Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

Who develops and presents the Fall in the Field Program?

Students of the Master’s of Science in Environmental Education Program at Southern Oregon University design and implement Fall in the Field as their final project. We spend the entire year developing a cohesive program to deliver to various groups. This year, you and your group will get to Discover Nature’s Perspective with us and we couldn’t be more excited. If you haven’t already, please visit our Meet The Instructors page to get to know the instructors you might be working with.

Do you accommodate students with exceptionalities?

Instructors at Fall in the Field have been trained to differentiate their lesson plans to accommodate students with all learning styles and physical abilities. However, we do encourage teachers to notify instructors about any students’ unique needs as soon as possible through our registration process. On our registration form there will be a question addressing this topic. Please be as specific as possible when describing your students. An instructor will be in contact prior to the school visit; this will be a great opportunity to update us on students’ special needs.

Please keep in mind, in certain locations such as the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument students will be hiking in rocky terrain with moderate elevation gains. Locations such as Hyatt PCT and Deer Creek Center might be easier to accommodate for students with physical impairments.

What if I need to cancel our trip? Will I be reimbursed?

We do not provide reimbursements for last minute cancellations unless it’s an emergency. Our full cancellation policy can be found on the programs tab under policies.

What happens if there is inclement weather?

Instructors encourage students to dress appropriately for the weather. That means being prepared for rain, wind, snow, or shine! We will proceed with our programs as long as the weather does not pose an immediate threat or danger to anyone attending Fall in the Field. It is always a good idea to dress with layers and come prepared for all types of weather, and long pants and close-toed shoes are always a must. However, if severe weather is predicted ahead of time we will follow our cancellation policy. Teachers are encouraged to ensure that students have rain gear. There is no shelter at the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument.

Is there much poison oak around the field sites? Do you have Technu available? Is it common for students to get poison oak?

Unfortunately, poison oak is present at Deer Creek Center. Instructors try to keep students from coming into direct contact with poison oak through education and setting boundaries around the premises where poison oak has been spotted. We will have Technu available at our sites, in case students come into direct contact with poison oak.

Poison oak is not present at our day-program sites in Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument.

Is there any financial aid to help teachers pay for costs associated with field trips?

Yes! Read about financial aid opportunities below and let us know if you have any questions.

Bus Transportation Reimbursement:

Classes attending our Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument day and Deer Creek Center residential programs can apply in advance for reimbursement of their bus transportation costs through the Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI). This form must be completed prior to your trip. OFRI provides reimbursements for programs that involve forest education efforts. When describing how the trip will enhance/extend classroom learning, we suggest that you use the following language:

For the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument: “Fall in the Field programs explore a range of forest ecosystems and their associated biodiversities.”

At Deer Creek Center, “Fall in the Field programs explore how the unique geology of the serpentine soils influences the plant and forest communities.”

Unfortunately, classes attending our hybrid programs through Outdoor School for All funding are not eligible to apply for bus reimbursement.

Outdoor School for All funding:

5th and 6th grade groups that attend one of our hybrid programs are eligible to receive Outdoor School For All funding. Please visit their website to learn more about the application process.

How many chaperones do I need to recruit for my class?

As a general rule we ask that teachers recruit 1 chaperone for every 10 students attending a Fall in the Field program. When recruiting chaperones, please keep in mind that they will be expected to hike trails with moderate elevation gain. In order to ensure that students receive the best possible learning experience during Fall in the Field, we kindly ask that pets and younger siblings of the students do not attend the field trip. This is to minimize the likelihood of distractions and safety issues arising during a lesson.

We will require a list of chaperones and evidence that they have received background checks.

As a teacher, what is my role in Fall in the Field?

Instructors appreciate when teachers assist with classroom management and directions. However, the instructors will be responsible for implementing Fall in the Field lessons, not the teachers. Teachers play an important role in preparing students for their field experience and with follow up lessons upon their return to the classroom.

Day Programs: Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument

How much will it cost?

The instructional fee for day programs is $40 per class. There is a 10% SOU processing fee added to the total cost of each program for a total of $44 per class. Maximum class size is 40 students.

What facilities are available at the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument?

At the Monument, since we will be out in the woods, porta potties will be placed at the trail heads for the entire season. We will have a cooler of water, but there is no running water at the trail heads. Students are encouraged to arrive with full water bottles.

What kinds of lessons will be taught?

Curriculum is currently being developed that explores the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument’s unique biodiversity as well as our theme, Discovering Nature’s Perspective. Our lessons focus on student-centered, hands-on learning and are aligned to national and state educational standards, including NGSS.

How long are the trips?

Trips at CSNM are from 8:45-1:30. No overnight programs are available. Please let your trip liaison know if you will arrival or departure times must differ from this anticipated schedule.

For programs at CSNM, do all participants need to bring their own food?

Yes; we will not be providing food for any of the participants. Students, teachers, and chaperones are encouraged to bring water, healthy snacks, and a hearty lunch.

What is the difference between Hyatt PCT and Green Springs? 

