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Voluntourism Spotlight: Driftless Folk School

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This week’s Voluntourism Spotlight highlights a different kind of education and volunteer opportunity. Learn about the Driftless Folk School in Wisconsin, which teaches regular people the skills associated with sustainable living. From fence making to coffee making to rug braiding, find out how you can take classes or volunteer with the organization. Check back every Wednesday for more voluntourism opportunities and tune into Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio on Saturday for more information.

Are you looking to live in greater harmony with the environment? Check out the Driftless Folk School whose mission is to, “support healthy, sustainable communities and personal development by providing creative and meaningful educational opportunities and inspiring lifelong learning for individuals and families.”

The school’s educational opportunities come in two forms. Year round the school runs classes that range from alternative energy to blacksmithing to woodworking to farming and gardening. The classes are a great introduction to the school and its mission, but if you are looking for a more volunteer-driven program check out the school’s work study program.

Plan ahead for next summer when the work study program runs from June until the end of September. Work study volunteers live together at a host farm where they participate in 20-25 hours of work a week. This work ranges from building projects, animal chores, gardening, food preservation, and other essential farm tasks.

On the weekends volunteers can attend DFS classes that have fees ranging from $5 to $100. Volunteers also have the opportunity to participate in events called “enrichment days.” These “enrichment days” include activities such as visiting a local loom, harvesting grapes and hops, timber farming, grape trellising, and chicken butchering among other things.

Volunteers, who range in age from 21 to 30, are given a $100 stipend every month to spend at their discretion. Most of the work study program is spent on the farm, but volunteers do have time to explore the local area.  For more information on the Driftless Folk School, visit their website.

By Kevin Theal for