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Social Sustainability Adventure Curriculum


Lunchtime circle


In this educational adventure, we explore the Social Sciences through hands-on, interactive lessons in relevant social matters that students care about.  We see three main spheres of Social Sustainability for our students: family,  school, and larger community (city, nation, planet). Each of us is a member of a family, a member of a school or workplace, and a citizen in a city and a nation. In addition, in this era of instant communication across the globe, we are also each global citizens helping to create a global culture.

Social Sustainability encompasses a set of values and practices that build healthy relationships and a healthy culture. It is based on an understanding that if we don’t learn to honor our differences, trust in our friendships, express our feelings peacefully, and collaborate effectively, we can’t co-create healthy persons or a healthy environment. If includes familiar concepts such as trust building and effective teamwork, and extends out to non-violent communication, community service, forms of governance, and more.


Group O (~21 students)
Group H (~21 students)
Class hrs
Mission / Plan
June 5 (Mon.)
1:00 - 2:00pmArrive, settle into dormArrive, settle into dorm
2:00 - 3:00pm Indigenous Lifeways and orientation to the landIndigenous Lifeways and orientation to the land1Rob IL - Open students' eyes to other ways of organizing people, from a different cultural perspective. Inform students about how traditional native North Americans worked together, made decisions, and connected with each other. Stimulate students to think about what practices work best, taken from very different backgrounds. - and tour/comfort with our woods?
3:00 - 4:00pmIce-Breaker and Introduction to Social SustainabilityIce-Breaker and Introduction to Social Sustainability1Justin/ColinGo to large classroom for bathroom break, attention-getting mechanisms, logistics and intro to social sustainability - Justin, 40 mins --- Colin on classroom grass, Great Wind Blows, parner share activity, poison oak tutorial - 25 mins
4:30 - 5:50pmDeep ListeningDeep Listening1.5Ananda
6:00 - 7:30pmDinner and free timeDinner and free time
7:30 - 9:00pmOpening CouncilOpening Council1.5Rob (Justin, Colin)
9:00 PMRest and Quiet TimeRest and Quiet Time
June 6 (Tu.)Group O (~21 students)Group H (~21 students)
8:00 - 9:00amBreakfastBreakfast
9:00 - 930amSERVICE: Community Outreach Discussion (S102) - on Lodge lawnSERVICE: Community Outreach Discussion (S102) - on Lodge lawn0.5JustinTheory and practice - the idea of service to others without desire to be compensated. What does community service do to build community? - incl. give each a name of another st. to do something nice for
9:40 - 11:00am SessionLaw and Order: Who Makes the Rules? (S114) -- Lg CRTrue Friending (S111) -- Sm CR - Justin watch3Karen + Blue, FriendingFriending: The mission of this class is to explore the nature of friendships and practice the skills of attentive listening and authentic communication.

