The Expedition Club aims to create and sustain learning communities with youth from all over the world. These learning communities are characterized by a distinctive set of values that include:
+ A lively intellectual life of inquiry.
+ A recognition of individual differences that are prized and respected.
+ Where diversity is emphasized as an avenue to creative innovations and perspectives.
+ A Community in which members are encouraged for their achievements and strongly supported when they need assistance.
+ It is an environment that provides opportunities for leadership and collaboration.
+ It is a community that shares a common belief that creative friction is necessary at time in order to develop the necessary skills of collaboration in solving community problems.
+ A learning community requires honesty, high integrity, and personal responsibility of its members and expects that they hold one another accountable for living up to these values.
+ It is an environment that is active and varied in the context of healthy fun, but that is also spontaneous and finds joy in the unexpected.
+ It shares a belief that while the community may find strength in its relative isolation, it can not accomplish its mission without meaningful connections that link it to the global community and to the ideals of social justice.
+ And finally the community must celebrate its legacy. Affirmation of The Expedition Club's history gives value and meaning to our current mission.
Currently we run four programs creating different types of learning communities.
One: The Global Community Project: Phapang, Thailand. For this project we bring 15 students from the ages of 15 - 18 years old to the small 800-person village of Phapang Thailand. For five weeks the students teach English, help plant rice, and become a part of the community. They learn communication, friendship and the importance of other cultures.
Two: The Global Community Project: Ichikawa, Japan. The Ichikawa GCP focuses on communities within small Japanese households. Each student takes part in a home-stay exchange. The students will go to Japan in the Fall and live in Ichikawa for 10 days taking part in the community. Then in the Spring the Japanese students from those families come to Port Townsend and participate in our community. The project brings long lasting cultural understanding and community relationships.
Three: The Urban Plunge: Seattle, WA. The Urban Plunge does exactly what the name describes. It takes students and plunges them into the urban environment. We have connections with the "Bread of Life" homeless shelter located in downtown Seattle. The students work here and live here. They gain an understanding of the human condition and a broader sense of social justice.
Four: Leadership Retreat: Neskowin, OR. The program focuses on giving students a true understanding of community and teamwork by doing "survival hikes" through the forest and team walkabouts. The project strives to show leadership is a community effort that is not only physical, like during the survival hikes, but also emotional and mental.
James Roberts, founder of The Expedition Club, has been a teacher for close to 40 years. In that time he has seen the enormous impact projects like this have not only on the students themselves but the communities they go into. He started doing leadership retreats nearly 20 years ago and to this day, with the help of Facebook, old students get in contact and express the huge impact it had in their lives. We strongly believe in Learning Communities and their impact on not only the students at the time, but the world as a whole.