Outdoor Lab

Outdoor Lab Summer Camp 2021: 

As of early March 2021, no decision about the Outdoor Lab Summer Camp program has been made. Information will be posted to this web page as soon as it becomes available.

Outdoor Lab Re-Envisioned for 2020-2021!

The Outdoor Lab has always been a gem among the many resources offered by Arlington Public Schools. The natural setting and the opportunities to discover, learn, and connect with the environment teach valuable lessons beyond the traditional classroom.

Few understand that better than the Outdoor Lab staff!  They have been busy taking the fun and informative lessons they used to present during school visits and making them available for use with remote teaching.  You may access these in two different formats:

Asynchronous Instruction: These are pre-recorded modules of the 3rd, 5th, and 7th grade programs the Lab regularly offered during school visits. There are also lessons posted about watersheds to address material in the GR 4 curriculum. These programs are available for teachers to assign to students to watch at home and at any time. These are available from the Outdoor Lab Canvas course–please contact Michele Karnbach for more information (michele.karnbach@apsva.us)

Synchronous Instruction: These are interactive, two-way online lessons that take place in real time. An Outdoor Lab staff member will be at the Lab and present a lesson and demonstrations to students using resources from the site or in the Animal Lab. These programs must be scheduled in advance by the classroom teacher. This option is currently available for GR 3 and GR 5, based on the programs that were offered at the Lab last year.

APS Teachers: To reserve a date and time for a synchronous lesson, please visit the DTL-Science Canvas page and click on the Outdoor Lab link.  If you have questions about the available programs or dates, please contact Michele Karnbach (michele.karnbach@apsva.us).


General Information on the Outdoor Lab When In-Person Visits Resume (Planned September 2021)

The Outdoor Lab is an approximately 200-acre outdoor education facility in Fauquier County, Virginia, that is owned by the Arlington Outdoor Education Association and used by APS during the school year to run education programs for its students.

The information below should provide parents the information needed to prepare for a class trip to the Outdoor Lab, be it a day trip or a Grade 5 overnight.   If you do not find the information you need using the links below, please contact Michele Karnbach, the Outdoor Lab Director at 540-347-2258; michele.karnbach@apsva.us or the Science Office at 703-228-6166; chris.reid@apsva.us

Outdoor Lab Trip Schedule of Visits (by School). [To Be Added for School Year 2021-2022] .

Field Trip Permission Slips and Additional information:

  • Information on the Outdoor Lab  for Lead Teachers, Principals and Department Chairs, [2021-2022]
  • Parental Authorization Combined Form (English) (Spanish)
  • Luggage and Lodging Search Permission (English) (Spanish)
  • Chaperone and/or Driver Information Form (English) (Spanish)
  • Medication Authorization Form
  • Release of Medication from Clinic for Field Trip Beyond the School Day Hours
  • Overview for Teachers  about the Outdoor Lab
  • Overview for Parents  about the Outdoor Lab
  • Chaperone Duties for GR 5 Overnights (English) (Spanish)
  • Menu for Grade 5 Overnight Trips
  • Cookout Lunch Menu for day trips
  • Suggested Student Supply List for GR 5 Overnights
  • Driving and Parking Directions for the Outdoor Lab
  • Information on Ticks
  • Bus Transportation: Students are transported to the Outdoor Lab on APS school buses. The Science Office makes all the bus reservations; buses are requested to arrive at school sites at the start of the regular school day. If you need a wheelchair-accessible bus, please confirm this request with the Science Office four weeks before your trip. On days when concurrent trips are being run at the Lab, each school group will have its own separate bus.
  • Inclement Weather Policy: If Fauquier County schools are closed or have a delayed opening, decisions about APS trips to the outdoor lab will be made on a day-by-day basis. The Lab Director will contact the teacher serving as trip coordinator with updates and directions. If Arlington County Schools are closed or have a delayed opening, Outdoor Lab trips are canceled.
  • Alcohol and Tobacco:  In keeping with APS policy, use of alcohol and/or tobacco products is not permitted by students, staff, or trip chaperones at any time at the Outdoor Lab.

