Field Trips

2019-2020 Field Trip Programs

Get your Pre-K to 6th grade students hands-on with nature at McCloud Nature Park in the fall or spring! You pick the topic (see below) and our naturalists pick activities to suit your students’ grade level(s).

Field trips may be scheduled for the morning (10 a.m.–noon) or afternoon (1–3 p.m.). You must have 10–75 students to schedule a field trip. Teachers remain with their classes for the duration of the field trip; please bring at least one additional adult per class.

Most sessions are outside, so everyone should dress for the weather. Sessions are rain or shine, subject to teacher discretion. Buses should remain on-site if storms are predicted, as field trips will be canceled mid-program in the event of lightning or other hazardous weather conditions. Because of the limited space and fire code of the McCloud Nature Center, classes are unable to stay inside.

Due to the nature of programs in nature, we cannot guarantee that every student will have the exact same experience. But it will certainly give students something to talk about!

School field trips to McCloud Nature Park are completely FREE of charge for all Hendricks County schools (public, private, and homeschool). All field trips are subject to naturalist availability and weather conditions.

Request a school field trip by submitting this form: https://forms.gle/8ef5aDr7pZGJ5Mai7


2019-20 Field Trip Programs at a glance

Sensing Nature

For grades PreK – K.

Explore the marvels of nature through our senses. This program is designed to expand and encourage a child’s sense of wonder with hands-on activities.

Complements Indiana Academic Standards: K.PS.1, K.LS.1, K.LS.2

Seasonal Changes

For grades PreK – 2.

Each season brings new discoveries to explore. Children will learn how seasonal changes affect all living things.

Complements Indiana Academic Standards: K.LS.1, K.LS.2, K.LS.3, 1.LS.3

Creature Features

For grades K – 3.

Children will learn that animals and plants all live in habitats that help them meet their specific needs and that all animals need food, water, shelter, and space in their habitat. We will observe how animals and plants look and act differently because they are uniquely adapted to live in their environments. 

Complements Indiana Academic Standards: K.PS.2, K.LS.1, K.LS.2, K.LS.3, 1.LS.1, 1.LS.2, 1.LS.3, 1.LS.4, 2.LS.1, 2.LS.2, 2.LS.3, 3.LS.1, 3.LS.2, 3.LS.3, 3.LS.4

Aquatic Ecology

For grades 2 – 5.

Step into the natural habitat of our local aquatic creatures. Students will capture water insects to research how their presence relates to a healthy ecosystem. Extra socks and shoes are recommended.

Complements Indiana Academic Standards: 2.LS.1, 2.LS.2, 2.LS.3, 3.LS.3, 4.LS.2, 4.LS.3, 5.LS.2

Geology Rocks

For grades 3 – 5.

Students discover the secrets of mineral identification, erosion processes, fossilization, and the rock cycle through hands-on experiments, personal observation, and a hike to the Big Walnut Creek.

Complements Indiana Academic Standards: 3.ESS.3, 4.ESS.3, 4.ESS.4, 5.ESS.4

Web of Life

For grades 4 – 6.

This program takes a look at how animals use their adaptations to survive in their habitats, how energy flows through the food chains and food webs, and how all living things are connected. 

Complements Indiana Academic Standards: 4.PS.4, 4.LS.1, 4.LS.2, 4.LS.3, 5.LS.1, 5.LS.2, 5.LS.3, 6.LS.1, 6.LS.2, 6.LS.3, 6.LS.4, 6.LS.5


School Field Trip Volunteer Naturalists Needed; Training Provided

We are looking for volunteers to help us lead our field trip programs for students from Pre-K through 5th grade. Field trip groups come from local schools as well as homeschool students. Field trips happen during the school day on Mondays through Fridays. Volunteering for a field trip will take about 2 hours of your time and will require some light hiking (up to 1 mile). Most field trip programs occur in the mornings, though some are in the afternoon. Most field trips are at McCloud Nature Park.

Training is provided and required.  One training day is already set for Tuesday, August 13, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at McCloud Nature Park.

For more information and to complete a Volunteer Naturalist Application, go to: https://forms.gle/8pFzSY78YRVeYfGu6

If you have any questions about this opportunity, please email volunteer@hcparks.net or call Sarah or Rachel at the McCloud Nature Center (765) 676-5437.