The Casco Bay Quest is an innovative orientation experience based on Cow Island for all freshmen and a kayaking or backpacking expedition for all seniors at Casco Bay High School. The Quests promote community, citizenship and leadership through writing and adventure-based learning. We partner with two other organizations to design and implement this “learning expedition” - The Telling Room and Rippleffect. The quests are a hallmark of our school and are vital in the development of our vibrant community. This past fall, most every Casco Bay freshman and senior participated.
The Freshmen Quest (9/27-30) is the touchstone fieldwork experience for freshmen's year-long, interdisciplinary exploration of the question: “What makes a successful community?” The Cow Island adventure is designed to orient freshmen to one another, their advisory groups, expeditionary learning and the possibilities of high school. Freshmen engage in kayaking and outdoor living skills as well as group initiatives and writing exercises that focus on community building. Following the Quest, freshmen interview the seniors who wrote them letters. Ultimately, they synthesize their learnings in a performance in late fall. Past year's included art, poetry, math and dance.
The week prior to the Freshmen Quest, the seniors embark on their backpacking or kayaking Quest (9/20-9/23).
The Senior Quest is an opportunity for seniors to unite and take stock of who they are and where they want to go. The Quest serves as the launching point for a Senior Humanities course which focuses on students successfully completing the college application process and a senior project. Seniors begin and end their Quest together on either Cow Island (4 crews) or in the White Mountains (3 crews) but, in between, each of our seven senior advisory groups have their own expedition, kayaking in Casco Bay, visiting and camping on various islands. Prior to the four-day Quest, seniors write a letter to the freshmen, providing advice about how to make the best use of their high school years. Back at CBHS, following the Quest, staff facilitate college essay writing workshops.
Past Quests have received generous grant support from the White Pine Foundation, the Quimby Family Foundation and others. This year's Quests have so far received support from the White Pine Foundation ($30,000) and the Nellie Mae Foundation ($5,000); other grants are pending. Casco Bay students will be asked to pay $50 to participate in this four day, three night expedition. Students who receive free lunch will be asked to contribute $10. Our goal is 100% participation and we will work to make sure all students have the opportunity to participate regardless of circumstance.
Seniors and freshmen need to complete the forms below to participate. Please return them to your child's crew advisor or our main office as soon as possible.
Quest Health Form 2016
Quest Parental Waiver 2016
And here’s the gear list for freshmen…
2016 Quest Freshman Quest Gear List
And the gear list for seniors...
2016 Senior Quest Gear List - Sea Kayaking
2016 Senior Quest Gear List - Backpacking
Please Note: We discourage students from buying gear for this trip alone. First we encourage students to borrow and share gear, especially within their crew or from school or Rippleffect. Contact your child's crew advisor FMI.
Please view this wonderful video about Quest 2011 created by Telling Room staffer, Molly Haley.
And here’s another one about the Senior Quest and the meaning of crew from fall 2012. Molly Haley is again the auteur.