Living and learning in the breathtaking White Mountains allows our Outdoor Education Department (OED) to further the mission of The White Mountain School by enhancing students' relationships with the natural, human, physical, and spiritual environments that surround them. Utilizing experiential methods, we equip students with the knowledge, skills, and sensitivity required to facilitate safe and enjoyable outdoor experiences in a variety of topographic settings. Through Orientation Trips, Field Courses, and other short or extended outdoor trips, students are aided in nurturing a love for the outdoors, developing a lasting concern for the Earth's ecosystem, and personal self-discovery.
We help students achieve proficiency in the Leave No Trace (LNT) Principles, various modes of wilderness travel, first aid, other backcountry skills, and outdoor athletic and co-curricular activities. A focus on small-group dynamics and healthy student interactions also plays a crucial role in this process. Our OED also provides students with the opportunity to seek out a leadership role by becoming a student assistant or a student leader within our Field Courses and sports programs.
Students and faculty spend three days and two nights working and playing together across New Hampshire's North Country the week before classes begin. Whether through backpacking, canoeing, day hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, or completing community service, Orientation Trips are a way for new students to establish lifelong friendships and returning students to reaffirm existing bonds and welcome new students into the community.
All Orientation Trips offer the opportunity to learn new outdoor education and leadership skills (including the LNT Principles) while enjoying the North Country’s natural environment and having fun!
Wellness and Safety
School faculty and staff maintain the highest industry standards for safety in outdoor education. Our accrediting bodies hold White Mountain and all member organizations to high standards of care, training, and response to emergency situations.
In the unlikely event that a student or adult requires urgent care, our trip leaders follow policies and procedures that meet industry standards for field medicine. At a minimum, trip leaders are certified in Wilderness First Aid; some are certified at the higher level of Wilderness First Responder. Trip leaders also are equipped with communication devices appropriate for the region in which their group is traveling.