Outdoor Leadership Programme for Schools

Why children must trek

The crushing pressures young people deal with today are unlike anything previous generations have experienced. As result, we see an alarming rise in students who:

  • Struggle with confidence and self-worth
  • Crumble under the slightest emotional stressors
  • Are unaccustomed to hardships
  • Are unfamiliar with the joys of working collaboratively towards a common goal
  • Are connected to their devices 24 x 7 but disconnected from themselves, their community, and the environment

More than ever, the mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being of students needs special attention. Classroom settings cannot always address these needs. The outdoors can and trekking, especially so.

Research says the outdoors isn't just good for children's health, it improves their ability to learn.

Why children must trek

The crushing pressures young people deal with today are unlike anything previous generations have experienced. As result, we see an alarming rise in students who:

  • Struggle with confidence and self-worth
  • Crumble under the slightest emotional stressors
  • Are unaccustomed to hardships
  • Are unfamiliar with the joys of working collaboratively towards a common goal
  • Are connected to their devices 24 x 7 but disconnected from themselves, their community, and the environment

More than ever, the mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being of students needs special attention. Classroom settings cannot always address these needs. The outdoors can and trekking, especially so.

Research says the outdoors isn't just good for children's health, it improves their ability to learn.

Seeing the strong impact of the outdoors and trekking on children, Indiahikes has designed special Outdoor Experiential Learning Programmes for schools. Over 10,000 students from across the country have trekked with us.

Experiential Learning treks at Indiahikes are immersive mediums of “learning by doing.” 

Our programmes blend nature, adventure, and specially-designed learning activities to impart valuable life skills and leadership skills. We believe the best learning comes through tangible experience, challenges, and room for reflections.

To help schools reap maximum benefit from these programmes, we also conduct workshops that introduce teachers to experiential learning and how to use the outdoors for students’ holistic development. 

What Schools have to say

Renu Dimri

Principal, DPS Bangalore West

Children who are quiet in class often get overlooked. The same children come back more confident after trekking.
Schools have specific sessions and periods for Life Skills and Value education. We actually don’t need it. Take children outdoors instead – even if it’s just once a week – and life skills learning hap...Read More
Schools have specific sessions and periods for Life Skills and Value education. We actually don’t need it. Take children outdoors instead – even if it’s just once a week – and life skills learning hap...Read More
Namitha Thimmaiah

Teacher, Daffodils School

I have practically seen how trekking instills values of empathy and generosity in students.
Students on a trek become very independent. For the first time they learn to do the simple work on their own. It really boosts their self confidence. I have practically seen how trekking instills valu...Read More
Students on a trek become very independent. For the first time they learn to do the simple work on their own. It really boosts their self confidence. I have practically seen how trekking instills valu...Read More
Honey Chandra A

Coordinator, DPS North, Bangalore

I have seen students learn to keep the environment clean. They feel motivated and gain a sense of responsibility of self and others around them.
Life Skills play a very important role in the development of a child and we at DPS look into various platforms to encourage our students to explore themselves and inculcate life skills that will help ...Read More
Life Skills play a very important role in the development of a child and we at DPS look into various platforms to encourage our students to explore themselves and inculcate life skills that will help ...Read More
Kavya Chandrashekhar

Founder and Guide, The Montessori School and Kriyasthala, Bangalore

We have certain value systems and beliefs and we wanted to collaborate with people who share and complement our values. We felt Indiahikes was a perfect fit.
It’s vital for us to build a generation of people who can take care of themselves, who can take care of others, and who understand the value of interdependency. This is the ethos we follow inside a Mo...Read More
It’s vital for us to build a generation of people who can take care of themselves, who can take care of others, and who understand the value of interdependency. This is the ethos we follow inside a Mo...Read More
Renu Dimri

