THE FOUR OVERARCHING GOALS OF sun Valley COMMUNITY SCHOOL’S OUTDOOR PROGRAM ARE TO:
- Build relationships;
- Provide opportunities for personal growth;
- Develop relationships with wild places;
- Teach outdoor skills.
These goals are reflected in the Middle School Outdoor Program trips, which focus on integration of the classroom and the outdoors, self-esteem, group problem solving and decision making, self care, and outdoor skill building.
Trips in Middle School are longer, more wilderness-based, and more challenging. Attendance on trips is a requirement in grades six through twelve. It’s also recommended that seventh and eighth grade students attend one weekend trip per year. All students’ grades six through twelve participate in our Fall Campout during the second week of school.
- Fall: The five-day seventh grade fall trip explores some of the issues surrounding the inter-phase of wilderness and civilization. The trip takes place on the Salmon River and involves whitewater rafting, swimming like smolts in the Salmon River, hiking, and visiting with some of the local characters.
- Winter: The three-day winter trip to Camp Perkins in the Sawtooth Mountains introduces students to telemark skiing, winter safety, winter camping skills, first aid, and self-care.
- Spring: The five-day spring trip visits Hells Canyon and introduces students to their first true wilderness experience. Students backpack in spectacular Hells Canyon while researching for their class novel project.
- Fall: This six day fall trip is part of an integrated unit exploring climate change, food, and sustainability. The trip travels to Teton National Park to explore fragile high alpine ecosystems, beautiful mountain rivers, and working small scale farms. Students backpack for three days, visit farms in the Teton Valley, and whitewater rafting on the Snake River. The trip also focuses Leave No Trace, environmental impact, and sustainable travel techniques.
- Winter: The three-day eighth grade winter trip to the Smokey and Boulder mountains focuses on avalanche safety skills.
- Spring: In the spring students spend seven days in Grand Gulch (five of those backpacking) and learn about Anasazi culture and desert ecology
The Outdoor Program has taught me what it's like to persevere. You can't really throw in the towel.Eli '21
- Build new skills, including rock climbing, whitewater, backcountry skiing, and longer backpacking and camping adventures;
- 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;
- Explore one-of-a-kind wild places;
- Tie curricular elements to outdoor trips;
- Build stamina, resilience, and grit;
- Appreciate the capabilities of growing and changing bodies;
- Build strong relationships with classmates and faculty;
- Have fun!