A full year can begin with the Simply Living Semester. We then support you, free-of-charge, in our Winternship program. The year ends with either the Expeditionary Semester or the Watershed Semester. It is also possible to begin with a spring program, take a break in June, and end with the Simply Living Semester.
We believe that both the local lens of the Simply Living Semester and the regional lens of the Watershed Semester or the Expeditionary Semester are necessary for a full understanding of what it means to be educated and inspired about one's impact in the world. Moreover, Gap Year participants often report that their biggest insights and learning come during the second semester, when they begin to apply leadership skills and ways of being that were learned in the first semester.
Our personalized approach results in a sense of family and profound personal growth. We believe in choice. We push the limits with adventure while maintaining a strong record of safety. Our participants find community, connection and a second home in Paonia, and they grow a sense of belonging and connection the the larger world.
Colorado, Mexico, and the South-West
July 17, 2018 to May 16 or May 20, 2019
$13,600 with Watershed Semester. Scholarships available.
$7,850 with the Expeditionary Semester.
This semester is about deepening one’s relationship with place and community. It’s about staying close to our home in Paonia, Colorado and creating a rich, meaningful and connected life. It’s about growing your own greens, butchering your own meat, living without cars or gasoline, climbing mountains, building with natural materials, and learning the skills to create community.
#2 The Winternship
Between semesters, from Oct 31, 2018 to the start date of the second semester program you choose, Gap Year participants will execute a self-design initiative. The options are endless. You can arrange independent apprenticeships, travel, work or adventures either near your home, in Paonia or elsewhere. During the fall semester we will support you to develop a meaningful project, and we provide weekly support during this phase of the year. Previous Gap Year students have arranged activities such as:
This is our premier semester overflowing with learning, challenge and adventure. It’s offered through the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab, one of the most long-lasting and respected educational and scientific institutions in the West, in collaboration with the High Desert Center. You’ll meet and work beside inspiring experts, visit and stay in iconic places, and experience the full, nitty gritty essence of The West. We travel from the high Rockies to Mexico and back, immersing ourselves in food, water, ecological and border issues. We will also work with journalists to collect and share compelling stories about how local decisions are intertwined with global issues. College credit is available.
This semester provides an in depth look at boarder issues as you thru hike the Arizona trail from Mexico to Utah. 70 days, 800 miles, approximately two-million steps, and lifelong friendships forged in sweat, nights under the stars, and perhaps some tears. When we’re not hiking or learning about immigration, we’ll learn how to sing in three part harmony, echoing our voices off the walls of the Grand Canyon.