Sunday, September 23, 2012


September 26-28, 2012


We will leave on the SK bus immediately after the morning gathering on Wednesday, September 26.
This should place our arrival in West Branch, Iowa, at approximately 3:30 CDT. Students should bring a packed lunch, as per usual. We will stop to stretch en route, but will not be making a fast-food stop en route.

On Wednesday afternoon, our kids will get tours of the campus from Scattergood students, introduce themselves to the community—particularly to staff members whom they will interview on Thursday—and serve on work crews (some in the kitchen, some on the farm). There will be some free time after dinner in the evening as well as some group conversation and preparatory work for Thursday’s research.

Thursday will be an investigative day, comprising some time in class, more work crews, and all interviews. There will be time set aside for recording, processing, and debriefing research. We will meet as an SK class and along with Scattergood students, faculty and staff. There is a possibility that we will also travel off campus on Thursday to see a nearby farm, so that we will have more fodder (so to speak) for agricultural comparison.

Friday we’ll stay long enough to have breakfast and attend the ninth grade science class, which, conveniently enough, is Farm Science. We should be on the road around 10:00 Iowa time, which, if all goes well, should get us back to the SK campus between 6:00 and 6:30 Michigan time.


All students should bring a sturdy pair of boots—something that you can wear to tramp around a farm. Bring another pair of shoes as well.

Bring a bathing suit, just in case we get in the pond, and enough cash for lunch on the way home.

You’ll need clothing for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Your days will be divided between classrooms, farm, and kitchen. You don’t need to bring anything especially nice to wear. Scattergood is about as formal a place as Summers-Knoll.

The usual items for nighttime and morning—toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, shampoo, deoderant, etc.

The weather forecast calls for dry and sunny days, with afternoon highs in the 70s and nighttime lows in the 50s.

S C A T T E R G O O D   C O N T A C T S

Karl Sikkenga’s cell phone number is 734.478.2512. We will have one additional chaperone from SK, in addition to ongoing support from the faculty and staff of Scattergood. We will stay, three or four to a room, on our own in Berquist House, Scattergood’s on-campus guest house.

Scattergood’s number is 319.643.7600. Our key contacts there will be Christine Ashley, Head of School; Mark Quee, Farm Manager and Teacher; and Dana Foster, Livestock Manager, Cook, and Teacher. Some of the students will also be talking with Irving Treadway and David Cohen, who are Cooks as well as Teachers, and Carrie Ann Bowen, Projects Teacher.

A phone is permitted, as is a laptop or tablet computer. My rationale is that there will be little time for electronics at Scattergood, there will be some academic usage for electronica in the course of the stduents’ research and interviews. The drive from Ann Arbor to West Branch is expected to take about seven hours. Gizmos can help pass the time, although we will pass through electronics-free zones at my discretion (i.e., command).

SK students should bring their journals and binders. Both will see considerable action during the trip.

head of school welcome

realationship between farm and school

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