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Celebrating 30 Years of Service

Hawk Circle Class Trip Retreats

Now Booking for Spring 2023

We have three weeklong openings for Class Trip Retreats in May.   

 

Please call or email us to choose one of these weeks (or inquire about dates in a different season). 

Week One:     May 8-12, 2023
Status:   Open

Week Two:     May 15-19, 2023
Status:   Open

Week Three:    May 22-26, 2023
Status:   Open

Week Four:  May 29-June 2, 2023
Status:   Tentatively Reserved

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

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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.

Nature Immersion

Students experience intense birdsong, campfires, tracking hikes and outdoor games throughout the program!

Authentic Skills

All wilderness or 'forest' skills shared are real and will work in the wild, taught by experienced instructors!

Nature Crafts

We share crafting skills by making things gathered from the surrounding forest like bark baskets, spears, digging sticks, bows & arrows and more.

Community Building

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

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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

Discovering the Magic of Earth Shelters

The Wilderness Survival Challenge

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 at times, 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 their age.

Recommended for Grades 7-10

Renewal          Transformation             Grounding           Connection

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Hawk Circle Class Trip Retreats

 

When a class of students come to our wilderness center, they are led through a detailed orientation, and tour of our facilities, which will be their home for the length of their stay.   They begin to go through a curriculum of earth skills, wilderness adventure, nature crafts, and social games, that all work together to help them see themselves and each other in a new way.     The lessons they learn are milestones that a teacher can use throughout the year, as we develop their capacity for team building, communication, focus, attention to detail, problem solving and shared leadership.  

 

The students also experience what an immersion in a beautiful place can do to help them feel grounded, centered, relaxed and inspired.

 

Class teachers can modify the program to suit the unique needs of their class, in terms of challenge, intensity, crafts, wilderness study, games and group experiences.  Each trip is carefully planned after an in-depth interview with the class teacher, followed by a conference call, so parents can ask questions about individual aspects of the program, hear about a typical Hawk Circle 'Day' and cover things like the menu, ticks, sleeping arrangements, supervision, medical care and more.    This takes the pressure off the Class Teacher to provide all the answers, when they clearly have plenty of other things to focus on in teaching their class!

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The Wilderness Survival Challenge

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 at times, 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 their age.

 

 

 

Eighth Grade Rite of Passage

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 too.

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.

Why Choose
Hawk Circle for Your
Class Trip?
 
Custom designed program co-created with Class Teacher and Hawk Circle Staff.
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Timber-framed heated cabins can handle any weather.
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Hawk Circle staff provide instruction and supervision so the Class Teacher can observe and connect to the student's experience.
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Healthy and delicious home-made meals.
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Gluten-free menu and food allergy support.
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Authentic nature crafts, skills challenges, awareness and social games.
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Beautiful wilderness retreat setting with low tick and poison ivy presence.
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Cozy and comfortable teacher's cabin!
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New bath bathrooms and showers.
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Eagle House, a beautiful indoor class room for inclement weather.
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   "Needless to say 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 they gave to my students."
              -David Heberlein
               Princeton Waldorf School

Time spent in nature helps your students to unwind, contemplate, reconnect as a class and get inspired. 

How to Register

To register your class for a trip, or to inquire for further information, please contact Ricardo Sierra at hawkcircleoffice@gmail.com.  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 create a curriculum that will best support your students.

 

Note:   We generally fill fast for the year and typically offer programs in late April, May and the first week of June.  We also offer programs in September and October, and occasionally, in January/February/March for classes who want to experience a winter survival program.  The earlier you contact us, the better your chances of getting your preferred dates that fit with your school's calendar.

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For the Teacher...

As a teacher, bringing your class to Hawk Circle allows time for you to step back.  Maybe for observing your class and seeing them in a way you've never seen them before, or maybe for taking a much need break for yourself.

Our staff are with your students from the time they finish their breakfast to well into the evening - we handle everything!  For you, the only times where we need you to take over is during siesta - a time when many teachers check in with their students and weave in lessons from school that relate to their Hawk Circle experience, and at bedtime.  

You will have your own private cabin with a fully-made bed conveniently located within steps of your students' cabins.

Prior to your trip, we offer a conference call with you and your students' parents to answer any questions or concerns.  This relieves you from having to address parental concerns. 

 

EMAIL US HERE to check available dates! 

After you have your trip scheduled, please fill out our online form, answering questions that will help us to

prepare for your class' arrival.  

For the Parents...

We will be scheduling 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 the 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!

 

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Does your camper need gear? 

Check out our store for carving knives, stainless steel water bottles and t-shirts!

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Our Meals...

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. 

 

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.