Field Camp Futures: Closing Ceremony

Today is the last day to donate to Field Camp Futures!

Rock spiral

Closing ceremony at the rock spiral

Thank you for joining us at Professor Valley Field Camp! We’ve enjoyed sharing this special place with you.

At the end of every field camp, everyone gathers together for a special closing ceremony to commemorate their experience and carry what they’ve learned forward.
Participants choose a rock that represents their experience and carry it with them on a short hike to a rock spiral with a beautiful panoramic view of Professor Valley. This spiral is made up of past visitors’ rocks. The spiral is a symbol of their connection to past visitors, to each other in the present, and to future visitors.
After a moment of silent reflection of the week’s activities, students share a best and worst experience at the field camp one at a time. Once everyone has shared, the group walks in silence back to camp, reflecting on all that was expressed and how it will determine their future actions.
PVFC April 2017 group

A group at Professor Valley Field Camp in April 2017

“We can accomplish a lot together.”

–Janyssa Magee-Ortiz, 2016 PVFC participant

In the spirit of this tradition, we invite you to reflect on what we’ve shared about Professor Valley Field Camp. Whether you live in Utah or across the country, know that the connections made at Professor Valley Field Camp ripple out into the world and shape our future.

Place your rock in the spiral and donate to Field Camp Futures today!

Donate now to help CFI reach it’s $5,000 goal!

Field Camp Futures Reflections and Ripples

What do students take home from field camp?


Each visiting group at Professor Valley Field Camp is evaluated on their experience; what they learned and what could be improved. Below are direct quotes from last year’s participants. You’ll find that many lessons go beyond knowing the names of geologic formations and plants!
Donate today to be a part of these take-home lessons!



What did you learn about yourself and getting along as a group in the outdoors?


Cooperation in action

I learned what it’s like to collaborate on duties and how to shift my perspectives.

I’m a good leader, but sometimes I need to let others lead as well.

I’ve learned that we have to respect everyone and how to work as a group.

I learned that I can be friends with people outside of my friend group.

I learned that teamwork is the key to survival.

That I am capable of many things that I didn’t know that I could do.
Getting along is more fun!



What did you learn that you can take home to help care for your own community and natural places?

Camper and lizard

Field camper contemplates a basking lizard

I learned how to identify wildlife that could be fragile and how to respect it.

There are a lot of ways I can conserve and things I can save and still use before I throw away. I learned to respect every living thing, even the tiny bugs.

To treat every living thing with kindness.

I learned if you are quiet for a while you see and hear a lot more things.

I learned that sometimes to preserve something it’s better to leave it alone.

I learned that it’s important to respect nature around you because it gives us what we need to survive.
I can take care to leave only footprints and work hard to never harm wildlife, setting an example for others.

Every group that visits PVFC inspire CFI naturalist guides to continue to pursue careers in outdoor education and wilderness conservation.

You are a part of this growth by nurturing a space that fosters deep learning. Donate today and see how far your ripple goes!

“I want to see more and explore more. I didn’t realize how interested I was in the desert!”

–Olivia Cooper, 2016 PVFC participant


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Field Camp Futures: Hike, Paddle, Grow

Kids just wanna have fun!

What else makes Professor Valley Field Camp so special? It’s a whole lot of fun! Plus, each hands-on educational activity is an opportunity to practice cooperation.
Participants hike to petrolyphs, raft on the Colorado River, and work together as a team with enthusiastic naturalist guides. Team-building activities come in all sizes. One student’s favorite lesson was “the river rafting because we all learned how to paddle and coordinate as a team.” Another student shared, “My favorite lesson was learning to make a fire because everyone was working together.”


The guides balance structured activities with free time for play and creative expression. One student stated, “I
absolutely loved the silent time when we are allowed to just write or draw about nature and what surrounds us.”
Every night they fall sleep in Lakota-style tipis or outside. Students like Gabi Reitz exclaimed, “I loved sleeping under the stars!”


“The hiking was really fun! I am excited to be able to share with family and friends and do more hikes.”

– Emery Bahno, 2016 field camp participant


Every item at PVFC — from the food that fuels their fun, to the pencils they write and draw with — is supported by donors like you.

It’s the little moments that add up to a big change in knowledge and perspective. A little bit of funding also adds up. Join our monthly giving club to support Field Camp Futures!


Donate to Field Camp Futures!


