Student Life

Outdoor Education

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Every year, groups of Burke’s students disappear for days at a time, heading off to a variety of locations all over Northern California.
While these getaways function as an escape from life on campus, they also serve an important role in a Burke’s girl’s life over the nine years she’s in school.

The curriculum for the Outdoor Ed trips is linked both to social-emotional development and learning goals, as well as our science curriculum. The students build resilience, practice leadership, and teamwork skills, and learn how to support and rely on each other. The outdoor education program also provides a real-world laboratory for students to be environmental scientists throughout their journey at Burke’s.

Trips begin in the third grade and the program’s challenges increase by grade level, becoming an annual rite of passage and an integral part of every Burke’s student journey. 

Damian Gates, Seventh-Grade Advisor

A lot of the tasks require working together to accomplish the goal, and if they don’t work together, they won’t complete it. It’s meaningful and empowering to see our students have breakthroughs on the trip.

Explore Outdoor Education

List of 6 items.

  • Third Grade

    The third grade goes to the Marin Headlands for one night as a warm-up, learning to be away from the comforts of home and thinking independently.
  • Fourth Grade

    The fourth grade takes a Coloma trip as a part of the Gold Rush portion of their study of California history.
  • Fifth Grade

    The fifth-grade spends two nights at Kennolyn Camp in the Santa Cruz mountains hiking, challenging themselves on the ropes course, and further developing their teamwork and interpersonal skills.
  • Sixth Grade

    The sixth grade spends two nights in the Santa Cruz mountains hiking, challenging themselves on the ropes course, and further developing their teamwork and interpersonal skills.
  • Seventh Grade

    The seventh grade has a three-night spring camping trip to Pinnacles National Park with a focus on Leave No Trace practices, local geology, and hiking.
  • Eighth Grade

    The eighth grade has a three-night backpacking trip to Point Reyes National Seashore, which focuses on encouraging oneself and peers to persevere through challenges, demonstrate resilience, appreciate nature, and bond as a class. Students rely on inner resources and each other as they prepare to leave Burke's.
Burke's mission is to educate, encourage and empower girls. Our school combines academic excellence with an appreciation for childhood so that students thrive as learners, develop a strong sense of self, contribute to community, and fulfill their potential, now and throughout life.
Burke's admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.