Part of What Makes Explore Week so Successful is the Instructors

This trimester’s five-day Explore Week is currently underway, with four course offerings that include jewelry making, woodworking, dance, and preparing for life after Eagle Rock School. Our campus in Estes Park, Colo., is nationally known for the quality of our progressive approach toward reengaging youth in their own education, and never are our educational offerings more exciting and well, non-traditional, than during Explore Week.

That acknowledgement of excellence has a lot to do with the subject matter, which — in past trimesters — has included helpful real-life topics such as balancing a budget, wilderness first aid, and video production. Just as important, and perhaps a bit more fun, are course offerings that instruct students in salsa dancing, whitewater rafting, or using improv poetry to communicate.

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But the main ingredient for all of these courses is the instructors, each one sought out and invited to relate their own expertise and life experiences on the topics they know best. Our staff go to great lengths to attract these educational guides for each of the unique courses offered during Explore Week. Many of the instructors, as you’ll see below, have no teaching background — at least in the traditional sense. However, each has a passion for their particular skill or calling, and with a little persuasion of our staff’s part, we ask these diverse individuals to take a week off and share that passion and knowledge with our students.

That being said, below we are introducing each of these instructors for current edition Explore Week, as well as a little about each course itself: Continue reading…

Eagle Rock Students Are Halfway through Another Educational Explore Week

Regular classes have been set aside for the week as Eagle Rock students turn their attention to physical and mental explorations that range from touring Labyrinth Canyon via canoe, to a tour of nearly a dozen colleges and universities in Southern California for those seeking a higher education when they graduate from Eagle Rock School.

It’s all part of Explore Week, with unique course offerings that fall well outside the realm of formal education and more into the category of leaping feet first in to real-life experiences. Students are currently halfway through this — one of three Explore Weeks held each year— and below is a listing and brief description of the six course offerings in which they are participating:

25th Anniversary Prep Crew: For this course, 10 students have volunteered to stay on campus to help us produce this weekend’s 25th anniversary celebration of Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center’s founding back in the early 1990s. (Learn more about this weekend’s celebrations by visiting our 25th Anniversary section of our website.)

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Several of these students are learning about event management and organization, while others are getting an education in property maintenance and management. In addition to picking up a fistful of service hours, these students will play a vital role in making sure that everything is in place for a successful anniversary celebration this coming weekend.

There are also fun evening activities underway throughout the week, giving students the chance to Continue reading…

Doing Nothing on Thanksgiving is Not an Option at Eagle Rock School

One thing you can’t say about Thanksgiving at Eagle Rock School is that there’s nothing to do. This is one of those times of the year when students, staff and instructors are in accord that this mountainside campus of ours is indeed a great place to spend late-November holidays.

And, much like the name of the holiday, there’s plenty of gratitude to go around as our community prepares for literally dozens of events and activities over a four-day period. It’s a time when we all gather together to celebrate how fortunate we are to live in the Rocky Mountains surrounded by forests that a lot of us like to call home.

Thanksgiving Day 'Gathering' at Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center

Thanksgiving Day ‘Gathering’ at Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center

Thanksgiving at Eagle Rock is about celebrating the importance of having each other and remembering that we are all here to better ourselves. It’s a time to appreciate what we’ve done to improve ourselves and what we’ve done to help others. It’s a celebration of how we have impacted each other’s lives in a positive way and to celebrate those successes.

Whether we’re indoors creating art or standing outside in the cold playing touch football, the idea is to spend time together.

The highlight of the holiday, of course, is today’s Thanksgiving Day dinner at 3pm, skillfully prepared by Continue reading…

Eagle Rock School Now Equipped with FUSE Studio

If you were to ask a group of high school students to raise their hands if they were interested in, or thought they were good at math or science, recent statistics claim that few of those students would be excitedly waving their arms and shouting, “Me! Me!”

That’s because, when it comes to mathematics and the sciences, American teen-agers rank at about midpoint — and behind many advanced industrial nations — when faced with such things as chemistry flasks and quadratic formulas.

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In fact, results from the most recent PISA testing (Programme for International Student Assessment) place America’s high schoolers in 38th place out of 71 countries in math and 24th in science. U.S. students ranked 30th in math and 19th in science among the 35 member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

So you can understand our excitement at being selected to partner with Northwestern University to bring a FUSE laboratory to our campus. As part of its NextUp initiative to interest teens in tech careers, CompTIA has partnered with FUSE at Northwestern University in a program that is equipping 21 schools in nine states with Continue reading…

Artist in Residence Highlights Summer 2017 Explore Week

As if a selection of diverse and interesting courses weren’t enough, we’re adding Scott James to our Explore Week mix this time around, which means this poet and artist is on campus and meeting with students all week long.

As our official “Artist in Residence,” during Explore Week, Scott is in the midst, on the periphery and face-to-face with students every day this week. In fact, during most lunch and dinner hours, he’s poised over his vintage typewriter, ready for a good poetic challenge. The deal is, any Eagle Rock School student can walk up to Scott and offer a word — any word — for inspiration and Scott will write an original poem around that word. In fact, that’s pretty much his specialty, and a few years ago he churned out and gave away more than 1,000 such impromptu poems.

An Eagle Rock Public Allies Fellow in ER 40-42 (that would be the 40th through 42nd semesters since Eagle Rock’s founding in the 1990s), Scott currently resides in Austin, Tex., where he performs his instant typewriter poetry for events and parties, and helps writers turn their ideas into published books. His tools of trade include a 1946 Smith-Corona and he uses high-quality and handcrafted papers and techniques in his art that blend improvisation, metaphor and classic poetry.

Scott’s artistic career has included performance around the country, including Chris Guillebau’s World Domination Summit and Austin’s SxSW Interactive festival. And during Explore Week, this poet is available for one-on-one sessions with students. He’s also sitting in on several courses and conducting four workshops.

Meanwhile, for the students themselves, they’re all participating in one of the following course offerings: Continue reading…