2025 Outdoor School Summit

The ANCA Outdoor School Summit brings together executive directors, education directors, and other leadership staff from outdoor schools across North America. These centers share the unique challenges of housing and feeding students for multiple days, and the Outdoor School Summit fosters a space to solve problems and build connections in this particular field. ANCA holds the Outdoor School Summit in person every two years.

The 2025 Outdoor School Summit will be January 10-14 at NorthBay in North East, Md. Please save the date for now and check back here later for more information.

What are Outdoor Schools?

Outdoor schools are educational organizations offering immersive and overnight programs that connect participants to nature and each other. These programs are youth-based and academic, focused primarily on public school partnerships where students and classroom teachers stay for multiple days and nights, sharing educational activities, meals, and sleeping accommodations. While outdoor schools hold most programs outdoors, they also have indoor spaces such as classrooms, labs, dining halls, and dormitories to comfortably accommodate students, classroom teachers, and other adult chaperones.

The Outdoor School Summit is the single most useful gathering of practitioners in the country for residential EE programs. Imagine all of the biggest challenges you have at your center, and in this one weekend gathering you will leave with ideas and ways to approach all of them ... from people who have been in the same place as you!

— John DiDiego, Education Director, Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont


Curious about the Outdoor School Summit? Here are some frequently asked questions about the event.