This year's ISEEN Institute was one of the most enjoyable and productive professional development experiences I have had in my career. It provided an opportunity for me to fully understand how the different strands included under the ISEEN "umbrella" can be woven together to provide highly effective 21st century educational experiences for our independent school students. I gained so many ideas that I think will help me help our school improve.
- Lucy Smith, Middle School Division Head, Episcopal School, Baton Rouge, LA
I have never been to any other conference twice but I have attended ISEEN four years in a row! It is without a doubt the most intimate, exciting, and inspirational professional development opportunity I have ever participated in. It is all about sharing and improving each other's programs and ideas. It is a do NOT miss for any teacher or administrator who is passionate about giving the BEST experiences to their students.
- Courtney Prieur, Selwyn House School, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
With most conferences, when you get back to your school or workplace, the energy and enthusiasm for implementing new knowledge and ideas can fade pretty quickly and get lost in the day-to-day, but after hearing the great ideas and meeting the inspirational educators at the ISEEN conference, I feel a responsibility to take back what I learned, share it, and use it!
- Caryn Purcell, New Canan Country School, New Canaan, CT
ISEEN has grown into an organization that not only promotes sound practices in specific programmatic areas of experiential education, but also advances the collective knowledge base of experiential education theory, pedagogy and assessment. Any school incorporating experiential learning in its curriculum(through outdoor education, service learning, or global travel) needs to know about ISEEN.
- Annie Leonard, High School Assistant Principal, The American School in London
I've attended a wide range of conferences and professional development opportunities over the years, but never have I consistently been left with such a big smile on my face from having the chance to commune with like minded people. ISEEN definitely feels like a family that you like belonging to, even after only a few short days.
-  Blake Amos - Trinity Valley School
Through school visits, a small intimate group size and plenty of opportunity to connect with people, this is the best education conference I have attended. I highly recommend this opportunity to anyone who hopes to improve the experiential nature of their school's educational mission.
- Jason Ham, The Athenian School
I have not been to a better run conference or more been around more passionate people.
- Mark Holloway, St. Christopher's School
So often experiential education is seen as a supplement to a school's program; it felt like a luxury -- but it really was a necessity -- for me as a school head to immerse myself, even for a short time, in a community of outdoor leaders and practitioners. The substance and spirit of the workshops helped reinforce in my mind that the goals of experiential/outdoor education are so consistent with our schools' missions.
- Steve Hahn, Head of School, Portledge School
I especially appreciated the focus on outcomes and value-added benefits of adventure/experiential programs. Embedding these programs in the curricular heart of our schools is exciting to me and emphasizes that these programs are not just about fun and adventure, but really are about educating global citizens and preparing our students for the challenges of college, the workplace and the global community. The blend of philosophical and practical workshops and discussions provided a great foundation for my thinking as I design and refine the programs at my school.
- Kayden Will, Proctor Academy
ISEEN was the kind of conference that not only got me thinking, it actually got me doing. I have already shared what I learned with my school’s department heads and am actively trying to implement some of the "gems" mentioned, so the ideas don't get stored in my memory and then fade away. If you are involved in experiential education ISEEN is worth every minute and dime spent.
- Elisabeth Mooney, Coordinator of Experiential Initiatives, Portledge School
This a great collection of individuals and organizations that share common intentions and practices. Trading ideas, seeing what is being done in other programs and getting to know fellow practitioners all contribute to creating continual improvement in our own programs. If our goal is to positively impact the lives of students then sharing, evaluating and refining our thoughts and practices as leaders and administrators is a very practical means to achieve our ends.
- Bruce Hendricks, Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School
The focused nature of ISEEN means that the right people are in the room, discussing the right topics making it a valuable educational opportunity and excellent networking environment for folks working in outdoor and adventure education in Independent Schools.
