A new, outdoor-based school in Naples now has nine students, with room for more

NAPLES — The Walden Project — New York is a new, tuition-based school focused on outdoor education in Naples for high school and gap-year students, its name originating Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden.” It currently has nine students, with room for nine more.

Throughout the week, students meet outside for three days — in instructor Janean Shedd's words, "our classroom is around a campfire ... and in the garden, and on the trails, and by the cob oven base" — and spend one day inside working on self-selected research projects. On the other day, they participate in service learning: This can include teaching English to refugees, building a canvas canoe, working with animals and/or directing Earth-saving work such as homesteading or tree saving, Shedd noted.

The school plans to partner with Cumming Nature Center for a syrup making and evaporator session this winter.

While the school is tuition-based, nobody has been turned away for lack of ability to pay, Shedd noted.

Visit waldenprojectny.com for information.