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SOAR and Other Education

SOAR Raindrop Relay

Prairie Plains Resource Institute wants to share something - close-up, hands-on experiences on the Nebraska landscape. It's easy to take our surroundings for granted. And yet it's often a connection with the outdoors that makes us appreciate where we live. We refer to it as "sense of place" - the kind of thing that makes you want to come back home to raise your kids. Or at least come back to visit.

Prairie Plains has a calendar full of events that allow people to build lasting relationships with the land and with each other. As an educational land trust, our goal is to relate all aspects of our program to education and service to people - teaching about place, land stewardship, restoration and sustainable development.

SOAR (Summer Orientation About Rivers) is our model education program for youth, an intensive hands-on week-long summer daycamp where local grade school children and their high school peer leaders trek to area natural and historic sites, integrating natural sciences, art, history and writing. SOAR concludes each week with a morning in the Platte River. A creative program for students, educators and volunteers alike, SOAR is now planning its 22nd year in Aurora, Nebraska, and its 17th year in the Kearney, Nebraska, area (Big Bend SOAR, co-sponsored by Audubon's Rowe Sanctuary in Gibbon).

But that's not all. We also work with landowners and other interested people, sharing information about range management, prescribed burning, plants, wildlife and history through individual consultation, working groups and special events. Our prairie preserves are excellent living laboratories for study and research and we encourage local schools and organizations to utilize the preserves for classes and field trips.

SOAR Image

What is SOAR?

SOAR (Summer Orientation About Rivers), is a nature day camp where kids explore the Platte River and other outdoor environments in the area. By taking part in the many activities about science, language arts, history, agriculture, and art, SOAR campers learn while having fun. The Aurora Camp offers two five-day sessions for grades 3-6. The Big Bend Camp offers two four-day sessions for grades 2-5.

Why should you come to SOAR?

Because it's a blast!!! You can get wet and do stuff you don't get to do during the school year. You'll also learn some pretty cool things about where you live.

More Information

  • SOAR wouldn't be possible without the support of many foundations, businesses and Prairie Plains members. Take a look at the list of 2013 SOAR supporters, and if your name is on the list, thanks again! Also included here is a list of all 2013 SOAR staff and guest presenters.
  • In October 2009 Bill and Jan Whitney presented at the Land Trust Alliance Rally in Portland, Oregon.  The title of their presentation was "Connecting People to Land Through Educational Programming," and you can download a copy of their handout here!
  • Check out photos from SOAR in our Scrapbook.

Hamilton County SOAR

Who can come?
Hamilton County SOAR is open to any student presently in grade 3, 4, 5, or 6. We can register up to 60 students for each week.

Week One: July 6-10

Week Two: July 13-17

Hamilton County SOAR is headquartered out of Aurora, Nebraska. Bus travel to various field sites in the area is included.

How much does it cost?
The registration fee for the entire weeklong program is $150; $130 for families who are PPRI members. Financial assistance is available for a limited number of qualified applicants. Please call 402-694-5535 for more information.

More information about Hamilton County SOAR

  • The 2015 SOAR Registration Flier will be available for download on April 1, 2015.

Big Bend SOAR

Who can come?
Big Bend SOAR is open to any student presently in grade 2, 3, 4, or 5.

Week One: June 16-19

Week Two: June 23-26

Big Bend SOAR is headquartered out of Rowe Sanctuary near Gibbon, Nebraska. Free bussing from Kearney and Gibbon is provided during Week One and from Minden during Week Two.

How much does it cost?
The registration fee for the four-day Big Bend SOAR program is $100. (Financial assistance and scholarships are available.)

More Information:
For more information about Big Bend SOAR visit the Rowe Sanctuary website.

Prairie Plains
Resource Institute

1307 L Street
Aurora, NE 68818
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