You can only Google so far; sometimes you just have to go.

-Brooks Letchworth, RSS Adventure Education Coordinator

What is Adventure Education?

Adventure Education is all about growing as a person. More specifically, it’s about the kind of person it helps you become. Mindset is defined as “the established set of attitudes held by someone.” The most basic goal is to build positive attitudes when faced with challenges. Adventure Education encourages self-reliance overall.

Adventure Education helps students learn how to work together, support each other, and solve problems. The natural world becomes the classroom, offering rich opportunities for hands-on, authentic learning. Through diverse and dynamic outdoor experiences, Adventure Education fosters student engagement, empowerment, empathy, and respect for self, others, and the environment.

Why Adventure Education at RSS?

Not only does Adventure Education help to build a sense of crew at our school and beyond, it also honors different kinds of intelligences and interests.  Schools are now recognizing the importance of teaching the “whole child,” which means that students engage in more than academic learning.  Adventure Ed. is a natural avenue for students to access 21st century skills such as creativity, communication, problem solving, global awareness, civic responsibility, systems thinking, health/wellness, and resiliency.   

Students benefit from Adventure Education through empowerment, collaboration, building trust and empathy, mindfulness, and acquiring the essential skills for safe and sustainable utilization of the outdoors.  Another important goal of Adventure Ed. is to cultivate an understanding of environmental systems and gain perspective about our human impact on the planet.

Voyages Are...










When and where do voyages take place? What forms are required?

Gear List is subject to change depending on the needs of specific voyages (location, season).

Colorado weather is unpredictable and sometimes severe.  It is best to be prepared in terms of survival gear, while also being picky with extra items in order to minimize pack weight. Voyages always include a gear check prior to leaving.  Some gear may be available to borrow.  If any gear is needed, requests should be made before gear check.

Click here for the complete list of gear that students are required to have, as well as gear that RSS will provide.


Hopes and Dreams

The voyage experiences are meant to build from year to year, so that a sixth grader learns basic skills, while a seventh grader would take more ownership by exploring youth leadership and more advanced mountaineering. By eighth grade, students would be given more responsibilities to plan the voyages.

High school students would have much of the planning responsibilities for their own voyages, but with more freedom to choose destinations and programming.  High school trips will start to focus out of state and internationally in the coming years.

Further goals include offering multiple voyages each year, with some focusing on adventure and others that are driven by content.

Hard Skills Training

Campsite selection and organization


Shelters: tents, tarps, and bushcraft

Cooking and stove safety; clean up; water purification

Bear bags and knots

Leave No Trace

Weather and Environmental preparation (examples: sun, rain, cold/hot temps, storms, flora/fauna, elevation, blow-downs, etc.)

Nutrition and Hydration

Endurance and travel mechanics

Personal Safety and Basic Medical


High Quality Work

Practices Leave No Trace principles; promotes stewardship of group gear and the environment

Good risk assessment and decision-making; time management and organization; preparedness

Fulfills personal responsibilities and needs; maintains good hygiene and safety management

Employs growth mindset; works to improve awareness and self-control; strives to uplift others

Knows the value of physical fitness and works toward improvement goals

Incorporates empathy and respect into relationships; collaborates on group goals; shows effort

Communication is clear and effective, respectful and rational, timely and thoughtful