Middle School Outdoor Program Philosophy
Skill Building and Self-AssuranceSixth, seventh, and eighth grade are years of tremendous change and growth for children, and this is reflected in the Middle School Outdoor Program. Developmentally-appropriate trips build on the capabilities and confidence of this group as adventures become more challenging. Beginning with the long-standing tradition of Fall Campout, Middle School students learn from Upper School students and begin to assume leadership roles themselves. Adventurers complete an additional three Outdoor Trips each year that emphasize skill building and exposure to new disciplines that include technical rock climbing, whitewater rafting, and skiing in the backcountry. Backpacking trips last five or six days and tie directly into the seventh and eighth grade spring curriculum. Themes introduced in Elementary School, including self-reliance, teamwork, self-care, and stewardship of the environment carry through to Middle School trips as students gain self-assurance and confidence.
Objectives Specific to the Middle School Outdoor Program:
- Build new skills including rock, whitewater, backcountry skiing, and longer backpacking and camping adventures
- Teach leadership, cooperation, and teamwork
- Instill a respect and love for the outdoors
- Encourage students to reach their maximize potential in a safe and nurturing environment
- Explore one-of-a-kind wild places
- Tie curricular aspects to outdoor trips particularly in the seventh grade Novel Unit
- Build stamina, resilience, and grit
- Appreciate the capabilities of growing and changing bodies
- Build strong relationships with classmates and faculty
- Have fun!