committed to diversity, inclusion, and social justice

Headmaster's Experiential Learning Trip

There are few long-distance hiking routes in the world that contain as many tightly compacted geologic operas as the Jungfrau Loop in Switzerland.  For hundreds of years, the Swiss have recognized this area for its extraordinary natural beauty.  In 2001, this region was designated as a World Heritage site. Two peaks dominate the vista. The Jungfrau and Eiger stand at 4000 m.  The famous pass, the Jungfraujoch, cuts between them at 3700 m.  This jewel of the Alps is known as the Top of Europe for a reason!

The Jungfrau Loop is a 100 km multi-day hiking trail that encircles the valley at reasonable hiking elevations. The route begins and ends at the Wilderswil station, a place straight out of a fairy tale.  For hundreds of years, hikers enjoyed this trail, soaking in the views. A number of lodges and huts grew up to serve them, and these places are still open today.  Many of the most famous conservationists and naturalists in the world were so inspired by their experiences on the Jungfrau Loop that they began promoting hiking and backpacking as a form of recreation. A hiker on the Jungfrau loop is following in the footsteps of the people who helped to create so many other recreation opportunities for everyone else.

Every experiential learning trip is designed to test students physically, intellectually, and emotionally. We seek to develop in each of our participants self-reflection, personal accountability, resiliency, independence, and leadership. Our students are challenged to become strong communicators and collaborators, skills that will serve them well throughout their lives. 

This trip is open to our young women and men, ages 14-17.  There will be a number of training days, beginning in October, that prepare our participants for the rigors of our trip.  Students must be in good physical condition to participate. These trainings are mandatory, they are tough, and they are essential for the safety and wellbeing of all participants. We encourage newly interested students to ask our previous trip attendees about their experiences. 

Students with chronic breathing conditions and/or known altitude sensitivity may not attend.  

Our trips are led by James Nelligan and John Kedrowski. Mr. Nelligan is an avid experiential educator, outdoorsman, and diver, leading outdoor experiences since 2002. He is a historian of science and a veteran teacher of biological and physical sciences, specializing in evolutionary biology. He has led numerous trips to Volcanoes National Monument on the Big Island of Hawai'i and to paleontological sites in Central Oregon. More recently, Mr. Nelligan co-led Baldwin students to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Minnesota; the Dingle Way, Dingle Peninsula, Ireland; Skaftafell National Park, Iceland; Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk, Te Urewera, New Zealand; and the West Highland Way, Scotland.

Mr. Kedrowski has been creating and leading wilderness experiences for groups since 1993. These experiences include backpacking trips in Minnesota, Michigan, Montana, and Alaska, wilderness fishing trips in Minnesota and Canada, and canoe trips on lakes and rivers in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Canada. Mr. Kedrowski is a trained scientist who specializes in geology, and a veteran science teacher. He has co-led numerous trips with Mr. Nelligan, including those to the Boundary Waters, Ireland, Iceland, and New Zealand. 

This trip is planned for the last two weeks in June 2020. There are only 16 available spots (no exceptions), and they are first come, first served. The trip cost, which includes meals, travel, lodging, gear rentals, guide fees, etc., is $5,400. Students will have to purchase some specialty clothing items and personal gear. All students must have a current passport. For more information, or to secure a spot for your child, please email Laura Montalvo at Please note that we will not entertain any special travel accommodations for participants. They must leave from and return to Puerto Rico with our group.  




Photo Credit: Von Steinmann - Eigenes Werk, Gemeinfrei