After carrying and living out of backpacks as they traversed wilderness terrain on separate Outward Bound trips, eighth grade boys and girls came back bonded and ready for the challenges of this year and beyond.
Eighth grade boys and girls began the school year by embarking on separate outdoor adventure trips organized by Outward Bound. During their respective five-day and four-day itineraries, Stuart Hall and Convent groups tackled many miles of wilderness terrain, learning new outdoor and team-building skills while developing friendships and self-confidence to set the tone for the year ahead.
Organized in groups of 10 with 30-pound backpacks, the boys traversed a portion of the John Muir Wilderness, an area that extends along the crest of the Sierra Nevada. Two weeks later, the girls explored the rugged San Bernardino Mountains in Southern California.
On long-distance day hikes, which included peak attempts of 1200 feet for some groups, "students faced challenges to help strengthen their tenacity and persistence," says Middle Form Dean Talbot Moore, who was a chaperone on the Stuart Hall trip. With the support of highly trained guides, students took the lead, reading maps and suggesting how to navigate trails and steep mountainsides. Camp cooking, conflict resolution and accountability to the group were all important aspects of the experience.
In Convent & Stuart Hall's strategic plan, Looking Ahead with 2020 Vision, Area of Impact I includes an objective that articulates the school's commitment to aligning and expanding outdoor experiential education opportunities as part of the Education of the Body program. This is the first year that both eighth grade classes have undertaken Outward Bound treks.
"In general everyone did really well," Talbot says. "Many parents report their boys and girls returning much more mature." Some even plan to enroll their student in another Outward Bound course, according to Talbot.
Browse photos below from the Stuart Hall trip (Convent photo album coming soon!).
Hover on the cover photo and use the arrows to scroll through photos or view the full album.