Both Hyatt PCT and Green Springs are located within the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument and follow part of the Pacific Crest Trail. The locations are offered at different times during Fall in the Field. Hyatt PCT provides students with the opportunity to dig in and explore an old-growth forest. This trail is accessible for a wide range of ages and abilities. There is little elevation gain on the Hyatt PCT trail. Green Springs traverses multiple distinct micro-habitats, showcasing the Monument’s biodiversity, and a portion of the trail offers stunning aerial views of the Rogue Valley.

Can my class visit both sites? 

Yes! Provided there is availability, classes are welcome to register for two separate day trips, one at each site. Please keep in mind that the dates for Hyatt PCT day trips are between Sep. 11th-Oct. 5th, while the Green Springs day trip is available from Oct. 9th-Oct. 26th.

I have been to Hobart Bluff in the past. Why isn’t it an option this year?

In coordination with the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument Interpretative Specialist and multiple site visits, we felt that Green Springs and Hyatt PCT offer the most accessible options for groups as well as unique opportunities to study the biodiversity of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument.

All of the day trips were booked this year. How did this happen so fast? 

Due to the number of instructors that are part of this year’s program we are only able to offer ONE day trip per day. Unfortunately this does not give you the opportunity to share buses but it does allow you to receive the same wonderful, personalized experience you have received in past years. If you haven’t already visited our Meet the Instructors page, please do so to learn more about the individuals that you and your group will get to work with.

Residential Programs: Deer Creek Center

How much will it cost to attend one night at DCC?

Deer Creek Fees Calculator:

  • Price per person: $15/night
  • Instructional fee: $45/day

SOU also requires that we charge an additional 10% processing fee in order to cover background costs associated with running our programs.

Please feel free to visit our prices page or contact us with any concerns or further questions.

What facilities are available at DCC?

DCC includes access to heated bathrooms and showers; there are several stalls and showers available in the separate bathhouses for men and women.

DCC also features a sheltered pavilion, which serves as our kitchen and meeting area.

Students will sleep in two yurts, equipped with bunk beds. The small yurt sleeps 12, and the large yurt sleeps 18. Upon request, cots may be provided to accommodate additional students.

What happens if there is inclement weather? Are the Yurts heated?

We will adjust our programming to ensure the safety of students. In the event of a thunderstorm, we will move to the indoor classroom at Deer Creek Center. If severe weather is predicted ahead of time, we will follow our cancellation policy.

Yes, the Yurts are heated.

Where do teachers and chaperones sleep?

At least one teacher or chaperone is required to sleep in each yurt in order to supervise students.

Other teachers and chaperones may choose to sleep in the yurts, in a tent, or elsewhere. Please note that our program prices ($15/person) will only cover yurt or tent accommodations. Teachers and chaperones are welcome to use other accommodations (such as renting a room with SFI, renting a tent, or bringing their RV), but they will be responsible for paying the associated additional fees to the Siskiyou Field Institute.

I have a student who must participate in the district track meet after school one night during FITF. The parent is willing to come and pick him up and deliver him back to the camp upon completion. Will that be okay?

In accordance with school policy, parents can pick up and bring their students back to the Deer Creek Center as needed. We ask that you notify staff when this will take place so that we can assure all students are accounted for. Fall in the Field Instructors will not be able to offer transportation.

Do all participants need to bring their own meals for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner, or is food provided as part of the fee?

Dinner will be provided alongside an accompanying a food-based lesson about the benefits of buying locally grown food. There is no additional fee for this lesson. Ingredients will be provided by Fall in the Field staff, but we are not allowed to assist in meal preparation; this will be the responsibility of teachers, chaperones, and students. Additional meals or snacks will be the responsibility of teachers.

Students and teachers should bring healthy snacks, and hearty lunches. If colder weather is expected we encourage teachers and chaperones to bring warm drink ingredients, such as hot chocolate or tea.

How long are the programs?

Teachers have the option of bringing their classes to Deer Creek Center for a two day, one night program. Arrival time is 10:00 AM and departure time is 1:00 PM the following day. Please contact us if you have specific questions about modifying the schedule to fit your class’s specific arrival and departure needs.

What do the lessons entail? What sort of activities will be presented?

Curriculum development is currently underway as we are diving into topics that allow us to explore our theme, Discovering Nature’s Perspective. Lesson topics may include forest ecology, microhabitats, geology, and aquatic ecology. Our lessons focus on student-centered, hands-on learning, and are aligned to state and national educational standards, including Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Hybrid Programs

Are these programs only limited to 5th and 6th grade public school classes?

Yes! This program design was developed this year with the specific purpose for providing for 5th or 6th grade public school groups with access to Outdoor School For All funding! This is the only program we offer that fulfills the requirements of OSFA and we are excited to provide this option. A hybrid program consists of a one-night residential program at DCC and a day program at CSNM that occur on consecutive days.

If your class is not a 5th or 6th grade public school class and you would like to attend both our one-night residential program at Deer Creek Center and a day program at the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, feel free to sign up for both! Please check out our registration availability, or contact us directly at to discuss options that work for you.