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Outward Bound Expedition in Norwegen
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Outdoor Education

Anchored in Salem

Today's experiential education curriculum at Schule Schloss Salem remains inspired by the basic ideas of Kurt Hahn, one of the school's co-founders. We are committed to ensuring that every student takes part in a variety of outdoor activities in the course of his or her time at Salem.

A particular highlight in terms of outdoor education is the Outward Bound expedition in Grade 9, where the whole year group travels into the Norwegian wilderness for ten days. 

The school's Department of Outdoor Education consists of particularly well-qualified staff members who ensure that the content and, in particular, the safety aspects of experiential pedagogy are appropriately observed.

Outdoor Education by Grade

Our Outdoor Education curriculum is tailored to each year group to provide age appropriate outdoor experiences. From Lower to Upper School there are opportunities such as outdoor days and weekends, induction days, the Duke of Edinburgh's Award and much more. 

Years 5 - 7

Year 5 – At Schloss Salem (3 Days)

  • Cooperative Adventure Games
  • Getting to know the school and boarding school location

Year 6 – At the Lake Constance (3 Days)

  • Day hike to Lake Constance, cooking and camping
  • Lake Constance exploration with canoes

Year 7 – In the Alps (5 Days)

  • Ascent to a hut of the Swiss Alpine Club in the Säntis massif
  • Program with climbing, cave, summit tour, adventure games, orientation, group tour
Years 8 - 10

Year 8 – In the Linzgau (2 Days)

  • two-day trekking tour
  • Camping together
  • practical introduction to the expedition part of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award and the Outward Bound Expedition

Year 9 - Outward Bound Expedition

  • Classic trekking expeditions in Norway
  • Complete Year 9
  • 12 Days

The Duke of Edingburgh's Award - The International Youth Programme

  • Interested pupils in grades 8 - 10 (Bronze and Silver)
Years 11 - 12

Year 1 Induction Day

  • Cooperative adventure games at the beginning of the school year
  • Complete Year 11
  • 1 day

Year 1 Outdoor Weekend

  • Activities depend on the offer of the teachers
  • Complete Year 11
  • 3 days

The Duke of Edinburgh's Award - The international youth programme

  • 30 - 40 interested students per year 11 (gold grade)

Outdoor Education Programmes at Schule Schloss Salem

In addition to the various outdoor education events, Schule Schloss Salem also offers two outdoor education programmes: "Outward Bound" and the "Duke of Edinburgh's Award". The Outward Bound expedition is for the whole of grade 9, while the Duke of Edinburgh's Award is optional for students in grades 8-12. We offer our students the opportunity to test their limits and take responsibility for themselves and others. 

Outward Bound

Testing one's Limits

Experiencing Community

Outward Bound Excursions Lead to Self-Discovery.

For many students, Outward Bound excursions are among their key experiences at Salem. Year 9 students leave civilization behind for an eleven-day expedition in the wilds of Norway.  Pushing yourself to your limits, setting yourself challenges and learning that your own actions have consequences not only for you as an individual but for the group as a whole are all central elements of the Outward Bound experience.

Recognizing One's Own Nature

Doing without luxury and consumer goods leads to a much more intensive relationship with the natural world and a heightened sensitivity to the economic use of natural resources. Discovering a spring after a long route march can be a source of pure joy. As one student concluded: “We learnt to manage without the mod cons of everyday life and to appreciate those things we would normally take for granted, even more.”

Costs Energy but Also Gives Strength: Outdoor Experiences

Students sleep in tents, under the open sky.  Students must cook and fend for themselves. One element of the excursion is the so-called “solo”, where each student is left to his or her own resources for 12 to 24 hours. During this experience students write down their thoughts and emotions in a reflective letter. This letter is then sent to them a year later so that they can once again face their Outward Bound experiences while in the midst of daily routines. Participants also keep an expedition journal and share their experiences with their fellow pupils upon their return.

The physical effort demanded of the participants was once tellingly expressed by student at nine o'clock one evening: “Can we go to bed now, please? 

Each student is given personal feedback after the expedition which is also recorded in a report at the end of the school year. 

Duke of Edinburgh's Award

Motivation. Achievment. Recognition.

The Duke of Edinburgh's Award

This program is specially intended for young people aged 14 to 25 and, in accord with Kurt Hahn's educational principles, encourages social commitment, self-realisation, an adventurous spirit and the development of personal interests. The program is offered throughout the world by schools, groups and homes, and is comprised of the following compenents:


  • service
  • expeditions
  • talents
  • fitness
  • a personal project (for the Gold level)

It is possible to earn badges at three different levels:

  • bronze
  • silver
  • gold

The Duke of Edinburgh's Award was first offered at Salem in the year 2000, and since then a very large number of our students have been awarded their Silver Badge while in the Middle School in Salem or their Gold Badge at College. Schule Schloss Salem is the most successful organization to offer this program in Germany.

Plus est en vous!

"It is sinful to force young people into opinions, but it is culpable neglect not to lead them into experiences through which they can discover their hidden strengths". (Kurt Hahn) 
Under the motto "Plus est en vous!" (There is more in you than you think!), this international youth achievement program seeks to motivate, guide and support young people in their self-development and to acknowledge their achievements. 

This program is an all-round, character-building, "do-it-yourself" building kit, based on individual challenge. It is not meant to be "easy," but operates instead according to the principle: "The more you give, the more you gain". 

Eugen Balzer | Biologie, Gemeinschaftskunde, Wirtschaft, Koordinator Outdoor Education, Stellvertretung Stufenleitung Jahrgangsstufe 11 & 12

Eugen Balzer
Coordination Outdoor Education

Tel.: + 49 7553 919 - 464
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