Outdoor Education is a rigorous and active exploration of outdoor pursuits. The goals of this program are to teach the skills and knowledge necessary for safe and comfortable backcountry travel while instilling a sense of stewardship for the natural world and helping students to develop a lifelong love and desire to be active in the outdoors. Other important objectives of the program are to develop solid leadership skills, teamwork, self-reliance and the ability to overcome and thrive in challenging situations.
Students develop confidence throughout the fall as they strengthen their endurance and fitness levels through activities such as trail running, hiking and trail work. Students likewise get to grow their knowledge of how to take care of the gear they will rely on to remain comfortable while on the required overnight backpacking trips. The school provides the students with sleeping bags, sleeping pads, tents and the community gear and food. We do have indoor days when we work on map and compass skills, stove maintenance and repair, Leave No Trace ethics, wilderness first aid and appropriate personal gear. In this program, students meet daily, as well as for day hikes on the weekends and will learn how to be prepared to be outdoors and active in any weather condition.
One of our favorite sayings in Winter Pursuits is “there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” We have the opportunity every day to participate in a variety of outdoor activities to teach students how to enjoy the outdoors through a variety of winter weather conditions. It is important to our well-being, both mentally and physically, to remain active during these winter months and to get outside.
Avid skiers and snowboarders have the option to travel to the Lost Valley and Sunday River ski areas for three days of skiing and riding each week. Students may choose to stay on campus to enjoy outdoor activities that include, but are not limited to, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, hiking, trail maintenance, ice climbing and rope work, and extreme sledding. Students also learn important outdoor skills such as fire building, shelter building, first aid, map and compass use, in addition to covering winter safety topics like hypothermia, frostbite, and ice safety.