Setting the foundation for exploration
The Village School Outdoor Education program gives young Chadwick International students opportunities to explore and grow through courses designed to stretch their comfort zone, build character and spark a genuine love of nature that lasts a lifetime.
Outdoor Inquiry is the primary focus in the Early Years, with students engaging in group activities on campus grounds and locally. These courses introduce students to the core themes, methodologies and philosophies of Outdoor Education. As they move into the Upper Years, they embark on overnight courses away from home. Courses emphasize comfort in the outdoors and introduce the skills necessary to work within a team. These excursions, while carefully monitored, allow students to be independent and to practice the progression of skills needed for more extensive adventures in the Middle and Upper Schools. It’s the start of a progression of outdoor experiences that shape a student’s career at Chadwick.
Starting in pre-K, Early Years students spend several hours outdoors engaging with and inquiring about their natural environment. Visits to school gardens and the low ropes course refine motor skills while exposing students to sensory experiences with mud, sand, rain and snow. Adventures off campus to places like Central Park and Songdo's canal teach students about different terrains and the impact of weather changes on Songdo’s ecosystem.
As they investigate their natural environment, students develop an awareness of and respect for living things. They often choose their own activities, learning to be both self-reliant and collaborative.
Village School Upper Years students revel in the adventure of camping in tents on school grounds. In the process, they develop resilience, gain confidence and become effective communicators. These skills lay the foundation for off-campus excursions they’ll make later on.
Third-graders travel to a local mountain and use maps, compasses and GPS trackers to navigate local trails. Students must work together as they explore some of Incheon’s most scenic terrain.
In the Fourth Grade, students take their first overnight backpacking trip away from home. They explore unique tidal mudflats and mountain trails with views of picturesque nearby islands before employing basic camping skills under the stars for their first overnight experience. They witness first-hand how their actions and inactions have direct consequences on the local environment, and how our lifestyle choices influence our overall health and well-being.
Fifth-grade students travel to the Han River outside of Seoul to practice bike-riding skills learned in PE class and look for various bird species along the river. A connection to Korean culture and history is forged as students build kites and learn about their traditional use. Stargazing and campfires follow on this exciting three-day, two-night adventure.
- Students are divided into activity groups upon arrival at the course site.
- Groups camp in a central location where breakfast and dinner are served at the basecamp kitchen (students eat packed lunches during their group’s daily activity).
- Activity groups sleep in tents and depart camp together each day for their scheduled activities.
- All groups rotate through various activities throughout a course.
- Students do not move camp each day.
- This style of course serves as an excellent introduction to the outdoors and the learning provided by Mother Nature. Courses emphasize the fundamental connections between nature, local culture and self-identity.
- Basecamp courses are for Village School students in Grades 4 and 5.
Students are introduced to the basics of camping and begin to build the foundations of their Outdoor Education careers.