Ecovillage Immersion Study Program at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage

Program Description

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Rae with students from ScatterGood Friends Quaker High School.

The Center for Sustainable and Cooperative Culture at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is delighted to offer a three-day experiential program for high school students during the Fall of 2017. Through generous funding from the Trio Foundation of St. Louis and the Foundation for Sustainability and Innovation, we are able to offer this opportunity free of charge to two selected high schools in the St. Louis area.

We are currently accepting applications for Fall of 2017.  We are able to accommodate 15 students in a group plus a teacher/school sponsor and another chaperoning adult.

Applications for Fall 2017:

For questions or to request an application, email us at dancingrabbitaticdotorg

Program Goals

Through this program we intend to:
* create connection between Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage and urban youth;
* enhance the experiential learning of students around planetary sustainability;
* convey both social and ecological technologies for balanced human culture;
* reach a generation who don’t yet have established lifestyles and can imagine and 
create lifestyles that may be different from what they have seen so far; and
* plant seeds for leadership.

Accommodations

* Participants will stay in tents in our wooded campground. We will provide platforms and tents. We ask the participants to bring their own bedrolls (pillows and blankets). We may be able to assist with additional bedding if needed.

*There is no electricity in the campground. We will provide a flashlight for each participant.  Electricity is available in the village Common House.

*Participants will use composting toilets.

*Showers will be available in the village’s Common House.

*Nutritious whole food meals will be served: lunch and dinner on Day 1; breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Day 2; and breakfast and
 lunch on Day 3.

* Activities will be held in both indoor and outdoor spaces.

Educational Activities

* The program will follow this general schedule:
Day 1:  Arrival, welcome, set-up, orientation, tour, evening activity
Day 2:  Morning workshop, afternoon work party, evening activity
Day 3:  Morning workshop, afternoon Q&A, individual or small group project development, evaluation, clean-up/pack-up and good-bye

* Workshop topics will be based on objectives outlined by the participating group and our Education Coordinator.  They may include such topics as: renewable energy; building with natural materials; local and organic food-raising; resource conservation; cooperative economics; communication and conflict resolution; and permaculture design.

* Work parties may include opportunities to work with villagers in gardens and orchards, food preservation activities (canning, fermenting), natural medicine-making, home building, or other community service activities depending on the season.

* Additional activities may include: campfires, prairie walks, informal conversations with villagers, games, and communication exercises.

Program Objectives

* Through pre- and post-visit assessment questionnaires, it is our expectation that 85% of the students will demonstrate increased knowledge of sustainable living in the following key areas: food, water, shelter, and energy.

*Through post-visit essays/journal entries, we expect that 80% of the students will document shifts in their personal attitudes regarding communication and conflict resolution as a part of sustainable human culture.

* We will guide students to create projects that will take their learning home with them. We anticipate that 90% of the students will describe a small actionable project focused on sustainable living that can be carried out in their home or school environment. We ask the sponsoring adults to assist the students with these projects once back in St. Louis. We will endeavor to follow up and provide on-going assistance.

Transportation

Our funding will allow us to pay for the cost of a van rental and gasoline for transporting students to and from Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage.

Requirements of Schools

* Identify an enthusiastic staff member to serve as sponsor
* Provide one additional adult to serve as chaperone
* Arrange for transportation to and from Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage
* Provide documentation of need for funding support
* Provide rationale for interest in program and relevance to student population
* Develop learning objectives for the group experience
* Conduct pre- and post-assessments (questionnaires provided)
* Support students in conducting post-experience sustainability projects at school or home