Urban field outings to laboratories, museums, college campuses, and other places are relevant to the curriculum. Students gain access to the diverse viewpoints of experts, peers, and others involved in a certain topic through direct interaction rather than a textbook or other media.
Examples of urban destinations include time spent at a prosthetic lab while studying Anatomy, participation in a Coast Salish sweat ceremony as part of a Comparative Religions course, and special access to the Seattle Art Museum’s art restoration laboratory in a Renaissance Art History course.
Wilderness Field Outings
Wilderness travel reinforces the values we share as a school community. From day hikes to multi-day backpacking excursions, we explore the diversity of the Cascadia bioregion including the rugged North Cascades range and the Olympic Peninsula’s wild coast and breathtaking interior mountains.
Our faculty boasts a broad range of backcountry skills and experience, are trained in Wilderness Advanced First Aid, and embrace Leave No Trace ethics. The group building, environmental stewardship, and personal awareness fostered through wilderness travel are almost impossible to obtain through any other means.
At the beginning of each term, Explorations Academy students participate in a 3-day Orientation Outing where coursework, group building, communal living skills, and adventure intersect.
By the end of our school year, our wilderness trips culminate in our 8-day backpacking trip, something most students can’t imagine accomplishing at the beginning of their Explorations journey. As daunting as this trip may seem, they always return a new, more adult version of themselves.
The wilderness is a great teacher. By carrying a backpack for a week, climbing mountains, crossing tidal flats on remote beaches, enduring harsh weather, and through it all being responsible for building shelter, cooking food, and surviving, young adults are forced to deal with the most immediate and real challenges of the day.