Prince William School Programs | Environmental Science

School & Group Environmental Science at Prince William Forest

In the largest protected Piedmont forest in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, students study environmental science, learn teamwork, and strengthen their connection with nature.

NatureBridge at Prince William Forest
Cabin Camp 1 Prince William Forest Park
Triangle, VA 22172

Sample Day

One of the best ways to get a sense of a student’s NatureBridge experience is to see the daily schedule. Below is a rough sketch of a typical day for our environmental science participants. 

7:00 a.m.  Wake up

Students go to bed underneath an impressive display of stars and, after sleeping in Park cabins, rise each morning to the sounds of birds singing. They will use this time to shower, dress, pack their backpacks for a day hike, and prepare for their day.

8 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.  Breakfast

Just a five-minute walk from the cabins is the dining hall, where we serve healthy, filling meals. Students will learn about food and natural resources, so come to breakfast prepared to start your day learning!

8:45 a.m. - 9 a.m.  Clean up and get ready to hike

Take this time to use the facilities and finish packing your daypack. Each trail group will take turns with morning stewardship to tidy up the common spaces before venturing into the great outdoors for the day.

9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Instructional day 

During this time you will be with your trail group of up to 15 students. Lunch is distributed to the trail groups and is typically eaten out on the trail. NatureBridge educators provide the activities and curriculum while chaperones assist with group management and the behavioral needs of individual students. Depending on your school’s social and academic needs, we will design a customized thematic teaching day aligned with Virginia Standards of Learning. Students may find themselves:

  • Hiking to an old pyrite mine while learning about working collaboratively with others, leadership, and personal responsibility.
  • Exploring a nearby creek and participating in a stream biomonitoring project while learning about watersheds and water use.
  • Participating in activities focused on how humans affect the environment and learning how each of us can make a positive difference in the world.

4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.  Recreation time

This is a time students can use to shower and change, write in their journals, play on the recreation field, or relax by the fire in the dining hall. A school may also use this time for structured learning activities. Teachers and chaperones supervise during recreation time.

5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.  Dinner

Dinner is served in the dining hall. The food is nutritious, plentiful, and "kid-friendly" and is enjoyed as students socialize and compare stories with new friends.

7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.  Evening program

Evening programs complement the material presented during your day. These large-group programs are engaging, educational, and inspiring. Activities may include holding a town meeting on a current environmental issue, exploring the nearby forest on a night hike, or sharing songs and stories around a campfire.

8:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.  Quiet hours

This is the time for students to use bathrooms, change clothes, and brush their teeth. Older students may use this time to study in the dining room or catch some quiet time in their cabins. Teachers and chaperones supervise students during this time. Lights out is typically 9:30 p.m.

Each day is a new learning adventure!

Prince William Forest Park offers infinite learning opportunities. With each passing day in the NatureBridge program, students will grow in confidence and deepen their connections to their surroundings and to each other.

A Proud Partner of the National Park Service