The Road Less Traveled
2331 N Elston Court
Chicago, IL 60614
Seeds of Change takes us on a journey from seed to plate. We gather in Chicago, and head to the massive dunes, beaches, and coastline of southwest Michigan. Here we'll explore orchards, farms, and markets, and learn how our "chow" makes its way from field to market.
Our trip leaders were absolutely fantastic and they made the trip so much better for me. It was cool meeting people from all over the country and hearing stories about all the different places they were from. We had lots of inside jokes and my experience with the group helped me realize that I didn’t need my phone or social media as much as I thought. It was really nice to be without a phone and technology. -RLT alumna
Keep scrolling to learn more about this middle school farm to table community service and adventure program in Michigan!
Saugatuck Dunes State Park offers 1,000 acres, 14 miles of hiking trails, 200-foot-high dunes, and a secluded 2.5 mile stretch of shoreline to roam freely by foot or by dune buggy.
This stretch of serene waters is the ideal location to observe animals in the wild and spend the day taking in the natural beauty.
Explore the “Third Coast” of the United States, the 6th largest lake in the world, and the only Great Lake located entirely in the US. Lake Michigan is home to the largest freshwater dune system in the world and home to 1,400 miles of pristine shoreline.
What makes a farm organic and how can we support local farmers? We explore these questions and more as we work alongside local organic farmers and learn how our food goes from seed to plate.
This beautiful bike trail links the city of South Haven to Kalamazoo crossing charming countryside and tree-lined orchards. The trail is harmoniously shared by bikers, hikers, and the occasional horseback rider.
Meet, learn from, and cook with a master chef, entrepreneur, and educator as she teaches us her philosophy on cooking and shares her dedication to serving food from local farmers.
Environmental Community Service: Partner with a local organic farm and help with the planting and harvesting of vegetables.
A Certificate of Community Service indicating the total hours worked and a Presidential Volunteer Service Award will be issued upon successful completion of the program.
6 - 8
Tuition includes all activities and food while on the trip, along with a basic travel protection package. The Road Less Traveled has purchased the Group Protection plan post-departure benefits on behalf of all participants. If interested in the optional Cancel for Any Reason benefits please contact the RLT office for rates and information.
Lodging is in a private home. Bedrooms will be divided by gender and participants will sleep slumber party style – in sleeping bags, rotating available beds nightly. Showers are available; however, we shower every three to four days to conserve resources and support sustainability.
Chicago, IL O'Hare (ORD)
Last summer we successfully ran our Colorado Wolf Refuge program allowing students to get outside, socialize with their peers, and volunteer their time. After months of quarantine and increased exposure to technology, time in the outdoors has proven to be exactly what students needed. With an abundance of caution and well defined protocols, we were able to keep students safe, healthy, and happy. We are confident that we are able to continue offering life changing experiences in the outdoors, mitigating risk to keep students safe. We encourage you to learn more here about our policies related to COVID-19.
Arrival (Day 1):
All arrive in Chicago, IL. Depart for home base in Southwest Michigan.
Our time at the farm will be spent planting, harvesting, and assisting with prep to sell at the farmers market. We’ll learn about the methods, regulations, and processes it takes to make a healthy plant environment a priority. Our afternoons are spent hiking, picking berries at local farms, exploring the Lake Michigan beaches, and nightly bonfires. At the end of our farm service week, we’ll enjoy a meal prepared with ingredients from many local farms, including some of what we have harvested ourselves!
Take a bike ride through a scenic section of the Kal-Haven Trail, a former railroad linking South Haven to Kalamazoo. After we ride, we’ll explore Mount Baldhead Park and climb the 300 steps to see birds-eye views of the Kalamazoo River.
We’ll spend the day paddling around the Kalamazoo River, taking in the scenery and looking for Deer, Fox, Osprey and an amazing assortment of water fowl.
In the morning, we’ll enjoy all that Saugatuck Dunes State Park has to offer. The park resides along a private strip of Lake Michigan coastline and provides 1,000 acres of land to explore. For dinner we’ll prepare a fresh meal with our Farmer’s Market finds and share a final banquet by campfire.
Head back to Chicago and say our goodbyes before catching flights home.
Please note that, given the unprecedented nature of travel currently, this itinerary is subject to change.
The Road Less Traveled requires an up-to-date tetanus shot or booster (within the last nine years). In addition, we require an RLT Physician's Form to be signed by the partcipant's physician, affirming they are healthy to travel on an RLT trip.
We will use a combination of quarantining prior to arrival, receiving negative test results, distancing from other groups, utilizing outdoor spaces, masking when distancing and outdoor spacing isn't possible, and sanitizing regularly to create our isolated bubble. We have mitigation plans should a participant or staff present with symptoms of COVID-19, and have extensively researched testing sites and medical facilities in the areas we travel. We are in constant communiation with top experts in the field to stay educated so we're able to make the best decisions for RLT, our participants, and our staff. We have had to completely rethink our itineraries to create COVID-19-safe programming while still maintaining the integrity of the RLT experience.
If you’d like to receive an emailed copy of this program’s day-to-day calendar, please give our office a call anytime between 9am and 5pm CST at 773-342-5200, and we’ll happily send you one!
It is imperative that no one make any travel arrangements until RLT provides instructions for specific arrival and departure time windows. Those details are typically released in mid-spring.
Families are individually responsible for booking their own airfare to get their student from home to the starting destination on the first day of the trip, and from the ending destination back home on the last day of the trip.