Sacred Learning Journeys:

Intergenerational Trips for 55+ Adults

I will not die an unlived life

I will not live in fear

of falling or catching fire.

I choose to inhabit my days,

to allow my living to open me,

to make me less afraid,

more accessible,

to loosen my heart

until it becomes a wing,

a torch, a promise.

I choose to risk my significance;

to live so that which came to me as seed

goes to the next as blossom

and that which came to me as blossom,

goes on as fruit.

Dawna Markova

Springhouse is an intergenerational learning community where people of all ages come together to learn how to live more fully and to create the conditions for all life to thrive.

Learning is always an adventure at Springhouse, especially when we go on trips together. Almost since the very beginning, adults and teens have been going on school trips at Springhouse. No matter what we do – building and then sailing a 22-foot sailboat in the Chesapeake Bay, hiking Cloudland Canyon in Chattanooga, visiting the Legacy Museum in Montgomery, or traveling to Wisconsin to visit a high school started by teens – we learn so much from each other.

We learn, not just from the wonderful places we visit, but also from being a part of a long-term intergenerational community. We all carry a certain kind of wisdom given our unique stage of life, and these trips give us all an opportunity to share our gifts and learn from each other.

We are excited to invite older adults on our school trips to learn with us and become a part of a long-term global community committed to cultural renewal.

The Trips

The purpose of our school trips is to support development across several stages of life – teens, Springhouse staff, and now older adults.

On these trips, teens have the opportunity to leave home and gain some independence, have exposure to new experiences and places, build resiliency, and have an intentional break from technology. The Springhouse staff, adults who vary in age, have always attended these trips as both stewards of the trip and as learners. Adults who are 55+ have the opportunity to offer their gifts, support and guide those younger than them, as well as learn from people of diverse ages.

Informed by Sourced Education, our trips are an opportunity to come alive in a long-term community committed to a vision of a thriving world.

We take three trips each school year and do our best to visit geographically and ecologically diverse locations that include wild and urban places. We visit local sites, contribute to the renewal of the places we visit, and connect with members of the local community. Learners, no matter their age, interact with their peers as well in larger mixed-aged groups when appropriate. We regularly engage in practices that foster a sense of community such as singing, dancing, creative projects, and playing games together.

Since its founding, these trips have been an integral part of our program, and they are full of magic.

Trip Dates & Locations

September 16th-20th, 2024: Philadelphia, PA

January 27th-31st, 2025: Savannah, GA

April 28th-May 2nd, 2025: Floyd to Roanoke Walk

Is This Program For You?

To determine whether or not this program might be for you, please consider these questions:

  • Do you like adventure and want to be with people of different ages?

  • Are you flexible and open to change and surprise?

  • Do you want to offer your gifts in meaningful ways to others?

  • Do you want to engage in conversations about important cultural challenges with people of all ages?

  • Do you want to have meaningful travel experiences in a community of others who orient around practices and conversations that deepen connection?

If you answered yes to all these questions, review the next steps below.

Next Steps

If you are interested in joining us for Sacred Learning Journeys, please complete this short form and submit a letter of intent that responds to the following questions:

What calls you to this program at this time in your life?

As an older adult, what do you see are the gifts you have to offer younger generations?

What questions do you have about yourself and your life right now?

Do you have any spiritual or personal development practices? If so, what are they?

Are you comfortable sharing what you have learned in your life with others?

Please email your letter of intent to Kim O’Donnell. Once you complete this form and send your letter, we will contact you to schedule an interview.

Program Cost

This program has varying costs associated with each school trip. We will be determining rates based on location and food costs. Fees do not include travel to and from the trip location.Tiered rates will be announced soon, and we remain committed to ensuring that no one is turned away due to a lack of funds (learn more about our economic approach).

Sacred Learning Journeys

Program Facilitators

Kim O'Donnell (she/her)

Board Member

Kim O’Donnell is a retired Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court Judge. Prior to becoming a judge, she served as both a public defender and a prosecutor in Richmond, Virginia. During her legal career, she served on the boards of various non-profits, including the Richmond CASA program, the Prison Visitation Project, and the YWCA of Greater Richmond. She has also served on the Advisory Board of Visitors for Mary Baldwin College and was a member of the McArthur Foundation Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice. In addition to her undergraduate and law degrees, she has a Masters in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University.

Carolyn Reilly (she/her)

Development Director

Carolyn is a courageous lifelong learner, wife, and mother of four who has worked in the nonprofit arena for over two decades. Her work has spanned church communications and worship design, teaching step aerobics and pilates at the YMCA, as well as community organizing to protect the natural environment. Carolyn also has experience in co-creating an intergenerational family farm focused on regenerative practices and connecting people to nourishing, whole food. On staff at Springhouse since August 2019, she serves full-time, showing up wholeheartedly in the growth and development of the organization. Carolyn has a huge heart for community, specifically in connecting and empowering people to cultivate wholeness and deepen their relationships - with themselves, each other, the earth, and the divine.