Our tiny planet called Earth is actually on a journey among the stars. Since we are more or less bound to this planet, we too are travelers on this journey.
Our Earthship’s Journey is completely powered by the energy of the sun. The sun’s gravity holds us in orbit around it, and the sunlight energy that is beamed to Earth powers our systems of life here. This sunlight energy allows for food to be grown, air, water, and soil to be recycled, and for our planet to remain warm enough to accommodate life as we know it. In a sense, the sun is our mothership. If something happens to our air, water and soil, we can’t just go to the neighborhood Galaxy Mart to get some more. This is all we have.
The goal of this program is to help students understand how the Earthship’s natural systems operate on automatic pilot year after year. We hope too, that you will gain an appreciation for and develop a better understanding of how to live side by side with our fellow passengers of the plant and animal world.
Camp Tecumseh’s outdoor classroom is the setting and the Earthship Code is the foundation that we work from to study the different natural communities on site. Study sites include:
The Pine Forest – An un-harvested Christmas tree farm planted in the 1940’s creates a great environment to study the different stages of the soil cycle and learn about the effects of overpopulation in the forest.
The Meadow – Much of the Northwest part of Indiana used to be prairie land, so we use our section of prairie grass to investigate the kinds of animals that live in that type of community. Students even take the role of some of these animals to illustrate how food chains work. Time is also set aside for discovery in the Nature Center.
The Oak Forest – This forest dominated by large old oak trees is an ideal place to calculate how much lumber these giants could produce, and at what cost or benefit? Students also have the chance to study and understand the importance of fallen, rotting trees for this community and i’s residents.
Ghost Creek – The beautiful banks of the Tippecanoe River are the setting to study the water cycle, perform a stream flow study and learn about the incredible gifts of the beaver. The highlight for most though, is the time allotted to search for macro-invertebrates in Ghost Creek and how their sheer presence can tell you a lot about the health of a stream.
As well as these areas of study, each student takes part in several recreational activities including Canoeing, Archery and an Obstacle course. These are a great chance to learn new skills and have fun with their classmates and teachers in a totally different environment.
Click to see a two day or a three day sample schedule for Earthship Journey (in PDF format).
See the Indiana State Curriculum Standards Met in the Earthship Journey Program (in PDF format).