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Course Catalogue/Pricing

At EarthQuest, we offer a creative, “learner-centered” approach where students, parents, and teachers are empowered to co-create their adventures with us.  Our experienced educators can create custom-tailored courses to meet various unique needs of their students.  For example, our courses can offer real-life examples of conceptual classroom studies, help students work through interpersonal issues in the classroom or school, inspire personal growth and learning at crucial developmental stages, provide a fun, safe environment to bond at the beginning or end of a school year, and much more. If a topic that’s important to you isn’t listed BELOW, let us know and we’ll work to create a new custom lesson just for your group.

 

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Choose the Length:

 

Days of the Week # of Nights Course Hrs Grade Price/Student Curriculum Available
Monday-Friday 4 nights 33 hrs 7th-8th $300 Any
Monday-Thursday 3 nights 23 hrs 6th-7th $225 Any
Monday-Wednesday 2 nights 13 hrs 5th-6th $150 Any
One Day Sampler 5 hrs 5 hrs 5th-8th $30 Any

 

Choose the courses:

1) Personal Sustainability

2) Social Sustainability

3) Ecological Sustainability

4) Ancestral Skills

 Choose your Adventure!

 

 

PERSONAL SUSTAINABILITY

P110 Healthy Body = Healthy Planet The choices that affect our bodies also affect our planet. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle of nutritive foods, full sleep, and regular exercise is a profound act of personal sustainability. We’ll explore the foundations of a healthy lifestyle and offer some tools for discerning what our bodies and minds need to thrive. Through interactive exercises, such as blind taste tests, students will learn why a healthy lifestyle matters.
P111 The Birth of a Leader: Pathways to Positive Change What conditions create a leader, and what qualities distinguish them? What’s the relationship between leading and collaborating?  How can students follow their hearts and take the lead in their classrooms, schools, or communities?  Using interactive games and writing cues, students learn how to cultivate their leadership potential and become agents for positive change in the world.
P112 The Power of Clarity Clarity is a huge ingredient for success. Without clarity students could end up building someone else’s dream, and risk postponing their own. We use an experiential, step-by-step process so students can find their authentic clarity, what feels right for each student, not what might meet with approval from family, friends, or culture. Students will come away with a clarity process they can use over and over again to apply to every phase of life.
P113 Intention & Attention: The Power to Self-Heal An introduction to the various benefits of mindfulness practices, in our personal lives, in our classrooms, and in our larger world. Through personal, partner, and group exercises, students come to understand the way their intentions and attention affect their thoughts, emotions, and physical health.
P114 Addictions & Attitudes: The Science of Habit When does a habit become addictive? What is addictive behavior? Can addictions be positive? We’ll examine the mechanisms behind addictive behaviors and ways to turn them around. We’ll include the dangerous addictions, like drugs, alcohol, & tobacco; as well as more subtle ones like food, entertainment, gossip, and even other people. Using interactive personal and group exercises, we’ll explore our personal relationships with addiction.
P115 Mindfulness & Movement Simple, accessible, and secular practices that help bring us into the present moment.  In a world where advertisements, technology, and entertainment take our attention away, there are simple ways to bring it back home.   We need nothing but our own  intention and attention to focus our minds, open our hearts, and restore our innate sense of well-being and interconnection.
P116 Coming of Age: Out of the Cocoon Students learn about the stages of life development, from childhood to elderhood, and how rituals can honor each transition.  Students will identify their own life-stage, what’s next, and create a ceremony to honor people in other life-stages, such as their parents or teachers.
P117 Heartbreak & Crushes How does attraction affect classroom dynamics? How do students speak about it during breaks and after school? Why do students contort themselves to fit the image of those they admire? We’ll demystify the psychology of attraction, neutralize the taboos and anxieties surrounding it, and find common language to describe the natural joys and disappointments of relationships. Through interactive exercises, students will explore and express why relationships are important to them, what sacrifices they make for them, and how they can consciously use them to enrich their lives.
P150 EarthSounds A communal fire circle of ancient melodies and earth rhythms; a participatory celebration of voice and movement in our beautiful meadow.
P151 Creative Movement Dance as if no one was watching!  This session invites students to discover their authentic expressions in movement while having a blast with their friends.  Inspired by Ecstatic Dance, Eurythmy, 5 Rythyms, and more, students are guided on a creative, celebratory journey through a unique soundtrack of popular music.
P152 The Artist’s Way: Cultivating Creativity Everyone can be an artist. Acknowledging each student’s innate, creative spark, we facilitate an unfettered evening of creative expression in both the performing and visual arts. Students will access their natural capacity for imagination, improvisation, and play while realizing the healing and insightful nature of creativity – an awareness that can serve them for a lifetime. Students will prepare unique creations in music, theatre, choreography, poetry, visual art, or mixed media for the next evening’s Talent Show.

