Celebrating 30 Years of Service
Hawk Circle Class Trip Retreats
Now Booking for Spring 2024
We have three weeklong openings for Class Trip Retreats in May and the first week of June
Please call or email us to choose one of these weeks (or inquire about dates in a different season).
Week One: May 6-10, 2024
Week Two: May 13-17, 2024
Status: Booked-Aurora Waldorf 7-8 grade
Week Three: May 20-24, 2024
Status: Booked-Philadelphia Waldorf 8th grade
Week Four: May 27-31, 2024
Week Five: June 3-7, 2024
Note: You may arrive earlier/leave later for these weeks if this works better for your travel planning. Email us to discuss these options at HawkCircleOffice@gmail.com
Our 'Forest' Retreats share skills & crafts for modern youth...
No Previous Camping or Wilderness Experience Necessary!
Each Class Trip is carefully designed to be positive, successful experiences that today's youth will find inspiring, fun and filled with practical lessons that last a lifetime.
We are not a 'bootcamp' or a 'constant challenge' program, and all activities are 'challenge by choice'.
We understand that students often arrive with little outdoor camping or nature experience, so we focus on giving them activities that are appropriate for their skill level.
Some programs may be physically challenging for older classes looking for an advanced experience, as created in accordance with the program vision and mission.
Students experience intense birdsong, campfires, tracking hikes and outdoor games throughout the program!
All wilderness or 'forest' skills shared are real and will work in the wild, taught by experienced instructors!
We share crafting skills by making things gathered from the surrounding forest like bark baskets, spears, digging sticks, bows & arrows and more.
Our emphasis on caring for the land and for each other helps build bonds that last a lifetime...
Design Your Experience with our Program Themes Below!
Each of these programs is a template based on previously delivered programs for schools and groups. The full list of clients is at the bottom of this page.
Earth Child Adventure
In this program, students are introduced the skills of earth living as our ancient ancestors once did: Close to the Forest.
Students learn to build shelters, cook over an open fire, make stone jewelry, play awareness games and explore the woods tracking and gathering wild foods and craft supplies.
Each program has a skills challenge appropriate for their ages and ability, with a council around the campfire and storytelling.
Recommended for Grades 3-5
Discovering the Magic of Earth Shelters
A Home in the Wild
This program dives deep into the art of building a wilderness shelter like a Hogan, Wickiup, Thatch Hut or Debris Shelter, with materials gathered from the forest and fields. It emphasizes creativity, problem-solving, teamwork, communication, gathering and awareness for everyone involved.
From the poles and sticks to brush, bark and thatching, we learn about insulation, moisture, weaving, air flow and much more. We build each morning and then spend our afternoons on hikes or exploring the creek, making crafts and playing games. Evenings are spent with wood carving projects, fire building and campfire cooking to go with our storytelling and sharing.
Recommended for Grades 4-6
'The Eye of the Needle'
The Rite of Passage of Self Reliance
This experience helps students who are stepping into the world of young adulthood, who are ready to learn to 'start their own fires' with skills mastered in the wilderness.
We learn one match fires, safety, gathering tinder and wood, fire locations, flint & steel as well as fire by friction methods. We culminate the week with the 'Vigil' experience, where students build their own fires and tend them for an hour on their own, and then return to our circle to share their experience.
Recommended for Grades 6-7
The Wilderness Survival Challenge
Teambuilding & Adventure
In this program, students build shelters as a team and sleep in them for a night, along with fire challenges, stone tool tests and wild foods quizzes. It's intense, but balanced with good food, campfire games, social connections and play.
Great for Seventh Graders who are experiencing difficult social dynamics that often occurs at this age.
Note: This program is physically rigorous at times, with consideration for student ability and conditioning.
Recommended for Grades 7-10
Renewal Transformation Grounding Connection
The Eighth Grade
Rite of Passage
Bonding & Preparing for the Next Adventure
This program helps students complete their middle school experience by offering them a space to enjoy each other, learn earth skills, and have a final adventure in the heart of nature. We learn to listen to that inner voice that can guide us when all else fails, and we use our hearts and our hands to make beautiful baskets, bows and arrows or spears, wooden bowls and spoons or other native crafts.
By the end of our time, students can be clear and share this last program before they head out into the next stage of their educational journey.
"My class had a wonderful time. I still get goosebumps when I remember walking that trail on our last evening - seeing them each tending their own fire. I never thought a fire could reflect the personality of the builder, but each one of those sure did... I was filled with awe as I travelled the path in the dark and watched them - their faces illuminated by their tiny fires - as they met this challenge. More importantly, they had this wonderful, magical time alone in the woods with their own fire. On the way back, they were each twelve inches taller - from pride, enthusiasm and the excitement of success. This was a very special moment for them and for me. I am so proud to know that you guys are doing the work you are doing. I think you guys are heavy hitters. In my book, you are doing vital work. Thank you so much for being out there. And thank you again for the great week you gave to my students." -David Heberlein Princeton Waldorf School
Hawk Circle for Your
Custom designed program co-created with Class Teacher.
Timber-framed heated cabins can handle any weather.
Healthy and delicious home-made meals with gluten-free and food allergy support.
Authentic nature crafts, skills challenges, awareness and social games.
Beautiful wilderness retreat setting with low tick and poison ivy presence.
Cozy and comfortable teacher's cabin!
New bath bathrooms and showers.
Eagle House, a beautiful indoor class room for inclement weather.
For Inquiries or to Register:
To register your class for a trip, or to inquire for further information, please contact Ricardo Sierra by EMAIL to check available dates! He will answer any questions you may have as well as help you schedule your program with us. Once scheduled, we require a non-refundable, 50% deposit to hold your spot. We will schedule a time to discuss your class' needs and determine if your group is a good fit for our programs.
For Class Parents:
We will schedule a conference call with the class teacher and parents to answer any of your questions or concerns prior to the trip, but here are answers to a few frequently asked questions!
Where will my child be sleeping? We have hand-built, timber frame cabins that sleep 5-6 campers. Please check our equipment list for proper gear!
What are the meals like? All our meals are home-made, kid friendly and healthy. We are able accommodate most allergies and food sensitivities. Please see below for details:
Are there ticks? At certain times of the year, we do find a few ticks but fortunately they are minimal in comparison to most areas. Doing regular tick checks is a part of our daily protocol to insure safe time spent in the woods.
Can my child bring their cell phone, iPad, or Kindle? No, we don't allow any devices. We have found that having any technological devices alters the cultural experience and inhibits deep connection with friends and the natural landscape. Even Kindles disrupt the health benefits of sleeping in cabins with no electricity by producing artificial light.
Parents, Please Download!
Hawk Circle meals are made in our farmhouse kitchen using the freshest of ingredients. While they are kid friendly, they are also healthy with fruit and vegetables offered at every meal. We choose our menu to emphasize hearty foods children and teens love.
Favorite meals include our Breakfast Sundae, warm peaches, yogurt with granola on top, creamy Macaroni n'cheese with cooked carrots and collard greens and Taco Tuesday with a variety of fresh peppers, onions and cilantro.
We are well-versed in gluten-free menus as well as a variety of other food sensitivities and allergies. Unfortunately, we do not accommodate vegan or macrobiotic diets. However, we are happy to send you a copy of our menu so you can provide your child with appropriate meal substitutes. There is an additional fee for gluten-free diets.
If your child has a severe nut allergy, please notify us well in advance so that we can eliminate cross-contamination and be fully aware of your child's needs.