Traveling is an integral part of CELC Middle School’s curriculum, having no fewer than two extended travel components during each academic year.  This year for CELC’s beginning-of-the-year adventure students spend a week at Kroka Expeditions in Marlow, New Hampshire.            

The idea that “life happens outside of one’s comfort zone” matches CELC’s experience-based program, as it relates to student growth and empowerment. Being away from home, from one’s familiar, students are involved in lots of learning.  Seeing and doing brand new things and then having the once “new” become “the familiar” allows for real transformation and growth.  We see it repeatedly.  It is always incredible to witness students broadening their perspectives and becoming more aware of themselves and the world.

This year’s theme of Ecology and Sustainability makes Kroka Expeditions a perfect choice of location to experience a working farm, wilderness lifestyle, and deep connection to caring for the Earth. Students have a week out-of-doors, living and learning at Kroka Expeditions within 120 acres of forests, fields, and streams adjacent to a wilderness area.  They learn firsthand what it means to live sustainably, living on the land, employing Kroka’s motto “where consciousness meets wilderness” in an authentic way.  Students begin to notice and state how “living simply can be very rich”.

Kroka’s newest addition is the reconstruction of its 200-year-old farmhouse, now a regenerative building that was designed by the Kroka community and built using sustainably harvested timber.  The farmhouse contains compost toilets (the poop loop is alive and well), passive solar, and a fossil-free heating system, to name just a few of the attributes.  A current project is now underway to install data collection software to be able to monitor and analyze the energy usage within the building.

Fostering levels of independence and being in support of one another through many types of activities, from a canoe expedition to nearby Pine Island, rock climbing, and being “on belay” to cooking and sharing meals outdoors are part of the transformative nature of this type of educational experience.

~ Click on any image for a scrollable gallery

Use this link for a complete set of photos of CELC at Kroka Expeditions