All Kinds of News for October 05, 2016
There is nothing like rafting the rapids of a river for teaching students how to think quickly and work together. Or finding the next handhold on a rock climb for tapping into one’s inner strength and overcoming fear. Outdoors, our students become aware of what they’re capable of. They discover new depths of resilience and confidence and take their potential to new heights.
Academics In A Different Setting
At Gateway Academy, learning to overcome challenges in the outdoors augments our students’ ability to perform better in the classroom. Our outdoor curriculum is intentionally designed to help students master a skill – skiing/snowboarding, rock climbing, canyoneering or river rafting. Each module begins with ground school, which involves planning, learning basic techniques and safety procedures. The boys are exposed to the outdoor activity each weekend giving them the chance to practice, practice and practice. This learning process carries over into their academic experiences, giving them confidence in any subject to tackle challenging content.
Not only do students learn from these outdoor activities, but the academic curriculum is also integrated into weekend experiential field studies. The students learn geology while climbing down limestone, sandstone and volcanic rock. Or bring history alive while examining petroglyphs, fossils and remnants of past civilizations. Engaging students in this way helps motivate them to become life-long learners.
The outdoor program allows students to set their own goals, achieve individual successes, and discover their personal strengths. Gateway Academy does not emphasize competition, winning, or superior sports skill, each boy is given the chance to learn at his own level and focus on his own interests and needs.
Therapy In A Different Setting
Each adventure offers a mix of personal therapeutic opportunities and activities that build connection, communication and cooperation. For example, learning to ask for support from peers – and accept it – is an important and valuable skill. At the same time, each student can see firsthand how his choices and behavior influence the goals of the group, and how his support might be just the thing that helps another student succeed.
Most experiences also hold lessons that can readily be extended to “real life.” Our outdoor program provides a safe place to experience failure and engage in emotions that accompany difficult situations. Climbing, for instance, is a great metaphor: it’s scary. You can come off the wall – but be caught. It involves teamwork, trust, communication and problem-solving. And when you succeed, you have other people cheering for you at the top.
Gateway Academy’s Outdoor Experiential Education program is more than recreation. It is a blend of academics, therapy and intentionally designed outdoor activities. This blend not only helps our students to achieve academic success, but also equips them to embrace challenges more readily and build healthy life skills.
Gateway Academy is dedicated to the healthy development and healing of adolescent boys and their families. We provide a safe and nurturing environment through five integrated programs: Therapy, Academics, Community, Outdoor Education and Fitness. With integrity and respect, we help students feel empowered and valued, build healthy relationships, make thoughtful decisions, develop life skills, become life-long learners and achieve their personal best.