We can't thank you enough for the fantastic experience you provided for our group! Our kids were engaged and stimulated on so many levels - spiritually, physically, intellectually, and environmentally. It exceeded our goals as much as it exceeded the kid's expectations for fun. We're already planning our trip for next year!
Odyssey Community School
Our nine day trip to Turtle Island was the most powerful and good experience I have ever seen a group of children share. The staff at Turtle Island Preserve are phenomenal people, willing to take on the challenge each child presents. I am ecstatic about the results of this fabulous program.
Orange County, Virginia
Our trip to Turtle Island was the highlight of our semester. It was a real eye opener and pulled together everything we had been working on.
Professor, Appalachian State University
"The skills and lessons you taught our students have made a real impression on their lives; that can be seen in all they do and say now."
Our staff witnesses an incredible amount of growth in our students, both in knowledge and teamwork skills. The Turtle Island experieince is powerful!
All Saints Episcopal School Trip Leader
The Turtle Island Program is powerful in its simplicity, wonderful in its gentleness and as genuine an experience as one could hope to find We choose to begin our outdoor education program with a Turtle Island experience because of its gentle intensity and focus on natural surroundings mirror a way of thought and action we believe every child at Durham Academy should have.
Director of Special Programs
(read more from Dave here)
Two years ago we discovered Turtle Island and for the second year straight our eighth graders have had life-changing experiences. When preparing a group of thirty middle school students for a nine day trip to a mountain hollow that is devoid of modern plug-in conveniences and distractions we encounter a fair amount of anxiety. For many of our students its their first time away from home for more than a weekend and for just about all of us its our first time adopting an eighteenth century lifestyle for an extended period of time. Two hours after the bus was parked, by the light of the opening campfire, I realized that the anxiety was gone. The multi-talented Turtle Island staff is that good at making kids feel cared for. The feeling lasted the entire trip because it is a genuine one. These folks are passionate about what they do and teach. And boy do they teach! Experiential education works incredibly well when kids feel safe and secure even while pushing their personal comfort zones and trying things that are new to them. I can’t say enough about what a powerful and positive experience Turtle Island has been for my students.
--Ben Van Rooy
Discovery Program Leader - Public Schools, Orange County, VA
"This has been one of the most incredible times of my life."
"Turtle Island proves there is magnitude out there."
"The food was beyond excellent!"
"The sweat lodge was the most emotional experience of my life."
"I love the concern of the counselors."
"Thank you for making me dig into myself and like what I saw."
"I have learned some priceless things for myself and my future students about trust, thinking, and experiential education."
--North Carolina Teaching Fellows
Extraordinary Vision for Teaching with Nature
One-Week Turtle Island Experience
What you do at Turtle Island is deep. It goes way beyond "having fun in the woods." The 4-H camp my kids go to in Maine is lovely; its about singing songs, roasting marshmallows, and being outdoors all-day long. But Turtle Island is about living with nature, its about respect and appreciation, and developing a relationship with the natural world In my dream school, if the school wasnt actually at Turtle Island (I mean physical location), it would mandate at least a week every year for every child. And every kid would grow up respecting nature, aware of seasons, comfortable with animals and at home in their skin.
3rd grade teacher
Piadeia School Atlanta, GA
Thanks for the wonderful experience at Turtle Island. The response was overwhelmingly positive many of the kids expressed an interest in living at Turtle Island.
8th grade teacher
Hardin Park Elementary