An opportunity in wilderness programs for college students

Wilderness programs are a central component of the Castle Rock Institute. We sponsor several semester-long adventure travel opportunities that combine a range of outdoor adventure activities and university-level courses in the Humanities. We offer truly unique wilderness programs.

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. 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. Wilderness programs to investigate links between who we are and the world around us.

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. It is for most, a life-changing experience.

Studying outside

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. From reading Aristotle 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.

Castle Rock Wilderness Programs for Students

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. Focusing on meaningful expressions of this relationship, our wilderness programs challenge students to find a balance between real life and their studies.

Wilderness programs at the Castle Rock Institute combine individual study, classroom learning, and opportunities for experiencing the natural world. It offers many ways to examine and discuss what assumptions and concerns a student has, and to do so in the context of a caring community of peers. Gaining this kind of self-awareness leads quite naturally to increased self-esteem and confidence, and ordinarily propels students to new levels of achievement. Leaving the program, scores of our past students have gone on to college (or back to college) revived and inspired. They've gone on to be more creative and more disciplined in their studies, more grounded in their social interactions, and generally more satisfied with who they are and where they're headed. Very different from most other wilderness programs!

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