Our Place Summerschool is designed to “unplug” your child by bringing them into direct contact with the creatures, geologies, hydrologies and infrastructures of the Nonotuck biome and the Westfield River watershed.
PLEASE read our most recent COVID-19 procedures and policies update before registering.
For five six-hour days, we roam our place—the valley and the hilltowns—investigating our natural and cultural history with all of our senses, and enjoying the whole-being stimulation of deep biotic immersion. Field Environmental Philosophy is what we engage in: the gentle unforced spontaneous student-prompted opening of the question “how do we fit in to all that’s around us?”—
Our Place activities are fun—and they’re designed to increase students’ perceptual abilities, activate their critical thinking skills, inspire their creative imaginations, and counteract “nature deficit disorder.”
Through active physical and mental engagement with “our place,” students gain a deep & lasting appreciation of it—and themselves.
Every Wings and Sharpshins group consists of 1 adult teacher, 1 ass’t teacher, a counselor in training (CIT), and up to 12 students. The 4 to 1 staff to student ratio lets us break up into smaller groups at any given moment, which allows students to lead investigations—a personal growth opportunity that we encourage.
Our Place Summerschool is conducted Monday-Friday, 9am-3pm during these weeks:
Tuition is $375.00
—Wings sessions are designed for younger students who want to explore awesome places, & learn and have fun, without being forced to go on hikes that are too long and hard. The general, but not strict, age is from 6 to 10.
Wings move softly through forests, fields and rivers, and are encouraged to perceive how these places “open up” to those who are sensitive—i.e., “able to sense.” Expect 1 to 2.5 miles of hiking a day.
—Sharpshins Sessions are designed for students with more advanced field skills, which means they enjoy walking cross-country off-trail, can identify poison ivy/stinging nettle, & without prompting stay fueled and hydrated . The general, but not strict, age is from 10 to 13. Expect at least 1.5 – 4 miles hiking a day.
In the field, Sharpshins learn all of the Wings curricula at levels of increased complexity, plus:
CITs are 7th to 9th graders who have attended at least two Our Place sessions during two different years and like field environmental philosophy studies so much they want to go to the next level, and help to execute Our Place’s adventure-learning curricula. For information, please click here
If you would like to learn more, please call 413.320.0522 and speak with Our Place director Kurt Heidinger, or send a note