Principal, DPS Bangalore West

Children who are quiet in class often get overlooked. The same children come back more confident after trekking.
Schools have specific sessions and periods for Life Skills and Value education. We actually don’t need it. Take children outdoors instead – even if it’s just once a week – and life skills learning hap...Read More
Schools have specific sessions and periods for Life Skills and Value education. We actually don’t need it. Take children outdoors instead – even if it’s just once a week – and life skills learning hap...Read More
Namitha Thimmaiah

Teacher, Daffodils School

I have practically seen how trekking instills values of empathy and generosity in students.
Students on a trek become very independent. For the first time they learn to do the simple work on their own. It really boosts their self confidence. I have practically seen how trekking instills valu...Read More
Students on a trek become very independent. For the first time they learn to do the simple work on their own. It really boosts their self confidence. I have practically seen how trekking instills valu...Read More
Honey Chandra A

Coordinator, DPS North, Bangalore

I have seen students learn to keep the environment clean. They feel motivated and gain a sense of responsibility of self and others around them.
Life Skills play a very important role in the development of a child and we at DPS look into various platforms to encourage our students to explore themselves and inculcate life skills that will help ...Read More
Life Skills play a very important role in the development of a child and we at DPS look into various platforms to encourage our students to explore themselves and inculcate life skills that will help ...Read More
Kavya Chandrashekhar

Founder and Guide, The Montessori School and Kriyasthala, Bangalore

We have certain value systems and beliefs and we wanted to collaborate with people who share and complement our values. We felt Indiahikes was a perfect fit.
It’s vital for us to build a generation of people who can take care of themselves, who can take care of others, and who understand the value of interdependency. This is the ethos we follow inside a Mo...Read More
It’s vital for us to build a generation of people who can take care of themselves, who can take care of others, and who understand the value of interdependency. This is the ethos we follow inside a Mo...Read More

Teachers Speak: Why trekking benefits students

Skills Students Learn

  • Preparing and packing for a trek
  • Navigation skills using maps and GPS tools
  • Learning to identify suitable campsites
  • Setting up and winding up camp
  • Sustainable trekking practices
  • Wilderness survival skills
  • Basic First Aid through mock drills
  • Cooking in the wilderness
  • Navigating changing and challenging terrain
  • Living with minimal resources

  • Develop a sense of wonder, awe, and respect for nature and the desire to protect it
  • Students learn they are a part of nature, not separate from it
  • A sensory experience of forests, mountains, and their rich biodiversity
  • Learn about birdlife, animals, plants, and insects endemic to the region
  • Reflect and introspection through Nature Journaling
  • Witness Himalayan ranges or hills near the city at close quarters and learn stories associated with them
  • Camp under the stars and learn about constellations, planets, the Milky Way, and our part in the universe

  • Learn minimalist living through camping and/or exploring lifestyles in remote villages
  • Clean up trekking trails and leave the mountains better
  • Understand the importance of conserving natural resources
  • Learn the basics of waste management -segregation and composting waste
  • Learn and imbibe practical sustainability concepts such as repair, reuse, recycle, and thrift

  • Gain life-long confidence after climbing to a summit
  • Get accustomed to hardships
  • Build resilience through overcoming hardships
  • Work collaboratively instead of competing
  • How to own and share responsibilities
  • Address and resolve conflicts in a healthy manner
  • Build empathy and interpersonal communication skills
  • Think critically and adapt to changing conditions outdoors
  • Navigate unpredictability in the outdoors through creative thinking 

Eco Adventurers

  • Level: 1
  • Duration: 1 day
  • Location: Bangalore, Mussoorie
  • Age group: 8 - 15
  • Outcomes: Developing stronger, more responsible connections with nature, a taste for adventure, greater self confidence, understanding connections between actions and natural consequences.

    Wilderness Explorers

    • Level: 2
    • Duration: 2 days
    • Location: Uttarakhand and Bangalore
    • Age group: 8 - 15
    • Outcomes: Developing confidence through overcoming adversity/difficult tasks, getting accustomed to hardship, building resilience, practicing empathy and collaborative working.

