At the end of last week, all of Conserve School’s students made a spot on the Lowenwood property their temporary home and spent some quality time alone in the woods. Making the students leave their comfortable dorm rooms, distance themselves from their friends, and trek out into the rain was not a form of punishment. It was an opportunity for the students to take a break from their busy lives, reach out of their comfort zone, practice their new and improved camping skills, and reflect on their relationship with the environment.
Conserve School’s solo camping experience, referred to as “solos,” provided students the opportunity to spend either one or two days alone on the Lowenwood property. Staff members helped students gather all the necessary gear and food, designated individual camping spots, checked in non-verbally a few times a day, and camped nearby their students in case of emergency. While some students chose to spend two nights alone, others opted to come into their staff member’s group site for the second night to share a filling dinner, a warm campfire, and good company. Although the students faced rain and cool temperatures, they reported having a positive and reflective experience overall.
-Graduate Fellow Maria Kopecky