Summer adventures in sustainability for students age 15 to 18
- 2014 Summer Programs
- Programs for Schools
- FAQs & Resources
- Why Sustainable Summer
- About Us
You'll find answers here to general questions about Sustainable Summer. If you don't see your question to the left, please check individual program pages for specific information about a destination or just give us a call!
If you have already applied or enrolled in a Sustainable Summer program and are looking for answers to FAQs, please check our Participant Resources section.
We are able to accept students from any location worldwide, although if you are applying from outside the United States there may be special visa and insurance requirements as part of your participation. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org prior to submitting your application.
Application Process and Fee: There is a $35 non-refundable application fee for applications received prior to April 1st. After April 1st, the application fee increases to $70. Applications will be reviewed on a weekly basis, and students and parents will be notified via email of the acceptance decision. We base our acceptance decisions on the applicant’s ability to demonstrate interest in sustainability issues and to contribute positively to our community of students. As part of the application process, we conduct a short telephone “interview” with each student. Please see our application policies for more information.
Enrollment Process and Deposit: Enrollment information will be provided with the acceptance decision. A $500 non-refundable deposit is required to secure enrollment in the program and is applied against the cost of tuition. Enrollment deposits can be made online by credit card, Paypal, e-check or bank transfer. Please see our application policies for more information.
Tuition Payment: An invoice for the balance of tuition will be sent to the billing email address provided upon enrollment. The balance of tuition is due by April 1st if enrolling before March 15 and within 2 weeks of enrollment if applying after March 15. Payment plans are available on request. The tuition balance is payable online by check or e-check drawn on a US bank account. Credit card payments for the tuition balance will be assessed a 3.0% processing fee (NOTE: there is no fee for credit card payments on the application fee and initial $500 enrollment deposit). International students must pay by wire transfer. Please see our application policies for more information.
Refund Policy: All tuition payments less the $500 non-refundable enrollment deposit are fully refundable up to April 1st. Tuition payments less the $500 non-refundable enrollment deposit and a $500 cancellation fee are refundable up to May 1st. There are no refunds after May 1st. Please see our application policies for more information.
All participants are required to be enrolled in a comprehensive medical and travel insurance as part of their program tuition. (You will be given the option of having Sustainable Summer purchase a plan from our preferred provider on your behalf when you enroll in the program.) We use private transportation when traveling between locations. We work exclusively with experienced local operators who have been vetted by our team. We conduct training with all trip leaders and establish clear protocols to mitigate risk and effectively mobilize resources in the event of an emergency. Please see our Safety page for a more comprehensive overview of our approach to student health and well-being. If you have specific questions about your situation, please contact us to discuss. Answers to some common questions about health and safety are below:
Jeff Sharpe is the director and co-founder of Sustainable Summer. Jeff also serves as the head Trip Leader on our programs. Jeff brings extensive experience operating summer travel programs for high school students to Sustainable Summer. He is a former partner and director of Career Explorations, a summer internship program for high school students, and Vertex Academic Services, an educational consulting company. Jeff subsequently served as Executive Director for Discovery Internships before leaving to found Sustainable Summer. Jeff began his professional career as a program director with Kaplan, Inc. and has been working with young people for over a decade as a tutor, mentor, and coach, including several years as a youth wilderness guide and facilitator. Jeff has a BA from Bucknell University and an MA from Dartmouth College, where his thesis research focused on globalization’s impact on water resource management in developing countries using Ecuador as a case study. Jeff is a former Division I swimmer and an avid skier and whitewater kayaker. He enjoys adventure travel, playing guitar, following the latest news in politics, and environmental conservation advocacy. Jeff is also the President of Sustainable Learning, Sustainable Summer’s corporate parent.
Karen is an environmental educator with diverse experience teaching cultural and natural history, as well as sustainability to young people. She has designed and facilitated food and garden-based educational programs, taught river ecology in the Bronx, interpreted art history at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and tutored students at an NYC public school. In 2010, Karen co-founded Encouraging Arts, and travelled around South America teaching a workshop on empowerment through art, living for much of that time in Ecuador where she taught at an elementary school in a Kichwa community outside of Tena. Karen received her BA from University of Massachusetts-Amherst and is currently pursuing her MS in Environmental Education from Antioch University. Her graduate work is focused on educating for sustainability with a focus on community building and environmental justice. She enjoys gardening, yoga, hiking, snowboarding, painting, and playing music.
Tim Walsh is a life coach with twenty years of program development and leadership experience in the fields of addiction recovery, outdoor leadership and youth development.
As an accomplished outdoor educator, Tim has held leadership positions with schools, camps and youth groups, creating protocols and trainings for outdoor leadership and adventure-based education. He develops and leads outdoor expeditions and service trips throughout the Americas and the Caribbean.
Trevor has extensive experience traveling in Latin America and guiding young people in wilderness environments. He graduated from college with an environmental science degree and currently lives in Asheville, NC where he is involved with various sustainability projects in the mountains of Western North Caroline. In addition to Sustainable Summer, Trevor works as a wilderness therapy instructor leading kids 12-18 on backpacking trips through parts of the Southern Appalachians. He has completed a Natural Building apprenticeship, worked with cob on a mass heater, helped design and build a biogas digester, and formally studied Permaculture principles. Trevor grew up in New Canaan, CT. While in high school he travelled to Mexico and Costa Rica to participate in service learning trips where he worked with local communities and stayed with a local family for a portion of the trip. In college he volunteered as a tutor, worked as a Biology Lab teaching assistant, and volunteered with a homeless outreach group. Soon after college he coached novice youth and adults in rowing at his former rowing club. The following summer he went on a 2.5-month sea kayaking/backpacking expedition in the wilds of Chilean Patagonia and has since committed himself professionally to a career as an experiential educator. Being in wilderness environments and traveling internationally has been integral in the development of Trevor’s understanding of the world and he enjoys facilitating similar experiences for others.
Tuition includes all accommodations, meals, group activities, entrance fees, curriculum and instruction, ground transportation, domestic airfare in host country (where applicable), chaperone for suggested group flight, and contributions to service projects. Scholarships and financial aid are available.
Tuition does not include international airfare, travel insurance, and personal expenses such as laundry, snacks, souvenirs, and internet or international phone calls.