The Experiential Education program at OES includes a number of in- and out-of-classroom experiences, appropriate to age and grade, which complement and supplement the academic program. The activities are intended to broaden students’ acquaintance with the Northwest and its resources. They also build cooperation and self-awareness, teach skills, increase knowledge on a wide range of topics, and develop the concept of service to others. In addition to the experiences happening in the classroom each day, each student participates in at least two extended trips each year.
The outdoor program at OES is manifested in class trips (both grade level and academic), weekend trips, certain Winterim courses, and days on the ropes course or climbing wall here on the OES campus. During their tenure at OES, students have the opportunity to enjoy the Northwest’s fabulous outdoor resources through backpacking, rafting, biking, sea kayaking, hiking, and cross-country skiing. Sharing these experiences with classmates and faculty deepens relationships and enhances students’ education at OES.
On our campus we have two 432-square-foot rock-climbing walls, approximately 15 acres of wetlands, and 3 acres of forest that includes a high and low ropes/challenge course. PE classes incorporate the climbing wall and challenge course into their curriculum. Athletic teams and student leadership groups also use those facilities. Experiences on the climbing wall and challenge course teach students to use their minds and bodies in new ways, as well as how to trust and care for each other.
The Outdoor Program offers OES students the opportunity to remove themselves from the school setting, experience nature first hand, and have fun with other OES students. We provide educational outings in Oregon and beyond for all skill levels. Outings include a four-day backpacking trip for all sophomores at the beginning of the school year; weekend rock climbing, skiing, kayaking, biking, and hiking trips; and weeklong outdoor adventures during the Upper School's Winterim week and the eighth grade spring trips.