The Refuge School Programs

Signup for our school programs

Your students will thank you!

The Refuge offers several exciting opportunities for area schools. Our team-building challenge course can help build unity in your group or class as they overcome obstacles together. Curriculum based activities will help you bring the classroom to life as you study plant and animal life, or the history of eastern NC. We also offer great options for fun outings, including canoeing, fishing, hiking and sports. Sign up for a day trip to the Refuge today!

Registration and Fees

  • Decide on a date for your visit and we suggest that you have multiple dates in mind
  • Choose your preferred schedule of activities.
  • Typically a day trip includes 4 activities. Refer to the sample schedule for ideas. We will be happy to customize a trip for your group.


The cost of the trip is $16 per student/ $8 per parent

  • Teachers are free.
  • Please bring your own lunch.
  • A large gas grill is available upon request for a fee of $25.

Half Day Refuge/ Half Day Simply Natural Creamery

The cost for this trip is $18 per student/ $10 per parent

What to expect

Groups usually try to arrive by 9:00AM and leave by about 2:00pm. Included are four 1-hour activity sessions with a 45 minute lunch break. You can mix and match educational, teambuilding and fun activities. Lunch is not provided, so groups should bring their own lunch. Each activity is designed for up to 20 students, so large groups can be split up and will rotate through the activities.

Sample Schedule

9:00 AM Arrive and introduction
9:30 AM Activity 1
10:30 AM Activity 2
11:30 AM Lunch
12:15 AM Activity 3
1:15 AM Activity4
2:15 AM Depart

Activity Choices

Team Building

Challenge your group mentally, physically and relationally. Our staff will guide you through the 10 elements of our challenge course, designed to encourage teamwork, problem solving, leadership and trust. Groups of 8-14 are ideal. This is not a high ropes course, and no harness or protective equipment is required. This option requires 2 hours. Larger groups will be split up into groups of 8-14.

Educational Activities

Animal Evidence

Identify the habitats and signs of animals in the wild, and construct an “animal shelter” in the woods.

NCSOS Objectives covered: K (1.01, 1.02, 1.03, 1.05) 1st (1.02, 1.03, 1.04, 1.05) 4th (1.01, 1.02, 1.03, 1.04, 1.05)

Fabulous Fishing

Discuss the characteristics of fish, and try to catch one in our freshwater pond. View live fish up close in a viewing window

NCSOS Objectives covered: K (1.01, 1.02, 1.05) 1st (1.02, 1.03, 1.04, 1.05)  4th (1.01, 1.02, 1.03, 1.04, 1.05)

Forest Ecology

Discover the community of organisms that interact with each other in the forest. Learn about the different types of forest, and what makes a healthy habitat.

NCSOS Objectives covered: 1st (1.01, 1.02, 1.03, 1.04, 1.05, 2.03, 2.04) 3rd (1.01, 1.02, 1.03, 1.04, 1.06, 2.01, 2.02, 2.03) 5th (1.01, 1.02, 1.03, 1.04, 1.05, 1.06, 1.07)

Freshwater Ecology

Learn about the components of a freshwater pond, and how animals depend on the pond for survival. Create a model of a freshwater pond.

NCSOS Objectives covered: K (1.01, 1.02, 1.03, 1.04, 1.05, 2.02, 2.04, 2.05) 1st (1.01, 1.02, 1.03, 1.04, 1.05) 2ndt (1.01, 1.02, 1.03, 1.04) 4th (1.01, 1.02, 1.03) 5th (1.01, 1.02, 1.03, 1.04, 1.05, 1.06, 1.07), 6th (4.01, 4.02, 4.04)

Incredible Insects

Grab a net and join us for an insect hunt! We will study all about insects and how they survive, and how they affect the ecosystem

NCSOS Objectives covered: K (1.03, 1.04, 1.05) 1st (1.02, 1.05) 2ndt (1.01, 1.02, 1.03, 1.04) 3rd (1.05) 4th (1.02, 1.03) 5th (1.05, 1.07), 6th(4.02)

Really Cool Reptiles

Look for reptiles at our sampling stations, and learn about these fascinating creatures

NCSOS Objectives covered: K (1.01, 1.02, 1.03 1.04,, 1.05) 1st (1.02, 1.03, 1.04, 1.05) 2nd (1.01)  4th (1.01, 1.02, 1.03, 1.04, 1.05)



Throw out a line and try to catch the big one! Rods, reels, bait and instruction provided.


Paddle your way around our front pond. Boats, PFDs and instruction provided


We have facilities for basketball, soccer, wiffleball, volleyball, 4 square, and virtually any outdoor game you can think of!


Bounce around on an old fashioned hay-ride!



Throw out a line and try to catch the big one! Rods, reels, bait and instruction provided.