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Upper Schoolers embark on End-of-Year Experiences
Posted 05/11/2017 10:44AM

The End-of-Year (EOY) experience is designed to give students and teachers a learning environment that goes beyond the classroom. With elements of service, leadership, perspective, and adventure, the EOY program is one of the most meaningful parts of the Carolina Friends School Upper School curriculum. From trips to internships to on-campus experiences, EOYs often impact the lives of those involved in potentially life-changing ways. Throughout the days or weeks of an EOY experience, a group of people is brought together to share laughter, create friendship, gain knowledge, see the world, change outlooks, help others, search for beauty, build confidence, find the inner-self, and make unforgettable memories

Each year, the freshmen connect with our community partners in Newton Grove, NC, to learn more about migrant farmworkers in our state. All sophomores, juniors, and seniors are given the option to participate in an EOY or to create an internship for themselves.

This year's EOY travel opportunities include:

Nicaragua, Las Salinas de Nahualapa, Grenada

CFS has a long-standing relationship with the coastal community in Las Salinas de Nahualapa, Nicaragua, where we have worked with Aprender Nicaragua, a non-governmental organization that focuses on keeping at risk kids in school and supporting them in their studies. Las Salinas is one of the few Autonomous Indigenous Communities of the Nahoa, or Nicarao people, and as such, has a unique history and governance structure. Because of the stunning natural beauty of the surrounding beaches, the area has experienced tremendous changes in the last 16 years as the world has "discovered" the community. This gives us a great opportunity to experience emergent zones of globalization and to investigate their effects on local communities.

Great Lakes Environmental Adventure

The concept of this trip is to show students the largest freshwater region in the world (specifically Lakes Erie, Michigan, and Huron), spanning two nations and home to 3,500 species of plants & animals. We will be examining both major environmental problems and what is being done in response, both in Canada and in the US (plus doing some service work of our own).

Triangle Adventure

You don't need to go far away from home to have an adventure; exciting things are happening locally! In this end-of-year experience, students will travel to various historic sites, attractions, and cultural hotspots in the triangle area. Activities can include (but are not limited to): attending a Durham Bulls game, touring local art galleries, visiting museums in Raleigh, hiking the Eno, exploring local historic sites, and more.

Adirondack Adventure

The Adirondack Park in northern New York is home to arguably the most beautiful natural scenery in the eastern United States. The park contains 6 million acres, boasts over 3,000 ponds and lakes, 1500 miles of streams and rivers, 2,000 miles of hiking trails, and 46 mountains which rise to over 4,000 feet. Again this year Dave will be accompanying a group of students who are eager to brave the cold and the wilds of this spectacular region. The group will spend the first night at Lackawanna State Park in Pennsylvania and then finish driving to the Adirondacks the following day. We will have a "base camp" at Fishcreek State Campground in Tupper Lake, NY and then explore the area via day-long hikes, canoe and kayak excursions, as well as visits to several unique museums, including the Six Nation Indian Museum in Onchiota.

Peace Pilgrimage

Since at least the 7th century, humans have set out on pilgrimages to purify their hearts and minds. These epic adventures bring truth seekers into community, challenge devotees' will, and focus travellers on a transformative goal. In this End-of-Year experience, we will travel on a pilgrimage to the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C-- by bike. Specifically, we will travel with a group of Muslim students, anti-war veterans, and peace activists to advance the cause of a global peace economy.

Rainforest Conservation and Community Service in the Amazon Basin, Peru

This trip requires strenuous outdoor activity and is recommended for mature 10th, 11th and 12th grade students with a strong interest in conservation biology. We will tour the ancient sites of Cusco, the historic capital of the Inca Empire from 13th century until the 16th century Spanish conquest, stay overnight in cloud forest, and take a boat-ride to Manu Learning Center along the meandering Rio Madre de Dios, participate in the ongoing research activities of the Crees Foundation, a Peruvian, not-for-profit organization, to better understand the value of secondary rainforest by comparing the biodiversity of disturbed and regenerating rainforest with the primary rainforest itself. The purpose of the service aspect of the trip is to help improve the lives of the people in the small rural community of Salvación, situated across the river from MLC. Coordinated by the CREES Foundation, we participate in their service projects in Salvación which provide the opportunity to interact with the local people in Spanish. Our work will be to participate in an established project in agroforestry, and to help construct bio-gardens following the construction techniques that are already proving effective in the community. These gardens provide fresh vegetables for the family and surplus to barter or sell to the community or the CREES Foundation at MLC.

Trinidad Adventure

This will be the eleventh consecutive year that students from Carolina Friends School have traveled to Trinidad. As in the past, we will be staying in dormitory accommodations in the home of our good friends Adrian and Chad near the town of Manzanilla. We will keep busy during the 15 days we are in Trinidad, working with Habitat for Humanity as well as at least one other local organization. In addition, we will explore the cultural and natural beauty of that amazing island. We will visit Hindu temples, sample the street food, listen to pan music, watch giant sea turtles lay eggs on the beach at night, hike through the swamps and rain forests, and swim in the Caribbean. Through all these experiences, students will get a first hand view of the problems and promises of globalization. In the evening when the group isn't traveling, we will have time to relax together, talking, reading, or playing cards and music. This will be an "electronic free" trip. There will be no cell phones, tablets, computers, or personal listening devises. You are welcome to bring a camera and musical instruments.

For a sense of what these trips entail, watch our video documenting last year's trip to Cuba.

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Carolina Friends School          
4809 Friends School Road
Durham, NC 27705
919.383.6602 tel / 919.383.6009 fax / info@cfsnc.org

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