Our Place Summer School is designed to “unplug” your child by bringing them into direct contact with the creatures, geologies, hydrologies and infrastructures of the Nonotuck biome and the Westfield River watershed.
For five six-hour days, we roam our place—the valley and the hilltowns—investigating our natural and cultural history with all of our senses, and enjoying the whole-being stimulation of deep biotic immersion.
(Click to read the Daily Gazette article about Our Place.)
Our Place activities are fun—and they’re designed to increase students’ perceptual abilities, activate their critical thinking skills, inspire their creative imaginations, and counteract “nature deficit disorder.”
Through active physical and mental engagement with “our place,” students gain a deep & lasting appreciation of it—and themselves. (Click here for basic Our Place program description.)
Wings and Sharpshins sessions:
—Wings sessions are designed for younger students who want to explore awesome places, & learn and have fun, without being forced to go on hikes that are too long and hard. The general, but not strict, age is from 6 to 10.
Wings move softly through forests, fields and rivers, and are encouraged to perceive how these places “open up” to those who are sensitive—i.e., “able to sense.” Expect 1 to 2.5 miles of hiking a day.
—Sharpshins Sessions are designed for students with more advanced field skills, which means they enjoy walking cross-country off-trail, can identify poison ivy/stinging nettle, & without prompting stay fueled and hydrated . The general, but not strict, age is from 10 to 13. Expect at least 1.5 – 4 miles hiking a day.
Counselor in Training Program
CITs are 6th to 8th graders who have attended at least two Our Place sessions during two different years and like field environmental philosophy studies so much they want to go to the next level, and help to execute Our Place’s adventure-learning curricula. For information, please click here.