A Thoreau Exploration of Maine

Read, Write, Paddle & Hike

A Unique Learning Experience In The Maine Wilderness

Study Thoreau the way he meant you to study his works. His eloquent and passionate exploration of nature and the human spirit is not intended for 50 minute periods in an uncomfortable desk in a concrete classroom. At the time of his death, Thoreau was working on The Maine Woods, which documented his own personal experiences paddling the West Branch of the Penobscot River and hiking on Mount Katahdin.

Expedition to Maine

Sunday, July 12th, 6am

Greenville, Maine

We will depart from WGHS for Maine on Sunday morning, July 12th (travel day) for our 7 day expedition. We will canoe, hike and camp along the Penobscot River West Branch, before making an attempt to summit Mount Katahdin, the highest peak in Maine and the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. The experienced guides of the family operated Allagash Canoe Trips will handle our outfitting and guide our trip on the water and on shore. We will return to WGHS on Saturday, July 18th (travel day) late in the evening.

A Typical Day

  • 6am out of tents for breakfast, pack up and break camp
  • 8am shove off for a day of adventure paddling; you never know what nature will present, so the morning paddle may be interrupted by an unexpected moment to learn about ourselves, each other and the world around us.
  • 10am guided reading and discussion of a Thoreau passage, presented in the context of our place and time on the river. light snack
  • 12pm light but nutritious lunch
  • 2pm make camp, unload canoes, haul water and wood, journal writing, reading, fishing, games
  • 5pm students prepare dinner and clean up
  • 7pm camp games and craft/skills, personal down time, journal writing, reading
  • 9pm campfire and bed time. Some days are longer and more strenuous and many people may hit the sack between 9 & 10.
  • 10pm lights out; quiet time.

The Details

This program will be offered as a Ohio Department of Education Credit Flexibility opportunity for West Geauga students only. This is an educational experience for both your body and your mind. After submitting the appropriate paperwork, you will be eligible to earn honors level independent study credit.

The program will cost roughly $1700, broken into three payments of $500 and a fourth final payment representing the balance after travel costs and other fees are carved in stone in early spring. The first payment will count as a deposit due before Thanksgiving. The final three payments will be spaced out throughout the school year, likely late January and late March and early May. The cost includes transportation, outfitting and guide services, food and lodging while in Maine and all educational programming expenses. Students will need only a minimal amount of spending money.

Because there are a limited number of spaces, students will need to apply electronically and deliver a deposit check to Mr. Sustin. The deposit check will be for $500 (first payment), payable to Community Education Department NO LATER THAN NOVEMBER 21th.