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Student Life

Located on the banks of the Oswegatchie River near the hamlet of Wanakena, The Ranger School is bounded on three sides by state preserve lands that contain old-growth forests and abundant wildlife and provide numerous recreational opportunities.

The Ranger School campus is approximately 65 miles northeast of Watertown and 35 miles west of Tupper Lake. The buildings, grounds, and forest border on the banks of the Oswegatchie River, which flows directly into Cranberry Lake. The James F. Dubuar Memorial Forest, containing both hardwood and coniferous species, covers nearly 3,000 acres and serves as the outdoor classroom for Ranger School students. The Ranger School contains classrooms, five laboratories, a student lounge, faculty and staff offices, a library, food service/dining hall and residential spaces.

Students enrolled at the Ranger School are guided by the rules and regulations for the College of Environmental Science and Forestry students.


A small library of approximately 1,500 volumes consists of highly specialized books, journals, and multimedia materials required for the teaching and study programs of the curriculum. Students also have online access to the full range of library resources provided through ESF’s Moon Library. Wireless internet access is provided throughout the building.

Residence Hall

Students attending The Ranger School are required to live on campus. The proximity of faculty offices and student quarters allows students to consult easily and frequently with the faculty during their intensive educational experience. This traditional close student-faculty relationship is a major benefit of the program.


While The Ranger School does not maintain an infirmary or employ a health care professional, there are physicians and an excellent community hospital nearby in Star Lake. In emergencies, the school transports sick or injured students to the local physician of their choice or to the hospital. Students are required to obtain health insurance coverage before reporting to the campus and must maintain coverage while attending.

Landing Dining Hall

The food service staff prepare fresh meals daily and are mindful of dietary preferences and needs. Meals are served on a regular schedule seven days per week. Bag meals are available for all day field trips. Coffee, tea, and drinks are available throughout the day. 

A suggestion box is out for the students to let us know how they feel and what they would like to see on the menu. 


The Ranger School offers several clubs and extracurricular activities that students may choose to participate in throughout the year.

Some clubs offer informal learning opportunities that augment or enhance classroom activities. Some offer a chance to network and grow relationships with other students and professionals having similar interests. Others merely offer a fun, relaxing break from classwork, a chance to recreate, explore, and build friendships. Participation in one or more clubs complements and enriches the college experience, and life in general.

Ranger School Hockey Club

Ranger School Outing Club

Ranger School Blue Ox Woodsmen's Team

Ranger School Student Government

Ranger School Yearbook Committee: The Yearbook Committee coordinates the production and publication of the annual yearbook. The club takes and/or gather photos throughout the year, but most of the production work takes place during the spring semester. A yearbook is provided to students, faculty and staff at graduation time.

Ranger School Hockey Club

Ranger School Outing Club

Ranger School Blue Ox Woodsmen’s Team: Learn the tools and techniques of both traditional and modern timber sports and test your skills against college students from around the northeast while you make life-long friends and memories! The Ranger School has a long tradition of sponsoring teams that conduct demonstrations and compete 2-3 times a semester against colleges from across New York State, Pennsylvania, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, and even eastern Canada. Practices take place right on campus in a special training area, and generous donations have helped the team acquire high-quality training and competition equipment. Some of our Ranger School graduates have gone on to compete professionally throughout North America and beyond.

Ranger School Chapter of ESF Forestry Club: Expand your knowledge of forestry and natural resources conservation professions and broaden potential career opportunities by participating in the Ranger School Chapter of ESF’s Forestry Club. The club organizes a variety of field trips to local sawmills, furniture makers, logging jobs, and maple sugaring operations (to name a few). Club members meet with natural resources professionals to discuss professional skills and expectations and to evaluate potential career paths. They also participate in community service projects such as trail construction and maintenance or tree planting. Many club members join a professional society such as the Society of American Foresters and attend one or more of their meetings. Students continuing their education at ESF’s main campus can remain active in the Syracuse Chapter of the Forestry Club.