“At Chadwick, it’s a melting pot of opportunities. Making friends is really easy. Everyone genuinely cares about the well-being of the community. Everyone is connected in one way or another. It’s something you really can’t find in a public school.
At first, I didn’t like the idea of outdoor ed. I didn’t want to be away from home. As the trips progressed, I became more aware that this was a chance to take a break from the craziness of school, to be able to just take a step back from everything. It’s a really unique experience. The places we go are incredibly beautiful — deserts, mountains, the alpine forest. The fact that Chadwick gives us this chance is really amazing.
On the trips, you learn how to be independent. You learn how to work as a member of a group. Collaboration is emphasized and encouraged. It’s not just about surviving in the wilderness. It’s about giving your brain a chance to relax and de-stress. The instructors encourage mental health.
On the fall eighth-grade trip to Quaking Aspen, we saw these giant sequoia trees. It made me realize that the world is not just 45 acres. There’s a lot more to discover and explore. I made it my goal to see as much as I can.”
“Nate is one of those reflective students who absorbs everything. He’s like a sponge. You don’t fully understand how much they absorb until you see a piece of writing like the one Nate produced after his trip. He nailed the experience.
For the Upper School courses, we use backpacking as a vehicle to teach more cerebral things. Our program is about teaching skills at the time when students are ready to absorb them. By 10th grade, they know how to backpack. They know how to cook on the stove. It’s about giving them leadership opportunities. They learn about teamwork. On the Upper School trips, each student has a chance to be the leader of the day; they’re in charge of the entire group. One student is the navigator. Another student is in charge of ‘group comfort.’ Someone makes sure the group stays hydrated and finds and filters the water.
On the Senior Trip, they look back on their journey at Chadwick and are given activities to help them understand where they’re at in their lives. We’re moving them from childhood to adulthood.”