Farm School

The Synergy Farm School experience takes place at River’s Bend Retreat Center along the Navarro River in Philo. Students spend a week camping amid beautiful meadows and majestic redwood and oak trees. Nature trails, sloping grasslands, oak woodlands, and a swimming hole provide them with countless opportunities for exploration, expansion, and expression. The abundant plant and animal life provide resources for scientific study, environmental awareness and stewardship, as well as inspired art and writing.

4th & 5th GRADES

Beginning in 4th grade, our students spend a week each year at River’s Bend, learning first-hand about creating community, the interactions of ecosystems, and the importance of sustainability. They create poetry and art inspired by nature. And they experience their growing maturity as they return year after year.

6th & 7th GRADES

In 6th and 7th grade, farm school is guided by a multidisciplinary theme each year, such as biodiversity. Students take part in a number of classes and outdoor activities, and learn about indigenous communities of the region. They also participate in daily journaling, scavenger hunts, and learning new crafts, as well as swimming, night hiking, and stargazing.


The 8th graders complete a Rites of Passage program. They set goals, reflect, meet challenges, exercise leadership, perform community service, and bond as a group. This process helps to ready them for a year of transformation culminating in graduation and high school.