Now accepting applications for the Spring Semester of 2023
The living in Maine Semester is a 90 day residential semester for teens who are passionate about the earth. Living and working in community on the teaching homestead of Maine Local Living School, students are immersed in a life of connection. Water comes from the well, spoons from a tree, and breakfast from a fire kindled by a classmate. Daily and practical participation with shelter, water, energy and food inspires important questions about our place and its connections with the planet: How much can we take? How do we practice reciprocity? Can we improve a place? What happened here in the past? What is happening here now? How do we make positive change?
Through life on the homestead, interdisciplinary academic study, and community engagement, students have the opportunity to employ their whole selves - head, hands, and hearts - in search of answers.
Academics are place-based, project-based, interdisciplinary, and experiential. Reflection is integral to the learning process. Our academics are characterized by the high degree of student engagement that is inherent to experiential learning.
Maine Local Living School is a learning laboratory that illuminates the web of interdependence that sustains life. Here, sustainability is a by-product of love of place and ecological intelligence. It grows naturally, out of the students’ working relationship with the essentials of life: soil, water and energy.
What is ecological intelligence?
Want to see the homestead?
Students carve, weave, sew, craft, and construct. Handwork awakens the "elemental maker", inspires confidence, and integrates the intelligences of hand, head, and heart.
Learn more about the local resilience toolkit!
Connection and Listening
The earth is alive and speaking to us. Through participation we enhance communication. In quiet sit-spots and in daily work we strive to listen and connect.
Valuing the whole through building relationships with the parts- this is our process for building community. Our community is nested like rings of a tree. At the center of the trunk is our small community of human learners, living tightly together, developing skills for clear communication, empathy, and respect. The next ring includes the immediate ecological community of our 120-acre campus. The next ring out is our Franklin County community with which we interact via The Outdoor Education Mentorship Project, The Cottage Industry Project, and The Applied Research Project. This community is nested within the Sandy River watershed, encompassed by the human and natural communities of Maine. Living-in-Maine Semester awakens the excitement and accountability that comes from connecting to community.
Provide a vibrant, skill-building experience of living well in place.
Develop leaders who understand the story of this land and who can envision and enact creative futures that cultivate health, resilience, and sustainability.
Engage students as active members in their human and ecological communities.
Build practices of wonder, silence, keen observation, and gratitude.
"I would be on a different path without the program and the learning and growth I gained from it. It was a turning point in my life.... thank you both for the love and passion y’all brought to it. I feel as if I gained a second set of father and mother role models during and after the program."
-Semester Student from Kroka Semester when Chris and Ashirah Knapp were lead teachers
"I feel that now, I’m much more aware and capable of how I can survive and thrive in tandem with the land that I’m living on. Now, I’m much more comfortable in nature and I feel like I belong and can listen to its story instead of feeling like I’m trespassing. I also have a greater respect and gratitude for the life that is in everything and for the gifts that we’re given."
-Elizabeth Sun 2021