CALENDAR

Special Olympics Kansas Outdoor skills TRAINING

Special Olympics Kansas is working with the Sunflower Foundation and Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism to create opportunities for athletes to engage in outdoor activities through the Outdoor Skills program.

SOKS encourages participation in outdoor programming and provides a framework for athletes to complete fitness and outdoor learning sessions. Athletes work to learn new skills – such as hiking and fishing – and complete fitness goals – like increasing overall activity. This program will help build communities of inclusion and encourage community members to become more active outside. 

The Outdoor Skills program can be utilized along with the Special Olympics Kansas Fitness Challenge.

 

Training COMPONENTS

The training prepares athletes to become familiar with trails in their area and become confident in the outdoors. Instruction is provided by Park Rangers in the areas of walking trails, hiking, biking, and fishing. These lessons along with guided tours from KDWPT on trails, provide athletes with confidence to become active in areas where they have not traditionally utilized.

 

PROGRAM PURPOSE

Outdoor Skills focuses on fitness through outdoor exercise. Athletes are encouraged to go to participating parks and utilize trails and outdoor activity to stay active. The goal is to be active outdoors and to be confident in skills. 

Additionally, Athletes can join with friends and family to track exercise at parks and outdoor areas by participating in our Unified Fitness Challenge. Once SOKS receives these reports, athletes will be recognized at regional events for their participation in the program.

 

Participating Parks

Cedar Bluff State Park
Cheney State Park
Clinton State Park
Crawford State Park
Cross Timbers State ParkFall River State Park
Eisenhower State Park
El Dorado State Park
El Dorado State Park
Elk City State Park
Glen Elder State Park
Hillsdale State Park
Kanopolis State Park
Lovewell State Park
Meade State Park
Milford State Park
Perry State Park
Pomona State Park
Prairie Dog State Park
Prairie Spirit Rail Trail
Sandhills State Park
Scott State Park
Tuttle Creek State Park
Webster State Park
Wilson State Park

INDOOR LOCATIONS ADDED FOR WINTER

Winter is upon us which means Outdoor Skills Training locations are now available indoors due to the chilly weather. We have a few facilities on hand that could provide education and indoor activities that still maintain the integrity of Outdoor Skills Training. These indoor trainings can include the following based on location: exhibits on the Kansas wetlands, mobile wetlands tour, inflatable planetarium, compass and GPS instruction, interaction with live animals, creating and molding animal tracks, casting practice, archery, and arts and crafts with science based activities.

Participating indoor education centers

FHSU Wetlands Center (near Cheyenne Bottoms)

Great Plains Nature Center (Wichita)

Olathe Prairie Center

Pratt Education Center.

How to host an outdoor skills day

Interested Local Programs can apply for a travel stipend below to fund your programs outing to a state park. When applying for the travel stipend, your program will choose the park you would like to attend and provide some date options. After you have applied, the SOKS state office will connect with the park of your choice to find a date and time that works best for your program and the park. Outdoor Skills Trainings are approximately 4 hours and covers fishing, hiking and wildlife activities. 

TRAVEL STIPEND Application

Special Olympics Kansas is offering $500 travel stipends to teams for the outdoor skills program. Teams will be granted $500 for transportation, meal expenses, staff stipends and other related expenses for the program to attend the outdoor skills training at their desired location. Teams who apply for the travel stipend must provide a roster of attendees and complete post-event surveys.

These travel stipends are available on a first come, first serve basis for up to 28 programs. 

For more information or questions about the Outdoor Skills program please reach out to Chris Burt at burtc@ksso.org.