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Everest Academy is a ministry of Everest Family Church in Hayden. We offer freedom along with quality resources, information, activities and support to those homeschooling in Alabama. We believe that the parent has the best interests of their children at heart. We believe that the parent is the first and only teacher that a child needs. In keeping with this philosophy, we wish to be a very hands-off church "cover" school and allow the parent to lead and guide their children in the direction and at the pace they feel is best suited to their children. We ask only for what the law requires while offering support along with quality resources to aid families in their efforts.

Aug. 4 - 8 (Deadline July 21), TN: Teen Adventure Week Field Trip

Aug. 4 - 8
Teen Adventure Week! 
South Cumberland State Park in Tennessee

We will be camping at South Cumberland State Park in Tracy City, Tennessee and working and playing with Park Greer, their newest ranger. He has done 2 weeks with us in the past as a their seasonal ranger and is fantastic.

The week will involve hiking, swimming, service projects, canoeing, rock climbing, caving and various learning adventures such as star gazing, local lore, plant ID, geography and geology. Days will run early to late with some time to hang out and relax scattered through the days. A sample day might be getting up at 6 and working on a trail project until 10, then having a swim and hanging out at the campsite for a couple of hours. Then going to the visitor center to see the snakes and watch a video about the area followed by some play time at the basketball court or out in the open field and then chili at the pavilion before heading back to camp. Or waking up and going for a sunrise canoe trip and picking up trash as we paddle around the lake, then putting in a couple of hours on the new interpretive trail, heading back to rock climb for the afternoon with a swim at dark and a campfire storytelling time with hot dogs and smores. We will do our best to balance relaxing time with helping out on service projects and taking advantage of the natural area and exploring.

Your teen will need to be able to handle being HOT and grubby, walking up to 5 miles at a time with serious climbs carrying their own food and water and walk at least a mile carrying more weight like a shovel or the rock climbing gear, be able to swim well-we will only have life jackets on in the canoes but will swim daily. They need to listen and follow directions about using hand tools, climbing equipment, the canoes and so on. They will need to be able to get up early (without dramatics) and be up late, I am talking 12-16 hour days and being very active. If your child likes to goof off, the all-ages trip would be a better choice as it will be much more laid back. I will expect any parent who does not come along to be able to come pick up their child if they can't follow the rules of the park or are unable to physically keep up.

There is no power and cell coverage is spotty, don't send electronics (I will make an exception for cameras, cell phones and those battery chargers which we will be able to charge at the visitor center overnight, so send more than one set of batteries for the cameras) and I can't promise they can check in daily, though if your child wants to speak with you urgently, I will drive them into town to call. You can call the state park visitor center at (931) 924-2956 if you can't reach me or your child's phone directly and if it is an EMERGENCY. They will radio Park and he can pass the info along. You can leave a voicemail otherwise.

Parents are welcome, in fact I need one or two more to drive and be there!

We will be camping at Foster Falls, it is a primitive campground but there are flush toilets and water. The bathhouse is closed this season, so we will be swimming each day to keep the grubby at a minimum! Adventure! Biodegradable soap and shampoo is a must-no fru-fru soapy stuff that can harm the animals who live there. Tents and camping hammocks are both fine. Because of the grub factor, a sleeping bag with a sheet or liner is a good idea so the bag does not get dirt ground in. If there is a vote to do so, I can arrange to wash the liners mid-week.

We will work up the menu for our group evening meals soon. Each person will need to have their own breakfast, lunch and snacks and I can work in grocery shopping to restock them mid-week if needed. Think protein bars, granola, jerky, trail mix with dried fruit, chocolate bits and almonds, Fritos, hazelnut spread, apples, hard boiled eggs, packaged tuna, brick cheese, pepperoni and tortillas, Snickers bars (with almonds, not peanuts)-not lots of prep time, cooking or special storage needs (like a cooler). I won't be running off to pick up ice every day. They will eat a LOT OF FOOD.

The cost: $80 per person- $40 for the group fund which can be sent via Paypal any time and $40 for pocket money to send on the trip.
The group fund will cover any camping fees, group items like paper products and anything left I will add to a thank you card to give to the ranger.
The pocket money will cover a treat-trip to the bakery and the ice cream place as well as dinner at a burger spot all the locals love and an all you can eat pizza buffet after our caving adventure as well as incidentals they may want or need (such as coffee drinks). They should have money left over to bring home, I am just trying to err on the side of caution.

I will assign parts of each evening meal to each family the week before we leave to avoid as much last-minute bail-outs as possible and we will work out if you should send the item (in the instance of food that does not need to be kept cold-canned beans, bread, marshmallows, condiments) or money to cover it (for things that need to be kept cold that would be better to buy the day of the meal-cheese, meats, butter, fresh veggies). LET ME KNOW ABOUT ANY ALLERGIES.
I will post schedule and menu 2 weeks ahead of time.

I know this does not cover everything, I will answer questions as they come up, feel free to message me, e-mail (roamschool at gmail dotcom) or post here. I will answer all I can and pass along what I can't to our ranger.

For more info, here is my blog from a 2-night stay last fall with just 6 teens:

What I need from you:
Names of teens and adults interested in going.
Camping accommodations and if you need anything.
Equipment you could loan if needed-a cot, sleeping bag, tent, daypack and so on.
If you can drive and stay the week and how many extra people you could haul (even if it's just part of the week).

Please RSVP to Esther Crawford at roamschool@gmail.com.  Deadline to RSVP is July 21.