Educational and Outdoor Adventure Trips

Returning to the ideals of the ancient Greek Olympians, Westwood trains its students to master their bodies as well as their minds. As well as practicing for specific sports, students learn to develop their Core Athleticism – the speed, agility, and endurance to excel in everything they do both on and off the field of play. Off the beaten path, students will push their own limits in the Adventure Leadership Program for Students (ALPS).


Adventure Leadership Program For Students (ALPS)

Each year, Westwood students in Grade 6 through Grade 12 participate in an outdoor or urban excursion through ALPS. At Westwood, curriculum recognizes that both the urban and the outdoor world are worthy of exploration, and that expeditions into these vastly different worlds are the perfect way to integrate a student’s sense of fun and adventure with the elements of scholarly inquiry.

Westwood trips provide adventures that are beyond the limits of each student’s experience but within the limits of their abilities. In service to these ideas, the ALPS program offers a broad array of urban and outdoor experiences that:

  • extend the academic classroom into the real world;
  • foster collaborative decision making;
  • practice effective communication;
  • provide problem-based learning initiatives;
  • develop individual leadership skills and styles;
  • challenge students to expand and strengthen their mental and physical identities;
  • expose student to new activities and technical skills;
  • encourage responsibility;
  • teach the skills needed to plan ahead.

ALPS by Grade Level

Grade 6

Students begin ALPS curriculum with a trip to Sky Ranch, an educational youth camp in Van, TX. At Sky Ranch they spend three days participating in hands-on learning from orienteering to limnology.

Grade 7 and Grade 8

Students rotate excursions between urban and wilderness locations. The urban city trips are historical explorations of our Nation’s founding and development, with trips to Washington D.C., Boston, or Philadelphia. The Middle School wilderness trip takes place over three nights at the Frio River, a spring-fed water source in central Texas, where students receive First Aid certifications, test their limits with a rock climbing challenge course, and enjoy water sports such as kayaking.

Grade 9 and Grade 10

Students spend a week participating in horseback riding, rock climbing, zip lines, and so much more. Horseshoe Canyon Ranch in Jasper, Arkansas is a wonderful host to Westwood! Visit for more information on the ranch.

Grade 11

A trip to New York City combines historical reflections at Ellis Island and the 9/11 Memorial with student theater studies by attending performances and Broadway theater workshops.

Grade 12

Students challenge their physical abilities as they tent camp in Big Bend National Park. Among the distance hikes performed, students summit the second highest peak in Texas, Emory Peak. Students also prepare for this remote scenery by studying astronomy at the McDonald Observatory, an internationally recognized facility owned by the University of Texas.

Optional International Excursions
Westwood students entering High School are given the opportunity to attend an educational international trip during the summer to further engage with other cultures. The Westwood School offers trips to Spain or China. The trip to Spain offers the ability to elect in coursework for humanities college credit, while the trip to China engages students personally with students and families in various provinces.

Learn More about ALPS
To learn more about the recent Westwood adventures, please read Middle School Wilderness & Washington, D.C. Trips, High School Big Bend Trip, and Grade 6 at Sky Ranch. Additional articles are available upon request from

“School administration has gone all out over the past couple of years to provide a great athletic program for its students. A parent volunteer has handled the preschool and elementary grades most notably getting Westwood students involved with Marathon Kids. The school emphasizes lifetime fitness. By Middle School and High School students can participate in volleyball, flag football, soccer, swim and track and field. But again, most importantly, students participate in ALP – Adventure Leadership Programs. Students attend overnight trips that include scuba diving, mountain biking, surfing, canoeing and rock climbing. These are the types of activities that build student confidence, respect for the outdoor environment and encourage lifelong fitness. My children have only had wonderful athletic experiences at Westwood!”
— M. Spanjol