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Outdoor Education

Outdoor Education CentreThe Ottawa-Carleton District School Board owns and operates two Outdoor Education Centres; MacSkimming Outdoor Education Centre in Ottawa’s east end, and the Bill Mason Centre in the west. Both Centres provide high quality, hands-on outdoor programming that is designed and delivered to compliment classroom learning in many sections of the Ontario Curriculum. Each visiting group is introduced to the beauty of the natural world, and our place in it. Learn more by checking out our Outdoor Education Newsletter

Find out about our Family Snowshoe Hike, January 20th, 2018!

The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) is very lucky to have two Outdoor Education Centres that their students and other school organizations, can access to learn outside in a natural setting.


This 497 acre outdoor classroom is used annually by 22,000 elementary and secondary students, who attend the Centres for day or overnight programs (MacSkimming Centre only), to learn and participate in outdoor programs based on their grade’s curriculum.


The operation and management of the OCDSB Outdoor Education Centres is through the branch of the OCDSB Continuing Education department and is assisted by all OCDSB departments.


Community sponsors and partners greatly contribute financially to ensure that OCDSB elementary and secondary students are able attend the OCDSB Outdoor Education Centres.


To ensure that every OCDSB student has the opportunity to attend the Centres, the “Every Student Attends Program” was created. This program allows OCDSB Grade 3 and 7 students to attend either Centre for a curriculum-based outdoor field trip with no programing cost.


For all students and volunteers who are attending the Centres, we ask that you prepare to be outside for the day and dress for the weather (90% of your visit will be outside!). Especially during the spring, summer and fall months, we encourage all visitors to wear long pants, long sleeve shirts, socks and proper outdoor shoes to allow you to be active and protect yourself from pests (Example: Mosquitos and ticks).


Both Centres are heavily used by school classes and at MacSkimming Centre, overnight and weekend groups. Therefore, both Centres are not open to the public to access and hike. Each Centre does have an annual open house day which the public can access these sites and explore (Bill Mason Centre- May 12th, 2018 & MacSkimming Centre-September 22nd,2018).

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