the CHOC Board
a Christian Home School Resource Directory for the extended Portland Oregon metro area
Academies and Co-Ops
Career Development
Classes and Instructors
Community Volunteer Work
Extracurricular Clubs
Field Trips and Tours
Fine Arts and Theater
Fitness and Sports
Museums and History
Science and Nature
Science and Nature

Science and Nature Outings
 
 
 Adventure on the River provides a unique opportunity for young people ages 14 to 15 to develop confidence and teamwork skills while experiencing a spirit of adventure.  Attendees learn and practice safe boating skills with a focus on "learning by doing." All activities will launch out of the Portland Sea Scout base, located on Marine Drive near the Portland airport. The cost for the 4 day program is $95. We are sponsored by the Cascade Pacific Council (BSA) and the Fort Vancouver Sail & Power Squadron.  For more information, please visit their website or email adventureontheriver@gmail.com or phone 971-207-1577.  (NE Portland) June 2011 UPDATE, Adventure on the River will not be doing an event this summer, but hope to bring the program back in 2012. Their website is being reformatted, so it may or may not be working. If you are interested for next summer, call their phone number to speak with a volunteer.
 
The Audobon Society of Portland  "Audubon Society of Portland promotes the understanding, enjoyment, and protection of native birds, other wildlife and their habitats. We focus on our local community and the Pacific Northwest. Come visit us and enjoy miles of forested trails in our wildlife sanctuary just five minutes from downtown Portland, open from dawn to dusk everyday. Visit our interpretive center where you'll find exihibits, a natural history library, and places to watch birds up close. Learn about birds, wildlife, and conservation issues through classes, lectures, and trips.  Volunteer to help others learn too! Explore our Nature Store, where you'll find books, binoculars, bird feeders, gifts, and friendly people to answer your nature questions. Meet our educational birds of prey at the  Wildlife Care Center, where trained volunteers rehabilitate injured and orphaned wildlife and teach people how to co-exist with our wild neighbors." (NW Portland)
 
Camp Tilikumlocated in Newberg, Oregon, is a ministry of George Fox University providing summer camp programs, retreats, as well as facility grounds year-round for your group's activities.  Each Tilikum Camp session entails outdoor adventure and Christian living supervised by carefully trained staff. Biblical teaching through engaging story lessons are one of the many ways we share the message of God’s love with each camper. Our outdoor adventures include nature hikes, a mini-zip line, the "big swing," water activities--including swimming, boating and kayaking, archery, and a barn with animals.  On Family Night, families of current day campers are invited to spend an evening at Tilikum to participate in some of the activities with the campers and enjoy a short program of singing, sharing and day camp fun. Tilikum's Home School program caters to families interested in having their child(ren) attend a summer camp program that is focused primarily on home school and private school children/youth. Please visit our website for registration forms and further details about our summer camps, retreats, and facility use, or contact us at  tilikum@georgefox.edu, phone 503-538-2763. (Newberg)
 
The Columbia Slough Watershed Council is a diverse group of people and organizations "who work to restore and enhance the 60 miles of waterways, wetlands, and slow moving channels known as the Columbia Slough."  The Council encourages environmental and economic support for the waterways through volunteer work, recreational activities, field events, and a "Slough School" to help the general public and educators learn more about and enjoy the waterways and wetlands in the Columbia River area. (NE Portland/Columbia River)
 
 Creation Encounters  purpose is to provide quality creation field study toursroad guides, and other information glorifying God as Creator. We also conduct special field trips for local pastor groups, and offer "tailor-made" creation programs for various organizations. Our mission is to help believers defend the reliability of the Bible and to support the church in fulfilling its Great Commission. (Various locations in Northwest)
 
Design Science Association (DSA)  DSA is a local association for Creation Science. They sponsor monthly meetings (at Rolling Hills Community Church in Tualatin), creation science conferences, nature field trips and rafting trips that glorify the Creator, a monthly newsletter, a weekly radio program on KPDQ (Sunday's at 12:30pm), and sale of creation materials (at their meetings).  Please go to their website to see more information! (Tualatin)
 
Evergreen Aviation Museum  This museum houses Howard Hughes' famous "Spruce Goose."  It also is home to a variety of planes and aircraft on display as well as interactive educational displays and an IMAX theater.  The museum also offers a variety of educational programs, retreats and resources supporting the field of aviation and aeronautic engineering. (McMinnville).
 
