participate in a full day of classes and evening activities, engaged with and supervised by Echo Hill teachers on class and in all aspects of residential life. During the day, students have time to relax and socialize with Echo Hill staff, other students, and their teachers at meals, in the tent or dorm areas, at the beach, or in other areas on campus. At bedtime Echo Hill teachers read stories or sing songs with each tent group. Meals at Echo Hill are prepared by the School's cook in traditional Eastern Shore fashion, and Echo Hill teachers serve the meals family-style. The hour-long mealtimes conclude with songs and an informal S.L.O.P (Stuff Left on Plate) presentation about waste and natural resources.


Residential programs are available to groups of 6 to 120 from March 1 to June 15; and from Aug. 28 to Dec 15.

Smaller groups of 6 to 30 participants may attend July 1 through August 28.

Adventure Programs

Adventure Programs Adventure Programs

Adventure Programs

Maneuver your group through the Spider's Web, negotiate the Blind Maze; zip through the trees; or climb the Alpine Tower. Set in a hardwood forest, and bordering a shrub swamp, Echo Hill's adventure course consists of over twenty individual and group initiatives that provide opportunities for personal and group development. Adventure programs can be day or residential; weekend programs are also offered.

Echo Hill's adventure programs allow students of all ages to explore individual challenges and group dynamics. Low element challenges focus on improving communication, establishing trust, exploring team roles, and creating self-awareness. High elements focus on personal responsibility, accountability, self-confidence, and team support. Each program is tailored to age-specific issues. Our adventure instructors are trained to ensure the emotional and physical safety of each participant. Adventure programs can be designed for young students to focus on cooperation and confidence. High school leaders or college athletic teams may focus on team building. Experienced adventure instructors can facilitate action plans for adult groups. To complement social development in the classroom, some groups participate in a curriculum progression of adventure classes over several consecutive years.



Adventure programs are available all seasons of the year for groups of up to 100 participants.

Day Programs

Day Programs Day Programs Day Programs

Explore the colors, sounds, and smells of our intriguing freshwater swamp in the morning; examine the significance of Native American artifacts for an afternoon; or spend a full day aboard historic work boats discovering the ecology of the Chesapeake Bay. First-grade students may attend a morning program focused on outdoor ecosystem exploration. A group of school teachers may participate in a weekend in-service training ecological field study. Echo Hill Outdoor School offers a wide variety of full and half day programs to groups of all ages-early elementary to adult.

Day programs are designed to meet specific educational goals, and they generally consist of one or two classes. Attending groups may focus on one curriculum area, or they may choose a limited combination of curriculum areas. Many groups choose Bay and aquatic ecology classes. Service projects and off-site classes also can be incorporated into day programs.


Day programs are available all seasons of the year.


Chesapeake Heritage Initiative

Chesapeake Heritage Initiative Chesapeake Heritage Initiative Chesapeake Heritage Initiative

Chesapeake Heritage Initiative is about discovering the Bay-the unique and complex ecosystems, the natural cycles, the overwhelming resources, the scenery and pure natural beauty, and the legacies of people and their boats. The program blends the science and the history of the Bay in a way that will be everlasting. Aboard historic Chesapeake Bay work boats, students learn in the heart of Maryland's Upper Eastern Shore, where time and tradition have all but stood still.

The program takes place on the Chester River aboard Echo Hill Outdoor School's two historic bay craft, the buy-boat Annie D. (1957) and the skipjack Elsworth (1901). Each boat can accommodate six participants for three to five day overnight programs. The students eat, sleep, and live on board as the two boats explore the Chester River together. Day programs are also available for group sizes of 8 to 30 participants. Chesapeake Heritage Initiative Programs are appropriate for any type of student group: middle school, high school, college, and beyond.

The Chesapeake Heritage Initiative is an opportunity to experience the past, consider the present, and look ahead to the future. Activities include fishing, setting sails, navigating with map and compass, interviewing people on the River, and learning about regional lifestyles and folklore. Students learn to value cooperation and personal responsibility as they share the daily chores of cooking, cleaning, and keeping the boats shipshape from galley to berth.


Chesapeake Heritage Initiative programs are available in the month of May, and in the fall from Sept. 1 through Oct. 15.

Adult, Professional and Custom Programs

Adult, Professional and Custom Programs Adult, Professional and Custom Programs Adult, Professional and Custom Programs Adult, Professional and Custom Programs

Echo Hill Outdoor School, a leader in the field of outdoor education, offers unique experiences for adults, professionals and other organizations. Opportunities exist for teambuilding and leadership development through our adventure program, Chesapeake Bay ecology aboard our historic boats, and experiential history amidst a rural landscape rich in colonial heritage.

Professionals find enrichment in leaving their traditional day-to-day routine and engaging in the dynamic, interactive and meaningful experiences led by our highly qualified team of educators. All programs are custom designed based on a formal needs assessment and the goals of the organization.