 

 

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SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY

 

S101 Service: Preparing the Daily Meal Service helps us care for our neighbors, our planet, and ultimately ourselves. Students will connect, practice generosity, and have fun as they assist Lost Valley kitchen staff in preparing a meal for the entire community.
S102 Service: Community Outreach Once we acknowledge how abundantly we’ve received, we naturally feel inspired to give back and be of service. During this short period, students will assist individual Lost Valley community members with clean-up projects to connect, practice generosity, and have fun.
S103 Community Panel Volunteers from the Lost Valley community will meet with interested students to answer questions about the challenges and joys of practicing sustainability in community.
S110 Building Your Team Each of us is an important part of various social groups. Groups of people, however, do not necessarily make a “team”. A combination of common purpose, complimentary skills, and mutual commitment are some of the ingredients of a successful team. Have we oriented our relationships towards authentic connection, paired up with people who bring out our best, and been willing to take risks to find unlikely team-mates? In this course, students learn the power of choice in building the team that will support them in their goals and aspirations.  We’ll lead students through interactive exercises that explore the immense power of teams, test traditional notions of teams, and examine how our teams naturally shift over time, and how to to allow that to happen gracefully.
S111 True Friending True friendships are based on more than how you look, what you like, what you own, or saying the right things. You are more than your facebook page. True friendships have a foundation of acceptance, trust, and understanding – built through compassionate communication. Using small group sharings, we guide students as they deepen their connection to to their peers.
S112 Your Voice, Your Classroom, Your Community How do you make your voice heard?  How do we make decisions together?  What does decision making look like in your family? classroom? city and county?  We’ll explore techniques for making effective decisions, and learn to honor each other’s perspectives, using student-generated issues. We’ll try a practice called “Deep Democracy” where students act out an important debate from all sides of the table. Students may write a letter to their Congressperson, expressing some of their concerns.
S113 Social Roles & Identities: Our Place in the Social Ecology Each of us takes on roles and identities in our lives. In our younger years, we take many of them on unconsciously through our families, friends, and social environments. As we come closer to adulthood, we have the opporutnity to both reconsider the roles and identities of our pasts and make conscious choices about the roles and identities we want for our future. However, this opportunity for greater self-awareness and empowerment takes place within the structures of our culture’s social ecology. In this course, we examine the roles and identities that our culture defines for us and begin to see their potentials and limitations. As we see them clearly, we can choose. We can infuse them with our passion; we can remove our energy from them entirely, or we can invent new identities that honor the authenticity we feel within ourselves. Students will participate in interactive and reflective exercises, exploring common roles that arise in group settings, from school cliques, to families, tribes, cities and nations.
S114 Law & Order: Who Makes the Rules? Why are there so many rules, laws, schedules, and structures?  How do our personal freedoms relate to the rules that address the needs of our families and communities?  Using teamwork and examples from their homes and schools, students will explore what happens with and without rules, what happens when the rules apply to some groups and not others, and how sometimes they have to compromise to co-exist on local, national, and global levels.
S115 Meeting as Equals: Bullying, Teasing, & Gossip We’ve all done things to gain acceptance, to belong, or to improve our standing in a group. But how far are we willing to go? Students will define their boundaries, and then practice describing them to others. How can students use non-violent communication when confronting peer pressure or gossiping? How can they respond authentically and effectively? When students witness bullying, what can they do?
S116 Indigenous Lifeways: Tribal Social Structures Visiting representatives of Northwest First Nations will lead a program on traditional and contemporary lifeways.  What can we learn from those who went before? Which traditions do we want to continue into the future?
S117 Generosity & Altruism We’ll explain the importance of our service program, and explore alternate economies like gifting and bartering, where the wealthy are those who give the most.  A sustainable economy will not always extract the most advantage from every available resource.
S150 Active Group Play Regular aerobic exercise is one of the foundations of good health. Students will have the choice of joining a new team for a hike, sport, dance, or martial art.
S151 Social Dancing Structured dances, like the Hokey Pokey, Bunny Hop, and Macarena, can increase group awareness and rhythm.  Salsa Rueda is a Cuban form where dancers rotate among partners in a circle.  In the Russian Troika, a trio of dancers repeat zesty sequences.
S152 Diplomacy In a complex group game, students portray nations with resources, attempt trade with other nations, and find pathways to war… or peace.

