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We are in a REGENERATIVE PAUSE & PLANNING PHASE (207) 322-2973

Extreme Energy Immersion for Student Climate Leaders

An incredible opportunity to hone your leadership skills and increase your motivation to act for climate justice!


October 12-21, 2013

Note: We ran this program in October, 2013.  A similar, more extensive, 3-week version of this program is currently being developed. Let us know if you are potentially interested in this — Contact Us!

Expedition Education Institute Bus

The expedition travels on a bus which has built in storage for student belongings, a kitchen, and a library.


New York Extreme Energy Organizing, Pennsylvania Hydrofracking, West Virginia Coalfields, and the Pittsburgh Conference Center.


In collaboration with Unity College and Catskill Mountainkeepers, EEI is offering a 10-day immersion to experience the multiple issues at the frontlines of coal mountaintop removal, hydrofracking, and fossil fuel divestment. The 10 days will include a final three days attending the Power Shift 2013 conference in Pittsburgh!


We will accept up to 18 outstanding college students who can answer YES! to the points below:

  • You are committed to a clean energy future, to being a part of the movement that shifts away from extreme energy and toward forms of sustainable energy.

  • You are, or want to be, a leader on your campus or in your community and are eager to practice and hone your leadership skills and capacities.

  • You are willing and able to take the time for in-depth experiential learning and reflection, you enjoy creating community and long bus rides, and you are already thinking about how you can bring back what you learn to your campus or community!

  • You are enthusiastic about the prospect of living and learning outdoors (sleeping in tents, traveling by bus, and class discussions held in circles under the sun and stars) and without the influence of drugs or alcohol.



Brief Overview of Program:

Our broad goal in offering this program for student climate leaders is to help promote the next generation of environmental leaders through a ten-day, immersive road trip culminating at the national Power Shift youth convergence in Pittsburgh, PA. Direct experience of several “extreme energy” issues along with personal leadership development and practice are the core of the program. Students will visit frontline communities living with and organizing around the extreme energy issues of hydro-fracking, mountaintop removal coal mining, and fossil fuel divestment. Guided by experienced faculty facilitators, student climate leaders will see firsthand the impacts of fossil fuel extraction while working together to strengthen their own leadership and climate advocacy efforts.


  • Promote youth leadership — Through exercises, group activities, and working closely with peers and a faculty advisor,  participants will develop their interpersonal and organizing skills and short- and long-term personal visions.
  • Strengthen effective climate advocacy, organizing, and leadership skills — In addition to the work and experiences in the first full week of the immersion, students will engage at Power Shift 2013 as presenters and participants.
  • Experience extreme energy through frontline immersion — Participants will connect with frontline anti-extreme-energy organizations and individuals and encounter the communities and people directly affected by these extractive industries.
  • Contribute to the paradigm shift that is needed in order to move away from fossil fuels and the industrial growth society — The immersion will help participants understand the deep and interconnected nature of the challenges we face in creating a sustainable and life-affirming civilization (termed The Great Turning by ecophilosopher and activist Joanna Macy).

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Structure and Rules of the Road:

The structure of this program is experiential, academic, and learning-community based, just like EEI’s full semester programs. Like our full semesters, we will be living and learning outdoors and in community, that means cooking, eating, and sleeping outdoors, effectively being engaged in the issues of the immersion for 10 full days, all hours of the day and night.

Traveling with the 18 students will be three deeply experienced faculty who will guide the community-building, leadership development, and experiential learning processes for this immersion. The faculty will work with the whole group and with each participant individually.

This will be an intensive in the sense that there will be extremely little time for anything but the immersion, including only intermittent and brief opportunities to access internet or cell service.

To support our learning community, all participants will need to be committed to not consuming or using any alcohol or drugs during the immersion. We will also be committed to creating a supportive and collaborative atmosphere in our learning community.

Logistics and Travel:

Students will meet the bus and faculty near Boston, MA, on the morning of Saturday October 12th (Students from Maine may elect to meet the bus at Unity College or Portland, ME on Friday evening as it makes it way down to Boston in preparation for the Saturday morning start).

The Immersion will end on Sunday, October 21st with the long drive back up to Boston. The final drive from Boston to Maine will take place on Monday morning (it may be possible for you to make special arrangements to arrive home in time for classes on Monday morning, but the bus can only guarantee arrival to Unity College by noon).


In between the start and end of the immersion, we will travel together in our specially retro-fitted bus to the Catskills in New York State, through Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and landing for the final weekend in Pittsburgh, PA, for Power Shift 2013.

We will provide the tents for camping. You will need to bring warm sleeping gear. (If you don’t have a sleeping bag and pad with you at school, you might look into borrowing these from your school’s outing club or a friend. We may be able to provide a few of these in a pinch).

We will provide the food for the meals and a kitchen coordinator, and all students will take turns learning how to cook for 22 people. Trust us, it’s fun! Students will also be expected to help with the shopping that happens during the trip and the general cleanliness of the kitchen area on the bus.

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Collaborators and Supporters:

Our primary collaborators making it possible to offer this Immersion are Unity College and Catskill Mountainkeepers.

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Other Organizations Lending Support or Endorsement:

Financial Supporters making this possible and affordable for students:

  • The Chorus Foundation
  • A family foundation grant (anonymous)
  • The Bus Expedition Alumni Network
  • Friends of EEI
  • Unity College

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