- Christopher Barnes, High Mountain Institute
It is so refreshing to spend quality time with like-minded educators. ISEEN is a chance for those of us in the adventure education field to share ideas, ask each other questions, and challenge ourselves, and the programs we run, to be better. Also, the friendships that begin at this conference continue, and provide a great outlet for discussion throughout the year. Looking forward to the next gathering.
- Brian Michaels, The Key School
It was so exciting and inspiring to spend four days with other leaders of Adventure Education. The expertise, dedication, and passion sitting in the room made each discussion so rich and enlightening. The surprised reaction I have received when telling folks how amazing the ISEEN Institute was shows me what a unique and special opportunity it is.
- Christie Etter, The Outdoor Academy
It is no coincidence that the top practitioners in a field often seek their equally talented counterparts and, in the process, become even stronger. The sharing and curiosity I saw at the ISEEN conference bodes well for the field of adventure and experiential education and for the schools and organizations present. (Not to mention that this was an incredibly stimulating and fun group to be around!)
- Andy Watson, Head of School, Albuquerque Academy
I gained more from this ISEEN three days than from many years of other larger conferences. I came away charged, filled with appropriate facts and details, and renewed in my belief that what we are doing really matters, both in our own lives and in the lives of our students
- Jim Brady, Assistant Head, Santa Barbara Middle School
My participation at ISEEN set a new standard for my professional development options in the future. It will be tough to match the networking, information gathers and energy I bring back to Blue Ridge. I've been back a week and already have three other teachers ready to integrate sustainability into their courses. Thanks for all your hard work on the institute and I look forward New Jersey!
- Tony Brown, Blue Ridge School, Saint George, VA
This was my second ISEEN conference. I attended the Island School gathering in 2007 and could not have expected a more productive, worthwhile, and meaningful opportunity to network with fellow outdoor educators. I was wrong. The 2008 conference at Albuquerque Academy took it up a notch! The excellent presentations (and there were many) were diverse in scope and relevant to all aspects of my program. As was the case last year, it was invaluable having time-both informal and structured-to discuss program successes and challenges with fellow independent school educators. Lastly, it was a bonus to learn from some of the masters like Reb Gregg and Dan Garvey. See you at Lawrenceville next year!
- Deb Follo Caughron, Woodberry Forest School
Your choice of speakers was amazing. From the first day hearing Dan Garvey speak about the promise of our younger generations to Reb Gregg sharing his legal expertise and to all of the other leaders, I sensed a great sense of devotion to outdoor education. As a first-timer, I walked out with motivation and know-how. It was refreshing to feel as though so many of the topics related directly to me and my small program.
- David Gulick, Philips Exeter Academy
The ISEEN Institute exceeded my expectations. It was not only valuable for meeting and networking with other educators with similar programs, philosophies and pedagogy, the sessions also offered practical up to date information on program issues and concerns.
- Larry Nelson, St Paul Academy & Summit School
ISEEN was a great opportunity to come together with experiential educators from all over the country, learn about their programs, learn from them and their dearth of experience and be inspired. The conference topics were relevant, current, and really drilled down on topics. I loved the small feel and I got to talk to someone from each program over the four days. It is great to have a network of educators in my field to draw from when I need help with new topics, programs, or just to hash out a new idea.
- Sarah Councell, Albuquerque Academy
This conference was really fun and incredibly helpful; this is the only time I have ever returned home with equal parts inspiration and practical advice! Great people, great networking opportunities, very professionally run.
- Vicki Weeks, Lakeside School
So many of us run fantastic programs in relative isolation, the ISEEN is an opportunity to learn about and share tricks of the trade, as well as challenges with peers from the broader Experiential Education community.
- Darryl Fuller, Colorado Rocky Mountain School
As an experiential educator in a large, traditional, independent school, I have sometimes felt that I work in isolation from the rest of the school community. The ISEEN conference is such an incredible opportunity to connect to a larger community that faces the same challenges and shares the same passion for creating quality adventure programs in their schools. It truly is the most valuable conference I've attended.
