Student Life » Headmaster's Experiential Learning Trip

Headmaster's Experiential Learning Trip

West Highland Way, Scotland, United Kingdom - Summer 2018


The West Highland Way was Scotland's first long distance route and remains by far the most popular. Stretching for 151km from Milngavie on the edge of Glasgow to Fort William at the foot of Ben Nevis, the route affords a fabulous introduction to the Scottish Highlands. It offers tremendous variety, beginning in the pastoral landscapes beneath the Campsies, past the serene beauty of Loch Lomond, and on into increasingly rugged and majestic Highlands. It then crosses the vast, awe-inspiring expanse of Rannoch Moor, with a glimpse down Glencoe, before crossing the hills to lovely Loch Leven. The route finally reaches Fort William via beautiful Glen Nevis.*** Our trek will be broken into a number of sections, averaging between 6 and 10 miles per day.  Where we can, we will camp outdoors.

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 men and women, 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 not optional, 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. 

Our trips are led by James Nelligan and John Kedrowski.  Mr. Nelligan is an avid experiential educator, outdoorsman, diver, and hunter, 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 in Minnesota; along the Dingle Way, Dingle Peninsula, Ireland; to upcountry Iceland near Skaftafell National park; and along the Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk in Te Urewera, New Zealand. 

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-lead 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 2018.  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 $5100.  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 we will not make any special travel accommodations for participants. They must leave from and return to Puerto Rico with our group.  


HEADMASTER'S TRIP SUMMER 2019: The Grand Portage, Grand Portage National Monument (limited to previous participants who pass a physical test administered by Mr. Nelligan). 


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“Mr. Nelligan showed me that I am capable of exceeding any mental and/or physical limitations; of conquering obstacles that at first seem impossible for a teenager. I learned never to back down from a challenge. He taught me all of this during our summer experiential learning trips”

-Juan Ortega
Baldwin Class of 2016
University of Colorado