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Bio


about us...

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Bio


about us...

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I was born in Oceanside California in 1950. My family was a Marine Corps family. By the time I was twelve I had lived in six different states. I quickly grew to love the steady diet of new challenges and new adventures. In 1962 my father retired from the Marine Corps and we moved the family to a small village in central Japan call Inamoragaski. It became our home for a year. 

Upon our return to the States, we settled in Port Townsend, Washington. At first the small town seemed very confining, but then, I discovered the Olympic Mountains and the waters that surrounded the Peninsula. A world of independence and discovery was at my doorstep. I made my first navigation of the treacherous Straits of De Fuca with two friends at age 14 and hiked across the Olympic National Park when I was 16 years old. 

After graduation from College I worked as a mill-right, a farm hand in the Willamette Valley and in timber on the Oregon coast. In 1976 I was lured back to Port Townsend to teach Global Issues at the local High School. I never left.

I taught for 35 years at Port Townsend High School. I discovered early on how important experiential education was to my students and I constantly kept them on the move. The Expedition Club was the inevitable outcome. In 2003 the Club made its first Expedition to an isolated village of Phapang in Northern Thailand and we have returned every year since. 

Currently, I have lead 12 Expeditions to Thailand, 8 Expeditions \ Exchanges to Japan, over 50 retreats to the Oregon coast for team building, 30 Urban Plunges to work with the homeless in Seattle and over 100 smaller scrambles or overnight trips. 

Perhaps the best way to give clarity and to summarize my life experience and the mission of the Expedition Club can be found in the words of Albert Camus. He wrote: "What gives value to travel…expedition…is the fact that, at a certain moment, when we are so far from our home…we are seized with a vague fear, and an instinctive desire to go back to the protection of old habits…At that moment, we are feverish but also porous, so that the slightest touch makes us quiver to depths of being…" The fear that Camus speaks of as one encounters something new and foreign is the fear that I seek for my students. It will challenge them to enlarge their thinking, their collective identity, their lives…It will let them know they are on the brink of real learning.

I grew up in a small port town, quite fittingly named Port Townsend, located in the great Northwest part of the USA. The Northwest led me to a very outdoorsy life full of kayaking, surfing, hiking, and playing on the beach. However, when I wasn't outside, I was in a classroom, tutoring or teaching. Ever since I first taught English in Thailand when was fourteen years old I have found myself drawn to classrooms. I worked my way through college as an English teacher. I taught all ages, from 8 to 28, and found myself having to create new and inventive curriculums for each age group. Through these creative curriculums I discovered that teaching in a classroom was not always the best way to teach.

Some might say that I have a fairly unique educational background. As a junior in high school I was home schooled 3,000 miles away from home in a small little village in Northern Thailand. I was 16 years old living on my own and teaching English everyday. I remember the confidence in my leadership that I got from teaching in a classroom. I remember having elaborate broken conversations talking about American stereotypes and for the first time wondering if I applied to any of them. I remember patience, sitting and waiting and realizing that the world did not revolve around my time schedule. And I remember the hard times of being alone and figuring out how to get through them with the help of others. Needless to say this experience changed my life and after six months I returned to the USA with a new outlook and goals for my future. I finished high school in Port Townsend and decided that I did not want to stop traveling but I also wanted to go to college. So I turned my eyes toward Thailand and found a respected college with international professors to pursue a BA in business management. The next four years I spent in Thailand making international friends, becoming fluent in Thai, lapping up the culture, and traveling during school breaks.

In college I remained active and co-founded the International Student Union. All through my education I proceed to take office in the Student Union as: Communication Officer, Vice-President, and President. I found myself volunteering with Non-profit organizations in my free time. I spent time with Burmese Immigrants and was always involved with the YMCA in Chiang Mai. During my senior year the earthquake in Japan happened and shook me personally. In response I spearheaded a team to throw a fundraising concert that rose close to $10,000 for the displaced victims of the catastrophe.

Going abroad changed my life in ways that I couldn't possibly explain. It helped shape who I am and how I view the world. And now, my goal is to allow every young adult to have the same opportunities that I was given!


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Mission


our mission: to share the world

Mission


our mission: to share the world

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Years


14 years of expeditions!

Years


14 years of expeditions!

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Live to Ride


Why Choose the Expedition Club?

Live to Ride


Why Choose the Expedition Club?

...you’re actually seeing it how it is.
— Hopi Jayne (club member)

Reason OneAuthentic Experiences

Being a tourist is great... But, what if you could go somewhere new and become a part of that community? You could make life long friends and learn what it's like to live life in their shoes. We don't do a zip-lining-water-rafting-tourist-adventure-trip. We go on an expedition-to-discover. We believe that if your going to spend the money to travel, it might as well be genuine. Think your up for it?

Reason TwoInternational Friends

One of our goals at the Expedition Club is to create communities that span cultural barriers. We want you not to just observe what a culture is like but to become a part of it. This unique environment creates friendships that are rare, lasting, and sincere. The community of a particular expedition lasts long after we return home.

There’s before Expedition Club, and there is after Expedition Club
— Cheyenne Brown (club member)

Reason Three: Our Belief in Learning Communities

Bringing people together to create learning communities is a vital part of human nature. No matter what program you choose, our overarching goal is to bring inquiring minds together. We characterize these learning communities with the following set of distinctive values: 

A lively intellectual life of inquiry

• A recognition of individual differences that are prized and respected.

• Where diversity is emphasized as an avenue to creative innovations and perspectives.

• A community in which members are encouraged for their achievements and strongly supported when they need assistance.

• It is an environment that provides opportunities for leadership and collaboration.

• It is a community that shares a common belief that creative friction is necessary at times in order to develop the necessary skills of collaboration in solving community problems.

• A learning community requires honesty, high integrity, and personal responsibility of its members and expects that they hold one another accountable for living up to these values.

• It is an environment that is active and varied in the context of healthy fun, but that is also spontaneous and finds joy in the unexpected.

• It shares a belief that while the community may find strength in its relative isolation, it can not accomplish its mission without meaningful connections that link it to the global community and to the ideals of social justice.

• And finally the community must celebrate it's legacy. Affirmation of the Expedition Club's history gives value and meaning to our current mission.