Waldorf School of Garden City Class Trip Curriculum Guide
As an educational facility of The Waldorf School of Garden City, we welcome grades 3-12 every year. These week-long programs dovetail their Waldorf Education with Camp Glen Brook’s unique offerings.
Following is an overview of what each Garden City class trip to Glen Brook focuses on. These focus areas are balanced with the rhythm of daily chores around the kitchen and animals, work periods to improve and maintain the Camp, and free time to relax and play.
Here is a video that speaks a little bit to the importance of the sense of place established over the years at Glen Brook:
Watch a video
Curriculum Topics by Grade
Harvest and food preparation: students gather apples to make crisp and press cider, gather vegetables to make soups and salads, grind wheat to make bread, churn butter, and enjoy a harvest meal. Students also explore the forest and build shelters, building comfort and confidence for living in the outdoors.
Animals: Students explore the forest and learn about the many animals we have living here. Students learn to walk like the fox, look like the owl, listen like the deer, and use their skills to observe the outdoors. The class also summits Gap Mountain, weather permitting, in preparation for their hike up Mount Monadnock.
Botany: The outdoors of Northern New England is the fifth grader’s classroom as students explore the woods, animals, and open fields. They learn about soils, compost, and plant identification.
Astronomy & Geology: Sixth graders visit geologic attractions in the area, typically the Bear’s Dens, and spend time looking at the night sky after hearing ancient constellation stories.
Mechanics: Students lift heavy objects using levers, pulleys, and fulcrums; they hoist each other to the ceiling of the barn in a “bosun’s chair;” and have an introductory experience on the high ropes course, which focuses on an introduction to both mechanics and group social dynamics.
Eighth Grade Fall Trip
This intensive week in the outdoors is an opportunity for students to engage the body and the will to empower themselves with skills and making new connections. Activities involve building structures for Camp, iron forging, cooking, wood splitting, fire building, and forestry. The week also includes focused small-group discussions about coming into young adulthood and how to do that well.
Eighth Grade Spring Trip
Colonial American History: Students live and learn the diverse activities that made up life in colonial New England – from maple sugaring (at the Camp’s sugarhouse), to stone wall building, woodwork and construction technique, and handicrafts.
Ninth and Twelfth Grade Orientation
These students come to Glen Brook for a three-day trip to start the school year. Hiking Mount Monadnock, swimming in the lake, eating delicious food, getting to know your “buddy” in the other class, and having time to meet new classmates is mixed in with class meetings and preparation for the coming year.
High Ropes Instruction & Outdoor Living: The full ropes course imparts in students the opportunity to build numerous essential skills: clear communication, trust, physical limits, and honesty. The week is spent building these skills. Students also spend the night in the woods here on the property, setting up their own tents, cooking over an open fire, and observing the forest in a personal way.
White Mountain Expedition: Students spend three days in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, cooking their own meals, hiking several 4,000- to 5,000-foot summits, and staying in both tents and AMC huts. Enjoy this video made from a particularly rainy 10th grade trip:
Cartography & Orienteering: Students learn a history of cartography, from the Chinese to the Basques to the Explorers to the Modern Era. They also learn practical, hands-on orienteering skills. The “final exam” consists of small groups of students using their newly-learned skills to navigate their way through the woods on a 5- to 7-mile course that finishes at Glen Brook.
Transitions: From high school to college, from childhood to adulthood, the week at Glen Brook seeks to develop a sense of personal responsibility in this exciting time. Students participate intensively in meal preparation, managing their own meals in small groups (working with the chef), closing the circle of education that was begun in the third grade with their first Glen Brook harvest.