Lowell Whitman knew that the great outdoors and some exciting are good for young people. He knew that the role of experience in helping kids build confidence and self-esteem.
One of our goals is to graduate students who are comfortable with who they are, confident in their abilities and ready to lead remarkable lives. Reaching this goal begins both inside the classroom and outside the classroom. Students arrive on campus and begin packing their backpacks for the first camping or backpacking trip.
Lowell knew that taking students into the great outdoors and engaging them in challenging activities would build their souls and their confidence. Riding a horse in the mountains, as people did 100 years ago in the fresh air on trails made by the Ute Indians takes students out of their world and into one that helps them think and grow. When some look at a big mountain and think “I can’t get up that,” they are approaching the first step of building the strength and fortitude they will need their whole lives. The first time a reluctant student gets up a mountain he was afraid of, he begins to believe he can do what ever he sets his mind to. The first adventure is soon followed by a second, perhaps a challenging mountain bike trail in Moab.
Camping for the LWS student becomes second nature, a chance to be with good friends and meet challenges and learn the values of our natural world. By the time we leave for foreign trip, a 10-day trek in Nepal is no longer daunting. Being with teachers on a mountain bike, on a cliff face, or on a horse builds relationships among adults and students which carry over in the the classroom where academic challenges can be met.
We build skills in our outdoor physical education activities – skiing, snowboarding, kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing, horseback riding, mountain biking. We take these activities on long trips like the week-long Desert Week trip in Utah and Colorado.