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Outdoor Education at Chadwick School

Chadwick’s outdoor education program is closely tied to the school’s mission of developing “global citizens with keen minds, exemplary character, self-knowledge and the ability to lead.” Through experiential learning in wilderness areas of the outdoors, students develop their leadership and team-building skills while learning about themselves, about others and about the world around them.
The program is mandatory in Grades 3 through 12, and becomes increasingly challenging as each year progresses. Specific objectives are set for each course, as students prepare for their senior trip — a 21-day backpacking expedition in the Sierras that includes three days of monitored solitude.
Chadwick’s outdoor education program uses the outdoors as a medium for learning, allowing students to:

  • Develop independence through self-confidence, self-direction and self-knowledge
  • Sharpen their reflective and critical-thinking skills
  • Enhance their appreciation of, and respect for, the natural environment
  • Discover personal strengths
  • Learn how to be effective leaders and cooperative team members

Detailed information about all Outdoor Education trips can be found in the 2017-18 Outdoor Education Catalog.

All outdoor education instructors are certified in CPR and as Wilderness First Responders, and many have worked for prominent organizations such as Outward Bound and the National Outdoor Leadership School. Chadwick’s outdoor education program is one of only seven of its kind to be accredited by the Association for Experiential Education.

Chadwick School operates under a U.S. Forest Service
special use permit in the Inyo, Sequoia, and Sierra National Forests.
Village School

Grade 3
Two nights in El Capitan Canyon (Hiking in study of Native American culture, environmental science.)

Grade 4
Four days in Sacramento (White-water rafting, studying California history)

Grade 5
Five days at PALI Mountain Science Camp (Science in the outdoors, ropes course and hiking)

Grade 6
Five days at Catalina Island Marine Institute (CIMI) (Marine biology through snorkeling day and night)

Middle School Program
Grade 7
Fall: Montana de Oro
Spring: Joshua Tree National Park (Climbing/Rapelling)

Grade 8
Fall: Quaking Aspen (Rock-climbing/Rapelling/Navigation)
Spring: Los Padres National Forest (Backpacking Course)

Upper School Program

Grade 9
Fall: Joshua Tree (Backpacking Course)

Grade 10
Late Summer: Sierra Nevada Wildnerness Areas in SoCal (Backpacking Course)

Grade 11
Fall: Wellness Retreat/Ropes Course
Spring: Southern Sierras (Backpacking Course)

Grade 12
Spring: Southern Sierras (Three-week Backpacking Expedition)

Download our brochure
While we are constantly challenged academically at Chadwick, outdoor ed tests students’ mental, physical and emotional abilities. After each trip, I always walked away having learned something new about myself and my character.”
— Jessica MacFarlane ’07
Alan Hill
(310) 377-1543, ext. 4131

Upcoming Trips
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Looking for
Chadwick International?
Chadwick also operates this PK-12 school in
Songdo, South Korea.
Click here to learn more.

Chadwick School is a private, K-12 co-educational school dedicated to developing global citizens with keen minds, exemplary character, self-knowledge and the ability to lead. Located on a 45-acre hilltop on the scenic Palos Verdes Peninsula, we aim to bring out the best in our students through experiential learning, one-on-one mentoring, unparalleled global opportunities, an outstanding athletics program, highly accredited outdoor education experiences and an award-winning visual and performing arts program. We are pleased that more than 800 students from over 45 Southern California communities have chosen to call Chadwick "home."

Chadwick School / 26800 South Academy Drive, Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA, 90274 / 310-377-1543
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