Alexis Dorsey and Tori DiBiase
Between summiting Whiteface Mountain, throwing bowls on a pottery wheel (with the help of our sculptor/mentor, SLU class of '12 Chase Fisher), and pulling an 800-pound pig feeder out of a mud puddle, Arcadians get their fill of experiential learning on field trips.
After reading about the "gentlemen" of the Adirondacks in the Gilded Age, we visited White Pine Camp on Osgood Pond by Paul Smiths College, where we got insight into the lives of the rich and famous of the early twentieth century. From their hand-crafted bowling alleys to personal seamstresses, their ideas about how life should be lived in the wilderness were a far cry from our lives in yurts with no running water. http://www.whitepinecamp.com/ In Ecology class, Arcadians take a dive into the surfaces of our neighboring ecosystems. On these outdoor adventures you can find us walking on (and sometimes through) the quaking Sevey's Bog, fly-fishing as a way to learn about the river's inhabitants, or examining the boreal and alpine zones on top of Whiteface. We've also explored the wonders of our home, including the ecology of Lake Massawepie and the Massawepie Mire, one of the largest in the Adirondacks.
Two weeks ago we had the opportunity to read a book about a farm in the Champlain Valley and then visit it. (See blog 3, by Caitlin Ward and Annalise Grueter, for photos and more of the story.) At Essex Farm we helped out with morning chores and then sat down to a feast of raw milk, fresh veggies, and grass-fed beef.
This past weekend we ventured back to Canton to the Cornell Extension Farm on Route 68 for the Local Living Festival sponsored by the Sustainability Living Project. We attended workshops and presentations about everything from hydro-fracking to raising sheep. We also watched Punch and Judy puppet shows, went on hay rides, and chatted with the locals.
At Arcadia, our classroom extends far beyond the property of Massawepie and deep into the Adirondacks, the North Country, and beyond.