Throughout The Gunnery’s history, students have been encouraged to experience their natural surroundings by hiking, camping, canoeing, backpacking, and simply taking their lessons outdoors. Such activities are naturally encouraged by the school’s location in the beautiful Litchfield Hills, and by its proximity to the 998-acre Steep Rock Preserve.
Under the leadership of Outdoor Director Rebecca Leclerc, the Outdoor Program offers more opportunities for students to engage with the outdoors by:
- Spending an evening around a firepit on campus
- Hiking at Steep Rock
- Navigating a low ropes course
- Taking a Nature Writing class
- Backpacking through the White Mountains or the Adirondacks
School Founder Frederick Gunn believed that education should not be bound by the walls of the classroom and felt strongly that experiencing the outdoors contributes to the development of character. By safely challenging our students to step outside of their comfort zone, they can:
- Confront their strengths and weaknesses in positive ways
- Gain independence
- Grow in confidence and awareness
Experiential learning also promotes collaboration, teamwork, and teaches students about energy, sustainability, the environment and stewardship – lessons it is hoped they can carry forward in life.