2015 Putney t-shirts are here!

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Our 2015 t-shirts are here! Putney is proud to Partner with Recover, a North Carolina based company that uses 100% recycled materials. With each purchase we will donate all proceeds to the Putney Open Door Fund scholarship foundation. Shout out to John and Ryanne for modeling short sleeves on maaaaybe the coldest day of the winter. Check it out at: http://recoverbrands.com/store/putney-travel-tee/

Click here to learn more about supporting the Putney Open Door Fund!

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Notes from Programming: Ryanne in Costa Rica

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Associate Director Ryanne Fujita-Conrads recently returned from a programming trip to Costa Rica to meet with local contacts and go over project details for our summer community service programs. Check out some photos from her trip – featuring communities that have opened their arms to Putney students for many years. Pura Vida!

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A view of the Costa Rican cloud forest from the community center in one of our project villages – breathtaking!

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Roasting coffee beans alongside the women’s cooperative in our project village. Putney students here get the opportunity to learn and take part in the entire coffee-production process.

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Ryanne with three of our amazing local contacts: Ortensia, Giselle, and Yeimi.

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Juan, longtime Putney friend and invaluable local contact and coordinator. Juan helps rural communities gain access to government funding for essential development projects, and has helped us build relationships with numerous Costa Rican towns.

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A view of Manuel Antonio National Park.

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On weekends Putney students get to bond as a group on the pristine Costa Rican coast.

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Friendly Costa Rican communities have welcomed Putney groups for years.

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Escaping the bright sunshine while discussing projects for summer 2015.

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A rainbow touches down on the lush hillsides in the cloud forests of Monteverde.

 

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Writing in Ireland Guest Writer Megan Mayhew Bergman

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In Honor of #StPatricksDay, Please Welcome Writing in Ireland Guest Writer Megan Mayhew Bergman!

Megan Mayhew Bergman. Photo by Bo Bergman.

Megan Mayhew Bergman. Photo by Bo Bergman.

We are thrilled to announce that author and educator Megan Mayhew Bergman will join us as the guest writer for our 2015 Writing in Ireland program! Based in Dublin and Ireland’s western coast, this two-week summer program for high school students offers young writers individual and small-group instruction in all genres as they explore and engage with the place and culture through dynamic, field-based writing exercises. Megan will join the program in Dublin, travel with the group to Inishbofin, and then return to Dublin with them for the final reading. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we caught up with Megan to talk about her relationship with travel, her thoughts on rendering a keen sense of place in her writing, and what she’s most looking forward to about collaborating with Putney in Ireland this summer.

Scribner published Megan’s first two books, Birds of a Lesser Paradise and Almost Famous Women, and will publish her forthcoming novel. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Best American Short Stories, Huffington Post, Salon, McSweeney’s, and Ploughshares. She lives on a small farm in Shaftsbury, Vermont. Read on to see what drew Megan to the Writing in Ireland program and her take on the interrelated nature of writing and travel. Happy #StPatricksDay!


Dublin's iconic Ha'penny Bridge over the River Liffey. Photo by Brenna Casey.

Dublin’s iconic Ha’penny Bridge over the River Liffey. Photo by Brenna Casey.

First of all, we’re so excited you will be joining our Writing in Ireland group this summer! What initially drew you to the program?

I’m a big fan of mystery and magic.  There were times that I closed myself off to those things with too much cynicism, but I wholeheartedly believe in the Roald Dahl notion that if you close yourself off to magic, you’ll never find any.  It seems to me that Ireland has a rich, storied, mystical quality to it, and I think as writers we can let that seep into us a little.  Or a lot.

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The door of Romaine Brooks’ Villa Gaia. Photo by Megan Mayhew Bergman.

Can you talk a little bit about your relationship with travel and about the influence those experiences—times when you left home and delved into a different culture—have had on you and your writing?

The first time I went overseas, I was 20 and had never traveled north of the Mason-Dixon line. I found myself in Italy for a semester, and got a real sense of who I was as a person — separated from my family and friends.  I think travel can represent a necessary deep breath in one’s life.  It simultaneously gives you a humbling, perspective-changing sense of being yourself in the world, and also helps you realize what you’re grateful for back home.  Travel is instructive that way.  It breaks down walls in your mind and imagination.

