Applicants Welcome for Discovery Program

March 17, 2019 / Andrea Wenger
Discovery 2017

High school students interested in a month-long, cross-country group learning experience about land and water resources are invited to apply to join the 2019 Eastern Mennonite High School Discovery trip. A limited number of spaces remain available on the biennial excursion.

Students currently in 10th, 11th or 12th grade are welcome to apply to join 20 current EMHS students for this life-shaping experience. Participants will travel by bus coach, sleep in tents, eat, laugh, learn, play and pray together from June 4 to 29.

The excursion will be led by Lee Good, EMHS science teacher, who joined previous Discovery trips in 2011 and ’13 and led trips in 2015 and ’17. Additional faculty and staff, a cook and a nurse will round out the leadership team.

This year’s itinerary will include:

– A visit with Wendell Berry, renowned environmentalist and author, in General Butler State Park.
– The Land Institute, Salina Kansas, to tour a cutting edge research facility, focused on perennial grains. The group will talk with founder Wes Jackson, a pioneer of perennial grain research.
– Time along the Colorado River, following its inception in the Rockies to the border, the group will explore its power and human attempts to control it. Trip includes an overnight river ride.
– Time learning on the West Coast about immigration, the ancient Redwoods, and Google’s driver-less cars. They will visit Portland, Ore., a green city that is paving the way for urban local food, eco-friendly transportation, and minimal-impact housing. They will hear from David James Duncan, author who struggles honestly with the difficult questions of life and environmental preservation. In Glacier National Park, the group will explore the ice pack. They will learn about varied farming practices in a community in Freeman, S.D., and visit Goshen College’s Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center.

The group’s last day together will be on the Amish farm of David Kline in Holmes County Ohio.

“We’ve seen nature’s miracles, primordial redwood forests, snow-capped mountains in the desert, towering anyons, and tumbling rivers. We have felt small and big, fatigued and inspired, peaceful and awed. We will never be the same.” — a past participant

The Purpose
Part of the purpose of Discovery learning is to enable students to become exposed to diverse perspectives on pertinent issues facing our nation and world.

“Students will wrestle with dichotomies when they see opposing viewpoints and, ultimately, form their own perspectives,” explains this year’s leader, Lee Good.

Faith development, academic excellence, a deepened understanding of stewardship, and building positive
relationships with neighbors are key components of the program. Academic credit for EMHS is optional. Students from other schools would work with their school adviser to discern if credit is available in their system.

“The care of the Earth is our most ancient responsibility. To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal is our only hope.” -Wendell Berry

The cost for students outside of the EMHS sytem is $3,200. This includes all food, lodging, transportation, materials and fees. Incidential costs will be minimal. Students may want access to some cash for souvenirs or ocasional snacks.

There will also be costs incurred in getting set up with gear for the trip, including camping and hiking gear. Advice and support will be provided in making those purchases and a local outfitter will offer a discount to Discovery participants.

Transportation will provided by Schrock Travel, Tour and Charter, Winchester, Virginia.

Contact us
To learn more or express interest, contact Lee Good, science teacher and Discovery leader, by email. Applicants must complete a process which includes an interview with Mr. Good. Applications are due April 15 with a deposit due May 1 to hold your spot.

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