The Putney Outdoor Program includes afternoon activities, weekend trips, and Long Fall. Two student leaders co-manage the outdoor program with a faculty member, planning and leading trips during the year. The Outdoor Program has gear to lend out for students who need a backpack, sleeping bag, or climbing harness.
With our 500 acres nestled in the eastern foothills of the Green Mountains, Putney students spend a lot of time outside in the afternoon after classes. Hiking, climbing, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and wilderness skills become more than just an activity as students cross paths with wildlife in the forest, decypher tracks in the snow, or learn how to fry an egg on a rock around a campfire.
Yes, we have classes on Saturday until noon. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have weekend fun.
The Putney Outdoor Program organizes trips and outings throughout the year. Moonlight kayaking, rock and ice climbing, and backpacking on the Long Trail (the oldest long distance hiking trail in the country) take place during weekends throughout the year. Students pour over maps and plan a route, write a menu and gear list, and lead the pack as the group hits the trail, river, or rock.
Last spring the group took off for the White Mountains of New Hampshire on Saturday afternoon for an overnight hike into Zealand Falls Hut, one of the Appalachian Trail’s cabins that is staffed year-round. On Sunday the group did a short hike up Zealand Mountain and Mt. Tom, making great time on the way down by employing a mountaineering technique called glissading, which is a more elegant term for “sliding on one’s butt!”
The Long Fall trip, a four day/three night experience that kicks off every school year, is a chance for Putney students to explore the outdoors, learn and develop skills, and work in small groups to achieve common goals.
These trips range from backpacking in the mountains to canoeing on the rivers, mountain biking to rock climbing, and service trips to working on the farm. Co-led by adults and students, groups will bond over campfires, good food, and new experiences.