I believe that writers can do no better than getting their hands dirty in the world and its problems, its human and environmental mess, its scents and sounds. I do not believe in writing-by-Google-Image. My second trip to Italy included a solo pilgrimage to Fiesole to find the painter Romaine Brooks’ Villa Gaia. It was a long, hot day, but that day served as the seed for a very important story in my life.  If we activate the senses, we can give the readers a transformative experience on the page.

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Megan Mayhew Bergman’s second book, Almost Famous Women, published by Scribner in 2015.

In your second book, Almost Famous Women, readers gets to do a bit of traveling themselves on the page. Your stories take us from the American South, to Italy, to Kenya, to London, to the Bahamas, to New England, to Germany—in each, you render an indelible sense of time and place. How do you approach the challenge of cultivating the separate worlds in each of these stories, making them real for the reader in such a small space?

The author Daphne du Maurier used to practice the art of hypnosis to write her richly detailed books.  I believe many readers crave the feeling of being transported to another world — and it’s the writer’s job to build that world for them, stone by stone: weather patterns, the scent of what’s baking in the shops, what a woman lingers over in the shop window, how the air feels on the skin.  In order to do that, the writer must be able to inhabit a setting with his or her senses too.

What’s a typical day like for you these days? Can you tell us a little bit about what you’re working on now?

I am just wrapping up the book tour for my second book, Almost Famous Women, and working on my third book, a novel, which takes place on a houseboat in Savannah.  For now, anyway.

I live on a small farm in Vermont.  Right now the ground is covered in snow, the dogs are restless, and so are the children.  The chickens are grumpy and cabin crazy. We cook too much rich food — last night, a plum-almond-goat cheese tart on puff pastry, and this morning, blueberry pancakes.  We’re boiling the sap we take from our maple trees and making syrup.  Because I lived in the south for thirty years, I am dreaming of the ocean and warm sand.

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Megan with her daughters, Frasier and Zephyr, at Lake George, New York.

We often begin our Putney programs by sharing our hopes for the experience ahead. What is one hope you have about the program?

I hope I can inspire students.  I make a rule for myself, as a writer, speaker, and teacher:  never waste anyone’s time.  Give gifts:  insight, beauty, humor, technical advice.

Finally, what advice do you have for young writers? How about for young travelers?

My advice for young writers is:  more living, less professionalizing. I think the best writers have traveled far and wide, developed expertise in some area, discovered a niche, had their hearts broken, picked a fight with the world.  Personal growth is never comfortable.  We should all put on backpacks and roll up our sleeves and let ourselves feel more.

I think a lot about the phrase “to be rather than to seem.”  In our Instagram culture (which I participate in), there is the tendency to observe and record, but I try to remind myself to participate, to be fully present, to meet my travel experiences head on.  Stay open.

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Celebrate #WellnessWednesday in Dominica

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With sweeping views of the Guadeloupe Channel to the north, and the mountainous, volcanic interior of the island to the south, our quaint community service village in Dominica sits nestled among banana trees on a ridge high above the sea.  Set among cascading waterfalls, rolling pineapple groves, and incredible local hospitality, it’s hard to pick just 10 amazing things about our Community Service Dominica program, but we’ve done our best.

1)  Channel your inner pirate through Johnny and Orlando, while you relax on picturesque beaches featured in Pirates of the Caribbean.

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2) Hike your way up an active volcano to the (second) largest boiling lake in the world.  Fondue kits are optional, Putney spirit is not.

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3) Join a sunrise dance party with 300 of your closest friends, to celebrate the birthday of the Catholic fishing saint, St. Peter.

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4) Fresh seafood abounds in the form of nocturnal crabs that range from the size of a fist to a small dog.  Form a crabbing squad and return with spoils for a late night snack.

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5) Meet a local centenarian who has lived in this village her entire life.  Listen to anecdotes of her childhood and the transformation of the community through the last century.

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6) Whip up coconut cakes, cinnamon-raisin buns, and French bread with local bakers.

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7) Snorkel the crystalline waters of a quiet cove known to locals as “Champagne Bay,”  floating through bursts of bubbles above active volcanic vents covering the sea floor.

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8)  Bathe in the Hampstead river below the ruins of a crumbling sugar mill that remains from the tumultuous colonial rule of the island.

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9) Try your hand at spearfishing in the refreshing shallows of Chaudierre Pool.  Collect snails from the nooks and crannies of rocks in the river bed, and scoop crayfish and crabs from the depths of the pool for a feast with local friends.

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10) Protect and guide newborn Leatherback sea turtles as they follow the light of the moon to the ocean to test their new fins.

