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Through guided outdoor lessons and purposeful adventure, students of all ages and backgrounds can gain the life-long benefits of experiential education at Tara's Meadow.


What is Experiential Education?

Experiential education is a “hands on” form of learning that begins with a concrete experience–one that usually takes place outside of the classroom. It provides students and individuals with a real-world challenge, followed by a period of reflection, learning, and growth. After individuals engage in their real-world experience, they are able to reflect on the process and apply the lessons more broadly to their own lives.

Years of research from educators across the globe have found experiential education beneficial to students, not only as a complementary addition to "regular" classroom learning but as an essential ingredient to life-long success. 

How does it work at Tara's Meadow?

Tara’s Meadow utilizes a wide range of experiential education methodologies, both at our Outdoor Base Camp on Beaver Island and throughout Northern Michigan:

  • Outdoor and place-based education

  • Adventure education

  • Community service learning

  • Independent study

  • Project-based learning

  • Local environmental and cultural education

  • Global interdisciplinary education

We provide a student-centered approach that's highly flexible and adaptable to individual needs. This helps learners increase their knowledge, develop their skills, clarify their values, and enhance their capacity to contribute to their communities.

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Who can get involved?

Experiential education is especially beneficial for the foundational learnings of youth, but folks of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to partake in these experiences. Tara's Meadow partners with institutions across the state of Michigan–including schools, colleges, universities, businesses, and nonprofits–to reach as many audiences as we can in the form of field trips, continuing education, group retreats, internships, or independent study.


Connect with us to learn how an experiential education partnership with Tara's Meadow can benefit you or your school!

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An eye-opening experience

Participating in the Beaver Island class experience at Tara’s Meadow was an eye-opening experience. Truly a great cap off for any college semester, because taking class outside and getting rid of the boxed classroom style allows for students to not only read and remember but also live the lesson at the same time.



My experience at Tara's Meadow, on Beaver Island, was life-altering...Living in nature allowed me to open my mind to the connectedness of humans in the environment, and brought the need for sustainability to the forefront . . . We learned that daily choices, whether mental or physical, positive or negative, affect our environment in ways that we were previously unaware. The learning was internalized and became solidified in our minds in ways that classroom learning can only hope to do.


Learning on a deeper level

This Beaver Island experience will forever stay in my heart and mind, because staying at Tara’s Meadow provided worthwhile educational and personal growth with myself. Unlike in most conversations inside a classroom, we paid attention to each other . . . It became beneficial to completely ignore my cell phone, that was left in my tent, and instead always be prepared with a notebook, journal, pen, and an eager mind. I’d highly recommend this educational experience to anyone that is willing to step up and venture out into the wild to build a sense of community with their fellow classmates and professors. This experience introduced us to continually learning from our natural surroundings and each other, on a deeper level than feeling trapped inside a classroom. We had more than enough space to genuinely learn and teach.


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