Outdoor education is an integral part of child development at St. Anne’s. Starting in Kindergarten, students regularly visit our foothills campus, St. Anne’s in the Hills, where they engage in team building and environmental education. Our program provides an opportunity for students to engage in activities that promote cooperation, problem-solving, and community building. Fourth and fifth grades each have an overnight at St. Anne’s in the Hills in the spring. In addition to SAITH experiences, the third grade hikes Chief Mountain and explores the ecology of mountain life zones while learning the skill of self-care in the outdoors. Fourth and fifth grades also spend one day at Bear Creek Lake learning to kayak, canoe, stand-up paddle board, bike, and climb.

The middle school program aims to promote community, self-efficacy, and leadership. All grades spend five days at St. Anne’s in the Hills. The sixth grade explores ecology at Mt. Falcon State Park. The seventh grade explores the nearby streams and rivers in the fall and engages in winter ecology in the winter. In addition, the seventh grade explores the Great Sand Dunes and rafts the Arkansas River. A day at a high ropes course and another day of outdoor climbing provide opportunities for eighth graders to push themselves to take chances in a safe environment.

Throughout their years at St. Anne’s, all children have the opportunity to learn environmental stewardship and connect with nature.


Goals of Outdoor Education at St. Anne’s:

  • Foster a kind and compassionate student community

  • Cultivate environmental stewardship and appreciation for nature

  • Teach skills that allow students to feel at home in the outdoors

  • Enhance the school’s science curriculum

  • Explore themes of interconnectedness, life cycles, adaptation, biodiversity, and change

  • Provide opportunities for team building and student leadership training

  • Develop a deeper appreciation for the legacy of the Founding Sisters


Why We Value Outdoor Education:

  • Research has shown that student achievement is strengthened by opportunities to use the environment as an integrating context for learning.

  • Children who spend more time outdoors have proven to be more resilient.

  • Nature provides challenges that enable children to find new successes, develop a sense of competency, and build self-confidence.

  • Relationships with teachers are further strengthened and enhanced outside of the traditional classroom.

  • Developing connections to the natural world and strengthening interpersonal skills are vital for children growing up in a digital age.