This summer course is designed for teachers who want to gain experience hiking and camping, so they can feel equipped to plan and run trips for students, or who want to explore how various curricula can be merged with and deepened by outdoor experiences.
If you are a teacher who understands that a hike and camp-out could serve a range of benefits in student learning, but lack the direct experience to feel ready to organize and lead an outdoor trip, this course will serve you as training. If you are a teacher who loves the outdoors and wants to see how both science and humanities curricula can culminate in an outdoor outing, our five days together will both model and explain the academic foundations of a hike through the Green Mountain National Forest and the watersheds of three major rivers: the Hudson, St. Lawrence, and Connecticut. [Note: This outing duplicates a student trip we run every semester; our Watershed Trip caps our opening unit in which we settle new students into this place, through field science, naturalist observation, literature about place, journaling and drawing.]
This course will be experiential; we will practice everything we talk about doing with students. By design, the course has a low threshold for participation: we supply most of the gear, so that you can go on an expedition without the hurdle of cost and without needing to solve the mystery of what items are essential for you and a student group. Outdoor trip experience is NOT required or expected. If you already have experience hiking and camping but join us more for curricular ideas—exact lessons set outdoors, as well as practices that deepen learning by adding outdoor settings and experience—we are excited to share both the content and pedagogy set in Green Mountains of Southern Vermont. Our hiking pace will be determined by the group, as we move with full-loaded backpacks. This is not intended to be a test of anyone’s physical limits.
We at the Mountain Campus of Burr and Burton Academy are eager to share with teachers our surroundings and our tradition of experiential and expeditionary learning.