Freedom Mountain Academy: Environment

The environment at Freedom Mountain Academy is designed to provide students with an entirely new way of interacting with the world. The large rustic lodge is situated on 60 acres of farmland and forest. Students learn to live without electricity, and accompanying electronic devices such as mp3 players, phones, and computer games. FMA students live in a quieter lamp-lit world, reading, playing musical instruments, studying, and talking face-to-face.

 

At FMA we believe that a fixation and dependence upon electronic devices creates a “noise” which inhibits students’ ability to think reflectively and introspectively. Upon arriving at our working farm campus, students immediately encounter one of Freedom Mountain Academy’s unique features: the absence of electric lights and appliances. While the campus is equipped with the latest technology, students live in a rustic lodge lit by kerosene lamps, where cooking and heating are done with wood. Computers, cellphones, iPods, etc are all off-limits. The clutter and diversions of the modern world are removed during this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
In the beginning, they are very uncomfortable with the lack of external “noise,” but learn to use their time for more personal, introspective pursuits which enhance their awareness of themselves and their world.

 

Working closely together on the campus and in the field can be stressful at times to students living in a boarding school environment. Freedom Mountain Academy provides all students with their own rooms, which they are encouraged to make their sanctuary, a place where they can go to unwind and to surround themselves with images and textures that comfort them. Personalizing their own rooms with pictures, books, scents, and fabrics, helps them relax in a private space where they can lie on their beds to rest or sleep, read a book, write a letter, draw, paint, do creative handiwork, or play an instrument.

 

While there are large common areas, many students are unfamiliar with setting and respecting boundaries, so private rooms ensure they have a space for themselves.