ArcticTerns has been built by a Worldschooling family, including a Worldschooling teen, for other Worldschooling teens. We are operating as a non-profit and have put an incredible amount of time, effort and all our love into creating the program. Constantly juggling between our vision, the sustainability of the program, and the needs of all the participants.
We are not a travel agency, nor a service provider. We as a family are participants in the program we designed and aim to build friendships for life while enjoying all the fun activities the program has to offer. To keep this sustainable, the program needs to work for us as well.
This also applies to the rest of the team. Our facilitators are not (necessarily) traditional trained teachers or counselors. We work with a (mostly young) enthusiastic, likeminded team, who we trained to guide the program we have created. They all invest a lot in the program and like to have a good time while enjoying good company and nice activities. When we say we want all the participants of the program to be able to have an amazing time, we literally mean everybody.
Our teen program was created to connect likeminded teens. With a travelling, gifted teen in our family, we know how important it is to find community. Every aspect of the program is designed with this purpose only: creating deep, long lasting connections. This is the core of our offering.
To make community work, an investment from every participant is needed. The more you participate and bring in positive energy, the more value of our program and the community you will experience and create for yourself and the rest of the community. For this, we try to carefully select teens that will add to the positive energy of the community. We do it together, and together we create a vibe that none of us will ever forget.
ArcticTerns organises self directed learning activities, aimed to create social connections through exploration of our environment. We are not a school that teaches a traditional curriculum. What we offer are fun, educational, extracurricular activities.
We do not only offer a teen program, we offer a Worldschool family program along side. Both the teens and the families will mostly use the same transport and participate in the same activities, side by side.
The program we offer is intensive and can be exhausting. We ask teens to manage their energy level, under guidance of our facilitator.
In two projects, the teens will dive deeper into the Dutch country and culture through extra activities, eg extra tours, classes, readings, and field research. The project is concluded with a presentation. There is a lot of freedom in how the teens can shape to the project and the presentation, while using the learning experiences we offer. All teens joining the IQ Teen Activities are expected to participate in the group assignments related to the project and act as an active addition to the group.
For teens who are not interested in joining the project we will offer the option to join the teen camp without the project and the intellectual and philosophical challenges that comes with it, giving them more free time for socialisation and possibly schoolwork they bring from home. This option will be available if there are enough requests for a teen camp without the project.
It is up to the parents and teens to make a conscious choice which option fits them better.
4. Lot’s of freedom for the teens
A significant learning experience lies in the (controlled) independence the teens are given during the teen camp. By giving the teens lots of freedom and responsibilities, the teens are able to experience personal growth in a safe environment.
The teens will be residing in their own teen cabin. A cabin will host a maximum of 6 teens, mixed genders, where the teens will be sharing a room with another teen of the same gender. No facilitator will stay with the teens in the cabin, but in a neighbouring cabin for supervision.
During the co-living the teens themselves are responsible for all their household. Together they make decisions about things like cleaning, cooking, quiet times, budget, shopping etc. The facilitator will guide the teens through this proces, but will not interfere in the decision making, nor with the execution of the tasks. The teens decide as a group on how they want to live.
Any parents residing on the park are not allowed to visit the teens cabin or interfere with the teen group’s business.
The teens are also given a lot of freedom about their participation in the activities. While being out, the teens are able to go explore in smaller groups, or even decide not to join (part of) the activities. The teens are also able stay behind at the park, if the parents allow.
A dedicated teen facilitator will supervise the teens during their whole stay. In a daily meeting with the teens the facilitator will check the wellbeing of the teens, and discuss the synergy of the group. The coliving and the project will also be discussed, where the teens will be encouraged to take a critical look at their choices and what they want to achieve.
During outings the teen facilitator will join to the activity, where small groups will be arranged, and meeting moments agreed. The teens will be able to go and explore by themselves in an assigned area, while they stay in touch with the facilitator.
When a teen makes questionable choices a talk with the teen will be held. We will discuss the choices and will advise in the given situation. When needed we will inform the parents. Parents are at all time welcome to contact the program manager and discuss any questions or concerns.
We put our full effort into creating the program and strive to give all the participants the ingredients to build community together and have an amazing time. We try to communicate the details of our offering as clearly as possible to create realistic expectations, so everyone can see if it fits them.
We expect both participants as parents to take responsibility for their own experience by immersing themselves in all information we provide, doing sufficient research about the hosting country and it’s cultural differences, and be openminded when things turn out differently than they imagined.
We do everything in our power to make your participation as pleasant as possible, and we are very willing to see where we can work together to solve any issues in a way that it works for everybody. We do this always with the boundaries of the program, the best interest of the community, and the sustainability of the program in both our minds.