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Support the Putney Open Door Fund!

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The Putney Barn Middlebury Half Marathon Team

Hello from the Putney Student Travel Barn!

We are excited to announce that on May 3, 2015, our team of five Putney Student Travel directors will run in Vermont’s Middlebury Half Marathon to raise $10,000 for the Putney Open Door Fund! The PODF is a non-profit foundation whose mission is to provide scholarships for students to participate in educational travel programs they could not otherwise afford. We welcome your donation of any amount toward (or surpassing!) our goal of $10,000 — enough to send two deserving high school students on enriching summer programs abroad.

You can make your donation securely through Crowdrise. Click here to donate!

Here are a few examples of how your donation can make a difference for an Open Door student:

$20 —  An Open Door student’s snorkeling excursion in the Galápagos Islands, surf lesson in Costa Rica, flamenco dance workshop in Spain, or batik lesson in Tanzania.

$50 — An Open Door student’s dinner and opera admission in Paris or stay at an ecolodge in Dominica.

$100 — An Open Door student’s guided hike to the basecamp of  the Cotopaxi Volcano in Ecuador.

$500 — The building supplies for an Open Door student’s community service project.

$1000 — The round trip international airfare of an Open Door student.

$5000 — An Open Door student’s tuition on the Community Service Costa Rica program.

With winter still upon us in Vermont, we’ll be donning our woolly underwear, clamping ice treads on our sneakers, and braving the arctic winds to train for the run. We’ll be posting updates on the Putney Blog with the latest on our goal progress and training for race day, so stay tuned!

Your support is greatly appreciated. Many thanks!

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Run PODF!

 

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Memories and Advice from Community Service Tanzania

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Hamjambo! (“Hello” in Swahili)

As we prepare for our twenty-first summer in Tanzania, we recently caught up with several alumni of our Community Service Tanzania program. Check out what they had to say about their most memorable Putney experiences, and the advice they have for future Tanzania participants.

You can also get a glimpse of our Community Service Tanzania program through our video (featuring Dylan Posner ’13 more from Dylan below) or the 2014 program blog.


 

Danny Feinberg on safari

Danny on safari in Ngorongoro Crater

 

Danny Feinberg, Community Service Tanzania ’07

Pitzer College ’13; Fulbright Scholar, Madrid, Spain

Most memorable Tanzania experience:

“Each student pursued an independent project on a topic of interest. My project was on tourism in Tanzania and how it affects Tanzanian communities and ecosystems. The interviews and research I conducted opened my eyes to the complicated impact that tourism can have on countries and communities that embrace it. The project was a great learning opportunity and has strongly influenced the way I travel.”

Advice for future Putney travelers:

“Take time to reflect. Keep a journal. Anytime you travel you will have profound, worldview altering experiences and if you are open to using them as learning opportunities, you will be all the richer for it. Putney designs their programs so that you will have a thoughtful, life-changing experience. Embrace that and make an effort to meaningfully connect with the people who live where you are.”


 

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Ben, center, and Sarah, top row third from right, with their group in Tarangire National Park

 

Ben Schwartz, Tanzania ’09

Senior at Washington University in St. Louis

Most memorable Tanzania experience:

“For our day-stay experience we were split into small groups and spent the day with a family in our community. My group spoke only limited Swahili and the family just a little English. We spent the whole day laughing together as we each tried to figure out what the other was saying, and it was really an amazing challenge getting to know each other. It definitely brought our group closer too.”

Advice for future Putney travelers:

“Go in with an open mind, not only about the destination and community but also your group members. The students on my program were all very different but we became incredibly close over the course of the trip because everyone was willing to embrace new experiences. Take advantage of every opportunity and meet as many people as possible!”


 

Ben and Sarah at work on their community service project

Ben and Sarah at work on their community service project

 

Sarah Riessen, Tanzania ’09

Bucknell University ’14; currently works in educational travel

Most memorable Tanzania experience:

“Tanzania opened a mindset to me that was buried under to-do lists, college plans, and résumé builders. It opened me to different measures of success, conceptions of progress, and environments for learning. It evoked a thirst for travel and learning that was tapering towards the end of high school.”

Advice for future Putney travelers:

“You’re lucky to be where you are! The effects of your trip and your experience may not be felt for years to come. Don’t be scared to think back to your experience and draw from it as you form your path through school and work.”


