Voyageur Outdoor Experiential Education
Voyageur is a coordinate outdoor experiential education program offered as an athletics elective during each of the sports seasons (fall, winter and spring) to 4th through 12th grade students at the National Cathedral School for Girls and St. Albans School of Boys. Lower-school students participate in an indoor climbing specific program on our 50′climbing spire focusing on movement skills and goal setting. The Lower-school program is elective at StA and required at NCS. Voyageur is an elective offering for Middle and Upper-school students. The Middle-school program focuses on the development of technical climbing and kayaking ability, general strength and fitness, and leadership skills. Students in the Upper-school have the opportunity to choose their preferred discipline, either kayaking or climbing. In addition to building technical proficiency, Upper-school Voyageurs develop communication, leadership, risk management, hazard awareness, environmental stewardship and group building skills. Elective weekend day-trips and overnight trips as well as extended holiday expeditions are offered to all StA/NCS Upper-school students and faculty throughout the school year and during the summer.
The mission of the Voyageur Program is to offer a challenging and rewarding setting that introduces, explores and develops environmental stewardship, leadership and athleticism through participation in “lifetime” adventure sports such as hiking, backpacking, camping, canoeing, kayaking, mountaineering, rock climbing, caving and cross-country skiing.
Vision and Plan
The Voyageur Program emphasizes a culture of inclusion and support. Students are expected to participate and contribute as a valued member of the community. Every member is taught to seek out and assume responsible leadership roles whenever possible. The Voyageur Program curriculum is based on; technical and physical skills development, hazard recognition / risk management, practical wilderness conservation/minimum impact techniques, group travel and communication, and practical leadership opportunities. Voyageur Program alumni leave with; refined critical-thinking skills, more effective personal/interpersonal communication and leadership skills, and a developed sense of sound judgment essential to safe wilderness travel. These skills offer the lifelong rewards of increased personal health, greater self confidence, and a commitment towards stewardship, conservation, and enjoyment of the natural environment.