      Himalayan Expeditioners

      • Level: 3
      • Duration: 4 days
      • Location: Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh
      • Age group: 8 - 15
      • Outcomes: Developing critical 21st Century competencies, confidence through overcoming adversity, getting accustomed to hardship, building resilience, self-awareness and empathy.
      • Note: If you have other specific outcomes in mind we can integrate it into the programme design.

        IAYP Adventurous Journey

        • Duration: 1/2/3/4 days
        • Locations: Uttarakhand, Himachal, Chhattisgarh, Bangalore, Goa,
        • Age group: 14 to 24
        • Outcomes: Teamwork, leadership skills, planning and organization abilities, make real decisions and accept real consequences, a sense of achievement by overcoming challenges, self-reliance, independence, health and fitness, appreciating the outdoors.

          Academic Programmes

          • Duration: Schools have the flexibility to customise program duration depending on their needs
          • Location: Indiahikes Campuses in Uttarakhand, Manali, Bangalore,
          • Age group: 8 - 15
          • Modules: Trekking and camping skills, Nature skills, Sustainability skills, Life Skills and Behaviours, Academic modules on surrounding flora, fauna, and ecology

            Workshops for Teachers on Outdoor Experiential Learning

            This one-of-a-kind workshop by Indiahikes introduces teachers to the what, why, and how of Experiential Learning (EL) - right from the concept stage to the seamless design and facilitation of activities.

              What Students have to say

              How We Keep Students Safe

              Indiahikes is India's largest and safest trekking organisation

              Our Trek Leaders are certified mountaineers with a Basic Mountaineering Course or Advanced Mountaineering Course. Trek Leaders assigned to lead student treks are Wilderness First Responders (WFR) and NOLS certified.  We conduct regular refresher courses and specialised trainings year-round towards building capacity and mitigating risk.

              Apart from Trek Leaders, our technical guides, trek guides, programme facilitators and assistants accompany students on the programmes. Each one is trained to handle emergency situations in the mountains. Read more about how we keep your students safe here.

              We ensure everyone follows stringent safety processes. There is a process for preparing team members, a process to monitor their health 3 times a day, a process for management of accidents, a process for managing altitude sickness, and a process for evacuation. We have processed for trekking and a separate process for difficult sections. Any potential risk is nipped in the bud.

              Our extensive trek experience matters here. Trekking trails are not new to us. We have nurtured and developed these trails for many years. We have our own base camps on these trails. Safety of all team members is our responsibility, fom the time the programme starts till it ends.

              We draw up a Risk Assessment and Management plan before every trek - especially when it involves children. We prepare a risk assessment and management plan for each project we take with a school. You can download our sample safety plan here.

              Most modern safety equipment used in the Indian trekking community has been introduced by us. This has fundamentally changed how trekking is done in our country.

              In all of our treks, we carry a high-altitude medical kit, an evacuation kit, a technical kit, radio equipment, and oxygen cylinders (pulse oximeters and BP monitors are standard equipment carried by our Trek Leaders, including ropes and carabiners). 

              How learning happens on our treks

              The Comfort/Familiar Zone:
              • What it feels like: It feels good to stay here, where it's cosy and safe. Boredom and complacency stifle learning and growth.
              • What it's good for: A safe space to reflect
              The Learning Zone:
              • What it feels like: Challenge, excitement, engagement create learning and growth. It is also uncomfortable, requiring focused effort and attention.
              • What it's good for: Where you learn and grow.

              Learning is tremendous when students step out of comfortable/familiar zones such as their homes, schools, and dependence on technology.

              The outdoors and treks are ideal learning grounds for students - unfamiliar, new, and unpredictable.

              When combined with the Experiential Learning cycle (Act, Reflect, Apply/Plan, Transfer), we've seen that learning outdoors is highly impactful compared to traditional mediums.

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