Philosophy and Overview
The Spring Outdoor Education program at Explorer West is a culminating event for the entire school community and an integrated part of the curriculum and culture. This 4-day, overnight set of trips to various regions of the state punctuates the middle school experience at Explorer West in a way that makes lifelong memories and social connections. The program expands upon the student’s previous experiences and challenges them to more deeply connect with wild places, fill greater leadership roles than before, and give back to the outdoor community in the form of service projects. These programs are enriched by a commitment to sustainable pack-in/pack-out practices and partnerships with Leave No Trace, Washington State Parks, and Washington Trails Association.
During the spring programs students will be expected to:
- Understand the importance and apply the philosophy of Leave No Trace camping and backpacking
- Become familiar with and independently use a variety of camping gear, from backpacks to stoves to GPS devices
- Understand the basics to map and compass navigation
- Take part in a volunteer service project that puts them in the role of stewards of the public lands they use
- Fill a variety of roles within their group from team leader to chef to medic, and reflect on how those roles fit their strengths and weaknesses