Student Experience
Outdoor Program

Lower School for Girls


Established in 2011, the SCH Academy Outdoor Program for Girls 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. One of the most basic goals of the 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.
A variety of trips and outdoor adventures offered in grades 2 through 4 introduce Lower School girls to the outdoors. Through these experiences, they learn outdoor skills, build confidence and independence, and develop a greater appreciation of the intrinsic value of nature. Trips are focused in four areas: Developing Outdoor Skills; Exploring the Wissahickon Valley Watershed; Broadening Horizons: Curriculum-Based Destination Trips; and Parent/Child Bonding: Building Skills Together. Third grade also includes an overnight camping trip with a parent to Daniel Boone Homestead to start their journey into exploring American history in depth in 4th Grade.

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.

Goals of the Outdoor Program

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