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Outdoor Program


The H. Adams Carter ’32 Outdoor Program was founded to honor the Milton graduate, teacher and world-renowned mountaineer, who, in 1947, founded the precursor to the Outdoor Program, the Ski and Mountaineering Club. In his years of teaching at Milton, Ad Carter introduced many students to the joys of skiing and climbing, and through those sports he taught them enduring life skills.

The mission of the Outdoor Program is to provide opportunities for Milton students to learn about and appreciate the backcountry for sport, beauty, contemplation and camaraderie. These outdoor experiences are also designed to teach students to take responsibility, meet challenges, take intelligent risks, and to trust themselves and each other. Trained faculty and instructors from outside the School lead the program.

The Outdoor Program includes two components: an after-school activity program and a trip program.

After-School Program

The after-school program consists of season-long instructional courses. These courses each earn one season of PE credit; students may use an after-school Outdoor Program in place of a team sport or a physical education class. 

Rock climbing, backpacking and sea-kayak touring courses are offered in both the fall and the spring. Rock climbing is offered at the School’s indoor climbing wall during the winter season. Particular permission forms for these after-school courses are distributed to all registered students prior to the start of the course. 

Weekend Trip Program

The trip program consists of instructor-guided day and overnight trips to the coasts, rivers and mountains of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. Trips may include sea kayaking, day hiking, overnight backpacking and kayaking, white water rafting, stand-up paddle boarding, winter hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country and backcountry skiing, general mountaineering, ice climbing and rock climbing. The Outdoor Program provides all technical equipment, food, transportation and basic instruction. These trips are free and open to all Upper School students. They are offered on weekends and on days during the week when school is not in session. The program offers twenty to thirty trips or events each year. For many participants, these experiences are a rewarding and memorable part of their Milton experience. Trip participants must have a signed permission form on file to participate. 

Special Trip Program

The Outdoor Program offers multi-day trips during school breaks and after the end of the school year. These trips provide the opportunity for students to be exposed to new environments and extended outdoor experiences. 

Some recent trips have included sea kayaking in the Bahamas; hiking in Moab and Arches National Park; climbing and hiking in Joshua Tree National Park and Red Rock Canyon; winter camping in the White Mountains; and backpacking in the White Mountains.  

Program Registration Instructions

Students may register online for the after-school activities through their myMilton page during the sign-up periods. Course instructors will contact students who register for the course prior to the start of the class. Many courses fill quickly and have waiting lists. Each course earns one season of PE credit. Trips are announced weekly and are open to all students. Sign-up sheets are posted each week. Students must have an up-to-date permission form on file to participate. For more information please contact the program director at