John Avildsen ’51, Academy Award-winning director of Rocky
“One of my most cherished memories is of being up on Indian Mountain one winter afternoon in 1951. I was the last person in my group to head down the ski trail and found myself mesmerized and enchanted by the quiet that filled the air. I’d never heard such blissful quiet.”
Whether atop “our mountain” or trekking deep in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the Outdoor Adventure and Education (OAE) program at IMS allows students to look outward to the inspiration of nature as well as inward to find strength within themselves.
OAE is an exhilarating and dynamic part of the Indian Mountain School experience that takes advantage of the natural resources and beauty of our 600-acre campus.
Grades five through nine begin and end each year together with a specialized adventure program or trip. A low and high ropes course, camping and hiking in the wilderness, and rock climbing provide group and individual challenges that often place students in situations they have never encountered before. We de-emphasize competition and encourage problem solving in ways that build and enhance confidence, leadership, teamwork, and goal setting.
We venture off campus to hike on the Appalachian Trail, camp in the White Mountains, whale watch, and sail schooners along the coast of Maine. A staff of trained and accredited instructors oversees all adventures using the strictest safety measures.
Lower Campus climbing wall for pre-kindergarten through grade four
40-foot Upper Campus climbing wall with two faces for multiple levels of challenge
State-of-the-art ropes course featuring 36 high and low elements
As an advocate of environmental stewardship and challenging kids to expand their comfort levels, Ethan is excited to be joining IMS as the Director of Outdoor Adventure and Education. This new role is a culmination of his years enjoying outdoor activities and his experience in private school administration. Ethan was born in New York, grew up in Michigan, and graduated from Western State Colorado University with degrees in French and business administration. He was a member of the alpine ski team and also learned to rock climb, kayak, backcountry ski, and appreciate wild nature while in Colorado. During ten years living abroad, he received a master’s in sports science & technology from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. Before coming to IMS, Ethan held the roles of athletic director, activities coordinator, dorm head, and residential life director at boarding schools in Switzerland and New Hampshire. Ethan comes to IMS with his two young daughters, Siena and Rylie, and wife Erin, an Upper School science teacher. Ethan and Erin are also dorm heads in Upper Doolittle. Ethan enjoys telemark skiing, hockey, sailing, cycling, and all things outdoors with his family.