Many of us have experienced the value of helping others and choose to be in the service profession not only for what it gives to others, but also for what it gives back to us. Service is more than just an occasional good deed. It is a way of life. It builds self-esteem and helps us feel connected with other people and our community.
At Parker Academy students, staff and families build service into their lives. This may involve all-school community service projects, political activism, tutoring other students, cleaning, or volunteering at local service organizations. Over the years we have developed a close working relationship with a wide range of individuals and organizations and expect every student, staff and parents to participate willingly and enthusiastically.
Parker Academy has a dynamic Activities program. We incorporate a variety of activities aimed at matching students’ interests and talents but that also encourage students to take risks and try new things. Past activities have included gymnastics, cooking, yoga, Dungeons & Dragons, and touring local art museums. Additionally, students have attended sporting events, such as the New Hampshire, semi-pro Fisher Cats and Monarchs, and the Harlem Globetrotter games. Activities are usually scheduled on Wednesdays when Parker Academy does not hold regular classes. This time gives us the advantage of all-day field trips or longer activities without interrupting class time.
David Parker is an avid skier and one of the true traditions of Parker Academy is our ski program. Students have the opportunity to take part in this five-week program every Wednesday for alpine or Nordic skiing and snowboarding at Loon Mt.
All of our activities and events are designed to encourage students and faculty to step outside their roles and to experience new things. They give both students and staff the opportunity to get to know and learn from each other on a more casual and comfortable basis, outside the classroom setting.
Adventure Program – Wellness Wednesdays
Parker Academy encompasses adventure and experiential-based programs. These programs aim to provide students with challenging outdoor activities that not only develop novel skills and abilities, but demand that students push themselves in ways typically not encountered in the classroom. By participating in various outdoor and adventure activities, students are exposed to elements of themselves and others that promote personal growth, encourage emotional introspection, and define what it means to be an active member of a non-competitive team.
Why “do” Adventure?
In the early twentieth century, Kurt Hahn identified an interesting phenomenon in the British navy. When ships were wrecked at sea, the younger, stronger sailors were perishing while older and arguably less fit men were surviving. His deduction was that experience mattered more than strength and youth. With that in mind, he started what ultimately became the Outward Bound School in an effort to provide young people with real experience in controlled and productive settings. This model has since grown to be the basis of many programs ranging from recreational and educational, to academic and therapeutic. Regardless, the notion is consistent: by challenging people in physically and emotionally demanding ways, the degree to which learning and personal growth occurs is far greater than in many “traditional” settings and approaches. At Parker Academy, adventure and outdoor activities are offered as part of the weekly, Wednesday activities. Our Adventure instructor may also team with classroom teachers to incorporate different class models as a dynamic way to access students and teach new skills.
What is “Challenge by Choice”?
Adventure at Parker Academy adheres to “Challenge by Choice.” This means that the extent to which a student stretches his or her own comfort zone is up to them. Students are encouraged to push their limits, as that is where growth occurs, but ultimately they are empowered to dictate and determine the nature of their challenges. Groups are facilitated so as to create “safe” settings where students are comfortable with sharing of themselves and where judgment and negativity are not welcome.
Are Parents and Care Providers welcome?
Absolutely. Parents are encouraged to get involved. We can all use a little adventure in our lives and many of us have varied experiences to share. Please feel free to join or suggest an activity and let us know your availability or interest in helping with any overnights.
What activities are offered?
- Rock climbing
- Winter camping
- Skiing & snowboarding
- Back country skiing
- Within all of these “skill” areas, camping, hiking, & back country navigation occur.
What is “Leave No Trace”?
At Parker Academy, all adventure and outdoor activities adhere to the “Leave No Trace” code of back country ethics. “LNT” dictates that all individuals visiting or using our natural environments take ownership for making these places better than when we entered them. This means that strict attention is paid to removing all trash, not damaging any wildlife, and observing all postings and trail markings. Environmental awareness is fundamental at Parker Academy and maintaining “LNT” ethics is an integral part of that.