Bonds form surprisingly quickly on Exploration Week while working and traveling together in the wilderness.
Being on a solo, alone in the woods, with your thoughts, and strange sounds all around is scary and awe-inspiring.
A CS19 student reflects on the feelings of returning from an adventure versus setting out on one.
Lily writes an essay about her big city dreams turning into Alaskan bush dreams.
Cade had some realizations about his Conserve family while spending "Family Weekend" with his sibling family.
The Nine Lake Loop or Lowenwood Portage, helps students experience the lakes on campus in a whole new way.
A student reflects on one of her first nights at Conserve School, getting to know new friends, under the northern lights.
A student from CS16 lovingly wrote an article for his sending school newspaper a year after his Conserve School experience.
Many students choose to rise early to spend more time in nature. Some Students create and lead activities before the academic day starts.
Exploration Week is a time of bonding, some hardship, and tremendous growth. This is often magnified when the weather presents it's own challenges.
Phenology is the act recording what one observes in nature over time. Here is a look at several pages from spring of one student's Phenology Book.
A mainstay of the Conserve School curriculum is a solo camping experience. Two nights alone at a peaceful on-campus site.
Seven students and Stefan went into the Sylvania Wilderness on snowshoes, with two dogs in tow, on a mission for pizza.
Students at Conserve School learn to navigate with a compass and map, but sometimes you have to get a little lost to find yourself.
The NCT has miles of scenic beauty from waterfalls to the Mother of all lakes. This student saw Lake Superior for the first time.
Rain, wind, and damp gear, to bright sunshine rays and crisp fall days. The range of experiences on Exploration Week was full of contrasts.
Stormy conditions, mysteries, compromise, adaptation, and resilience, are all things students on Exploration Week may discover.
Weather rolls in quickly on Lake Superior. This is one student's experience backpacking during Exploration Week on Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
...the power of the solo experience becomes clear. Through spending over 24 hours in a single area, some of the more intricate workings of this campus became familiar.
... I feel like I understand myself better and have a clearer view of my own passions and aspirations. I'm excited to further my work as an environmental steward and apply what I've learned at Conserve to my hometown and all other communities and places I live...
My land ethic will be centered around the conservative use of depletable resources and the preservation of beautiful wildlife that has been and will remain untouched.
I developed my personal land ethic: broadly speaking, a belief that as long as we rely on the the environment and wilderness for pleasure and as a resource, we have a duty to safeguard it.
CS16 student and leader, Ken from Beloit, WI. organized the March 14th walkout at Conserve School in solidarity with schools around the country. Here is a powerful poem that he wrote reflecting on the experience.
I wanted these photos to focus on one single subject, rather than looking at the bigger picture. Conserve School has taught me to examine the details, single cogs in a much larger machine.
I have felt myself adapt and seen the world around me change. I have tried to capture this transition in my photography.
"Having a class Taking Action Project gave me an idea of what it would be like to start my own personal Taking Action Project."
Connecting through shared gratitude for the land and each other: Students went for a walk on Lowenwood to reflect on how being present in a moment is a form of gratitude.
"The photos from the simple camera I traveled with will be visual aids to all my peers and to me in the future, showing what we need to fight so hard to preserve and continue enjoying for our generation and generations to come."
Inspired by a guest speaker, some CS15 students made repairing bat boxes their Taking Action Project.
"I felt very much at peace there; to me, it was the kind of place where I felt I could stay for a long time. It also stood out as a place worth protecting."
"I was able to appreciate nature by seeing it new ways; getting comfortable with darkness, and making sure I noticed nature's beauty by looking up."
Sometimes a challenging hike can become a metaphor for life.
Anevay knew she needed to slow down and be aware of her survival needs in order to gain a sense of belonging in the wilderness.
Rowen sought appreciation, community and mystery. He found it in his land ethic on Exploration Week.
Prior to Exploration Week, Emilia had an "objective revelation" that was the source of some anxiety. She decided to work it out in nature.
One student's story about personal discovery on Exploration Week in the Sylvania Wilderness.