Today I crawled through bushes for 3 hours in attempts to infiltrate Paonia High School and convert poor unknowing students into unschoolers. Yesterday I learned the dance to Space Jam and performed it in front of 25 people. I’ve also built birdhouses and cooked for 30 people. And I’ve done all of this in 4 days. Welcome to Adventure Semester.
On the weekends, there are workshops and times to go into town to catch a small indie film or go thrift shopping, and each weekday there’s a challenge and time to reflect on what you learned and how you grew. Each week, we are divided into groups of 5, and are assigned a daily challenge. These can seem really simple at first, but there’s always a twist meant to inspire you. The program leaders have found adventures that expand and challenge our physical, mental and even emotional limits. Because of this, each day feels like a success.
That’s it about the program so far, but now about this location. How do I describe Paonia, Colorado? It is hard to put into words the purity of living off of the grid. The knowledge that you are doing absolutely nothing harmful to the earth in your day to day living. All water is brought up from town, all electricity is solar powered and to get wifi, you can take a mile long hike to a barn at the base of camp. We cook with food from local farms and eggs from the chickens on the property. People live in tipis and tents, and shower with solar shower bags in the woods. There is guitar music around us always, and hugs available to anyone that needs one. 4 days in, and it’s already a community. We care for each other and lift each other up in times of need. All of these new adjustments have put us on a level playing field. We are all friends, even if in our day to day lives we wouldn’t have been. This is the beauty of a supportive learning community like the ones that Unschool Adventures creates.