Hoyt Arboretum  "Hoyt Arboretum is a wonderful place for families to explore together and discover a world of trees and plantsjust 2 miles west of downtown Portland. Easily accessible by car, bus or light rail from anywhere in the Portland Metro area, Hoyt Arboretum offers parents a 185-acre "living classroom" in which to teach their children about trees, plants and the natural world. A Visitor Center in the heart of the Arboretum offers visitor services, a research library, educational brochures, trail maps, a children's activity map and a small gift shop. Portland Parks and Recreation offers (secular) Nature Day Camps, Ladybug Walks, tours for school groups and other programs for children at the Arboretum throughout the year." (NW Portland)
 
Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve is a 725-acre wildlife preserve located within the city limits of Hillsboro, Oregon. The Preserve is a tranquil sanctuary for both people and animals. The quiet open waters, rolling meadows and upland ash and fir woods are home to thousands of ducks and geese, deer, otters, beavers, herons and eagles. The trails are open from dawn to dusk. (No dogs or bicycles, please.)  Open to the public.  Ages 10 to 99: $2.00 per person. No charge for members.  Groups of 15 or more, please call 503-681-6206 for an appointment.   The Wetlands Education Center provides the visitor a unique variety of hands-on exhibits, a nature store, classroom and meeting space, volunteer and staff work areas, and a beautiful deck with fantastic views overlooking the Preserve. The Education Center is open Monday - Sunday, 10:00am - 4:00pm.  Thousands of pre-school and school-aged children, bird watchers, university staff and students, researchers and others benefit from the programs and services provided by the Preserve.  In rain or shine, heat or snow, Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve is a resource for everybody.  (Hillsboro area)
 
Kiyokawa Family Orchards is a family-owned and operated farm located in Parkdale, Oregon, in the Hood River Valley. "At last count, we grow over 80 different varieties of apples and pears, including 12 varieties of Asian Pears." Open daily from late August through early November, they provide group tours, self-guided tours, fruit fundraisers for organizations, as well as family-friendly harvest festivals during the fruit harvest season.  See their website for details, times, and planned events. (Parkdale, OR)
 
Magnus Memorial Tree Farm  "Located just 20 miles south of Portland near Wilsonville, Oregon, Magness Memorial Tree Farm is now an internationally recognized demonstration forest and outdoor education site enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year. This beautiful 80 acre property has a large natural area, small stream, nine comparative forest management zones, 2.5 miles of hiking trails, the historic "Clatskanie" fire tower, recreation field, small picnic shelter, and rustic log cabins for youth group overnight camping, outdoor schools, and retreats. Magness is free and open to the public daily.  [On Sunday afternoons, a free guided tour is provided.]  Parking is VERY limited. Please carpool whenever possible. " Please see their website for location and more information.  (Wilsonville) 
 
Mount St. Helens Creation Information Center (the 7 Wonders Museum) is a non-profit, privately owned museum dedicated to upholding biblical creation. (Find more on 7Wonders and other NW Creation groups at http://nwcreation.net. Scroll to the bottom bar for NW Info.)  The 7 Wonders Museum is located in Washington state on the drive up to the Mt. St. Helens national park (Take I-5 Exit #49, go East on SR 504, the Spirit Lake Highway heading towards Toutle, WA.)  This small but developing information center provides displays, a few hands on activities for the kids, and a powerpoint presentation relating how the rapidly formed features following the Mt. St. Helens 1980 eruption give evidence of a young earth creation.  Over 405 creation book titles are sold in their store.  Admittance is free, donations accepted. 7 Wonders Museum 4749 Spirit Lake Highway, Silverlake, WA. 98645.  Phone/Fax:  1-360-274-5737.  Open most days from 9am - 7pm, call ahead to confirm hours or to arrange a group visitation.  After visiting this information center, enjoy the Mt.St. Helen's national monument park to see and personally witness the devastation and restoration of the land after the incredible 1980 eruption. (Silverlake, WA)
 