Field Camp Futures: Experiential Learning

Thinking outside the classroom

Canyonlands Field Institute teaches through experiential learning and uses hands-on lessons to challenge students (and teachers!) to think outside of the classroom. Experiential learning, or learning by doing, has been the cornerstone of the programs run by the Canyonlands Field Institute.
This type of teaching channels kids’ energy into learning; letting them have fun and be active while actually learning about the world around them. Not only is this a more fun way for kids to learn, but studies have shown that we learn better by doing!


Donate to Field Camp Futures today to support this immersive learning environment!


This has been an amazing experience. The instructors are very knowledgeable and find engaging ways to teach the lessons. I loved the interactivity of lessons to make them more memorable, such as recreating a map of the four corners, playing a game about biological soil crust, and a lab on water velocity. As much as I have traveled, this has been one of the most impactful trips I have ever been on.
–2016 field camp teacher participant

Experiential Learning Impact

Students develop their sense of place and learn that they are capable of taking on any challenge. Morgan Reed, a 2016 student, shared, “I learned that even if something seems scary I can do it.”

Teachers and chaperones experience these lessons, too! A teacher from last year related, “The program was perfectly balanced. I believe the kids learned the power and importance of adaptation! Great games and activities to bring back to our community.”

Naturalist Guides learn as they teach. They lesson plan and work as an organized team to have a safe and responsible education experience. They love working outside as youth mentors and sharing values on living a responsible life. As they teach, they’re growing their own confidence, communication skills, and overall professionalism. Plus, they have a lot of fun! Heather Reynolds, a 2017 naturalist guide says, “I love teaching about things like cryptobiotic soil and desert varnish that people see all the time in the desert, but don’t even know how cool they are!”


Everyone is incredibly passionate about what they are doing, very informed, and able to keep the energy throughout the session. I like what you guys are doing here and would love to come back.

–2016 field camp teacher participant

Your donations support new curriculum research and development, updating learning tools, and funding naturalist guides to lead meaningful programs. Be a part of these experiential lessons and help CFI meet its $5,000 goal!


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Field Camp Futures Fundraiser Starts Today!

Welcome to Professor Valley Field Camp

Professor Valley Field Camp tipis

Lakota-style tipis at Professor Valley Field Camp

At Professor Valley Field Camp, Canyonlands Field Institute naturalist guides serve one group at a time with a variety of engaging activities. Students learn about desert plants, animals, geology, public lands management, and how to interact with a wild landscape. These educational lessons instill values for taking care of the landscape in their own communities through consideration, communication, and cooperation.
Donate today to help CFI raise $5,000 for field camp improvements! PVFC provides a one-of-a-kind learning environment for our future leaders, teachers, and parents.


What is Professor Valley Field Camp?

Professor Valley Field Camp is a quiet 40-acre retreat. It is located in a sparsely populated and dramatically beautiful setting in iconic canyon country. PVFC fulfills Canyonland Field Institute’s mission by providing a supported, rustic outdoor experience for schools and youth groups.
PVFC is near magnificent rock formations, Professor Creek, and woodlands that house a variety of wildlife habitats. It’s also a place of solitude with dark skies for nightly constellation viewings. This immersive field camp presents a one-of-a-kind experience for students to grow as individuals and together as a group.


“I learned that working together helps us so much more than just working alone.”

–Maxwell Nikkari, 2016 PVFC participant

The field camp’s amenities and curriculum require continual enhancement to ensure a safe and fulfilling learning experience for all.
Your donations will help CFI procure ADA-modified picnic tables, replace seating around our fire circle, update teaching tools like our activity-packed field journals, and much more!
Every dollar donated directly supports youth experience at the field camp. The empowering lessons they take home are lasting and far-reaching. By donating today, you are supporting a sustainable future!


“This experience was amazing and I hope I can come again!”

–Shari Linares, 2016 PVFC participant


Donate to Field Camp Futures!

Fundraiser starts on April 24!

Field Camp Futures Fundraiser

Help CFI raise $5,000 to enhance learning experiences at Professor Valley Field Camp!

Participants gather together at Professor Valley Field Camp

Future leaders are all smiles at Professor Valley Field Camp

Canyonlands Field Institute needs your help raising $5,000 for our Field Camp Futures fundraiser to improve youth outdoor education programming at our field camp in Professor Valley.

“I learned how to pay attention to my surroundings and how to better appreciate others. This was a life-changing experience.”

