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”The most valuable life lesson I that I am physically and mentally capable to take on anything I put my mind to, but I should check in to make sure it fits my values..."

~Student, Fall 2013

The Pioneer Project is an organization located in Brasstown, NC devoted to connecting people to a simpler, more sustainable way of life.  We strive to be a bridge between people and the natural world while also helping cultivate confidence through empowering students with real skills that they can use in their lives at home.


Our Programs are intended for 15-24 year old students who are taking time away from formal academics to experience hands-on learning and develop more clarity on their purpose and direction.  It is also for students who are seeking to live a more sustainable, healthy lifestyle through gardening, cooking local food, and supporting local farmers.   Moreover, students learn the value of the humble creation of practical items through bi-weekly craft workshops taught by local artisans.  Finally, we embark on a wilderness  adventure every few weeks by foot, rope, paddle, or bike to discover the challenge and beauty that awaits us.


Through “getting their hands in the dirt,” our students rejoice in the power of learning through experience, not textbooks.  After being exposed to a diverse suite of experiences, our students begin to hone in on what they are passionate about and what they will pursue on their path to co-creating a better world.


Our students become true pioneers who not only possess the confidence that sprouts from self-reliance, but also become leaders in their communities who value their connection to others and the natural world.

Welcome to a unique Gap Year & summer learning experience in the Appalachians

Sustainable Living + Traditional Craft + Outdoor Leadership

Gap Year Program, Organic Gardening, Sustainable Living, Traditional Craft, Outdoor Leadership

Explore our 2015-16 Programs!

exploring inner frontiers