Shortly after arriving on campus, our 9th grade embarked on their first wilderness trip to the Adirondack Mountains. The goal was to introduce them to both a challenging endeavor and an organic opportunity to create new friendships. Ultimately, students were placed in groups in such a way that new bonds were inevitable.

Spending time in nature is a valuable experience for anyone. Cresting a summit and taking in a view that stretches for miles in all directions is something that has to be experienced to be understood. As a teacher, witnessing one of your students experience this moment is incredibly gratifying. Many have never taken in the reflection of colored leaves on a still lake, gazed at a sea of tree tops below them, or marveled at the brightness of the Big Dipper and Milky Way on a clear night.

With the introduction of this 9th grade trip, we are working toward our goal of making outdoor education an integral part of the Indian Mountain experience. Just this year, we launched the 9th grade trip and are excited to introduce a brand new 7th grade experience. Every grade from 5 to 9 now has a memorable wilderness trip that is woven into our larger curriculum, which we named “Outdoor and Adventure Education.” Broadly speaking, this program gives our students the chance to step out of the digital world, challenge their comfort zones, and have an Indian Mountain experience separate from that of the classroom or dormitory.

Additional photos from the trip can be found here. Next up, our 8th grade!