Spring Break Experience

“Other than learning about sustainability, I just liked the tenderfoot aspect so much and the mentality of asking for help and trying to learn new things. I had a really insightful experience, as well as a much needed break from “real” life and I know that the students at the next program will also get so much from it!” – Spring Break Participant 2022

2024 Program Dates will be announced by August 1, 2023.

Program Cost: $275
Application Opens: October 15, 2023
Application Deadline: January 30, 2024

Interested in living more sustainably? Wonder how you can use sustainability in your career? Join Tenderfoot’s Spring Break Experience, and you’ll experience a new lifestyle and culture without the high cost of traditional study abroad.  With the guidance of our live-in staff, participants manage a garden, cook for each other, and work on sustainable building and maintenance projects.  Students also spend time in group discussion exploring how sustainability is relevant to their own academic majors, professions, and communities.  


(All times are in Eastern.)
Day One
10 am – 12 pm: Move-In
12:30 pm: Welcome Lunch
2 pm – 5 pm: Orientation & Tour
5 pm – 7 pm: Dinner
Day Two – Six
8 am: Breakfast
9 am – 12 pm: Crew Rotations*
12 pm – 2pm: Lunch & Break
2 pm – 5 pm: Sustainable Living Class (experiential & classroom activities)
5 pm – 7 pm: Dinner & Break
7 pm – : Reflection, Recreation, & Relaxation
Day Seven
10 am: Brunch
11:30 am: Wrap-up Reflection & Awards Session
12:30 – 4 pm: Optional Recreation & Relaxation – Check out by 4 pm.

*There are 3 service crews: Garden, Kitchen, & Infrastructure. Everyone will rotate through all three over the course of the week. The Garden Team tends the veggie beds, the Kitchen Team prepares lunch and dinner, and the Infrastructure Team works on building and/or maintenance projects.

Packing List

What to Bring

  • Clothing for 7 days plus a few extras in case of wet or cold
  • Medications or special food items you require
  • Closed-toed shoes suited to the outdoors
  • Rain coat if you have one (We’ll be outside rain or shine as long as it’s not storming.)
  • Sunscreen
  • Toiletries
  • Electricity-free fun: puzzles, card games, board games, books, musical instruments

What to Leave at Home

  • Bedding & towels – We have these to spare thanks to our awesome donors.
  • Coronavirus – Participants are required to have been fully vaccinated for at least two weeks at time of arrival and show a negative covid test. Social distancing will be impossible given the residential nature of this program.


  • Living at Tenderfoot is like going to camp for adults, with a full house instead of bunk houses or tents. Three student rooms are located on the ground floor, one quad and two doubles.
  • There are 2 bathrooms in the house, one on ground level, the other upstairs where the living areas and kitchen are also located. Unfortunately, Tenderfoot is not yet wheelchair accessible.
  • There’s a pond for fishing, swimming, and kayaking (two boats available, and a floating dock built by past students.).
  • Tenderfoot is part of a 3-mile trail system that criss-crosses our land and neighboring properties.
  • Technology: We don’t have great cell service but we have strong internet. Verizon service isn’t bad, and if you walk to the top of the driveway, it’s downright good.
  • Romeo is our resident cat.  Those with cat allergies please be aware.

Included in Program Fee

The $250 program fee covers all on-site expenses:

  • All meals (lunch on Day One through brunch on Day 7)
  • Lodging
  • All materials needed for work crews and experiential learning activities
  • Transportation for local field trips
  • Personal protective equipment & safety gear

Participants are responsible for arranging and paying for their own transportation to and from Tenderfoot. Participants arriving via the GoBus can arrange for Tenderfoot staff to pick you up at the bus stop located at Ohio University.

Questions? Email us at tenderfootlearninglab@gmail.com. Excited and ready to sign up? Apply here!