Outdoor Lab

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 the Science Office at 703-228-6166 or by email at chris.reid@apsva.us

Field Trip Permission Slips and Additional information:

  • Parental Authorization Combined Form (English) (Spanish)
  • Luggage and Lodging Search Permission (English) (Spanish)
  • Chaperone and/or Driver Information Form (English) (Spanish)
  • Authorization for Medication Form (English) (Spanish)
  • Overview for Parents on 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: The Outdoor Lab is allocated one bus each day to bring students to and from the Lab. 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 as early as possible and contact the Outdoor Lab Co-Directors at least TWO weeks before the trip date to discuss trip arrangements.
  • Inclement Weather Policy: If Fauquier County schools are closed or have a delayed opening, trips to the Outdoor Lab are usually canceled; exceptions may be made by the Lab. If Arlington County Schools are closed or have a delayed opening, Outdoor Lab trips are canceled. In either case, the Science Office will notify Transportation about the bus. Information on school closings or delays in Fauquier County is available by calling Fauquier County’s Inclement Weather Hotline at 1-540-422-7250 (recorded message) or on the Web at www.fcps1.org
  • 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

The program for Summer 2017 is now over.  Thanks to the combination of a great staff, supportive parents, and cooperative and curious campers, it was a great camp season!  Information on camp for 2018 will be available in February–please check back then.

Dates for 2018:

  • 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):

  • Description of Elementary Outdoor Lab Summer Camp program
  • Description of Middle School Outdoor Lab 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 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 site. Links to both application forms are found below:

  • Application for Elementary Summer School Programs
  • Application for Secondary Summer School Programs

Applications may be submitted to the Main Office at your child’s school or sent directly to the Science Office.

NOTE: Applications are NOT accepted 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

Tuition for Students on Free or Reduced Lunch: TBD. Please mark the box on the application; APS will verify designation.

Junior Staff/High School Volunteers:  The Outdoor Lab welcomes APS high school students to apply for Junior Staff positions for one or two sessions. These are volunteer positions but students may earn Community Service hours for their work. Junior Staff 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 have any questions, please contact Neil Heinekamp at the Outdoor Lab (neil.heinekamp@apsva.us; 1-866-295-1118 (toll-free)).



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

Questions?   Please contact one of the Lab Co-Directors, Neil Heinekamp and Christine Payack (neil.heinekamp@apsva.us; christine.payack@apsva.us ; toll-free 1-866-295-1118), or the Science Office at 703-228-6166.