The Benefits of Outdoor Education for Teens and Tweens

At Explorer West Middle School, we believe that the outdoors is an extension of our school. Spending time in nature is a vital part of our program. Our students have the opportunity to learn and grow in an environment that encourages exploration, discovery, and personal growth.

Here are just a few of the many benefits of outdoor education at Explorer West:

Promotes Personal Growth

Outdoor education provides opportunities for students to challenge themselves, develop resilience, and build self-confidence. Whether they're hiking a challenging trail, navigating an unfamiliar environment, or learning a new skill, our students are encouraged to take risks, face their fears, and push themselves outside their comfort zone.

Encourages Environmental Stewardship

At Explorer West, we all have a responsibility to protect and preserve our natural environment. Our outdoor education program helps students develop an appreciation for the world around them and an understanding of their role in protecting it. By participating in outdoor activities, students learn about ecology, conservation, and sustainability.

Fosters Teamwork and Collaboration

Many of our outdoor education activities are designed to encourage teamwork and collaboration. Whether they're working together to set up a campsite, building snowshoes with their 6th grade class, or navigating tides, our students learn the value of communication, trust, and cooperation.

Provides Opportunities for Reflection and Mindfulness

The natural environment provides a peaceful and reflective setting that allows our students to connect with themselves and their surroundings. Spending time in nature has wonderful mental health benefits for young people and adults alike! Outdoor education activities can help students develop mindfulness skills, such as being present in the moment, slowing down, and paying attention to their senses.

When asked, the students named various things as their favorite parts of the trips. Everything from picking huckleberries during the fall trip to building snow shelters in February. Students also recalled overcoming challenges. Jack said he was proud that he carried a backpack and hiked for 10 miles! 

At Explorer West Middle School, we're committed to providing a well-rounded education that includes outdoor education. Our students have the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive in and out of the classroom. We invite you to learn more about our program and how it can benefit your child. 

Learn more about our Outdoor Education program here.

Interested in applying to Explorer West? Click here.

Note from Barbara

Head of School, Barbara Frailey, has accompanied the students on many of these trips. She says, "outdoor education is such a big part of our program because we believe that spending extended time outdoors and developing some key skills like hiking and backpacking, does some really important things for kids this age. It helps them see how strong and capable they can become, how they can rely on themselves and each other, and how much beauty and enjoyment can be found in the natural world."