A wilderness programs opportunity that awards a full semester of college credit in the Humanities, and promises to be the most amazing wilderness exprience you've ever had.

The Castle Rock Institute is an outdoor adventure education organization that offers residential wilderness programs for college students. It recognizes that being a college student is not always easy, and that for many students, college life or simply trying to make it on a university campus leads to a whole range of problems. When a student has trouble adjusting to college, is burned out, or perhaps has lost interest in being at school, the Castle Rock programs can offer a real and beneficial alternative. Among wilderness programs, CRI is unique in that it awards college credit in the Humanities.

caving together


Our programs are designed to address the needs of college students as they face the possibility of dropping out (or flunking out!) because they have had difficulty finding the right school, been distracted by personal or social pressures, or suffered from low academic achievement, poor grades, or performing far below their potential. The Castle Rock programs, with their attention to the individual needs of every student, are ideally suited help troubled college students. When a student becomes disenchanted with school, begins to question why going to college is "worth it," and consequently has low motivation and perhaps failing grades, a change from ordinary college is often exactly what's needed.

College Life

For a number of reasons, many college-aged students simply have trouble succeeding in traditional college settings and would benefit greatly from a more personal, integrated, and meaningful kind of learning environment. The Castle Rock Institute provides exactly this kind of therapeutic program. It provides college students and their families an opportunity to revive enthusiasm for learning, build inter-personal skills, and live a balanced life of personal, intellectual and physical challenges and rewards. Wilderness programs offering at their best. Real learning, in the best sense of the word awaits Castle Rock Institute students. It is for most, a life-changing experience.

Integrated Experience

The Castle Rock Institute offers students semester-long programs that combine wilderness adventure, academic courses in the Humanities awarding college credit, and an emphasis on small-group living. The Institute creates for students an integrated experience designed to challenge them in a supportive and structured environment. It balances needs and expectations while creating something fun and educational for everyone involved. Students read, write and discuss almost every day, just as they enjoy a wide range of group outdoor adventure activities.

Outdoor Activities

From reading Plato to kayaking, from writing an essay about nature poetry to rock climbing, from arguing about animal rights to backpacking- life at Castle Rock is exciting. Some of our programs take students to Australia and New Zealand for a cross-cultural perspective, thereby providing an experience of international travel as well. Similarly, we have a special program dedicated to the notion of "leadership," and designed to reflect upon and practice principles guiding what it means to be a good leader. All of our programs offer a diversity of experience, but all in service of encouraging students to bring out the best in themselves- finding their real selves, and being proud of their talents and accomplishments.

Adventure School

Each Castle Rock program accommodates only 8-12 students at a time, and with four professors and numerous support staff, students enjoy an incredibly personal experience. They know that their personal needs are taken seriously and that they can receive exactly the kind of encouragement and guidance they may require. This kind of intimacy, combined with significant time outdoors, provides a fantastic opportunity for self-reflection and growth.

(c) Copyright 2006 Castle Rock Institute