The Environmental Living Program provides students, parents, and teachers with a wonderful opportunity to learn about an unusual chapter in California history through hands-on participation. If you are interested in bringing your students to Fort Ross for ELP, you will need to:

  • sign up for the October teacher orientation.
  • dedicate at least three weeks of classroom time to prepare for your overnight stay.
  • study the ELP manual and be prepared to incorporate it into your classroom curriculum.

Applications for the Fort Ross ELP are mailed out April 1, however we continue to send out applications upon request until September if there is still space in the program. All new applicants are accepted on a first come first serve basis according to space availability.

The Fort Ross ELP takes place on Monday-Tuesday or Thursday-Friday. Teachers choose their program dates according to the order in which applications were received; i.e., the application first received in our office by mail will have the greatest number of program dates to choose from. The program coordinator will call you to confirm your acceptance, to assign a date, and to remind you of your $200 commitment fee. If we do not receive your commitment fee we will assume you are no longer interested and assign your date to others on the waiting list. The date you are assigned will be consistent for the next three years, unless you decide to change dates after your first year.

We provide the following general schedule to help you gauge the commitment required to get the most out of the program:

Teacher's Preparations Checklist

At the beginning of the school year:

  • Sign up for the October teachers' training
  • Read the Manual from cover to cover
  • Make necessary arrangements for the field trip with your school
  • Plan out and execute the Fort Ross curriculum as soon as the school starts

8 to 12 weeks before the program:

  • Distribute the information letters (Overnight Field Trip Letter, Parents' Meeting Agenda)
  • Meet with the parents, discuss Role Groups and costumes. Make sure to hand out the entire role group packet to each parent that is assigned in that group.
  • Make sure the students are assigned role-play characters and finalize the Company Roster(Role groups)
  • Make sure the costumes are created
  • Integrate Fort Ross curriculum into the classroom

4 to 8 weeks before the program:

  • Distribute the Student Contracts, Items To Bring List to the students.
  • Ensure that each role group parent meets with his or her role groups several times to plan the onsite visit. This task includes creating food menus, marching techniques, hunting ideas, gardening plans, and designing the artisan project.
  • Start teaching troika
  • Make nametags, scarves, water bottle bags, pouches, and trade store items.
  • Integrate Fort Ross curriculum into the classroom

2 weeks before the program:

  • Make sure all permission slips and emergency cards are turned in.
  • Meet with the parents in charge of role groups, have parents sign the Parent Contract,
  • Purchase all non-perishable items
  • Phone the park and discuss any special need of your class, weather etc.
  • Integrate Fort Ross curriculum into the classroom
  • Review the Student Contract with your class. Militia parent will present these at the fort.
  • Make sure you have everything on the Teacher's List of Items to Bring

Day before the program:

  • Purchase remaining food items
  • Review the car groups and arrival scenario with your students and drivers
  • Review program schedule with your students and parents.

Morning of the program:

  • Make sure the students have snacks, lunch, and water packed
  • Double Check you have everything on the Teacher's List of Items to Bring and ensure these items are packed in the car. Take one last look around the classroom for flag, journals, plants, and other items on your list.

More information: