Upper School Outdoor Program Philosophy

Leadership and Mettle

Upper School students are true partners in the Outdoor Program. The oldest Cutthroats are expected to be active, enthusiastic participants in their four trips each year, including Fall Campout. Route planning, map reading, trip preparation, menu planning, and gear assignments are all part of student responsibilities. Upper Schoolers undertake some of the most iconic trips at Community School including the Coast Trip in the fall of tenth grade, the storied Junior Solo in the spring of eleventh grade, and Senior Quest, the trip that unifies the senior class before graduation. Each trip is challenging, unique, and something students talk about long after they have returned. Students are also exposed to trips of a different sort like the ninth grade Service Learning week in Salt Lake City and the tenth grade trip to Ashland, Oregon, for the Shakespeare Festival. Each trip develops important skills for the students that they will carry with them to college and into the rest of their lives. Upper School outdoor trips are a time to showcase what students have accomplished, to continue to push their limits, to build skills, to lead, and to grow exponentially.

Objectives Specific to the Upper School Outdoor Program:

  • Provide opportunities to lead classmates and younger students
  • Take personal responsibility for the success of a trip by assuming integral planning and execution roles
  • Continue to build important backcountry skills
  • Prove self-reliance and independence within a nurturing and safe framework
  • Serve others in need on the ninth grade Service Learning trip
  • Build strong relationships with classmates, students in other classes, and faculty
  • Experience a cultural week at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival
  • Learn to love being alone on Junior Solo
  • Explore some of the most beautiful wild places in the west
  • Continue to teach leadership, cooperation, and teamwork
  • Instill a respect and love for the outdoors
  • Encourage students to reach their maximum potential in a safe and nurturing environment
  • Build stamina, resilience, and grit
  • Have fun!