Experiential and Outdoor Education

Leadership Streams: Experiential and Outdoor Education

Both our Grade 10 and outdoor education programs provide hands-on learning. Students learn through doing, reflect on their experiences, and apply their learning to other situations in the outdoors or in the classroom. Through these programs, students in different contexts examine their relationships with themselves, others and the world.


There is no better teacher than experience; this is especially true when it comes to leadership. One of the greatest opportunities for students to practice leadership is through participation in outdoor education.

Whether hiking through a sunlit forest or building shelters on a snowy mountaintop, being out in nature encourages students to rely on each other, reflect on their identity apart from their day-to-day life and face new challenges.

Year after year, our students come back from these journeys with a better understanding of their personal strengths and abilities. At the Senior School level, students even take on formal leadership roles, with Grade 12 students leading their Grade 9, 10 and 11 counterparts into nature.


The SMUS Outdoor Education program balances safety and adventure. At a school surrounded by forests, ocean and mountains, students have plenty of chances to get outside. More than exercise and new experiences, the Outdoor Education program teaches leadership, teamwork, perseverance and goal-setting.

Through outdoor education, students:

  • develop skills in a wide variety of outdoor activities;
  • set, achieve, and perhaps exceed personal goals;
  • build leadership, individual responsibility and self-discipline; and
  • appreciate and respect the natural environment.

Safety and Liability

Outdoor education activities can include a certain amount of risk. To reduce these risks, we:

  • employ agencies and instructors who are skilled, certified and have significant experience;
  • utilize areas and activities that are age- and experience-appropriate;
  • ensure that equipment and clothing are adequate for the conditions;
  • provide the briefing or training that students need;
  • brief instructors on the standards expected while working for SMUS; and
  • promote a what we call a challenge by choice approach.

Discover more

View experiential and Outdoor Education opportunities at: