Rustic Pathways is dedicated to service in the United States through education, rebuilding and environmental conservation. For the last five years, we have supported the rebuilding of New Orleans, one of America’s greatest cities and we are proud to expand our programs in the United States with new service trips in Arizona, Northern California, Alaska and Washington DC. We have well-travelled full-time and part-time staff in the United States and a deep commitment to excellence and service.
We custom design our Journeys to meet your school’s requirements, so please contact us to discuss the type of experience you are looking for. As a general guide, here are some of the potential elements of your Journey through USA:
Rustic Pathways has developed various long-term partnerships with communities, cities, and local organisations in the USA.
Some of our service projects that you could support include:
Food Centre: The centre where you’ll be working serves one hot meal each day, primarily to Native American local residents. It also offers emergency food boxes and holds literacy and enrichment programs for young students. Spend the morning in the kitchen, preparing food for those in need, and using donated fresh and canned food to create a hot, delicious meal for those who can’t afford to make their own.
Rebuilding New Orleans: Work with a grassroots rebuilding organization in New Orleans. Help out at a local school, community garden, or community center and see how the city is being rebuilt socially after the levee breaches in 2005. Work alongside other volunteers on small-scale construction projects to help with this great cause.
Urban gardens: Work on an urban gardening project to learn about the city’s access to healthy food. Many blighted properties have been changed into functional, producing gardens that both provide food for residents and restaurants, and help to beautify neighborhoods that have been in decline since the mid-20th century.
Refugees in Baltimore: Learn about the history and legislation surrounding refugee resettlement in Baltimore and aid in the development of literacy skills of refugee students. Through working with schools and NGO’s you can Teach and mentor refugee youth in Baltimore.
You may like to incorporate some of the following experiences into your Journey:
Desert Botanical Garden: Learn about the people, plants, and animals that have inhabited this area for thousands of years. Take in the beautiful and strange desert landscape and start to understand how life is different here than “back home.”
Montezuma’s Castle: Built by the Sinagua, northern cousins of the Hohokam, Montezuma Castle is a significant ruin between Phoenix and Flagstaff.
Food shortage in the land of excess: Get to know what kind of healthy food can be made for the least money and prepare the meal mostly using supplies from local donors. Learn why so many people are left without healthy food options in a land of excess, and what can be done to change that.
Arcosanti: Set just outside of Sedona, Arcosanti is a desert community that focuses on using ecology and design to create a sustainable space for people to live in this ever more complicated world. Take a tour of the town as well as some art spaces, and settle in for a campfire and discussion in the cool night of Arizona’s beautiful desert.
French Quarter: Open your eyes to the unique culture of the Crescent City, New Orleans, starting in the famous French Quarter. Shop in the French Market, eat some beignets, and spend some time on Royal Street where musicians play while people wander shopping and taking in the day.
Cycling the city: Take a ride around New Orleans and see how the neighbourhoods were physically affected by the floods, and learn a little history of this special city.
Mardis Gras: Take an afternoon to learn about the Mardi Gras Indians from an expert, and explore the Faubourg Tremé neighborhood and the famous Congo Square.
International Rescue Committee: Meet with representatives in Baltimore from the International Rescue Committee to learn more about world humanitarian efforts and how they offer lifesaving care, and life-changing assistance, to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster
Washington D.C: Take a tour of any of the main attractions in this exciting city – The White House, Vietnam memorial, Capitol building, Arlington National Cemetery, Tomb of the Unknowns, WW2 memorial, National Mint, Grand Central Terminal, Washington Monument, Smithsonian Natural History Museum, Lincoln Memorial or the Washington Monument where the adventurous can climb to the top!
Adventure and challenge is inherent to every Journey, however, if you are looking to physically challenge your students through a specific activity, you may opt to include:
Hiking: Explore some of the Arizona hills and mountain regions with some unforgettable day hikes.
Alaska Wilderness: Become a true wilderness adventurer in America’s last frontier. Denali National Park will introduce you to the incredible views Alaska has to offer before heading out on the camping trip of a lifetime. Learn survival skills by a wilderness guide as you build shelters, make fire, and learn to live off the land. Take a thrilling whitewater rafting trip down Six Mile Creek where you’ll see diverse wildlife, such as whales, otters, and bears, and hike to views of stunning glaciers.
Grand Canyon: Head to the beautiful South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Watch the cactus and endless desert zoom past you as you head towards one of America’s most breathtaking landmarks. Walk around the rim, take some photos, and then explore! Bike around the Grand Canyon’s edge and look down at the tiny Colorado River, the water that carved this gorge millions of years ago.
Gumbo Cook-off: Listen to local Cajun music and pick up a few dance moves while learning to prepare a traditional southern dish known as gumbo. A fun and delicious way to spend an afternoon and the teams dishes will be judged by our hungry guides!
Baseball: Head to a Baltimore Orioles game at beautiful Camden Yards where you will enjoy America’s favourite pastime.
There are various accommodation options that we can offer in USA; it depends on how “rustic” you would like your Journey to be.
Hotels: A variety of 3, 4 & 5 star hotels in cities and towns
Hostel: Clean and safe accommodation with gender-separated shared bunkrooms.
Hike, surf, and camp on this epic road trip
Meet your Program Leaders after landing in San Francisco and head to the hostel where your group will participate in an orientation to the Golden State and on your program ahead.
Drive to the Muir Woods National Monument, breathe the fresh air, and explore the beauty of the giant redwoods as you adventure through the park. Continue south along historic Highway 1 and admire the staggering cliffs and expansive Pacific Ocean. Stop for a scenic picnic lunch at Half Moon Bay and wind along the coastline with stops for picturesque views before arriving at your lodging for the evening.
Spend the morning with expert facilitators who will lead the group through a series of intentional and fun activities designed to cultivate skills that lead to positive group dynamics. Work on creative problem-solving, clear communication, and self-awareness. Drive toward Monterey where you’ll explore the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Have an exhilarating adventure while exploring the redwood forest. Select your challenge level on aerial trails and more than 30 elements, including swinging logs, cargo nets, and cables set 30 to 80 feet in the air! Continue to strengthen the team bond, focusing on challenge, fun, and group interaction. Drive north to San Francisco along the coast and settle in.
Spend your mornings volunteering at a nonprofit dedicated to the people of San Francisco. Learn what hunger and homelessness look like in the city and participate in service that could include serving food at a shelter or organizing donated clothing. Enjoy museums in the afternoons, visit the iconic Fisherman’s Wharf, and walk through the infamous Alcatraz.
Reflect on time well spent in nature and the bonds you made with your group throughout your adventure before heading to the airport.
Please chat to us if you have any special requests that you would like included in your Journey.
There is nothing too big, small, or out-of-the-box that we can’t handle.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to start designing your Journey!
We would be delighted to partner with your school to support the global education of your students.