Women’s History Month @ODL

The Women who make the Outdoor Lab Great

Phoebe Hall Knipling

The Outdoor Lab owes its existence to Phoebe Hall Knipling. Her vision and determination that children should experience science first hand, led to the creation of the Outdoor Lab and other pillars of Arlington science education like the Brown Planetarium, Gulf Branch and Long Branch Nature Centers. Learn more from a recent story from Arlington Library’s Womens Work series.

Anita Knipling Scott

Phoebe’s daughter Anita has served on the Board of Directors of the Outdoor Lab for years. She’s continued to build on her mother’s vision and helped thousands of Arlington families experience the joys of the Outdoor Lab.

Recently, Anita was interviewed for the Biscuit Mountain Breakdown and shared some of the early history of the Outdoor Lab. Click here to listen to podcast “Walking Down Memory Lane.”

Kendra Liddicoat

The Biscuit Mountain Breakdown podcast interviews leaders in the field of outdoor education.  Such as Dr. Kendra Liddicoat who researches memories as outcomes for programs like The Outdoor Lab.  Learn about how memories are an important feature of what happens at nature centers and how we can use that research to improve our program.  Click HERE for Podcasts.

Join the AOEA Board!

The Outdoor Lab is a partnership between the Arlington Public Schools (APS) and the non-profit Arlington Outdoor Education Association (AOEA).

  • APS provides the teachers, educational program and buses.
  • AOEA owns and manages the land and buildings as well as advocates for outdoor education, STEAM curriculum, and hands-on, experiential leaning.

We need  members of the Arlington community to step-up and help us in this critical time for educating our students.  

We need Board Members for the AOEA!

Current and past Board Members have a variety of experience and skills.  Many are parents, teachers or staff of Arlington schools.  Others are scientists, marketing professionals, real estate agents/builders or consultants.  We need a variety of experiences to challenge our organization to improve and grow.

If you are willing to help Arlington children and the Outdoor Lab (or know someone who might) please contact the AOEA President to learn more about our Board of Directors at president@outdoorlab.org.  We elect a slate of Directors at our annual meeting May, but have openings year round.

If you’d like to volunteer to help the Outdoor Lab learn more HERE.

APS Students- Join the AOEA Board

In 2021, the AOEA Board began a student Board Member program.  The Inaugural Student Board Member was Maria Soukup, a senior at Yorktown High School.

The student Board Member participates in AOEA board meetings, offering advice and voting on AOEA business.  They participate in AOEA events at the Outdoor Lab and in Arlington.  And acts a liaison to their schools and student groups in APS.

If you are a rising Junior or Senior at an APS high school and are interested in learning more.  Contact AOEA Board president at president@outdoorlab.org.

Dec 4th 5-9p Chipotle Ballston Fundraiser

Save the Date for our Chipotle Fundraiser- Saturday Dec 4th from 5-9pm at the Ballston Common Chipotle!

The Outdoor Lab will receive part of the sales at the Ballston Common Chipotle (4300 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22203)

Please share with your friends and family to help support the Outdoor Lab!  You can make it safer by ordering online for pickup.  Details and flyers below…

Guarantee your purchase supports the Outdoor Lab:

  • Show the cashier a digital flyer prior to paying
  • Show the cashier a paper flyer prior to paying
  • Flying flyer-free? Just mention the fundraiser to the cashier prior to paying
  • Order online and pickup Chipotle by using the Promo Code V9EZR9M on the Chipotle app or website.
  • Please note that fundraiser online ordering is only valid through pickup on Saturday Dec 4th from 5p-9p at the Ballston Chipotle location.

