Posted by: Stefan Anderson | January 13, 2014

Extreme ‘Ploring – Sara Hansen



~This blog entry is brought to you from the electronic portfolio of CS7 student Sara Hansen. Conserve School electronic portfolios connect student experiences to the school’s learning goals. Sara is from Sparta, Wisconsin where she attends Sparta High Point Charter School.~

Extreme ‘Ploring

Conserve School Learning Goal: A Conserve School student appreciates and experiences the wonder of nature; values fundamental, life-long connections with nature; and expresses those connections in creative ways.

‘Ploring [plohr-ing] verb

    1. An abbreviation of the gerund (or present particle) of “explore” because when adventuring through the unknown ain’t nobody got time for the extra “ex.”
    2. To traverse or range over (a region, area, etc.) for the purpose of discovery.

As the semester continues to advance (insert screams of denial and rage) there has been a drastic increase in the number of excursions out into the wild regions of campus. Whether this is because the snow prohibits outdoor ultimate Frisbee or snow brings a sense of newness to the Northwoods I don’t know, but whatever the reason, I am grateful. During the first few weeks at Conserve I felt a little overwhelmed at the 1,200 acres that were just waiting to be explored. There was so much going on, friends, classes, and after school activities that I just kept putting my excursions off. I began to wonder if I would ever develop the deep connection to Lowenwood that is always being expressed.

Fortunately, after countless solo and group ‘ploring ventures I began to develop that connection. I had forgotten the childish joy that setting out into the unknown, without a thought of where I would go or how long I would be gone, offers. I threw snowballs, munched on pine needles, crawled over logs, spun around maniacally, and then randomly staggered in what I hoped to be a generally forward direction before dizzily toppling over into the fresh, cold, snow.

I think the most important part of ‘ploring is what you come away with – and it’s completely different for everybody. I return out of breath with memories of snow fights, tag, and other adventures dancing through my mind. Others may, like Ellie (who was our photographer of the trip), return with all this plus a memory card full of beautiful pictures. Some may return with artistic inspiration, innovative inventions, reflections on the past or plans for the future. I know for me, I have gained new insights, experiences, and knowledge every time I have gone out.

So what are you waiting for? Go ‘ploring and discover the wonders of nature!

The rules of ‘ploring are simple.

1) ‘Ploring shall always be sPoRadIc.
2) ‘Ploring must be done with a spirit of fun and adventure!
3) ‘Ploring can be done in a group.

4) ‘Ploring can be done alone…


5) ‘Ploring can be done however you want as long as you find peace and appreciation in the marvels of nature.

~Sara Hansen, Conserve School Semester 7

More photos from Sara’s semester at Conserve School.

Conserve School provides a semester-long immersion for high school students in environmental studies and outdoor activities that deepens their love of nature, reinforces their commitment to conservation, and equips them to take meaningful action as environmental stewards. Thanks to the generosity of Conserve School’s friends and its founder James Lowenstine all accepted students receive significant scholarship support.


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