Education Immersed in Nature

by Kory Otterberg | March 20, 2017
Outdoor Adventure Nature & Recreation

It’s no secret, Spearfish is known for its beauty and outdoor activities. The local college, Black Hills State University, took full advantage of this and started an outdoor education. BHSU’s Outdoor Education Program prepares students for careers in the field of outdoor education, which include adventure education, parks interpretation, and environmental education.

It’s not uncommon to run into some of the BHSU students while you’re here on vacation. Many students choose to stay around during the summer months and take in all that the Black Hills has to offer. You can find them fly fishing in Spearfish Creek, hiking in the canyon, or scaling the side of a rock face. These students understand the area and are always willing to help you with any questions you may have.


Students at Black Hills State University are passionate about their studies and BHSU is passionate about their students. In 2016, named their outdoor education program 7th in the nation.

“‘Spearfish’, ‘Black Hills Forest’ and ‘Thunder Basin Grassland’ and our personal fav…’Badlands National Park’ all speak to the locales that encompass Black Hills State University.”

The article later adds that they couldn’t believe students actually attend class and that is the reason why BHSU started this program. (We don’t believe that to be true).

Click here to read the full article.

BHSU Outdoor Education students are grounded in experiential education theory and natural history knowledge that has helped them expand their skills in outdoor pursuits, education methods, interpretive communications, and outdoor program management. These students also gained experience through their partnership with regional parks, nature centers, schools, and camps.


BHSU students work with the Collegiate Outdoor Leadership Program to gain professional skills that lead to careers in park and rec management, zoos/aquariums, 4-H extension programs, and other locations that value hard-working, knowledgeable, and well-rounded outdoor educators. Most students also receive minors in a variety of fields such as Biology, Chemistry, Marketing and Public Relations.

The community of Spearfish, from the BHSU students to the lifelong residents, embodies the passion for the Black Hills and the beauty it entails. And without a doubt, they would all love to share the experience with you. 

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