Values and Philosophy


Learning archery–and mindfulness–during the June 2014 Altamaha Odyssey.

The guiding values of Fall Line South are:

  • Community Well-Being
  • Academic Excellence through joy in learning
  • Health and Happiness
  • Critical Thinking
  • Clear Communication
  • Creative Discovery
  • Ecological and Environmental Literacy


We believe that when one’s whole self is engaged in learning–with body, with mind, and with spirit– one is opened to levels of creative and critical thinking and expression beyond what is commonly accessible in a traditional classroom. We believe that that this kind of learning is best achieved outdoors, free from the pressures of constant technological bombardment and away from daily routines. To that end, Fall Line South integrates place-specific knowledge with broad-based ecological, social, economic, and political awareness to equip students for active, informed engagement at all levels of their continued education, on their career paths, and in their personal lives.

We believe that the “whole-self” education available through a field course provides important opportunities for students to slow down, unplug, be quiet, and listen. Part of our motivation comes from the shared wish that we had been given, at a younger age, a set of strategies to deal effectively with the stresses, disappointments, and discouragements of daily life–strategies that are usually, by necessity of time and other pressures, left out of a traditional classroom. With this in mind, Fall Line South places an emphasis on developing life-skills like self-discipline, mindfulness, and positive interpersonal communication–that we believe go hand-in-hand with the academically challenging nature of the coursework.

We also believe that people, in general, need to love a place in order to take proper care of it, and they will only love what they know. We at Fall Line South know and love the Southeastern United States, and want to share, through example and practical experience, this knowledge of and love for and our special part of the world.

We hope our students leave Fall Line South with the capacity to think rationally and act compassionately within their communities. We hope their time immersed in nature and in each other’s company allows them to feel, and embody, the truth of John Muir’s statement from My First Summer in the Sierra:

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.