Leadership Journeys

Each year, the Institute for Leadership & Purpose (ILP) sponsors several experiential learning trips for Calvert middle school students. Following a short two-year break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these impactful leadership journeys resumed in 2021 with two immersive experiences in Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia, and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

San Juan, Puerto Rico - April 2022

In April 2022, Calvert Eighth Graders departed the mainland U.S. for a week-long immersive experience in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where they participated in service opportunities, outdoor learning, and cultural lessons aimed at fostering global thinking. The trip was structured around several days of service projects with The World Leadership School and APRODEC, a non-profit organization.

“Learning about different cultures and immersing yourself in different experiences is really great to grow and learn and see a bit more of the world from somebody else’s perspective,” Allie K. ’22 said. “I thought it was really amazing to get to know Puerto Rico on this level.”

APRODEC, or the Alliance for Economic Development of Ceiba, works to promote sustainable development to improve Ceiba citizens’ quality of life. Students contributed by helping to convert a former U.S. Navy base into an eco-tourism center and cleaning a 150,000-gallon cistern to bolster APRODEC’s access to sufficient water.


Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia - October 2021

In late October, Seventh and Eighth Graders traveled to Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia for two four-day leadership journeys.

A working forest, Monongahela provides timber, water, and minerals to local communities and represents one of the most ecologically diverse areas in the United States, which makes it the perfect location for lessons on forest ecology, climbing, caving, and hiking. During one expedition, the students hiked to the top of Spruce Knob, the highest mountain peak in West Virginia. Later, they donned head lamps and helmets to explore a partially submerged cave system near the Experiential Learning campus. 

Experiential Learning, Calvert’s partner in this expedition, is an organization that works with schools to develop high-quality outdoor programs that instill leadership skills and confidence in students. 

“The orienteering was pretty fun. I feel like we all did a good job of communicating. Even though we were getting pretty tired, we were still able to land almost exactly at the trail, which was what we aimed to do,” CJ N. ’23 said. 

Calvert School is a coed independent lower and middle school.