 

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ECOLOGICAL SUSTAINABILITY

E110 Growing Your Own Food Identifying plants, taste-testing vegetables, caring for animals, and planting trees are all part of the fun, hands-on activity of sustainable agriculture.  After an overview, and a tour of the Permaculture gardens on-site, students will get their hands dirty caring for the plants they’ll be eating, while learning some techniques that they can bring back to school and to the backyard!
E111 From Earth to Home Avoiding waste and toxicity, Natural Building techniques use renewable, recycled, and biodegradable materials (often from right outside the front door!) resulting in homes and structures with a healthy living environment and sustainable design.  Students will tour beautiful examples of Natural Building on-site and then get their hands (and feet!) dirty. Gathering rocks, digging mud, harvesting lumber, mixing clay-straw-sand, and sculpting forms are all part of the fun, hands-on activity, whether the goal is a bench, an oven, or even your own dwelling! Students and teachers will return home with the confidence to build a project at their own school.
E112 Sustainable Technologies Modern technologies provide for our basic needs and conveniences, but many of them have big ecological impacts, even renewable ones like solar, hydro, wind, or biofuel.  Truly sustainable technologies are simple, small-scale applications that ordinary folks can make themselves.  Students will delve into building a sustainable technology project together on-site.  These may include pedal-powered machines, solar collectors, composters, greywater re-use systems, efficient heating stoves, and more.
E113 Greywater, Water Catchment, and EarthWorks Students will review our on-site water systems and how water moves through our landscape, exploring examples of each of these simple technologies.  Students will then create new systems that can be replicated back at school.  Bring your boots, cuz we’ll be playing outside in the water flows!  (At teacher’s request, each segment of this course can be expanded into a course of its own).
E114 Trash Into Treasure: Recycling Resources Waste = Fertility.  In small groups, students will design projects that transform waste into artistic or functional structures, diverting resources from the waste stream. These could include bottle bricks, aluminum artworks, pallet furniture, composters, greywater systems, or more.  By increasing awareness of their habits, students can reduce their wasteful contributions to the world. With patience and creativity, we can find valuable uses for many things we would typically throw away.
E115 Designing our Sustainable Futures Building from the important aspects of Ecological Sustainability and techniques for implementing various sustainable technologies, students will use Permaculture Design principles to reflect on how, what, where and when they could implement what they’ve learned into their homes, schools, and local communities.
E116 Solar Energy Technologies: Photovoltaic, Solar Hot Water, and Solar Cookers The energy of our Sun keeps plants and trees growing, the winds and waters moving, and makes our planet warm enough to inhabit.  Students will learn several ways to harness this massive energy source, from advanced and high-tech to inexpensive and simple. Working in groups, students will create a solar energy technology on-site and gain the skills to replicate it back at school.
E117 Pedal-Powered Machines How can simple, human-powered machines replace our home appliances?  and provide exercise?  and fun?!  Students will learn the importance of alternative transportation (bicycles) and the many practical everyday uses for pedal-powered machines, like blenders, electricity generators, and washing machines.  Students will see examples of these simple technologies, have the opportunity to use them, and participate in creating new systems that can be replicated back at school.
E118 Nature Exploration An exploration through our 88 acre nature sanctuary.  This early morning session is a perfect time to learn the songs of the dozens of local birds, to harvest local edible and medicinal plants, and hear about the ecological history and former First Nations inhabitants of the land.