 

Dan Martucci

Dan, center, at our village’s farewell ceremony

 

Dan Martucci, Tanzania ’12, Pre-College Oxford/Tuscany ’10

Sophomore at Colgate University

Most memorable Tanzania experience:

“The community service aspect of this trip was both eye-opening and fulfilling.  As a group, we repainted a school classroom and poured concrete to make a terrace and steps. While on the program I also realized how important the environment is to the people of Tanzania. This trip inspired me to pursue my interest in sustainability and I currently serve on the sustainability council at Colgate University and plan to pursue a career in environmental law.”

Advice for future Putney travelers:

“Step outside of your comfort zone and completely immerse yourself in the culture, environment, and experiences of the communities you visit.  You’ll be happy that you did.”


 

Dylan, second from left, with his group in Tanzania

Dylan, second from left, with his group in Tanzania

 

Dylan Posner, Tanzania ’13, Pre-College China ’12

Senior at Abraham Joshua Heschel School

Most memorable Tanzania experience:

“Every night the group would sit around the fire and each share our highs and lows from the day. Coming together as one was a fantastic way to end the day, looking around at people with whom you share an incredible bond.”

Advice for future Putney travelers:

“If you’re considering Putney’s Tanzania program, 100% go! Be open to new and unique experiences. Often, these experiences are life-changing. The Tanzania program was, is, and will forever be looked back on and identified as my first life-changing experience. It has opened so many doors, helped me discover new passions, and brought up new ideas.”


Until next time, kwaherini! (“Goodbye” in Swahili)

 

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New Language Learning Spain Video

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We are thrilled to present our new Language Learning Spain video. Hear from students and leaders, see the transformational relationships they form with our amazing host families, and get a glimpse of the Spanish cuisine, culture, and landscape that has kept us coming back for over 50 years.

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Alumnus and Instructor Start Tours for Humanity

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Bo Hammond, right, and Dan King, center, at Pre-College at Amherst College during the summer of 2005

We recently reconnected with 2005 Pre-College at Amherst College alumnus Bo Hammond and longtime Pre-College at Amherst College ethics and philosophy instructor Dan King. Bo and Dan have kept in touch since Pre-College at Amherst College ten years ago, and are now collaborating on a new venture — Tours for Humanity. Combining their passions in history and philanthropy, Tours for Humanity will provide walking tours in Washington, D.C., with a portion of their profits going to charity. In the words of Bo and Dan, “A tour won’t save the world, but it’s a step in the right direction.” We are continually inspired by the work of our amazing alumni, and were excited to chat with Bo and Dan about their summer at Amherst, Tours for Humanity, and making giving a part of their everyday lives. Find out more about Tours for Humanity.

Tell us about your summer at Amherst. What has kept you in touch with one another over the years? Is there anything from the experience that has impacted this recent venture?

DK: Bo’s summer at Amherst was probably my favorite year teaching there.  The mix of staff and students was really great, and I think it was just one of those years where everything and everyone just clicked together almost instantaneously.  The bonds between the students themselves were really remarkable.  I remember we had to have a special staff meeting that year to discuss the discipline problems in the boys dorm, because they kept staying up all night sneaking into Bo’s room to play Risk. Every time one of us would “bust” them, we’d couldn’t help but have these huge grins on our faces, which the guys would immediately play into.  They would start coming up with clever ways about how this game of Risk linked to the various classes they were all taking, and it was really difficult to keep a straight face.

BH:  The classes I took were International Relations and the History of War, so I feel that late-night Risk was legitimate study and preparation for World Domination.  I am still good friends with folks I bonded with that summer.  Here they are, years later, helping me and Dan take on the world.  Putney gave me life long memories, my favorite book I bought in the town square at Amherst, and it also gave me my life-long habit of listening to lectures and speeches on my iPod.

DK: When Bo moved to go to college at American University here in DC, we immediately reconnected and shared our passion for politics.  He eventually became head of the College Democrats and started inviting me to the great speakers he managed to line up, including JFK advisor and speechwriter Ted Sorensen.  We have remained friends ever since.

Dan, what drew you to work with Putney?

DK: I came from a boarding school background, so I was very familiar with the incredible sense of community that can be established when teachers and students live and work together, and how important that can be to overall learning. Teachers really get to know their students in that situation, and, perhaps more importantly, students get to see their teachers as real people.  Students pick up on their interests and passions, both inside and outside of the classroom, and the interests and passions of their peers, and they become energized by that.  That sense of community creates not only a safe place to stretch limits, but also serves as a great source of inspiration, for teachers and students alike.  Putney is also a great experience as a teacher because teachers teach what excites them.  I firmly believe that the kind of energy that creates is infectious for the whole community and pushes everyone to try new things.

