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Orientation Trips Bring the Classroom Outdoors

Generally, students across all grades spend a large part of each day learning in classrooms and science labs. Our K-12 experiential activities—be they orientation trips in August, Spring Discovery in April, or class field trips scheduled throughout the year—are intentionally designed to offer our students the opportunity of fully immersive, project-based, experiential learning and discovery outside of the classroom. Students are challenged to stretch their limits, deepen their sense of community, broaden their knowledge through hands-on, real-world application of what they are learning in the classroom, and gain meaningful service-learning experiences along the way.

This year’s orientation trips saw our Middle and Upper School students enjoying a wide variety of experiences. Enjoy the photos!


Sixth Grade: Our sixth graders kayaked through local waters in Richardson Bay, followed by a hike in the Marin Headlands. The following day, they bonded and bounded with old and new friends at a nearby trampoline park.

Seventh Grade: Our seventh graders tested their strength and courage during a ropes course deep in the Sonoma County redwoods. All activities were based around nature, hikes, and several “challenges,” such as ziplining, climbing, and swinging through the beautiful trees! Many students took a night swim before ending the day around a campfire and falling asleep in their cabin bunks.

Eighth Grade: The eighth graders laughed and splashed their way through two days of whitewater rafting on the South Fork of the American River, taking in the beauty of the river canyon and camping under the stars.

Ninth Grade: Our freshmen headed to Angel Island for an amazing day of hiking, visiting historical immigration sites, and playing games at the beach–all while enjoying 360-degree views of the San Francisco Bay Area. The next day, the class headed into San Francisco for an improv class, followed by a picnic at Crissy Field with a spectacular view of the Golden Gate bridge.

Tenth Grade: Our sophomores reconnected after summer while kayaking on Tomales Bay, playing games and class-building on the beach, and sleeping under the stars. From the teachers: “Our intention and hope is for every student to stretch themselves, enjoy time outdoors, and build relationships with classmates and teachers.”

Eleventh Grade: Our juniors spent the first day rafting the South Fork of the American River and camped under the stars along the river. The following day, students got their blood pumping by ziplining and exploring other aerial challenges at Quarry Park Adventures.

Twelfth Grade: Our seniors started the day with an Awe Walk around campus led by teacher Aran Levasseur, followed by a reflection activity in which they wrote a letter to their future senior self, to be opened just before graduation. Afterwards, they headed into San Francisco for an improv class. The following day, the class traveled back to San Francisco for a fun day exploring Ghirardelli Square.