My Outdoor Program

Hunter '19

A skier in mid-air training on a ski slope

I feel that Outdoor Program opportunities allow me to acquire lifetime skills such as organization, planning, responsibility, and, most important, leadership. I also believe that it brings peers and teachers closer when in wilderness settings, as we work together, which doesn't always occur in the classroom.

The Coast Trip in my sophomore year was one of the coolest experiences—not only in my time at the school, but in my life. I have always loved the outdoors, but this trip was unique in how isolated the landscape was, and it allowed me to enrich my leadership skills, as well as reflect on the opportunities I have been given.

The school's mission inspires students to "lead impactful, purposeful lives," and the Outdoor Leadership Academy and Outdoor Program both help students live the mission. Not only does being outdoors promote healthy living, but it teaches life skills that help students strive for and achieve life goals.


Ella '19

A blonde girl smiling

It is very special to be able to go into the outdoors with your teachers and classmates, and I think that the Outdoor Program really helps encourage all of this. The time spent on outdoor trips helps me build relationships with other students and faculty because I am connecting with everyone in a different way, rather than just sitting in a classroom—it helps me gain more respect for everyone.

I especially enjoyed the 9th grade river trip on the Salmon River because this was the first trip with our class in high school, and it helped create bonds with people right from the start.

I decided to join the Outdoor Leadership Academy because I had heard many good things about the program from my brother and others who were participating in it . The OLA has offered me many amazing experiences that most students do not normally get, and it has challenged me to step out of my comfort zone and take some risks.

The Outdoor Program plays a huge role in our school. Everyone is changed after they get to experience the outdoors with their classmates and friends.

Anik '18

A group of students in helmets and climbing gear

My junior year Fall Campout was especially poignant for me. My first trip as an upperclassman, I really cherished the opportunity to serve as a role model for the younger kids and to step into a leadership role. It felt like my Sun Valley Community School education was really coming into play and influencing the way I interacted with my peers, leaders and surroundings.

(Anik is pictured far right in the above photo.)

Addie '19

A smiling blonde girl wearing a beanie

I chose to be a part of the Outdoor Leadership Academy because I have a passion for the outdoors and the mountains, specificaly. The outdoors has always been a place where I think no matter what you're doing you need to be able to trust and work with whomever is out there with you. It doesn't matter if it's just one friend or your entire class, you have to have teamwork and you have to be able to count on one another.