Marin Academy urges students to balance their academic program with experiences outside the classroom that provide personal challenge and growth. For this reason, participation in co-curricular programs is a vital aspect of the School’s philosophy and education.
The objective is to teach the student to see the land, to understand what he sees, and to enjoy what he understands. — Aldo Leopold
Purposeful and planned outdoor experiences have been part of an MA education since the School’s inception in 1972. Participation in the Outings Program is open to all, and students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this important facet of the overall MA experience.
The Outings Program’s active commitment to student learning outside the classroom is expressed in an annual offering of 30 to 60 day-long and multi-day outings into California’s mountains, deserts, and coastal waters. Students have hiked, backpacked, skied, camped in snow, climbed rocks, surfed, and kayaked. MA’s experienced and trained outings staff works to plan developmentally appropriate and valuable outdoor experiences to any locale that offers manageable risk, natural beauty, and an opportunity to develop skills and insights with which to interact with the environment.
As a reflection of MA’s commitment to experiential education, the Outings Program fits well into the School’s overall educational philosophy. We believe that learning by doing results in durable understandings and insights and that adventure and fun are powerful learning tools. Small group interactions in outdoor settings contribute to a student’s cognitive, social, and emotional growth. Furthermore, wilderness experience actively promotes, encourages, and develops the seven practices that MA has identified as programmatic learning outcomes—the practices of perspective, compassion, balance, integrity, mind, communication, and responsibility. While we are learning at a distance, the Outings program will continue to offer inspiration for ways community members stay connected to the outdoors around them.