Wilderness WARRIORS W hile many area schools were on Spring Break, sophomores from Dunn School were experiencing something completely different: a camping and backpacking trip in the San Rafael Wilderness Area. Lying in the northeast portion of Santa Barbara County, the San Rafael was one of the first places in the country set aside with the special wilderness designation.
More than just a fun camping experience, the sophomore trip is just one piece of the entire Outdoor Education program that builds from 6th grade through to senior year at Dunn School. Each trip teaches students important leadership lessons on expedition planning, goal setting and how to be safe in the outdoors. For many sophomores this was their first introduction to backpacking and wilderness camping. The students divided into small groups 4 | DUNN JOURNAL 2013
by Kevin Fox, Assistant Director of Leadership Programs
to focus on camp skills and self-care. As the trip progressed and confidence increased, the days became more challenging and students took on a greater share of the group leadership and camp tasks. Some groups were able to climb to the top of McKinley Peak, one of the highest points in Santa Barbara County and clearly visible from the top of San Marcos Pass. On the final night, the whole class came together for a final circle and a great meal of burritos before returning to school around noon on Friday. “Dunn School’s Outdoor Education program is about more than providing an opportunity for students to learn about the environment and practice their leadership skills,” said Barbara Haig, Director of Leadership. “It’s a time for community building as well as a means for accelerating the growth and development of positive character traits.”
COVER STORY Wilderness Warriors – Dunn students venture into the outdoors for education of a different kind.