A few more notes:

  • Don’t order delivery or through a separate app – online orders will only count for pickup through the official Chipotle App or on our website.
  • Don’t place orders for your fundraiser on days other than your fundraiser date and time. Orders placed outside of your fundraiser date, time, or assigned restaurant WILL NOT be counted.
  • Don’t hand out flyers to our regular customers in or around the restaurant – that’s cheating! (Which may also lead to your fundraiser being cancelled)
  • Don’t alter your flyer in any way
  • Don’t be shy! Make sure you tell our cashier that you’re attending the fundraiser before you pay
  • Don’t purchase a gift card – gift card purchases during fundraisers do NOT count towards total donated sales, but purchases made with an existing gift card will count.

Chipotle Fundraiser Dec 2021 english 374040-flyer

Chipotle fundraiser Dec 2021 374040-spanish-flyer


Fall Events- Visit the ODL

We love to welcome families to the Outdoor Lab on Weekends.

Come see what your APS students are raving about.  Enjoy the fresh air, immerse yourself in nature, and relax in the mountains.

We’re only 45 minutes from Arlington.(directions here)  Pack a lunch and plan a family activity.

Fall 2021 activities are below.  Due to COVID, we need all visitors to register via Eventbrite.  (check back for links to each event below.)

ODL @ the ArlCo Fair 2021

Visit the Outdoor Lab’s Booth (M13) at the 45th Annual Arlington County Fair starting Friday August 20 at Thomas Jefferson Middle School and surrounding grounds, at 3501 2nd Street S.

After your Goat Yoga and before the Pig Races, cool off inside and visit the Outdoor Lab Booth!

Join us at the Arlington County Fair:

  • Fri   August 20 4p – 10p
  • Sat  August 21 10a – 9p
  • Sun August 22 11a – 7p

ODL supports LGBTQ+ Pride

The Arlington Outdoor Education Association (AOEA) supports the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) Pride Month!

The Outdoor Lab is welcoming to All Students and Families, no matter their sexual identity or orientation.

Please join us in celebrating and advocating for diversity, equity and inclusion for the LGBTQ+ community in Arlington and our world.

Sat June 5th- ODL CampIN!

The 2nd Annual Great Outdoor Lab CampIN!

Join us on Saturday, June 5th 5-8pm for the Great Outdoor Lab CampIN! Set up a pillow fort inside your home, or set up a tent in your yard.

We know the Outdoor Lab Camp-Out is a highlight for our 5th Grade Students. Since we can’t host them at the Lab this year, we wanted to share the fun — virtually — with everyone!

How to participate:

Make your plans for camping indoors or outside in your yard — planning is half of the fun!

    • What supplies do you need? Flashlights? Pillows? Sleeping bags or blankets?
    • How can your family pitch in to help?

JOIN US! Tonight from 5-8pm check our stream on Facebook to see how the Outdoor Lab celebrates the CampIN with snacks, games, and campfire stories!

    • What might you see and hear during your campIN? Check it out!
    • Dust off your best campfire stories and get ready to share with your family!
    • Visit the Outdoor Lab Trade Secrets page — we’re letting our secrets out for a limited time!

SHARE WITH US!!!  We want this to be a community event and to share (virtually) in the fun with you!

    • We’re using DropEvent for you to share pictures of you and your crew in the Great Outdoor Lab CampIN!
    • Ask an adult to share pictures to the Outdoor Lab’s FacebookInstagram, and Twitter pages!
    • However you choose to share, remember to use #CampIN
Have a last minute need- Shop Local

Need new batteries for your flashlight or lantern?  Or a tarp or rope?  Local Arlington stores have all the supplies you need, check some out below:

Casual Adventure

A long-time supporter of the Outdoor Lab, and owned by an APS Family, Casual Adventure has everything you need for backyard camping, scouting or big adventures.

Ayer’s Variety & Hardware
Bill’s True Value Hardware
Cherrydale Hardware
Twins Ace Hardware

AAPI Heritage Month @ODL

This May, the Outdoor Lab and the AOEA celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

With staff and directors with AAPI heritage in our families, we’d like to honor all Asian American and Pacific Islander families, their contributions to science and education and the building of our nation. 

In this time of violence against AAPI individuals and communities, we stand together with all who speak out against hate, bigotry, and exclusion.