What inspired you to create Tours for Humanity?

DK: I had been teaching at a civics education organization in Washington, D.C., using the city as an open-air classroom for kids from all over the country, a bit like my time at Putney, but with D.C. as a background.  I thought Bo would be a great teacher in that situation so I encouraged him to apply right out of college.  Using my knowledge of the city and the memorials in it, I just sort of fell into a tour guiding gig and I recruited Bo for that as well. Right about that time, Bo’s girlfriend, Lisa, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and had to begin chemotherapy right away.  She is an incredible woman, and she and Bo together faced this daunting challenge.  She is now a cancer survivor and one of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s “Woman of the Year” candidates because of all the fundraising work that she and Bo undertook for LLS.  However, fundraising is exhausting.  They both wanted to do something more sustainable.  Around that time, Bo started reading “Start Something That Matters,”by Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS shoes, a company dedicated to the proposition that a successful business can also give back to the world.  All of these things swirled together in a cauldron, and out came Tours for Humanity.

How has your partnership shaped the project’s development?

DK: We have a great partnership that really plays to each of our strengths.  Lisa has an MBA from Trinity College in Dublin, so she has the business savvy.  Bo is the charisma and energy behind the endeavour and is a natural leader.  I handle the operations side.  All of us have a keen interest in giving back and making this project as sustainable as possible, and coming up with clever ways to have that incorporated into all parts of the business.

Tours for Humanity will cater to travelers in America’s capital — how has traveling influenced where you are today?

DK: After I worked at Amherst for Putney, I had the privilege of working at Putney’s Oxford-Tuscany program for a few years.  The Director of that program, Tom Kane, was  amazing, and one of the things he instilled in our group year after year was the idea of the Putney program as a “Traveling Group Adventure.”  That notion, which basically meant to embrace the adventure that comes from not having everything exactly planned out and taking advantage of opportunities you stumble upon, helped create this incredible community of open-minded travelers, both students and staff alike.   I remember finding the most incredible, bizarre, off-the-beaten-path, odd-ball museum for my World War II class in middle-of-nowhere Bologna.  Seriously, we had to take a bus out to the suburbs and then walk down a long,, dusty road that seemed to lead to nowhere.  But we met an amazing man, the proprietor of the museum, who had lived through the Nazi occupation of Bologna and had filmed, on a camera he bought from a fleeing German, the Allied liberation of Bologna, which he only allowed to be viewed at the museum.  No one else in the world has access to this film unless they travel there to see it.  The museum itself was just about the largest and most incredible collection of WWII artifacts I have ever seen.  It was an amazing experience, and could not have happened without both myself and my students being prepared for it, thanks to Tom Kane and this idea of embracing the chaos and, most importantly, not fearing mistakes and failure.  I think that belief is a big part of why Bo and I  believe we can do this.

BH:  Travel has shown us that we are all interconnected and that we have to work together on common problems and shared hopes.  Hopefully we can spread Tours for Humanity to other cities and turn travel into not only a way to enjoy the world but to help it.

Ideally, Tours for Humanity will be a way for travelers to give back as they learn about American history. Do you think giving is an inherent part of travel? How does one travel responsibly?

DK: I think giving is integral to travel.  When I worked with Pacific Island students at the civics education organization, I learned that giving is culturally ingrained when they travel.  They wouldn’t dare visit a new place without a meaningful gift from their home, usually highlighting their own culture.  Travel is the ultimate exchange, both for the traveler and for the hosts.  To travel responsibly means being open to that two-way exchange, to be humble and accepting of the new experiences and insights that different cultures provide, and to be ready to share yourself and your experiences of your own culture when the opportunity arises.

What advice do you have for young Pre-College students and world travelers?

DK: Embrace the chaos, in life in general, but especially as world travelers.  Flights will be delayed, museums and sites will be inexplicably closed.  Always keep looking around for those little opportunities that you otherwise miss by sticking to the plan.  Keep your head up and make it an adventure, no matter what happens.  And eat well.  The greatest moments I ever had traveling were exploring local culture through food.  It is the great common denominator among all peoples, and a wonderful way to connect with people with whom you might think you have little in common.

