Due to the pandemic, please note that this is an atypical year for our Outdoor Education program. We will continue to update families on planned trips.
What is Outdoor Education?
Outdoor Education is often defined as “experiential learning in the outdoors” or “education outside the classroom.” Here at Hamlin, our robust Outdoor Education program allows students a chance to explore a variety of places in and around the Bay Area for one to five nights, depending on grade and location. By the time students graduate, they will have backpacked, hiked, camped, climbed, cross-country skied, and played in forests, seashores, mountains, and rivers across Northern California.
Why Outdoor Education?
The Hamlin Outdoor Education program has numerous benefits, all of which help enable students to leave Hamlin with tools, skills, and knowledge to be a global citizen who cares deeply for the planet. Girls learn numerous technical and outdoor skills and experience a variety of outdoor activities in different environments. Students learn about environmental stewardship and the role they play in keeping the planet healthy. Our trips allow girls to live and practice parts of the Hamlin Creed, especially Courage, Responsibility, and Respect. Outdoor Education enhances the traditional classroom curricula, especially art and science. Recent books, such as Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle by Richard Louv, suggest that “direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development and for the physical and emotional health of children”. For these reasons, we at Hamlin believe that Outdoor Education is necessary for our students’ growth and wellbeing.
Outdoor Education Mission Statement
Hamlin’s Outdoor Education Program provides students in Grades 3-8 with outdoor experiences, outside the conventional classroom, that strive to guide students toward healthy and harmonious relationships with themselves, others, and the natural world. The following goals are at the center of our program:
1. To provide a space for students to practice living the Hamlin creed:
building courage, self-resiliency, and leadership skills
practicing responsibility and taking care of oneself
deepening respect, practicing teamwork, and connecting with classmates
2. To enhance classroom curriculum by offering time and space to build upon concepts in the out-of-doors
3. To teach environmental stewardship to help students understand their role in the natural world