Noble Woods  A great place to go hiking or bird watching. 38 acres of wooded terrain which has over a mile of paved trails and several foot bridges.(Hillsboro)
 

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park is a treasure for wildlife enthusiasts. This 725-acre park has a little bit of everything: lakes, trails, meadows and is home to more than 200 North American animals. See bighorn sheep, deer, Roosevelt elk, woodland caribou, mountain goats, bison and more up close from comfortable trams while touring the free-roaming area. Walk forested pathways to view grizzlies, black bears, wolves, bobcats, lynx, cougars, owls, eagles and wetland animals in beautiful natural exhibits. Explore five miles of nature trails and enjoy exciting hands-on experiences in the Cheney Family Discovery Center. Located in Eatonville, Washington, about 137 miles north of Portland. (Eatonville, WA)

 
On the Edge Adventures (Broken Link) was established in 1996 to make a positive impact in people, and develop leaders. We do this primarily through wilderness programming like; rafting, rock climbing, backpacking, caving, teambuilding, and winter adventures.  We are a faith-based organization and believe that a relationship with Jesus Christ is paramount in life. We believe that we cannot live life adequately without Christ’s forgiveness and empowerment.  (While we hold steadfast to these beliefs, not all our programs are faith-based. We enjoy working with all types of people from all types of faiths and backgrounds, and tailor those trips to the professional desires and outcomes of those organizations and companies.)  OTEA is based inRhododendron, Oregon (on Highway 26 before Government Camp), however, they have programs geared both locally and globally. Phone (503) 622-3514.Mailing address: PO Box 166 RhododendronOR 97049-0166 CHOC Board note:  They have an annual Father-Son expedition which is very popular and comes highly recommended from several of our sources. Update 6-16-11: website link appears to be broken. Please contact us if you have the current web address. 
 
The Oregon Garden Enjoy one of Oregon's most popular destinations, where thousands of plants are displayed in more than 20 specialty gardens. Explore amazing water features, the Conifer garden, garden art, wetlands, the Rediscovery Forest, a playful garden just for kids, the 400-year-old Signature Oak, and the Gordon House, the only house in Oregon designed by the legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Discover how easy it is to relax and be dazzled at The Oregon Garden, located on 80 acres. (Silverton, OR)
 
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) One of Oregon's premier museums with ample opportunity for fun learning. Spendy, but check their info page, often they offer a 1/2 price Thursday once a month during the school year. They also offer hands-on classes (secular). The tour of the Blueback Submarine is wonderful and economically priced (and outside the cost of museum entrance). OMSI's web page says: "This outstanding technology museum offers hundreds of exhibits related to computers, space, and earth sciences. Kids especially love the interactive, make-believe village. If you have ever wanted to know what an earthquake is like, you'll find out at this museum, which has a special room that re-creates the experience. There's also an Omnimax theater, a planetarium, laser show, motion simulator and an outdoor river walk that teaches youngsters about the Willamette River.  (Eastside Portland)
 
The Oregon Zoo Oregon's premier zoo. Check their website for events and special hands-on classes or features. Entrance is a bit spendy for a family, if you pay the normal admission price at the gate, but the zoo usually offers a 1/2 price Tuesday once a month, or you may consider purchasing the family year pass (about $70) which would pay for itself after a 2 or 3 visits. (West Portland)
 
Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals   "The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals was founded by Richard L. and Helen M. Rice in 1996 for the express purpose of passing on to present and future generations the opportunity to obtain knowledge and pleasure from these beautiful wonders of nature. The museum collection and reference materials are available for viewing, study and research to all who are interested in the earth sciences."  Go to the link for information about museum hours, prices, their calendar of special events and occasional classes.  (Hillsboro)

Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge  provides wintering and nesting habitat for a diversity of species of waterfowl and other birds and wildlife.  It oversees a number of refuges in the (Columbia Gorge and Ridgefield, Washington areas).
 
