Adventure. Enrich. Explore. Develop.


Our Mission

Our mission is to provide an experience focused on environmental sustainability, enrichment, and leadership through outdoor education and environmental stewardship.  

In 2017, Wa-Ya Outdoor School converted business operations from WaYa Outdoor School, LLC to WaYa Outdoor Institute as a 501(c)(3) non-profit.  The term Wa-Ya comes from the Cherokee language, and represents heritage derived from the Wolf Clan.

What We've Achieved


  • 2016 was the inaugural year for Wa-Ya Outdoor School
  • New curriculum established
  • Special Programs and scholarships

New in 2017:

  • More of the favorites and less of the hassle!  We've taken the best of what worked last summer and made it better. 
  • Consistent drop-off and pick-up location at Tumwater Falls Park. (SEE UPDATE 7/29/17 for revised location). We provide transportation to daily destinations.
  • This year we are ready for adventure in our new shuttle bus, opening up numerous possibilities for greater diversity in our daily destinations.
  • WaYa Outdoor Institute began a grass-roots based grant application campaign.
  • Fall 2017 begins a partnership with students at The Evergreen State College, who will assist with our grant application campaign as part of their advanced coursework in non-profit management.
  • In late July and August 2017, the Nisqually Reach Nature Center has offered to provide WaYa with hands-on programs focused on our weekly curriculum.