Beyond the Classroom: How School Trips Can Enhance Student Learning and Development

Thinking of planning a school trip for your students? Here at Muskoka Woods, we get to witness the transformative power of school trips firsthand, so we’re obviously huge proponents of taking your school or group on the road! School trips provide students with memorable opportunities for experiential learning and invaluable lessons that contribute to their holistic growth and development. In fact, a study by the U.S. Travel Association found that children who take school trips have better grades by 59%, higher graduation rates from high school by 95%, from college by 63%, and greater income by 12% annually. So what are you waiting for?!

The benefits of learning outside the classroom

School trips play a key role in shaping a well-rounded education for students by:

  • Broadening their world view: venturing out into the world exposes students to new environments, cultures and ideas, which expands their perspectives and encourages open-mindedness and tolerance.
  • Making learning relevant: trips also make learning more meaningful by connecting academic concepts to real-world applications, which allows students to witness directly how the knowledge they acquire can be applied in practical situations. The benefits can be two-fold for kinaesthetic learners who absorb information more easily by doing.
  • Enhancing social emotional learning (SEL) skills: school trips foster personal and social development by challenging students to become more independent, resilient, and adaptable. By engaging with their peers in a different context, students necessarily hone their communication skills and learn how to work more effectively as a team. School trips also help students develop a relationship of trust with their teachers, having shared a fun life experience.

How school trips enhance learning

Placing students into new environments deepens their understanding of various subjects by offering hands-on and immersive experiential learning opportunities that:

  • Engage their senses and tap into different modes of learning: students can witness historical landmarks, explore nature’s wonders, interact with professionals in various fields, and engage in other experiential activities that bring abstract concepts to life.
  • Pique curiosity: taking students out of the familiar classroom environment and placing them in real-world settings taps into their natural inclination to explore and facilitates inquiry-based learning. In unfamiliar surroundings, students have a greater opportunity to observe, ask questions, and seek answers.
  • Require critical thinking: on school trips students may do hands-on experiments, conduct interviews, or solve problems related to the trip’s theme or destination, all of which require them to think critically, analyze information, and draw connections between what they have learned in the classroom and what they are observing or experiencing firsthand.
  • Inspire a deeper appreciation for specific subjects: the opportunity to visit historical sites, or engage with experts in different fields can encourage students to delve deeper into a subject.
  • Enhance retention and understanding of educational content: seeing and experiencing objects or places in person is proven to help students with their ability to recall details about the thing in question. Students who visited an art museum, for instance, could recall social and historical facts about a painting, without any perceived need to remember them (there was no test afterward), leading researchers to believe that artwork is an important tool for effectively relaying academic content.
  • Inspire passion for learning: by engaging in activities outside the classroom, students importantly develop a sense of ownership over their learning and become active participants in the educational process. When learning is associated with a positive memory from a school trip, for instance, it helps cultivate a lifelong passion for seeking answers and expanding their understanding of the world.

Muskoka Woods: the ideal destination for a school trip

We have already talked about why Muskoka Woods is a great destination for your next school trip, situated as it is on the shores of Lake Rousseau amid 1,000 acres of natural beauty. A trip to Muskoka Woods immerses your school or group in nature so that they can take advantage of all the benefits that come from leaving the classroom and embracing the great outdoors.

At Muskoka Woods, students have the opportunity to challenge themselves on the high ropes course, work collaboratively during team-building games, and hone their leadership skills in a variety of group activities.

Aside from the breathtaking natural setting, Muskoka Woods is uniquely known for its emphasis on leadership and character development, piggy-backing off of the opportunities for students’ personal development already built-in to school trips. The Schools and Groups Host Instructors share a common desire to help young people realize their full potential while having the time of their lives! Experts at fostering a sense of community from the moment you and your students walk through the door, Muskoka Woods staff work with students to help them draw life lessons from their experience at camp.

In a testament to the power of school trips and a school trip to Muskoka Woods in particular, Angela, a teacher who visited with her students, had this to say about their experience:

“The transformational nature of the Muskoka Woods experience is what allows administrators to stand behind the program. Yesterday, watching a student climb the rope ladder and do the high ropes was truly moving. She spent most of last year in the guidance office, crying and anxious.”

Overall, school trips ignite a passion for learning and provide invaluable life lessons that contribute to students’ healthy academic, social, and physical development. If you want to broaden your students’ perspectives, help foster a lifelong love of learning, and provide them with an experience that can impact the rest of their lives, click here to book your school trip.

Visit for more information or to book your next Schools and Groups visit.

About the Author:

<h4><a href="" target="_self">Roslyn Costanzo</a></h4>

Roslyn Costanzo

Roslyn Costanzo is a mom to two red-headed children and a little white dog named Hugo, who she lives with, along with her husband, in the small valley town of Dundas, Ontario. Roslyn has contributed to a variety of Canadian print and digital publications and currently fills her time between writing gigs with parent council meetings, chauffeuring kids to choir and swimming practices, and long(ish) runs on the scenic trails of Hamilton. The rest of the time she's scouring the racks at Winners.

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