Rosse Posse Acres Elk Farm  We are a 52-acre working elk ranch (and homeschooling family) with more than 75 elk. Our farm tour includes an educational lecture in the barn describing elk antler, ivory teeth, hooves, elk behavior, and interesting stories of our farming experience. Then we take your group on our paved walking trails to see the elk, which we bring to the fence by feeding whole oats. The tour concludes with a visit to our petting zoo where your students will enjoy interacting with our pygmy goats and miniature donkeys. Stop by our Gift Shop for snacks, soda, antler jewelry, and more. The tour will be tailored to your group’s needs. We have hosted classrooms from day care to college age, so we are certain your group will enjoy their elk farm experience. Please don’t delay in calling (503) 829-7107 to schedule your homeschool group's elk farm field trip.  For more details and location, please visit our webpage as linked. (Mollala)
 
Tillamook Forestry Center  Located on OR highway 6 at milepost 22, on the way to Tillamook. The center itself is a great place to learn about the growth and management of forests - really excellent, interactive, free exhibits. They have regularly schedules talks, nature walks, etc. on various topics. They also show educational program kits and scheduled field trip opportunites on their website. Check out their program links!  (Tillamook area)
 
Tualatin Hills Nature Park  This nature park is composed of 222 acres of woodlands, wetlands, meadows, 5 miles of park trails (1.5 miles paved), and an interpretive center which has a library, nature store, exhibit hall, and classrooms where periodic nature classes are held.  (Beaverton)

Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge  This is a large wildlife refuge/nature park in the Sherwood area along the Tualatin River flood plain with several easy walking trails (no pets allowed, facilities are limited).  The Refuge provides a variety of recreational and educational activities--"all specially focused on our wildlife and their habitats." The Refuge has also produced an educator's guide which includes information about "the Refuge's habitats and wildlife, a field trip planning chapter, as well as pre-field trip, on-site field trip and post-field trip activties" for nature studies.  It also has a downloadable wildlife brochure(Sherwood/Tualatin)
 
Twisted Creek Ranch Pumpkin Patch and Farm is a family ran farm in Estacada open to the public October 1st through the 31st.  (We will be closed weekends during the 2008 season for construction. We will still be open for tour groups on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays).  Our goal is to offer a different kind of experience to children from what is currently available to them.  Our farm is not themed to Halloween.  We focus on the fall season, the harvest, and farm life with a definite country feel throughout. During our tour days, we offer 3 different group tours each lasting about an hour and a half (depending on the size of the group).  We usually start in the barnyard, then walk to the pond to feed the fish.  A trip through our giant sunflower maze is a must!  Then off to the pumpkin patch where the kids get to pick out their own pumpkin to take home with them.  Picnic tables are always available if you choose to have snack time at the farm!  The cost is $5.00 per child, and as always, there is no charge for teachers or parents.  Younger siblings are welcome to come along too.  It's never to early to reserve your tour time! Call 503-630-4611 or email us at info@twistedcreekranch.com (Clackams-Estacada)
 
Wildwood Recreational Site   Located along the Mount Hood Scenic Byway near the town of Welches, Wildwood Recreation Site is a day use area home to a wide range of recreation facilities and the Cascade Streamwatch Trail. Visitors have a chance to explore natural stream and wetland ecosystems along accessible interpretive trails and boardwalks and observe native fish in a unique underwater fish viewing chamber. The site offers family picnic units, several group shelters, playing fields, and access to the Salmon River and the Salmon Huckleberry Wilderness (USFS). Great for large groups and events. (Welches, OR)
 
World Forestry Center and Discovery Museum  Founded in 1964 in Portland, Oregon, the World Forestry Center is a nonprofit (secular) educational institution. "Our mission is to educate and inform people about the world's forests and trees, and their importance to all life, in order to promote a balanced and sustainable future." The Center includes 3 programs: The Discovery Museum, two tree farms, and the World Forestry Institute. Events, tours, and field trips are also available in addition to the regular museum exhibits. (West Portland)