 

 

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ANCESTRAL SKILLS

A110 Moving like the Forest: Tracking & Camouflage How does a forest move? How do it’s creatures move? Until we listen closely to the Earth and watch the animals move, we will always be out of our element in the forest. In this course, we learn to move like the forest, smell like the forest, look like the forest, and listen with our whole body as we move through the undergrowth. In the process, we will learn the shapes, sizes and movement patterns of various creatures that call the forest home.
A111 The Birth of Fire: Fire Without a Match Human cultures have a long and powerful history with fire, creating stories and myths that explain and symbolize this sacred partnership. We will first verbally explore the power of this unique element and then participate in its creation. Students will gather fire making materials directly from the forest and create “fire-sets” with which they can work to create friction fire with their own two hands. With focus and determination, anyone can call forth the spirit of fire. Creating fire without a match is a liberating and empowering experience that is never forgotten.
A112 The Colors of the Earth: Painting with Natural Pigment With such easy access to a vast variety of pigments made from exotic or unnatural materials, or generated by computers, most people take color for granted. What are natural sources for color that humans have harvested and processed for millennia? How can we still use the precious pigment they offer? In this course, students create their own pigments from rock and use the colors created to paint their own earth-pictures on paper, wood, or other natural materials.
A113 Designing the EarthShelter With guidance from a skilled mentor, each clan begins to design and construct their primitive shelters built wholly by hand with found, natural materials.
A114 Natural Abundance: Wild Foods & WildCrafting How has the human diet changed over time?  Why do we eat the foods we do today?  Wild animals don’t grow garden patches; they thrive amidst a jungle of natural, wild foods. The vast majority of wild plants are edible at some stage in their growth, with only a few being poisonous or harmful to the human body. Students will learn to identify many native, edible plants and taste-test their edibility, palatability, and take the best to include in our daily meals.
A115 The Ancient Art of Weaving: Cordage & Basketry For thousands of years, peoples have been using a wide variety of plant fibers to weave together rope, string, clothes, baskets, and more. In this course, we will identify, harvest, and process plant fibers from the environment and then learn the techniques to patiently guide these materials into useful forms.  Students will get to keep what they’ve created, and replicate more projects back at their schools.
A150 Rites and Ceremony What does it mean to “come of age?”  What are rites of passage and what are they for? Just as seasons change through a year, humans develop through natural stages of physical, emotional, and spiritual growth. Yet, in our culture today, important life transitions often go unacknowledged and un-honored, and in turn, we can live without guidance in our roles and and belonging in our families and communities.
A151 Finding the Medicine Within: Medicine Walk & Vision Quest Within each of us are all the answers that we need to steer the ship of our lives. In each present moment, we make important decision and choices, whether we are aware of it or not. All too often, we forget to stop and listen for the wisdom within. Guided by the example and presence of Nature, and given the opportunity to be alone with ourselves, we can return from the a vision quest with answers to our questions, direction for our future, and a greater sense of interconnection to our environment. Students will begin this session together, setting intention for the journey, and then venture out alone, only to return to share the inner harvest of their adventure.
A152 Journey Through the Darkness The ceremony has arisen strong intentions from deep within each student, and for the group as a whole. This journey through the dark tests their committment to themselves and their trust of their clan. After the ceremony, each clan gathers to reflect briefly on their experience and then prepare for their journey through dark. Clans pick one leader who guide them, while the rest dawn blindfolds and link hand-to-hand behind him/her. Together, they journey out into the forest in silence to meet any fears they might have of the unknown (w/ an emergency light). With each other’s help, they each find the shelter they each made in the forest, and immerse themselves in the night.

 

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