At the Brandeis-Bardin Campus of American Jewish University, we offer a wide range of programs to fit the needs of your group. We will work with you to create a schedule appropriate to your educational goals. Below is a list of some of our most popular outdoor programs. These programs have been designed to promote social interaction between the group participants and to supplement the education that they receive at school in the environment, science, social studies and the arts.
The Adventure Course
For groups wanting a program that encourages teams to work on group dynamics and trust building, our challenging adventure course is guided by an expert in this area. The course contains two separate high ropes courses: a 50 foot Carolina Climbing Wall, and a 50 foot Alpine Tower, and a low ropes course. The structures are engineered to allow individuals the opportunity to push themselves in ways never anticipated.
50’ Climbing Wall – offers individuals six different climbing challenges to the top. Great for self-esteem building and pure fun.
Alpine Tower – 50’ high structure that combines the team building of low initiatives with the thrill of climbing 50 feet above ground. Participants learn how to climb the tower using different routes of varying difficulty.
In a high ropes session, participants are encouraged to overcome their fears and challenge themselves to climb either our wall or our Alpine Tower. Participants learn problem-solving skills and build confidence and gross-motor skills as they navigate their way to the top of the climbing facility while their peers cheer them on.
In a low ropes session an entire group is challenged to work together to achieve goals. The low ropes sessions consist of games and initiatives that ask participants to cooperate and problem solve. Some activities will use props, some will use special low ropes apparatuses and some will need nothing but clear thinking and cooperation.
Nearly an acre of our land is dedicated to our organic teaching garden. In the garden, participants may have an opportunity to plant, pick, weed or compost. No matter what needs to be done in the garden when a group is present, participants will learn about plants and how they grow as well as nutrition and food issues in the United States such as hunger, food processing and organic practices. The garden is also a place where students can learn about growth and decay, the water cycle and water conservation, agricultural societies and insects.
The Brandeis-Bardin Campus offers many different hiking trails of varying lengths and ability levels. On a hike on our grounds, participants will challenge themselves physically while learning about the flora and fauna in a chaparral zone, medicinal uses for many plants, and some basic survival skills. A Brandeis hike challenges participants to observe their surroundings in a way that they may not normally do otherwise. We provide many stops along the way to teach and to ask that participants look around and ask questions about what they see. By doing this, participants become more aware of their natural surroundings and the wonder in nature. Our outback area also has some wonderful examples of tectonic movement and is therefore a good place to teach elementary geology. Other topics on hikes include ecology, the water cycle and self-reflection.
Folk dance is way for participants to step out of their comfort zone just enough to feel challenged and have a new experience. Our folk dance instructors will teach participants dances while also teaching about the history of Israeli dance and the significance of dancing in folk tradition. In folk dancing, there are no solos and there are no spotlights. Each person participates according to his/her own ability and each person is equal in the dance. Folk dancing focuses on coordination and gross-motor skills as well as cooperation and community.
Arts and Crafts
Our staff can put together an art project for your group that focuses on the theme that you have chosen for your group. Our educational philosophy encourages the use of art as a gateway for learning. Whether you would like to do a nature craft or use art to help participants process their experience here, we can develop a project to fit the needs of your group.
For groups that stay at Brandeis-Bardin in the evening, we have a variety of music programs for different ages. Groups that have campfires can have a musician come and play for the group or lead a song session. We also have access to excellent drum circle facilitators. In a drum circle session, participants will learn to cooperate, follow the lead of a peer, lead a peer and let go of inhibition and let the music dictate what the group does. Participants in drum circles are encouraged to overcome embarrassment and ego. We also have access to folk musicians who can teach songs to participants to be performed for the group.
- Horseback Riding
- Composting workshop
- Arts and crafts
- Survival training
- Service project
- Talent Show
- Camp Fire