Newsletter #10 - Circle Up! Campfire, Expeditions and Our Outward Bound DNA

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Welcome to our community and we are excited to share our endeavor to reshape education with you all!

The design of Expedition Academy Santa Cruz has many influences but much of our core DNA is built upon the philosophical foundations of Outward Bound.  At its core Outward Bound is a learning process that immerses individuals in an unfamiliar environment, presents them with real challenges, skills, and opportunities that lead to a deeper understanding of self, community, and the natural world.  

The Campfire and Expedition elements of Expedition Academy’s program are directly linked to the work Outward Bound has been doing for the past 75 years.  Outward Bound students circle up multiple times each day just as we will at Expedition Academy. Outward Bound students follow an Expedition Learning Cycle just as we will.  

Upcoming Events

We are hosting a screening of the critically acclaimed education documentary Most Likely To Succeed ( for parents interested in learning more about the changing landscape in education. The film will be followed by a discussion and Q&A with the founders.  Come meet the founders of Expedition Academy Santa Cruz and discover a new way to learn! 

Summer Offerings!

We have Summer activities for students! We have classes in Robotics, Chemistry, Design and Nature Science! Check out our week-long activities and sign up today!

General News and Ideas


Outward Bound History and the Development of Expeditionary Learning (EL)

The following article is a great read on the history of Outward Bound, its founder Kurt Hahn, and how a partnership between Outward Bound and Harvard University led to the founding of Expeditionary Learning, a national  organization that is working to transform classrooms and school districts across the U.S.


The 10 Building Blocks of Expeditionary Learning

In 1991, EL Education was born from a partnership between Harvard Graduate School of Education and Outward Bound, USA. We joined the character-infused philosophy of Outward Bound founder Kurt Hahn, which focuses on teamwork, courage, and compassion with an active approach to learning crafted by leading Harvard scholars and created 10 founding principles for the EL Education model.


The Conscious Use of Metaphor in Outward Bound

Just as students often think of phenomena such as magnetism or gravity as “magical” until they are given a “scientific” lens to frame their understanding Outward Bound students often describe their learning experiences on a course as “magical”.  Experienced Outward Bound instructors know that the “magic” is in the many interwoven elements of the learning process which can consistently deliver these deep learning experiences through the thoughtful application of the Outward Bound learning process.  One key element of the Outward Bound process is the use of metaphors to help students process their daily experiences. The use of metaphors will be a powerful learning tool that will help students understand their learning journey at Expedition Academy.

For a deep dive on why the Outward Bound process creates deep, “magical”,  learning we recommend reading up on our “scientific” understanding of learning and the human brain.  The Outward Bound process works because it taps into the deepest parts of our brains in powerful ways.

We look forward to sharing our continued progress on Expedition Academy Santa Cruz!

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~ The Expedition Academy Santa Cruz Team!