These links and notes are in the process of being updated for the 2021 season. Thank you for your patience!

Hello Parents!

Thank you for your interest in the Forestry Challenge.  The Forestry Challenge is a competitive forestry event for high school students with three goals:

  • Your child will learn the basics of the science of forestry, and understand how math and science taught on campus apply to the “real world “.
  • Your child will explore career options by meeting foresters and a variety of other professionals in the natural resources field, some of whom are just out of college and not too many years older than your child.
  • Your child will enjoy some outdoor recreation, to help them develop an appreciation for the forest, even if he/she is not interested in a career in this field. Outdoor activities might include a night hike, zip line, or ropes course, depending on what is available at the host facility.

The El Dorado event will be Wednesday through Saturday, October 27 to 30, at Community of the Great Commission, about a 40-minute drive northeast of Auburn.  Your child will be away from campus for two school days, a Thursday and a Friday.  While being off campus presents a challenge to keep up with missed classroom time and homework, this unique opportunity is worth it, based on the growth of the program over the years and the positive feedback from students and teachers.

Your child will be supervised at all times by their teacher, other teachers and chaperones, and event volunteers.  Students and teachers stay in dormitories, with bathrooms right off the sleeping areas.  All educational and social activities are conducted in a safe and fun environment.  In the case of a medical emergency, there is a registered nurse on staff who has advanced training in outdoor emergency care.

To learn more about the Forestry Challenge, take a look around this website, where you will find a sample schedule, rules, and information about Community of the Great Commission.  On the bottom of the What is Forestry Challenge page there is a link to an introductory video, which is a good 1-minute explanation of the Forestry Challenge program. 

Please note that the registration fee is $215 per person, which the teacher is responsible for bringing to the start of the event.  This fee covers food, lodging for three nights, and an event t-shirt.  If your child’s teacher pre-registers before June 30, 2021, there will be a 50% discount on the fee.  If you and/or the school are unable to pay the fee, your school can request assistance.  No one has ever been prevented from attending because they did not have the funds.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to e-mail me at or call me at (530) 417-1960.


Diane Dealey Neill

Forestry Challenge Founder and Coordinator