Discovery uses adventure learning and a supportive Christian community to help students transition and develop during their first year of college. The quad-long course fosters spiritual growth, personal discovery, character formation and an appreciation of the natural environment through a wide array of activities—high and low challenge courses, group initiatives and personal reflection—that culminate in a weekend trip to the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Core Requirement: Gordon's Core Curriculum requires an outdoor education experience plus two P.E. classes for graduation. The outdoor education requirement must be fulfilled during a student's first year at Gordon and may be met by participating in a La Vida Expedition at the beginning or end of the first year, as noted in the Academic Catalog. It may also be met by taking a Discovery or Concepts of Wellness course (the Concepts of Wellness course may be taken by approved medical petition only).
Discovery creates a positive and safe environment for students to build friendships and challenge one another to step out of their comfort zones. As they become more aware of their own strengths and weaknesses within the context of a supportive, tight-knit community, they gain confidence and skills to face life’s challenges long after the course ends. Throughout the course, deepened faith and friendships lay a foundation for a successful transition to college.
What it Looks Like
Discovery creates a fun, safe environment to build quality relationships. Games, group initiatives and problem-solving activities enable students to know and be known—to develop meaningful relationships with people that they might not have met otherwise. Students gain communication skills, empathy and an ability to work with others.
Students are encouraged to step out of their comfort zone on the challenge course. The class becomes a supportive community spurring one another on to take on challenges with a high degree of perceived risk, but low actual risk. This support becomes tangible as students learn to belay each other on high elements. The confidence developed on the challenge course builds within students a belief that they can overcome life’s challenges relying upon God and their Christian community
Students come together for a weekend camping trip to the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Community is developed as you hike, enjoy meals together and share life stories around a campfire.