Just a short drive from St. Louis, the Outdoor Education Center at Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park is a 300-acre retreat nestled in the valley of one of Missouri’s finest state parks. The Babler Outdoor Education Center is the perfect chance to get away, without having to go away!
In 2002, the Rockwood School District entered into a partnership with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources-Division of State Parks to operate the Outdoor Education Center (OEC). The Parkway-Rockwood Community Education Department manages the OEC year round, welcoming over 12,000 people to the facility annually. The OEC is available for weeklong, weekend, and daily rental to organized groups, including summer camps, school programs, scout troops, retreat groups and community organizations.
Built in the early 70’s, the OEC offers the opportunity for outdoor recreation to people of all abilities. The site is designed to accommodate residential groups up to 168 participants and day groups of almost any size.
At the heart of the Outdoor Education Center is the Dining Hall, a place that draws participants together for meals, meetings, and activities. The Center’s full service kitchen can prepare nutritious meals and snacks for groups of 50 or more.
Located conveniently close to the Dining Hall are eight identical cabins that sleep 20 people comfortably. Each cabin is heated and includes a working fireplace, shower and toilet facilities. Covered picnic pavilions with barbeque pits are situated outside each cabin and throughout the site.
The air-conditioned recreation hall is ideal for a basketball or volleyball game, craft activities, or large group meetings. The Recreation Hall is located near large activity fields, the path to the large campfire ring, the outdoor classroom and the trail to the pond. It often serves as the center of activities for a group’s stay at OEC.
A swimming pool provides relief to participants on a hot summer day. The zero-depth entry design and portable lift ensure every participant can enjoy relaxing at the pool. A built in bench and giant umbrella provides shade for some while others swim, jump, play and explore. A pool house with restroom facilities is attached to the swimming pool.
A balance of indoor and outdoor recreation opportunities is sure to keep any student, scout, or retreat participant busy. Outdoor amenities include a catch-and-release fishing pond, an archery range, and several large multipurpose fields. Explore the richly wooded hills, spend time bird watching, or enjoy a surprise encounter with the deer and wild turkey that frequent the ¾ mile nature trail. The two group campfire rings at OEC create the perfect setting to end the day with songs, skits, and stories.
Call the Outdoor Education Center office to schedule a tour of the facility and begin planning your outdoor adventure today!