BH: For the love of all things good, read “Vagabonding” by Rolf Potts and “The 4-Hour Work Week” by Timothy Ferriss.  Travel is not about vacation. It’s about experiencing life in a meaningful and different way.

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Two dynamic leader pairs are back for Summer 2015!

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Extraordinary leaders make incredible programs. For 64 years Putney has employed exceptional leaders for our high school student programsgraduates of the nation’s top colleges and universities, with outstanding experience in teaching, foreign language, international living, and world travel. We are excited to welcome back some of our stellar alumni leaders for summer 2015. Justine Abou-Heif and Ryan Schroth will be returning for their third year with our Language Learning France program for 8th and 9th graders, and veteran leaders Kris de la Torre and Nate Marcus will be putting together their extensive experience in sustainable farming and cooking for our Farm to Table in Italy program. Click here to view our 2014 leader bios.

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Ryan Schroth and Justine Abou-Heif at the Putney Barn

Justine Abou-Heif

Language Learning France—8th and 9th grade

“What I enjoy most about working for Putney is the sense of excitement…from speaking with amazing new people at training with a wealth of experience, to meeting our students at the airport, there is a sort of Putney magic that can’t be recreated.  There is a sense of community, of trust, of openness, that all adds up to an inexplicable feeling associated with Putney.”

Currently Justine is a Grade 7/8 French Immersion Teacher at an elementary school in Ontario. In this position, she shares her love of culture, travel, and the French language with her students. She often returns to Nice, France, to continue her own immersion in French life. This will be Justine’s third year leading our Language Learning France program with Ryan.

Read Justine’s full bio.

Ryan Schroth

Language Learning France—8th and 9th grade

“I enjoy Putney’s careful preparation and planning of the trips…I am also completely behind Putney’s philosophy: language learning in-country wrapped up in fun excursions, challenging students to step out of their comfort zone and make personal growth, the commitment to creating an inclusive and caring team atmosphere…”

Currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Department of French and Italian, Ryan has continued to study language and the most effective methods to teach it. Ryan’s dissertation is on contemporary Francophone literature from Morocco, where he studied Moroccan culture and Arabic in 2011 as a Mellon-Wisconsin Fellow. This will be Ryan’s third year leading our Language Learning France program with Justine.

Read Ryan’s full bio.


 

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Kris De la Torre in Vermont

Kris De la Torre

Farm to Table in Italy

“The farm-to-table trip is the perfect marriage of my prior professional experience and passions: sustainable farming, food, community, youth, and travel.”

Based in New York City, Kris has taught classes at the famed Murray’s Cheese shop in the West Village, completed the F.A.R.M.S. apprenticeship at Blue Hill at Stone Barns in the Hudson Valley, and consulted for artisanal restaurants on her favorite ferments: cheese, beer, wine, and cured meats. She currently teaches classes about sustainable food distribution to high school students in the city, and represents a sustainable vineyard on the North Fork of Long Island. This will be Kris’s second year leading our Farm to Table in Italy program.

Read Kris’s full bio.

Nate Marcus

Chef and longtime Putney Leader Nate Marcus

Nate Marcus

Farm to Table in Italy

Nate is a full-time leader who has led 21 trips to various countries around the world. Nate currently teaches at Mise en Place Cooking School where he hosts and judges Iron Chef team-building events and instructs healthy cooking classes for the general public. He has led Putney programs since 2005 and taken several groups of students to Spain, in addition to programs in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Argentina, Cambodia, Switzerland, and Italy.

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Putney Student Travel and National Geographic

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National Geographic Student Expeditions Conservation in Action Belize

National Geographic Student Expeditions Conservation in Action program in Belize

Putney’s partnership with National Geographic has allowed us to create innovative programs that combine Putney’s over 60 years of experience in student travel with National Geographic’s spirit of adventure and exploration.  Through a variety of programs that focus on topics such as photography, filmmaking, community service, conservation, the sciences, and more, students explore hands-on, working on a tangible project that helps them engage with their destination.  Whether they’re monitoring dolphins alongside a marine biologist in Belize, helping to build a school in Thailand, or photographing Paris with the guidance of a National Geographic photographer, National Geographic’s teen travelers dig deep into incredible places all over the world.

Watch a video full of inspiring moments from last summer and get a glimpse of life on a National Geographic Student Expedition.  Then, visit the National Geographic website to see a full lineup of 2015 student expeditions including our popular trips to Ecuador and the GalápagosAustraliaPragueSwitzerland & France, and more.

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