Traveling with peers and mentors gives Olis opportunities to explore, learn, and grow.
This past February, four Olis, two chaperones, and two Outward Bound Costa Rica (OBCR) instructors gathered at base camp for orientation before setting out into the rainforests of Central America to hike, adventure, and explore. Eight days later, students, educators, and OBCR staff emerged from their trip with tested teambuilding skills and a fresh appreciation for the outdoors.
During Outward Bound, Olis lodged with locals in Costa Rican villages, rappelled down waterfalls, went whitewater rafting, and learned how to surf. Linked by a hike through the mountainous jungles of Costa Rica, these experiences gave students a chance to move beyond their comfort zones and learn how they respond to obstacles — both personally and physically — under the guidance of chaperones.
Lexi, for example, got to flex her natural leadership muscles, helping her peers through the most challenging periods of the hike by setting a positive example. By learning to give herself the benefit of the doubt, Lexi has brought a renewed level of drive, curiosity, and teamwork to her studies at Oliverian.
McCoy had a chance to embark on an outdoor adventure unlike anything he’d experienced before. Enjoying an off-the-grid lifestyle with his classmates and educators in a pristine natural environment, McCoy developed a sense of belonging that’s helped him feel more comfortable in his own skin back on campus and off.
Similarly, Roberto reveled in the natural beauty of Costa Rica. His excitement for backcountry hiking and wilderness exploration — a contagious spirit of childlike wonder that makes learning its own joy for Roberto — was a source of inspiration for everyone else on the trip, according to his Outward Bound instructors.
Sydney conquered the hike, even when it was extremely challenging, pushing her past her typical boundaries. By setting goals at the beginning of the trip and achieving them over its duration, she’s better positioned to persevere and follow through back at Oliverian and at college next year.
Adventure-based learning informs key aspects of student life at Oliverian. For a school nestled in the foothills of New Hampshire’s Presidential Mountain Range, the outdoors serves as a classroom, playground, and escape for students looking for an alternative to the traditional high school experience.
Whether they’re following educators out into 1,800 acres of forests and farmland to analyze ecosystems or going on a hike to hone teambuilding and leadership skills, Olis don’t stop learning just because they’re not sitting at a desk. Thanks to OBCR, these Oli students returned to campus with fresh perspectives and a newfound respect for their own perseverance.