Camp Glen Brook
Glen Brook is the farm campus of the Waldorf School Garden City. Located in beautiful New Hampshire, this 250-acre property includes a colonial-era farmhouse, a pond, organic vegetable gardens, and farm animals. Grades 3-12 take annual trips to Glen Brook. These trips help students acquire new skills, understand the importance of shared practical work to a healthy community while experiencing work that is rewarding and fun, even when it is difficult.
|3||Farming & Food / Shelters / Self-Reliance||Farming & Food Preparation: Students work on the farm and prepare a harvest meal from scratch. They care for the animals including feeding, observing, and gathering eggs.
Shelters: Students explore the forest and build a shelter out of materials from the forest.
Self-reliance: Students will be guided through an introduction to fire-building and exploring nighttime landscapes. Students participate in daily chores and contributing to the well-being of the whole group.
|4||Animals & Native American Stories / Map-Reading / Self-Reliance and Collaboration||Animals & Native American Stories: Students explore the forest and observe its animals. Through the tales of the Native American students connect to the natural world through their senses.
Map-reading: Students learn the basics of navigation by learning map-reading. This is practiced on campus.
Self-reliance and collaboration: Students have the experience of cooking a meal over a communal fire. They explore nighttime landscapes with guidance. Responsible for daily chores brings meaning as the students contribute to the well-being of the whole group.
|5||Botany / Endurance, Confidence & Collaboration||Botany: The campus of Glen Brook is the classroom for the students as they learn about the diverse organisms of the forest, fields, and garden. They study soil and compost, and learn plant identification. Exploration of edible plants including harvesting, drying, tea-making, and apple picking.
Endurance, Confidence & Collaboration: Climbing Gap Mountain brings a sense of exhilaration and accomplishment. Self-reliance expands with guided experiences of the campus at nighttime. Teamwork grows in the small group challenge of building a fire with one match.
|6||Geology & Astronomy / Endurance, Confidence & Collaboration||Geology & Astronomy: Students explore hiking and archery by day and the starry skies of night. They hear constellation myths and learn to identify them in the night sky using natural sight and a telescope.
Endurance, Confidence & Collaboration: The first climb up Mt. Monadnock offers a challenge and a well-earned expansive view of New England. Students learn to build a fire with flint and steel. Through daily chores, everyone contributes to the benefit of all.
|7 - SPRING||Leadership, Team-building & Conflict Resolution||SPRING - Leadership, Team-building & Conflict Resolution: Through the low-ropes course activities and communication games focused on social inclusion, the students explore the balance between the needs of the individual and the needs of the group. Seasonal activities such as maple sugaring and working in the greenhouse balance the group work.|
|8 - FALL||Will-building||Will-building: This intensive week in the outdoors is an opportunity for students to engage the body and the will to empower themselves with skills and make new connections. Activities involve building structures for camp, iron forging, trail clearing, cooking, wood splitting, and fire-building.|
|8 - SPRING||Year-end Trip||This culminating trip before promotion to high school provides the class the opportunity for self and group transformation. Activities lead them to explore equity and justice, gratitude, and self-discovery while enjoying group activities of swimming and hiking.|
|9||Canoeing||In the spring students go on a full-day canoe trip and hike to the summit of Mt. Monadnock. Students also navigate a low and/or high ropes course, in which they learn ground rules and respectful communications with one another. Students gain confidence in the use of climbing equipment and learn the tangible skills of managing the equipment.|
|10||Hiking / Meteorology||Sophomores hike in the White Mountains, where they spend two nights in an AMC Hut. The hiking trip provides a rigorous physical challenge in an ecosystem unlike any place else on earth. When the skies are clear, vistas expand to one hundred miles around. This mountain hike gives students an experience that can be emotionally and physically uncomfortable but achievable, and they come down off the trail with a sense of confidence that could not otherwise be achieved.|
|11||Cartography & Orienteering||After an introduction to the history of cartography and orienteering, students learn to use a compass, read a topographical map, and take on navigation challenges through the Glen Brook Forest. For their final challenge, students are equipped with a map, a compass, and food and are dropped off in small groups miles from Camp, from where they navigate their way through the woods to homebase. Students learn to rely on their tools, their senses, and their team to complete the wilderness trek back to Camp.|
|12||Transitions||Seniors enjoy winter sports and activities in Glen Brook’s winter wonderland (cross-country skiing, ice skating, hockey, and sledding). Students reflect on their past educational years, and they anticipate future possibilities as they envision life after high school. Contemplative exercises invite Seniors to reflect on questions such as “What do I value?” and “How can I, as an individual, contribute to a sense of community?”|
Through daily chores and work programs students experience a shared community. Lessons are many. Just the act of sharing a bedroom, adjusting to one another’s habits, being away from the security and routine of the home for a few nights—all help the student grow socially. “One of the greatest joys of parenting is seeing the wonder and curiosity in your child’s eyes when they realize the greater importance of the processes around them and their personal connections with those processes. Children learn through experience; they learn by seeing, smelling, tasting, and touching. At the Waldorf School of Garden City we keep these experiences alive and central in all the work that we do.”
~ Current parent
Every year between third grade and graduation, students of the Waldorf School of Garden City travel to Camp Glen Brook in New Hampshire to reconnect with nature and each other.
In 1946, the 200-acre farm was purchased by a Waldorf teacher as a place for school children to spend summers away from the city in the sun, breezes, and waters of New Hampshire. In 1973, through the efforts and generosity of Peter Curran, former high school principal, the Waldorf School of Garden City acquired Glen Brook. Glen Brook has been a working farm since 1776 and has been the home of farmers, craftsmen, legislators, famous artists, as well as many teachers ever since.
Every year between third grade and graduation, students of the Waldorf School of Garden City travel to Camp Glen Brook in New Hampshire to enhance the curriculum through active learning and reconnect with nature and each other.