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whole-life skills for a radically different future

Service-Learning Week

April 26–30, 2018Working at Earthaven Ecovillage

at Earthaven Ecovillage
near Asheville, North Carolina

Participate in the everyday rhythm of life and work at Earthaven Ecovillage while learning new skills and getting to know the community.

Cost: $25

Early registration encouraged!

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Experience Earth-Centered Community at Earthaven Ecovillage

Earthaven Experience Week 2017 group shotThe life of a village is found in its work: the day-to-day agriculture, crafting, and maintenance that keep its people fed and sheltered. Earthaven Ecovillage is no different. The farms and businesses of this community work every day in pursuit of a truly alternative culture, where all members provide for their basic needs while centering the health of the Earth and their society.

The best way to experience this life is to pitch in yourself. During Service-Learning Week at Earthaven Ecovillage, you’ll work side-by-side with residents, making meaningful contributions while exploring new skills. You’ll learn by doing, get to know the community—and have a lot of fun in the process.

We believe that service learning prepares students to use their knowledge for the good of the whole and equips them to address social problems. This approach combines the head and the heart to understand learning as applicable to life, instead of just a means to a grade. In this way, learning becomes a more holistic approach to living, thinking, and serving others.

What Service Learning Looks Like: Keene State College Alternative Spring Break at Earthaven

Program Schedule

Thursday, April 26
1:00–3:00 pm Arrival, Camp Setup, Orientation and Welcome
3:00–6:00 pm Opening and Welcome, Orientation and Tour of Earthaven
6:30–7:30 pm Self-directed Dinner
7:30–9 pm Opening Circle
Friday, April 27 through Monday, April 30

Each day will feature a half-day work party and a community event, such as a neighborhood meet-and-greet or community social. The program formally closes on Monday afternoon. Example projects include:

  • Beautifying the Village Center
  • Preparing biochar
  • Tending the forest garden
  • Organizing the Free Store
  • Working in Earthaven farms and gardens.
Before 9:30 am Self-directed Breakfast
9:30 am–12:30 pm AM Activities
12:30–2:00 pm Self-directed Lunch and Independent Time
2:00–5:30 pm PM Activities
5:30–6:30 pm Independent Time
6:30–7:30 pm Self-directed Dinners or Community Potlucks
7:30–9:00 pm Occasional community events like May Day Festival “open mic”
Tuesday, May 1 (Optional, not officially included in Service-Learning Week)
9:00–10:00 am Earthaven’s Coffee and Trade Marketplace
6:30 pm Community Potluck and Grillout

Participation in all work parties is expected. That's where the learning happens! Your labor allows SOIL and Earthaven to host this program at a reduced cost.


Founded in 1994, Earthaven Ecovillage is located on 329 acres in culturally rich, biologically diverse Western North Carolina, about 50 minutes southeast of Asheville and 30 minutes southeast of Black Mountain. Surrounded by like-minded, ecologically oriented neighbors, Earthaven is home to 80+ residents, including students and visitors. The community is dedicated to caring for people and the Earth by learning and demonstrating a holistic, sustainable culture.

“Earthaven is where the human community is bonding with the Earth in a manner capable of healing the devastation of the past and inspiring a new grandeur for the future. At Earthaven, even for a brief while, we experience what it is to return to ourselves.”

- Thomas Berry, author of The Dream of the Earth.

Accommodations and Amenities


Camping in the Earthaven campground is included with program tuition. Most campground sites are for two-person tents; some can accommodate larger tents. Several RV spots (no hookups) are also available. The campground offers clean drinking water, a tarp-covered kitchen with propane burners for cooking and heating water, and an outhouse with composting toilet and hand-washing station. A flush toilet is available in the Council Hall nearby. Private indoor lodging options are also available; contact SOIL for further details.

Earthaven Ecovillage is off-grid and therefore not supplied by public utilities. However, electricity is available from solar panels and two small hydropower stations. There is minimal internet access and no cell phone reception, although landline phones are available for short phone calls or emergencies. Living at Earthaven offers a balance between comfort and adventure.

Benefits and Costs

Helen Testimonial Through service learning at Earthaven Ecovillage, you'll work collaboratively to accomplish whatever the task is at hand, contribute to new experiments in regenerative lifeways, and experience the joy of having done so with new friends. In exchange for 13 hours of service over the 5 days of Service-Learning Week (2.5–4 hours per day), you'll also receive the following benefits from the community:

  • Five nights of tent or RV camping at the Earthaven campground
  • Access to Earthaven’s 329 acres of private forest and hiking trails
  • Tour of Earthaven's commons, buildings, neighborhoods, and off-grid facilities
  • Participation in seasonal community celebrations (Beltane and May Day) and potlucks
  • Dedicated Q+A session with Earthaven community members
  • Opportunities to explore specific Earthaven neighborhoods and membership possibilities

The participation fee for Service-Learning Week is $25, which includes all Earthaven fees, five nights of camping, and program organization. Participants are responsible for their own food, transportation, and personal needs.

How to secure your space

APPLY: Fill out the registration form. Please give yourself plenty of time to complete the application, because it cannot be saved until submitted.

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Payment: Payment can be submitted by check, money order, PayPal, or credit card. If paying online, use the widget below to select your tuition, then select "Add to Cart." After the page refreshes, select the "Checkout with PayPal" option and continue through the PayPal website.

Service-Learning Week
Service-Learning Week
This cost includes all Earthaven fees, camping, and program organization. Participants are responsible for their own food, transportation, and personal needs.
Price: $25.00
Lodging option :

If paying offline, please send a check or money order payable to the following address and note the program for which you are registering in the memo field:

School of Integrated Living
11 Full Circle Trail
Black Mountain, NC 28711

Crowdfunding and Fundraising: Check out our Crowdfunding and Fundraising page for creative ways to engage your community and launch a "Community Supported Education" campaign. This approach can help support your investment in yourself, your community, the planet, and future generations.

Cancellation Policy

If you cancel, you may transfer your place in the program to anyone of your choosing, who will need to register online. You can also donate your place to someone who would not be able to participate without financial assistance.

A 50% refund is available until April 1, 2018.
After April 1, 2018, there will be NO refunds.

If SOIL cancels this program for any reason whatsoever, 100% of your tuition will be refunded.

Contact NikiAnne at info@schoolofintegratedliving.org with registration questions.

Experience a developing ecovillage for yourself!

Most of SOIL’s classes take place at Earthaven Ecovillage, giving participants a hands-on, skill-building immersion within an authentic community-based, village setting. Tours of Earthaven are also available on a monthly basis, a great way to dip your toe into this long-standing, intergenerational social experiment.

Learn More
COVID 19 Response: SOIL is publishing resources and deferring all programs to 2021.Read More
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