Each quarter, students embark on one of four Aventuras with therapists, Experiential Education mentors, and teachers joining them to make each experience truly integrated. Aventuras are some of the most effective components of the New Summit Academy program for encouraging student growth, community building, and for creating unforgettable memories. This round of Aventuras was a success in all areas. Here are some highlights as recounted by students and staff!
Our Peru trip culminated in a journey to the sacred Incan site of Machu Picchu. Early in the morning, students boarded a train which snaked its way along the Urubamba River to the town of Aguascalientes, where we hopped on buses for the winding road to Machu Picchu. We spent the day learning about the history and architecture of this bucket-list wonder of the world and UNESCO heritage site, before returning to the Sacred Valley. On our final day, the owner of our guiding company, Piero, and his family welcomed us into their home for a celebratory barbeque!
Thanks to students, staff, families, and the wonderful guides at Terra Explorer for helping to make this year’s International Aventura to Peru such an amazing experience!
After three days of intensive workshops in preparation for Peru, our community braved a red-eye flight to arrive at over 11,000 feet in Cusco - the ancient capital of the Incan Empire - to get physically and mentally acclimatized for the adventures to come. Our first days included an historical tour of the city, a mountain-bike ride through the stunning landscape surrounding the Sacred Valley, and a day of community service with the Amaru people.
This indigenous village welcomed us into their homes with music and smiles, explained their way of life revolving around farming and weaving of textiles, and worked side-by-side with our students as we tilled the soil using traditional tools in preparation for planting potatoes. The Amaru then prepared a hearty lunch of quinoa, potatoes and guinea pig – a traditional delicacy in Peru.
In order to prepare students for their upcoming adventure to Peru, the teachers and academic staff facilitated three days of workshops so that this international experience is as rich as possible. When NSA journeys to a new destination, it is important that we do so as travelers, not tourists. These workshops were intentionally designed with that goal in mind.
Students have been working with our English teacher to learn the intricacies of travel writing, studying the history of Peru with our Social Studies teacher, learning travel etiquette and curiosity with our Coordinator of Student Success, and pondering how travel changes them and their destinations through daily reflective writing.
Keep an eye out for exciting photos and stories in our next issue from this once-in-a-lifetime experience!
New Summit Academy’s Aventura program is a one-of-a-kind series of integrated challenges in the wilderness of Costa Rica where students have an opportunity to, not only progress in Personal Growth, Academic and Experiential Education, but to reflect on their growth so far.
The final Aventura – climbing Cerro Chirripo (the highest peak in Costa Rica), serves as the ultimate opportunity to reflect, and to ponder the future. Transition students who have met all program requirements are approved by their Transition Team to take on the mountain, climbing alongside their peers in a culminating celebration of their growth and of their futures filled with success.
Congratulations to our June graduates, who will be summiting Chirripo this week. As we say to our graduates “When you reach the summit, keep climbing!”
Throughout each student’s stay at New Summit Academy, the Integrated Aventuras serve as a means to connect with therapists, Experiential Education mentors, and teachers while working on personal growth goals, and enjoying total immersion in the natural wonders of Costa Rica. Students recently returned from three different Aventuras, and have brought their stories back to campus with them.
On the first Integrated Aventura of a career at NSA, students developed their work ethic and gave back with noticeable enthusiasm while weeding rows of lemongrass, cabbage, lettuce, and pineapple; creating organic fertilizer using discarded mangoes, and making a natural mulch using mango tree leaves at the permaculture-based organic farm Osa Verde.
Each night, students and staff engaged in presentations from scientists conducting on-site conservation work. On the fourth day, students released over a hundred freshly hatched baby Olive Ridley turtles into a stormy sea!
Students took to the trails of Corcovado National Park ready to explore the most biologically intense place on earth. The group's student documentarian recorded footage for a short film, while other students took turns in the role of Student Naturalist, spotting and identifying Baird's tapirs, anteaters, and caimans in the wild.
Biologists from the University of Costa Rica shared the results of a ten-year study about the diverse species of fungi endemic to the park, enhancing class discussions about the symbiotic relationships of rainforest organisms.
Blog authors may be students, staff, parents or colleagues. We're all-inclusive! Just enjoy!