Each year, fourth-grade students across North Carolina learn about the state’s history, including the important stories of American Indian peoples, English exploration, the Freedmen’s Colony on Roanoke Island and the Wright brothers’ first flight, which the Outer Banks national parks preserve.

Thanks to a generous Open OutDoors for Kids grant from the National Park Foundation, this program provides reimbursement funds for field trips to Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, and Wright Brothers National Memorial for fourth-grade students attending Title I schools in Currituck, Dare, Hyde and Tyrrell counties. The goal of the grant program is to provide K-12 students, educators and families with access to national parks around the country through both in-person and virtual learning opportunities.

“The National Park Foundation’s Open OutDoors for Kids Initiative introduces and exposes kids — all kids — to experiential, outdoor experiences that promote physical and emotional health, civic engagement and long-term appreciation for nature,” the grant program’s website states. “Using the spectacular and unparalleled resources of our nation’s more than 400 national parks, the program’s goal is to connect more children to their culture and heritage, enhance hands-on learning opportunities and deepen connections to the natural world.”

We are thrilled to be able to provide this opportunity for teachers to get their students out of the classroom to learn about and experience the unique history and environment found in our Outer Banks national parks — something many students from these local counties have never done.

While these field trips will be tailored to current academic curricula for fourth grade students who are learning about North Carolina history, all students in local Title I schools are eligible to participate in field trips to the parks. Schools that are interested in scheduling field trips to our Outer Banks national parks may email obx_interpretation@nps.gov for more information.

Open OutDoors for Kids Field Trips Travel Reimbursement Process 

Outer Banks Forever and the National Park Service are dedicated to ensuring students have access to learn and experience our national parks here in the Outer Banks. As a participating school, please follow the instructions below to ensure your travel expenses are reimbursed in a timely manner. 

Step 1:  

Confirm your field trip day and time with a National Park Service ranger at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, or Wright Brothers National Memorial and notify them that you will be requesting reimbursement for travel expenses from Outer Banks Forever through this program. 

Step 2:  

Save any receipts related to travel expenses on your field trip day to be submitted. 

Step 3: 

Once your field trip is complete, submit an invoice with full school contact information and receipts (if applicable) with the total request amount to be reimbursed to: 

Outer Banks Forever

Attn: Jessica Barnes, Director 

P.O. Box 1635 

Kill Devil Hills, NC, 27948 

Please Note: It may take up to four weeks for your request to be processed and for you to receive your reimbursement check.