Monthly Archives: October 2009

Students Experience “Intense” Week Outdoors

Alternative middle and high school program uses outdoor adventure-based counseling to build student self-confidence and team building.

October 28, 2009 (Amherst, NH)

The Summit School, an alternative high school program of Regional Services and Education Center, Inc. (RSEC) recently sent a team of students for intensive outdoor instruction and team building, called Adventure-Based Counseling (ABC). The group camped in New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest. By using fun, engaging, hands-on activities during the program, students were able to observe behavior models, practice new skills, and receive feedback in a natural setting.

The aim of Adventure-Based Counseling (ABC) is to foster cooperative relationships between staff and students that translate to increased success in the academic classroom. Students are exposed to adventure activities that may include rock climbing, backpacking, mountain biking, canoeing, kayaking, snowshoeing, backcountry and alpine skiing, snowboarding, and ropes course elements. The activities serve as a conduit through which students develop self awareness, self-confidence, communication and social skills, and healthy coping strategies.

“Each member challenged themselves physically and emotionally,” said Jan Goolbis, Director at The Summit School. “The team truly bonded and worked very well together during a challenging week. We’ll see the benefits of the week long trip throughout the rest of the school year. The students will be able to draw on their experiences in areas of positive communication, teamwork, and self-confidence to gain future successes.”

The Summit School team began its expedition in the White Mountains to hike Mt. Washington and if possible to also rock climb at Square Ledge. On day one, the group hiked up and stayed in a hut shelter at Hermit Lake, which is about halfway up the Tuckerman Trail to the Summit. Expecting some poor weather, the group wasn’t surprised when it began to rain the next morning. The hike took the team to the headwall where they were greeted by lighting, thunder, high wind and hail. The team spent its last night at the Harvard/AMC Cabin where they enjoyed the comforts of heat and running water.

Update: The Summit School closed January 18, 2013.