Student Experience
Outdoor Program

Lower School for Boys


More than 25 trips and outdoor adventures are offered to boys in the Lower School, through which they develop outdoor skills, build confidence and independence in the world around them, and gain a greater appreciation of the intrinsic value of nature. Trips are focused in four areas: Developing Outdoor Skills, Exploring the Wissahickon Watershed, Broadening Horizons: Curriculum-Based Destination Trips, and Parent/Child Bonding: Building New Skills Together.

Boys in the Lower School will raise trout from eggs and release them into the Wissahickon creek, go on bike hikes, problem-solve on SCH’s low and high ropes courses, and wander the hiking trails of the Wissahickon and follow in the historical footsteps of the Lenni-Lenape Indians. Other outdoor programs for Lower School boys may include Big Brother–Little Brother Hike, mapmaking hike, canoe trip, parent overnight camping trips, rock climbing, and visits to Valley Forge National Park, Pennypack Creek, Ringing Rocks Park, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, and John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum.

One of the most basic goals of the SCH Academy Outdoor Program is to introduce students to a place where they can leave the world of smartphones, iPads, and Wii’s behind and engage in a different kind of experience that focuses on the real world and people around them in a setting that nurtures open minds, eyes, and ears—the great outdoors. The Outdoor Program is designed to give students a chance to learn and grow outside the classroom. Through visits to historic and natural settings related to their studies, they deepen and extend their understanding of what they’ve learned in the classroom, while developing basic outdoor skills they can carry with them for years to come.

Students also spend a considerable amount of time exploring the Wissahickon Valley—an amazing resource right at the school’s backdoor. Their time spent in the Wissahickon focuses on learning to become good stewards of the land, respecting our natural resources, and caring for their surroundings.

Program Goals

  • To expand the learning environment and increase outdoor time for SCH students
  • To support the work of the Lower School environmental education classes
  • To build stewardship and respect for the environment
  • To build social-emotional learning: problem solving, critical-thinking skills, collaboration, and team-building skills
  • To build survival skills: safety strategies, mapmaking, and orienteering
  • To build community: at the grade level and by involving parents and families