From the moment students step onto campus, nature plays a role in their Holderness Experience. As soon as they have unpacked their suitcases on Opening Day, new students join the faculty on overnight camping trips in the Lakes Region and the White Mountains. It’s a small introduction to the adventures Holderness encourages. Rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, winter mountaineering, and just wandering through the woods are all encouraged.
Why? Because Mother Nature is one of the best teachers of lessons in leadership, confidence, perseverance, respect, and teamwork. Taking time away from social technology and societal pressures allows students the time to reflect and gain perspective. From their first Orientation Hike at Holderness to weekend hiking expeditions to Monday outdoor chapel services to Out Back expeditions in March, we encourage our students to connect with their natural environment and be open to the lessons of Mother Nature.
Holderness also offers a selection of courses that focus on the environment. While they vary from year to year, courses often include material about environmental sustainability, nature writing, lake ecology, and renewable resources. The courses ask students to think about their relationship with the natural environment, both from a philosophical and from a stewardship perspective. We love to play in our natural setting but taking responsibility for its preservation and conservation is important as well.