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Confluence 2016-17

See sections below for information on the 2016-17 program:

  • Parent and Student Orientation
  • August Immersion
  • Yearlong Confluence and Flow
  • Costs and Supplies
  • Additional Notes

Parent and Student Orientation: May 25, 2016

  • 6:00 p.m. at the Phillips Academy Log Cabin at 206 Highland Rd. in Andover (image of entrance from road here)
  • We will gather with all accepted students and members of their families to introduce you all to each other and to Confluence. At this time, you will have questions answered as to what to expect during the August Immersion and yearlong Confluence; what to pack and how to prepare for the August Immersion; and what outcomes you might anticipate. We encourage you to explore the Frequently Asked section prior to this Orientation.

August Immersion: August 6 - August 10, 2016 (Subject to change)

  • Saturday: Meet on PA campus (log cabin) at 10:00 a.m.; group re-introductions; official launch, theory, and group challenge; lunch, rules of conduct, and plenary session; walk Pennacook Trail along the Merrimack River from Andover into Lawrence; reflection, journal, and dinner at Café Azteca; leave for home by 9:00 p.m.; spend night at individual homes
  • Sunday: Meet on PA campus (log cabin) at 9:00 a.m.; theory, reflection, and prepare Full Value Contract; gear check; explore Shawsheen River from Shawsheen Village to confluence with Merrimack River in Lawrence; reflection, journal, and dinner at Salvatore's; leave for home by 9:00 p.m.; spend night at individual homes
  • Monday: Meet on PA campus (log cabin) at 8:00 a.m.; pack for camping and canoeing; move to Serio's Grove campground on Shawsheen River to set up camp; learn paddle technique and explore the Shawsheen River Greenway, by boat and on foot, from Tewksbury border to Ballardvale; lunch and dinner at camp site or on river; theory, reflection, and bonding; journal and camp at Serio's Grove
  • Tuesday: Breakfast at the campsite by 7:30 a.m.; brief reflection at camp site; explore Spicket River Greenway with members of Groundwork Lawrence; reflection and lunch on the Spicket River Greenway; collaborate on a project with the GWL GT - So Green; return to campsite to clean up, rest, and journal; dinner and group challenge at campsite; camp at Serio's Grove
  • Wednesday: Breakfast at 8:00 a.m.; break camp by 10:00 a.m.; return to PA campus and unpack; journal and challenge course activity; lunch in the woods and selection of projects; closing group reflection and end by 4:00 p.m.; parents/guardians should pick up at the PA log cabin

Yearlong Confluence and Flow

  • Confluence: Bi-monthly group meetings in person at different sites--partner schools or other locales in the community (September, November, January, March, May)
  • Virtual Confluence: Bi-monthly group meetings/discussion boards/video conferences, hosted on Google Sites (October, December, February, April)
  • Flow: Ongoing, yearlong projects/internships centered around local environmental themes in our regional community
    • Weekly or biweekly individual engagement, per the needs of the partner or partner organization
  • Output: Real and actionable contributions to our community--for instance, a proposal to municipal governments; a tangible product, such as a magazine, blog, podcast series, or documentary; and/or a public event to rally the local community around local and global issues
    • The participants, collectively, will co-design the output with support from mentors, partners, and collaborators
  • Watershed Moment: One final adventure to celebrate our year together
    • Urban whitewater rafting on the Concord River, toward the confluence with the Merrimack in Lowell, MA (between April 2 and May 22; See Zoar Outdoor's website for details - https://www.zoaroutdoor.com/rafting/concord-river.htm)

Costs and supplies


The costs for the 2016-2017 will be covered by the Tang Institute at Andover, a Phillips Academy initiative with an eye toward partnerships in the Merrimack Valley.  Transportation, food, and most of the supplies for Confluence, such as sleeping bags, camping gear, and all the equipment for outdoor adventures, will be provided by the partner schools.  Participants may use their own sleeping bags and should provide their own pillows.  A packing list will be provided.


Additional notes


Bilingual (English and Spanish) waivers and health forms will be furnished by Phillips Academy and will be required for all participants. Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) and Sex Offender Registry Information (SORI) checks will be performed for all adult participants, including partners, collaborators, and contributors who interact in person with students.

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