– Ismera Diaz, 2016 field camp participant

This week-long campaign starts Monday, April 24 and ends Friday, April 28. We will share daily posts of how your donations directly inspire our future leaders, teachers, and parents. Together we can change lives!
We are looking forward to showing you how this special place has positively impacted students’ lives. If you aren’t able to participate that week, please donate today!

2016 Bloom and Broom Volunteer Weekend

This year we had a great overnight volunteer weekend setting up our field camp. Between our volunteers and the Green 2 team of the AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) we managed to get a lot of the tipis raised! As you will see in the short timelapse video below it was a lot of work, as well as, a lot of fun. Getting to spend the weekend out at field camp with this great group of folks was a truly memorable and entertaining way to open up our field camp!

Experiential Learning: Fun, and it Works!

Kids love to play, to run around, to be active. Yet when we want to teach them anything, we expect them to stay seated, in an indoor classroom. What if we could channel that active energy into learning; letting them have fun and be active while at the same time actually learning about the world around them. Not only is this a more fun way for kids to learn, but studies have shown that we actually learn better by doing. According to studies done on the topic we actually remember 85% of what we do, compared to 20% of what we hear and only 10% of what we read.

Experiential learning, or learning by doing, has been the cornerstone of the programs run by the Canyonlands Field Institute since it was founded 31 years ago. From its outdoor science school with visiting schools from across the country, to adult and family trips and seminars, and finally to its ever-expanding list of popular summer camps run each July. These camps give kids a chance to play and be active in all the great outdoor environments that we have around us in the Moab area; from the desert, to the mountains, to the river, and at the same time learning interesting facts and skills, including how much fun experiential learning can be!

CFI would like to thank its summer camp program sponsors and partners; Grand County Recreation District, Grand County Credit Union, Utah State University Extension Sustainability, Adrift Adventures and Canyon Voyages Adventure Company.


Teens Adventure down the Colorado River

The Colorado River; a source of refreshment when you are thirsty, a way to cool off in the summer heat, and one of the best rides in the world. People come to Moab from all over to journey down the river in rafts, kayaks, and other watercraft, and the guides who work it are trusted to get them down it in a safe yet exciting manner. It’s no wonder so many Moab kids dream of one day becoming a river guide. Well now’s their chance to learn the skills that truly make the river guide, all while testing out those skills as they take a six-day adventure down the river!

Canyonlands Field Institute’s brand new camp for the summer, River Adventure Week for Teens, gives High School-aged kids the opportunity to learn how to read the river, as well as how to rig the boats and set up a successful river camp, just the way the guides do it. The adventure takes them first through beautiful Horsetheif and Ruby canyons, then on to the world-class rapids of Westwater Canyon before continuing on to the Hittle Bottom Boat ramp near Moab. Future river guides should click here where they can learn more information about this camp and to register their spots.



Layers of Geologic History Revealed

Geology of the Colorado River Trip – July 12 through 15, 2015

Join Canyonlands Field Institute and Plateau Restoration for a new, exciting, and informative river trip on the Colorado. This trip, lead by guest geologists Dr. Tamsin McCormick of Plateau Restoration and Dr. Anres Aslan, professor of Geology at Colorado Mesa University, will cover the geologic history of the Colorado Plateau, from the time it became part of the North American continent to the present configuration of the Colorado River. This unique joint educational adventure will begin at the Loma, Colorado Boat Launch where the river begins to cut into layered sandstone, the hallmark of the Colorado Plateau.

Participants and guides will observe and discuss the geology of the canyons through a section of the river that is remote and largely inaccessible by road. The stretch cuts steep canyons through layers as young as 100 million years old, when dinosaurs roamed the area, into the ancient basement rocks dated at about 1,700 million years old, which form the core of the Rocky Mountains. Rafting along this river corridor is one of the best ways to study the different rock types that make up our landscape, as well as the relationship between the vegetation communities and the geologic setting. Dr. McCormick and Dr. Aslan will point out features, converse about theories, and discuss the current debates in the field.

Our guest experts are teaming with CFI Naturalist Guides for 4 days and 3 nights of river time and camping, great company and food, scenic flat water and the Class III-IV rapids of Westwater Canyon, lively discussions, enlightening information, and expert answers to questions about the unique and dramatic layers of the Colorado River canyon.

Register now! It’s going to be a great river experience.