Outdoor Explorers is a six-week therapeutic recreation program designed for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Through this program, “explorers” engage in active outdoor activities in a safe, supportive manner while practicing social skills, self-care and gaining an appreciation of nature.  Through experiential learning with our certified recreation therapist and interns, small groups of explorers meet weekly at Candlelight Ranch and community parks.

Outdoor Explorers is offered in the spring and fall to special needs students in Round Rock ISD through age 22 and is facilitated at local parks within the Round Rock community.  Additionally, Candlelight Ranch holds weekly sessions for adults with special needs at the ranch.  We strategically keep groups small, ranging from five to ten participants to maximize learning and social skill development.   Weekly sessions for high school students last for an hour and a half, while our adult explorers spend three hours each week at the Ranch.

Explorers engage in the natural environment through physically active adventures intertwined with our experiential nature-based education themes. Program activities include hiking, birding, fishing, equine assisted learning, and animal identification.  Activities are designed specially to reinforce fine and gross motor skills, social skills development, sensory stimulation, and Texas nature education. Outdoor Explorers takes place over a course of 6 weeks, for 1.5-3 hours per week.