The GPS Outdoor Program is based on the belief that an important part of a young woman’s education involves getting outdoors and appreciating the natural world. The program offers adventure-based experiences to encourage a student’s development of leadership, initiative, and sense of community. Kayaking, canoeing, backpacking, rock climbing, caving, and mountain biking are just a few of the activities offered.
Courses are offered to novice, intermediate and even the experienced enthusiast on weekends, afternoons, or during school breaks. The activities for both Middle and Upper School students are carefully planned and supervised by experienced staff.
"It is an incalculable added pleasure to anyone's sum of happiness if he or she grows to know even slightly or imperfectly, how to read and enjoy the wonder book of nature." —Theodore Roosevelt
Tucker River Fellows
At the retirement of former longtime headmaster Randy Tucker, the GPS Board of Trustees and friends of the school joined together to honor his tenure with the establishment of the Tucker Fellows Program, a two-year student study of the Tennessee River. The mission of the program, which began in the summer before the 2014-15 school year, is to prepare future leaders to have an effect on the conservation of the Tennessee River.
Fellows, selected prior to their freshman year, spend part of the summer and following academic year engaged in interdisciplinary scholarship and experiential learning about the many issues impacting their local watershed as well as learning about the historical, ecological, political, economic and aesthetic significance of the Tennessee River.
During the second year in the program, fellows focus on leadership skills while continuing to learn about the river and watershed. They read and discuss the works of current and historic environmental thinkers. They choose a focus and work with local experts, scientific literature, and policy to become more knowledgeable about their chosen topic. They then collect, analyze, and publish data.
Throughout the program, fellows become familiar with the various entities that implement, enforce, and monitor watershed policy. By the end of the program, fellows propose solutions to watershed problems and become lifelong advocates for clean, healthy watersheds in the Chattanooga area and beyond.