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Glen Brook's Falcon Outdoor Leadership program is an intensive leadership training program for high school students ages 15 to 16 (graduates of ninth and tenth grade). The program strives to instill in all participants a sense of personal responsibility through wilderness experiences in Northern New England and stewardship of Glen Brook's forested and farm landscape. Participants learn "hard skills" in several wilderness settings, coupled with instruction on the elements of effective leadership techniques.
On The Trail
There are few things as satisfying as time out in the wilderness with a close group of new friends. Falcons go on two extended wilderness trips each session:
- Paddle Making & Canoeing: The program begins with each Falcon building his or her own canoe paddle, finishing and decorating it with a signature style. The group then participates in a 4-5 day expedition to a remote section of lakes and rivers, typically in the northern reaches of New Hampshire, such as the headwaters of the Connecticut River (the Connecticut Lakes) or stretches of the Androscoggin or Umbagog rivers and lakes. Days consist of paddling from small island to small island, learning the fundamentals of paddling and camping, reflective practices such as music, art, and writing, and observing wildlife, such as loons, otters, moose, deer, eagles, osprey and hawks, and countless other majestic animals.
- Backpacking: Hikes span regions from the Green Mountains in Vermont to the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the Mahoosuc Range in Maine. Past hikes have included Mt. Bond, a 4,000-foot peak, Zealand Falls, and Franconia Notch. Hikes are rigorous yet no previous experience is required, and the leaders are careful to ensure that each participant is well prepared, safe, and a contributing member to the group's progress. Preparation focuses on understanding the importance of adequate gear, the imperative of clear communication, first aid basics, and basic leadership skills.
Once in camp after a day of hiking in the mountains, or paddling on the water, everyone pitches in to set up camp and begin preparations for the night’s stay. After supper and clean up, a hardworking crew has time for relaxing, playing games, stargazing and exploring.
Adventures Close to Home
In addition to the extended wilderness trips, Falcons typically go on day trips including:
Life at Base Camp Glen Brook
The Falcon Outdoor Leadership program runs independently from the rest of camp. The permanent camp site at Glen Brook is used as a base camp from which multi-day expeditions are planned and prepared for. Participants live in rustic, screened living quarters with a space for storing gear and relaxing. There is a composting toilet and a field shower but no electricity in the Falcon Camp. The main cabin has a field kitchen with running water and cook stoves. Participants play an active role in cooking and cleaning responsibilities. While in camp, Falcons participate in Glen Brook's essential stewardship program, but there is still ample time to relax -- swim in the lake, sing Glen Brook songs, and tell stories around the fire circle.
Glen Brook has a long tradition of balancing simple living, play, learning, and work. There are opportunities throughout the experience to give back to the program through hands on work experiences. These projects are designed to generate problem-solving skills, sense of community, and skill building. The Camp's mission statement reads, in part: "In all that we do we aim to leave the world a better than the way we found it." This is a consistent theme of the Falcon Outdoor Leadership Program.
As a pivotal experience, you spend a day in the woods at Glen Brook alone to reflect on the experiences of your explorations. Adventures often bring forth many new life lessons. The solo time is a time to think about how you can apply what you have experienced to your every day life.
Other Activities May Include:
*Forest and Freshwater Ecology *Low Impact Camping *Plant and Animal Identification *Planning and Preparing Daily Meals *Astronomy *Survival Basics *Geology *First Aid *Nature Writing and Journaling *Self-Sufficiency *Drawing and Painting *Singing by the Campfire *Trail and Camp Maintenance *Map and Compass *Primitive Fire Building
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