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Pro Vita Trips

Berkshire will be offering seven off-campus excursions during Pro Vita, which falls on March 1 - March 7, 2020. Below is a look at the destinations planned for Pro Vita 2020. If you are interested in receiving more information (cost, details and itinerary) about these trips, please contact the trip chaperones, or Pro Vita Director Donald Anselmi at danselmi@berkshireschool.org.

Please Note: All of these trips go beyond the normal purview of Berkshire’s curriculum and, therefore, require additional fees for transportation, lodging, and food costs while off-campus. Prices vary depending upon enrollment and other factors, and are subject to change. Limited scholarships are available.

MINNESOTA: WINTERGREEN DOGSLED ADVENTURE

 

Initiated by students Hannah Hudson '21 and John Fiore '21 and organized by the Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge, students who choose to embark on this six-day dog sledding adventure will travel to Ely, Minnesota, often referred to as the "Sled Dog Capitol" with a greater concentration of dog teams and dog sled racers than any other community in the continental United States.  Students will be challenged to work together, communicate, navigate, and lean into backcountry living.  In addition to learning how to dogsled, students will learn leadership skills, winter camping skills, cold weather comfort and safety strategies, navigation skills, leave no trace techniques, and dive into lessons around winter ecology, land preservation, and the natural history of the wilderness area. Students will be responsible for taking care of their dog sled team, and making meals for their group throughout the experience.

Chaperones: Cait Ward '08 and Brett Herleikson

Approximate cost: $2854

(Limited to 14 students)

HOUSTON: AEROSPACE AND AVIATION

 

Connected to Berkshire's Aviation program and the initiatives of two student pilots, Victoria Rowland '20 and Emmet McDonnell '20, the students on this trip will be going to a fully credentialed and FAA certified flight school located near Houston, Texas. They will undergo several hours of the initial flight training for a private pilot (approximately six to eight hours of flight training and fifteen hours of ground school training).  The trip will also feature a VIP tour of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, located in Houston, Texas.

Chaperones: Maura MacKenzie and Michael Lee

Approximate cost: $3,666

(Limited to 12 students)

HAWAII: LEARNING UNDER THE MOUNTAIN

 

Initiated by students Angela Ansah '21, Claire Borchers '20 and the two faculty chaperones, students will travel to the Big Island of Hawaii and stay in the town of Waimea, right next door to Hawaii Preparatory Academy (HPA), where one of the chaperone's parents currently reside and teach. The Berkshire group's mission is to consider the impact a school's unique location has on the lives of its students and to then bring these place-based ideas back to the Berkshire community. Over the course of a week, the group will have conversations with students at HPA and use these conversations to inform their adventures around the island.  They will explore many climate zones, including the ocean, the ranches, the rain forest, and the high-altitude mountain, and have lots of fun learning new skills (like how to surf!) as they go.  In each new place they go, they will learn a little more about Hawaiian culture and history.

Chaperones: Callie Carew-Miller and Sam Maher '12

Approximate cost: $2,954

(Limited to 14 students)

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: SUSTAINABILITY, CONSERVATION, AND SERVICE

 

Initiated by students Schuyler Coughlin '20, Grace Fitzgerald '20 and the two faculty chaperones along with customization by the student travel company Rustic Pathways, the group will spend one week getting to know two distinct communities - a Batey community of Haitian sugar cane farmers and a fishing village where the tourism industry has impacted their marine environment. The group will contribute to infrastructure projects that are updating and improving homes in the Batey community and working to protect the marine ecosystem in the coastal village.  Finally, the group will have a chance to visit one of the country's beautiful beaches before heading to Santo Domingo to learn about the city's complex colonial history.

Chaperones: Anita Loose-Brown and Jim Norton

Approximate cost: $3,590

(Limited to 14 students)

TANZANIA: SERVICE & SAFARI

 

Organized by Tea Cuvelier '21, Claire Knight '21 and the two faculty chaperones along with customization by the student travel company Rustic Pathways, the group will contribute to a sustained relationship with a friendly and welcoming community outside Arusha and participate in a long-term service construction project. The education and community focused projects are designed to enhance the capacity of the community to provide an improved and sustainable learning environment for the students. The group will immerse themselves in the village culture by helping the community with their daily tasks and learning how to make different handicrafts. Each evening, the group will end their day with discussions and reflections about what they have learned and experienced on the trip. After they complete the service portion of the trip, they will head to Tarangire National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater for a two day safari where they will have professional safari guides teach them about the various animals that live in East Africa. The group will end their trip in Arusha and have a final closing ceremony to reflect on their unique experience!

Chaperones: Sarah Pitcher and Dan Roe

Approximate cost: $4,483

(Limited to 14 students)

GERMANY: A WINDOW THROUGH TIME IN ARTS & CULTURE

Initiated by Harrison Chapin '20 and Darran Shen '20 and customized and organized by the student travel company ACIS, students will study a diverse range of mediums found in German art and culture with a focus on pre- and post-WWII. The trip will begin in Munich, where students will explore palaces and churches of centuries past.  Students will experience the art collections of former German kings, and learn with how their tastes influenced the nation's style identity. Then, students will travel to Dresden. Students will unravel the city's post-WWII artistic rebuilding process, including stunning baroque architecture and the revival of watchmaking in nearby Glashütte. Students will also immerse themselves in a German food tasting workshop, a photography trip to the jaw-dropping Bastei rock formations, and a tour of the fairy tale-inspiring Neuschwanstein Castle. Upon return, students will present explicated pieces from their own portfolios in an art showcase, prompted by the question: "How can art rebuild a broken nation?"

Chaperones: Sandy Perot and Clive Davis

Approximate cost: $4,551

(Limited to 14 students)

 

CHINA: BENEFITS AND COSTS OF A DEVELOPING ECONOMY

 

This trip, organized by the travel company Where There Be Dragons, will focus on travel to China's capital city, Beijing, and to western China's arguably most beautiful province, Yunan. Students will have the opportunity to hike a more remote part of the Great Wall, explore the Forbidden City and the ancient Lijiang city (A UNESCO site), and will also enjoy and learn about life in small rural villages, helping the local people to cook meals and harvest crops. The juxtaposition of life in the megalopolis of Beijing versus remote western China will allow students to see first-hand how development is changing life in China. Students will also have the opportunity to participate actively in conversations with artists, monks, and the founder of a organic food company to learn how China's development is changing their respective industries.

Chaperones: Susan Beattie and Jesús Ibáñez

Approximate cost: $4,427

(Limited to 14 students)

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