To understand the role of friendship in a sociological sense (e.g. it could be said that friendship is the basis of healthy community, that these non-romantic, non-familial ties are what has kept neighborhoods and villages together forever); To juxtapose online/electronic friendships with real-life friendships. What does each feel like? To explore how our own image, identity, and belief interact with our ability to be good friends, and explore any other barriers to good friendship. To drop away unnecessary barriers so students can listen and support each other deeply and speak authentically about what’s real for them.
11:10 - 12:30pm SessionSERVICE: Preparing the Daily Meal (S101)Wise Relating: the wisdom of intimate relationship (P117) -- Sm CR - Colin watch1.5Marta + Roberto, RelatingRelating: The mission of the class is to explore the dynamics of intimate relationship (both healthy and unhealthy) and why it’s important to us.To understand the role of intimate relationship in a sociological sense (e.g. it could be said that attraction and romance is fundamental to the formation of the family or extended family unit).
To explore the way the media portrays intimate relationship - do we think this is true? What might we have absorbed unconsciously?
To explore the difference between what begins relationships (attraction/interest) and what keep them alive and well (kindness/patience).
To reflect on the way labels (e.g. “boyfriend”) affect our self-image in relationship, including associated (and often unspoken) expectations.
To understand (and see as equal) varying types of relationships (e.g. short-term/long-term, monogamous/polyamorous, hetero/homo, no intimate relationship at all, etc.)
To understand some clear negative patterns to be aware of and avoid (abusive patterns, co-dependency, possessiveness, unmet childhood needs, etc.).
To practice asking for touch (a hug) and to practice saying “yes” and “no”; learning to know and express the boundaries of our bodies, hearts, and minds.
12:30 - 2:00pm Lunch & Free timeLunch and Community Panel (S103)Lunch and Community Panel (S103)3-4 residentsLearn from residents what it's really like to live at Lost Valley, why they chose to come, and pluses and minuses of life in the community.
2:00 - 3:20pm SessionTrue Friending (S111) -- Sm CRLaw and Order: Who Makes the Rules? (S114) -- Lg CR3Colin, L+OLO: Dig into the topic of why families, governments, and organizations have rules/laws. Get students to think about what rules they are living by or enforcing on others without noticing. Get them to reflect on their own tendencies, such as using rules to restrict others or blindly rebelling against them. Where is the sweet spot? Also, establish that this week at LV has rules/boundaries and the reasons for this structure.To explore official and hidden rules, who made/makes them, and how.
To reflect on the student’s personal relationship to rules, such as enforcer or rebel.
To explore levels where rules are present, such as in couples, families, classrooms, and driving.
To consider the differences between norms, rules, and laws.
To explore how it feels when enforcement is selective or inconsistent.
To discuss the possibility of having no rules - how well would that work?
To convey major rules/boundaries of this week at Lost Valley, so students understand the rationale behind them.
3:30 - 4:50pm SessionWise Relating: the wisdom of intimate relationship (P117) -- Sm CRSERVICE: Preparing the Daily Meal (S101)1.5Kitchen service sessions by Alia0
5:00 - 6:00pmStaff paintingStaff paintingRob (Colin)Students choose and paint their staff
6:00 - 7:30pmDinner and free time for more staff paintingDinner and free time for more staff painting
7:30 - 9:30pmRite of Passage - Part 1Rite of Passage - Part 12RobCeremony where students cut off bottom of their staff and release into the fire whatever it is that doesn't serve them any longer
9:30 PMBack in dorm for the nightBack in dorm for the night
June 7 (We.)Group O (~21 students)Group H (~21 students)
8:00 - 9:00amBreakfastBreakfast
9:00 - 9:30am SERVICE: Community Outreach (S102)SERVICE: Community Outreach (S102)0.5ColinSmall projects to help in the community - Ex. herb spiral
9:40 - 11:00am SessionConflict Resolution (S115) -- Lg CR - Colin watchYour Voice, Your Classroom, Your Community (decision-making; S112) -- Sm CR3CR - Challenge students to see conflict not as a drag but as an opportunity to learn and even grow closer to one another. Get students to notice their own patterns when confronted with interpersonal friction. Impart take-home tools for communicating in sticky situations.To reflect on what is good and bad about rubbing between individuals.
To understand that different people have different relationships with conflict, such as avoiding it, seeking it, or being oblivious to it.
To explore one's personal style and how it interfaces with everyone else.
To draw the difference between others making a person feel a certain way, and that person h--self owning and being in charge of their own feelings.
To explore different approaches to conflict, such as transforming it into a transparent bonding session.
To empower students to face this topic in their everyday lives, and use new tools to deal with it.
11:10 - 12:30pm SessionYour Voice, Your Classroom, Your Community (decision-making; S112) -- Sm CR - Colin watchSERVICE: Preparing the Daily Meal (S101)1.5Blue + Karen, VoiceVoice: Illuminate that groups are making decisions all the time, even when not overt or recognized. Stimulate students to think about different d-m mechanisms and what works well and doesn't. Explore roles in a group, including loud and quiet voices. Use real examples from their lives to illustrate new ways for them to come to collective determinations.To explore how decisions are made among friends and within families, and their classroom. Do these systems work well? How conscious or unconscious are they?
To think about voting - is straight majority democracy the best way? Is consensus best for certain situations?
To explore the loudness of voices in decision-making. Do the quiet ones get ignored? How can this be ameliorated?
To consider voices that are not in the room, like future people and the natural world. How can they be included?
To explore characteristics of effective and ineffective decision-making.
To leave with new considerations and tools for making decisions in students’ various spheres of everyday life.

12:30 - 2:00pm Lunch & Free timeLunchLunch
2:00 - 3:20pm SessionSERVICE: Preparing the Daily Meal (S101)Conflict Resolution (S115) - Lg CR1.5Marta + Roberto, Conflict
3:30 - 4:30pmCompletion of staff painting (if necessary)Completion of staff painting (if necessary)Frank + Ellen
4:30 - 6:00pmFree time with home teachersFree time with home teachersFrank + EllenWhatever Frank & Ellen want to do with them. Get outside and move, as a counterpoint to more stationary activities. Interact with each other in fun and new activities that raise awareness of the natural world. Go to the creek or be in the meadow. Or take care of PVS-related tasks or interventions. Or unstructured but supervised time.
6:00 - 7:30pmDinner and free timeDinner and free time
7:30 - 10:00pmRite of Passage - Part 2Rite of Passage - Part 22.5Rob + lots of othersCulmination challenge - Experience with locating staff in woods - this session can end anytime after 9pm.
10:00 PMBack in dorm for the nightBack in dorm for the night
June 8 (Th.)Group O (~21 students)Group H (~21 students)
8:00 - 9:00amBreakfastBreakfast
9:00 - 11:30amFinal ceremony - debrief of last night, then honoring/appreciation ceremonyFinal ceremony - debrief of last night, then honoring/appreciation ceremony2.5Rob, Jenny (Justin, Colin)as two separate class groups, one in each classroom
11:30am - 12:00Pack-upPack-up
12:00 noonSee you next time!See you next time!