Child sitting in the front seat of a kayak.

Learn to Love Summer School with REI Outdoor School

REI Enables Adventurers of All Ages and Abilities to Try New Activities and Improve Their Skills

Jul 7, 2014

SEATTLE – Dread the idea of summer school? REI is here to change that. As a national leader in outdoor education, REI offers an extensive selection of classes through REI Outdoor School.

Led by professionally trained instructors, classes help beginner- to advanced-level individuals experience a wide range of activities and sharpen their skills. Last year more than 150,000 people participated in REI Outdoor School in-store and field classes, bringing the total student count to over 1 million since the program launched in 2005.

“At REI, our mission is to inspire, educate and outfit our customers for a lifetime of adventure and stewardship,” said John Sheppard, director of Outdoor Programs at REI. “We offer a comfortable and informative environment that allows everyone to learn at their own pace. Whether students attend a class alone, with friends or as a family, we’ll help them reach their outdoor goals, while having fun.”

Most REI Outdoor School classes are priced under $100, and a variety of free in-store classes are held at all REI stores. Additionally, students are provided with highly rated gear for REI’s field classes at no additional cost. REI members receive a $20 discount – equivalent to the cost of lifetime membership – on all REI Outdoor School classes.

Find the Perfect Class

  • REI Outdoor School offers an expanded selection of day and evening trips that are tailored to local communities. For example, Seattleites can tackle a common base camp for climbers of Mt. Rainier with the Hiking Camp Muir class, and New Yorkers can get their creative juices flowing at Evening Photography and Wine Tasting at Highline Park. Night owls can participate in Sunset Stand-Up Paddleboard and Kayaking Tours in several markets.
  • Music festival goers can learn how to build a functional and comfortable campsite for rocking out and relaxing with friends at REI Outdoor School’s new Festival Camping class. And for the culinary-minded camper, Camp Cooking is a surefire option.
  • Beginner-level paddlers can get their feet wet with kayak and paddling classes like Learn to Kayak and Learn to Stand-Up Paddleboard, while intermediate and advanced-level students may opt for Kayak Rescues & Recovery and Overnight Sea Kayaking.
  • Those looking to reach new heights can join one of REI Outdoor School’s hiking and climbing classes, such as Introduction to Outdoor Rock Climbing or Hiking Basics. More experienced adventurers may want to try Rock Climbing Rescue or Overnight Backpacking.
  • For women who prefer specialized classes, REI Outdoor School offers Learn to Climb for Women, Bike Maintenance Basics for Women and more. A variety of classes for families and kids are also available, including Family Camping and Outdoor Cooking Basics, Learn to Climb Class for Kids and How to Ride a Bike for Kids.
  • For those who can never be too prepared, Map and Compass Navigation Basics and Wilderness First Aid are a perfect fit. And for those who have a tough time deciding where to start, Bike Maintenance Basics and Learn to Climb continue to be two of REI Outdoor School’s most popular offerings.

REI Outdoor School offers an average of 50 classes per year in communities across the U.S. Classes are regularly updated based on local customer preferences and seasonal conditions. For customers who want to expand their outdoor education online, REI provides expert advice and instructional videos on a range of topics.

To learn more about REI Outdoor School and sign up for summer classes, visit

About the REI Co-op

REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of 23 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 188 locations in 42 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.comREI Outlet or the REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. Adventurers can take the trip of a lifetime with REI’s active adventure travel company that runs more than 100 itineraries across the country. In many communities where REI has a presence, professionally trained instructors share their expertise by hosting beginner-to advanced-level classes and workshops about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to—and steward—the outdoor places that inspire us all.