An Independent School • Grades 5-12

by Debby Heath, Upper School languages

Introducing a new blog series: "Shoutouts," where Lakesiders give praise, credit, and a few kind words to the parts of Lakeside they love!

When I think about what Lakeside does incredibly well, I think of the Outdoor Program.  I’ve been here for over 20 years and have always been a huge proponent of our outdoor trips.  As a leader of many trips over the years, I see an increasing need for kids to get outdoors and disconnect entirely from technology.  When I first started at Lakeside, that was not an issue, but it’s more and more of a challenge for kids to stay away from their electronics.  This inevitable reality -the fact that kids are more and more plugged in - makes the outdoor trips even more essential and valuable.  Furthermore, kids, and I would argue all human beings, need nature and are happier, more present, and have a better sense of self when they are more connected with their natural surroundings.  When we are surrounded by natural beauty, we become more reflective and see something far bigger and greater than ourselves.  As we live in an increasingly fast-paced world, we need nature now more than ever to calm our souls and connect us to what really matters.  Another benefit of the Outdoor Program is that students learn the importance of being good stewards of the environment.  When adolescents learn to appreciate and have fun in the outdoors, they are far more likely to protect the environment as adults.  What could be more important for future generations?