Outdoor Lab Summer Camp

Outdoor Lab Summer Camp: Cancelled for 2020

As of early March 2021, no decision has been made about the offering the program in Summer 2021.

Questions: If you have any questions, please contact Christine Reid at chris.reid@apsva.us


Dates for Outdoor Lab Summer Camp for 2021:

  • Elementary School: Session A (for students who just completed GR 4 and GR 5): TBD
  • Middle School: Session B (for students who just completed GR 6, GR 7, and GR 8): TBD
  • Elementary School: Session C (for students who just completed GR 4 and GR 5): TBD

Program Descriptions (from the Summer School Catalog):

  • Elementary Outdoor Lab Summer Camp Program
  • Middle School Outdoor Lab Summer Camp Program

How to Apply:
The application for the Outdoor Lab Summer Camp is the same form used to apply for any of the APS Summer School enrichment programs. There is a separate form for the Elementary and Secondary (Middle School) sessions. These may be found in the Summer School catalog or through the Summer School web page. Links to both application forms are found below:

  • Application for Elementary Summer School Programs Including Outdoor Lab Summer Camp
  • Application for Secondary Summer School Programs Including Outdoor Lab

Applications are accepted ONLY between TBD

NOTE: Application to the camp is NOT on a first come-first served basis. Once the registration window closes, if there are more applicants than available slots, a lottery will be held to determine enrollment.

Tuition: TBD (price set by School Board). This price includes transportation via APS school bus from Arlington to the Outdoor Lab on Monday morning and return Friday afternoon; all meals and snacks (except students bring a bag lunch the first day); accommodations in platform tents; and all supplies for projects. The Outdoor Lab Summer Camp follows the refund policy of the APS Summer School program.

Tuition for Students on Free or Reduced Lunch: TBD (price set by School Board).  Please mark the box on the application; APS Food Services will verify the designation.  A limited number of scholarships are available for students who qualify for free or reduced meals during the school year. Inquiries about scholarship assistance should come from the school principal, assistant principal or head guidance counselor.

High School Volunteers/Counselors in Training (CIT):  The Outdoor Lab welcomes APS high school students to apply to be a CIT  for one or two sessions. These are volunteer positions but students may earn Community Service hours for their work.  Students who are currently in GR 9 may apply to help at one or both of the Elementary sessions (TBD). Students completing GR 10, 11 & 12 may apply to volunteer at either the Elementary sessions and/or the Middle School session (TBD).

CITs participate in all aspects of camp life–student hikes and activities, night programs, helping to prepare and serve meals, clean up, etc. A cooperative spirit and sense of enthusiasm are required!  If you are interested, please complete the CIT application, have it signed by a parent/guardian, and return it to TBD.  If you have any questions about the CIT positions, please contact the science office at chris.reid@apsva.us or at 703.228-6166.

Application for CIT Summer Camp Staff



  • Welcome Letter and Instructions for Session A  (TBD)
  • Welcome Letter and Instructions for Session B  (TBD)
  • Welcome Letter and Instructions for Session C  (TBD)
  • Parental Authorization Combined Form
  • Luggage and Lodging Search Permission Form
  • Authorization for Medication (Prescription) Form
  •  Over-the-Counter Medications List and Form
  • Over-the-Counter Authorization for Medication Form
  • Outdoor Lab Camper Form
  • Suggested Equipment List for Campers
  • Hand-out on Ticks for Campers and Staff
  • Hand-out on Ticks (Spanish) for Campers and Staff


Outdoor Lab Driving and Parking Address:
Phoebe Hall Knipling Outdoor Lab
5554 Beverleys Mill Road
Broad Run, Virginia 20137

Directions to the Outdoor Lab

Questions About the Lab and its Programs?   Please contact the Outdoor Lab at 540-347-2258 or the Science Office at 703-228-6166.