With dozens of accredited programs available, there are so many exciting opportunities waiting to be explored. These programs offer unique experiential learning methods and resources, and participants are able to develop critical skills.

These skills can then be applied to real-world situations, stemming from breathtaking experiences in the great outdoors. Wilderness expeditions are often a core component of these programs, and if you are willing to challenge yourself, the mountains may be calling your name.

What Is Outdoor Adventure Education?

Unlike traditional classroom learning, outdoor adventure education takes place in nature, utilizing the benefits of hands-on learning. While participants strengthen their relationship with nature, they also develop key social and life skills. These skills then support greater self-efficacy, self-confidence and overall awareness in everyday life.

When a student is educated within a traditional classroom, this form of education tends to support the development of auditory learners. Although there is value in classroom learning, seeking outdoor adventure education will allow you to evolve and grow as an individual.

In comparison to traditional education, adventure learning offers a certain level of uncertainty — which is what helps participants push the envelope. Since the great outdoors offers students unique and compelling challenges, these tasks then strengthen communication skills, adaptability and one’s purpose in life.

The lessons learned through outdoor adventure education provide a foundation for lifelong success. With each hands-on experience, participants are provided an opportunity to expand their mind and skillset. After all, adventure has long been a key component in human development.

Overall, outdoor adventure education is:

  • Active and engaging.
  • An opportunity to develop both intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships. This also encourages strong leadership skills.
  • Offered in a natural setting, encouraging physical skills and nature connectedness.

adventure education mountains

In a Mountain Setting

Although outdoor adventure education can take place in a wide range of wilderness settings, the mountains offer an experience unlike any other. The terrain and environment provide unique opportunities, as participants face a range of challenges.

Regardless of the activities that each participant explores, there will be moments that require teamwork. Whether you are climbing or taking part in a specific team-building challenge, social skills will be strengthened. Although you may be highly independent, certain activities will require you to lean on others — something that can be applied in the real world.

Based on a mountain setting, there will likely be fears associated with certain tasks. After all, unlike a traditional classroom, outdoor education requires you to think and act based on varying circumstances. While individuals overcome their fears, they also become more confident in their ability to perform under pressure.

Some of the activities you can expect in a mountain setting would include:

  • Team-building activities
  • Hiking
  • Climbing
  • Mountain biking

As you complete these activities and associated challenges, you will not only connect with nature but also with yourself and your peers. This results in becoming a more engaged learner and outdoor adventurer. These experiences also help you make the most of your present and future goals — both in and out of the classroom.

Adventure Learning Programs in the Mountains

If you are interested in adventure learning, there are few better settings than the mountains in terms of a unique, yet challenging learning experience. Depending on your immediate goals and interests, there is a range of programs available.
These programs will encourage personal development while teaching skills that promote long-term success. Ready to become a critical thinker, natural leader and advocate for the outdoors? If so, these programs will surely spark a desire for exploration and learning.

International Wilderness Leadership School

Located in Haines, Alaska, this AEE accredited wilderness school is committed to outdoor leadership training. Recognized by over two dozen universities and high schools, their award-winning programs count towards university credit.

With so many possible featured trips, including an intro to mountaineering and heli-skiing, the sky is the limit. Whether you are interested in kayaking or trekking, this school offers learning opportunities within some of North America’s most intriguing places.

Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center

This Colorado-based education center is extraordinary. Offering specialized opportunities while assisting individuals living with various disabilities, BOEC is committed to changing lives. More specifically, they show people that they have the power to change their own life.

Their close proximity to the Colorado Rockies makes for special outdoor experiences that are both challenging and inspiring. From winter camping to backcountry skiing, they help participants achieve the “impossible” — supporting their personal journey as they grow and develop.

High Mountain Institute

Also located in Colorado, the High Mountain Institute offers “empowering experience in inspiring surroundings.” As both an academic school and wilderness program provider, HMI helps their students truly connect with nature. The Rockies provide wilderness expeditions like no other and allows them to offer a wide spectrum of outdoor adventure programs.

With a particular interest in conservation, education and exploration, there are programs for every skill level and interest. As stated by HMI, all that’s required is a willingness to learn, laugh and take risks.

Experience the many benefits of an outdoor adventure education program. Come find the right one for you by exploring our Adventure and Wilderness Programs page.