Middle School Outdoor Education


Not all classrooms have walls

Riverstone’s outdoor education program helps our students develop self-confidence, teamwork, leadership skills, and responsibility while fostering a greater appreciation for nature and the environment.

Helping students develop backcountry skills

In our Middle School, we help students acquire a significant repertoire of backcountry skills; compassion, determination, resilience, and independence to name a few. They fine-tune their ability to identify campsites, set up tents, choose proper clothing, and pack their backpacks. They also learn to navigate with a map and compass, rock climb, kayak, and build snow shelters. Most importantly, our students and trip leaders follow Leave No Trace ethics. After being introduced to these activities in Middle School, some of these activities become lifelong passions well beyond Riverstone and college graduations.

Helping students develop character

Trips through the mountains, rivers, and deserts of Idaho provide the perfect environment in which to challenge our students both physically and emotionally.  And while not every student will develop a love for hauling heavy packs up to high mountain lakes or for running whitewater — our students learn that they can — and the afterglow of accomplishment can be long-lasting. They will also learn the significance of receiving, and giving, a little help when times are tough.

Helping students unplug

On the water, on the trail, or in camp, students are encouraged to take a break from their digitized lives. We make sure that Riverstone students know the joy of skipping a rock, watching a moonrise, and enjoying uncluttered time with friends.

When graduates reflect on their most treasured Riverstone experiences, stories from Middle School trips are inevitably front and center.

Middle School Outdoor Education Activities

Grade 6 – Four-day, camp-based trip to Harriman State Park and Yellowstone National Park, rock-climbing, and ski/snowboard lessons

Grade 7 – Four-day biking trip on the Weiser River Trail, rock-climbing, and ski/snowboard lessons

Grade 8 – Six-day river trip on the Main Salmon River, three-day winter yurt trip near Idaho City, five-day backpacking trip along the Snake River in Hell’s Canyon National Recreation Area, rock-climbing, and orienteering lessons

Grade 9 –Three-day Sawtooth backpacking trip, five-day backpacking trip in Grand Gulch National Wilderness Area (Utah), flatwater and river-based kayaking instruction