Peter Rice III takes the helm at Echo Hill Outdoor School

WORTON — The leadership of Echo Hill Outdoor School has been passed from father to son as Peter P. “Petey” Rice III has been appointed executive director.

He will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of operations, including staff administration, program design, fundraising and community outreach.

“I am honored and excited to take on the role of Executive Director at Echo Hill Outdoor School,” Rice said in a written statement announcing his appointment. “The School’s program is proven — it’s been around for 50 years. Statistically, for a nonprofit, that’s an incredible feat. We have returning schools come year after year. But there is a lot of room to grow and reach further. I have big shoes to fill and I’m ready for the challenge.”

Rice III has been an integral part of the EHOS team since 2014, serving in various capacities including interim executive director, assistant director, senior naturalist and U.S. Coast Guard captain.

His dedication to outdoor education extends beyond his work at Echo Hill Outdoor School.

He previously served as associate director at Echo Hill Camp, where he played a key role in strategic planning, staff management and safety oversight.

Prior to joining Echo Hill Camp, Rice held positions at New York Road Runners and Tough Mudder, where he gained
experience in event management and logistics.

Petey Rice is only the second executive director at EHOS.

Since Echo Hill Outdoor School was established in 1972, Peter Rice Jr. led the institution until his recent retirement.

During Rice Jr.’s tenure, which spanned more than 50 years, EHOS grew into a year-round organization, adding full-time staff and educators and embarking on major capital improvements that included dorms, adventure courses and a fleet of traditional Chesapeake workboats to provide on-the-water experiences.

According to a news release, Petey Rice continues his father’s legacy with a steadfast commitment to the school’s mission, and a core belief that fun, hands-on experiences in the Chesapeake’s outdoors have the power to inspire and uplift children.

“We are thrilled to have Petey Rice as our new Executive Director,” Robert Creamer, president of the EHOS board of directors, said in the news release.

Creamer said Rice III was the unanimous selection of the search committee “after a very extensive review process that drew 15 well-qualified applicants.”

“Petey’s extensive supervisory experience, his fresh ideas, his approach to fundraising, and his commitment to our mission were what we were looking for,” Creamer said in the news release. “As an executive board, we had to find the leader of Echo Hill Outdoor School for the next 50 years — someone who could guide the organization through changes in education and schooling, and who could help create a culture for our staff where people feel appreciated and love to work. All of these factors made him the ideal candidate to lead our organization into the future.”


Echo Hill Outdoor School, located near Worton, is an educational 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to providing transformative outdoor experiences for students of all ages through hands-on learning and exploration.

Today, more than 6,700 students and teachers from public and private schools annually visit EHOS in its
residential outdoor education programs, adventure programs, camps and day programs from March through mid-December.

In 2023, Echo Hill Outdoor School received a citation from the governor of Maryland in recognition of 50 years of nature-based education. The Maryland Senate and the General Assembly supported the governor in his commendation, issuing a resolution and an additional citation to “offer [our] sincerest congratulations … for 50 years of providing nature-based education and outdoor wonder for generations of students.”

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