- Meghan Brown, Westminister Schools
ISEEN is the event that I attend every year where I feel most comfortable. I don't have to explain or justify my entire profession when people ask what I do. Every session is pertinent to my program, and I always come away inspired and informed. I'm always surprised what great new ideas I get to steal from other exceptional programs.
- Bob Schofield, Trinity Valley School
ISEEN has provided me with an opportunity not always found in the field of Outdoor Education - the chance to get to know and form connections with my peers. The networking opportunities and problem solving that comes out of informal discussion with people who are in the same profession as you is infinitely valuable. I really was happy to get to know more people in this community, and I look forward to working with the people I met at ISEEN in the future.
- Jeremy Johnson, Albuquerque Academy
It was great not having to spend 10 minutes explaining who I was and where I was from before I could even frame a questions as often happens at other conferences I have attended. Being able to sample the richness of programs from similar schools was what attracted me to the ISEEN.
- Frank Norton, Cranbrook Kingswood School
I can't tell you how invaluable the ISEEN Institute was for me. The amount of one-on-one time I got to spend with knowledgeable people that offered me great insights will greatly diminish the time I waste for years to come. Sharing my experiences and frustrations with others that understand what I do is so unique. My school will never realize what a resource I have found.
- Robert Schofield, Director of Outdoor Education, Trinity Valley School
My participation at ISEEN set a new standard for my professional development options in the future. It will be tough to match the networking, information gathers and energy I bring back to Blue Ridge. I've been back a week and already have three other teachers ready to integrate sustainability into their courses. Thanks for all your hard work on the institute and I look forward New Jersey!
- Tony Brown, Blue Ridge School, Saint George, VA
The ISEEN Institute exceeded my expectations. It was not only valuable for meeting and networking with other educators with similar programs, philosophies and pedagogy, the sessions also offered practical up to date information on program issues and concerns.
- Larry Nelson, St Paul Academy & Summit School
The experience I had at the Island School helped me to feel connected to the world of outdoor education like never before. I've talked shop with other professionals in the field, but having soaked up the energy of my colleagues at a place where they're doing outdoor and experiential education right- immersing students hands on in the environment- has given me a whole new attitude. It's vindicating to work with such dedicated individuals that also find themselves on the fringe of their schools, to a greater or lesser degree, but who want to make a difference more in the mainstream and persevere in their endeavors to do so. I'm excited to continue working with ISEEN and sharing knowledge that will helpme to develop the best program possible at my school.
- Mark Cutler, Phillips Andover Academy, Director of Search and Rescue Program
The ISEEN conference was an extraordinary opportunity to network with experiential educators across the country. The format and group size allowed plenty of time for dialog on program design and, most significantly for me, a chance to discuss the successes and challenges of outdoor programming in the independent school setting. Our risk management workshops with Reb Gregg were illuminating. First-hand exposure to Reb’s take on program safety and quality were worth the trip alone. Sincere thanks to the folks at ISEEN—count me in for the next conference in Albuquerque!
- Deb Follo Caughron, Outdoor Education & Leadership Development Director, Woodberry Forest School
ISEEN was a great gathering of adventure program directors dealing with similar issues. Independent schools are unique in their challenges and ISEEN provides a great forum for discussions on common issues. I also really enjoyed the fact that the meeting was hosted by a school with a strong adventure education program and that part of the Institute focused on learning about that school. The networking connections and resources available through ISEEN will keep me coming back.
- Jeff Liddle, Director of Curriculum, Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center

What I observed at the ISEEN conference at The Island School confirmed what I had learned at various other conferences in the past few years: independent secondary schools are a growing and significant force in adventure programming and have clearly earned their place at the table. I saw in action and worked with an exciting group of adventure program administrators. They are incredibly dedicated, and savvy about the risks and rewards of what they ask students to do. ISEEN is where the action is when it comes to learning and sharing. I recommend ISEEN and its annual conferences to anyone who wants to be taken seriously in this important segment of the outdoor education and recreation industry.
- Rebb Gregg, Attorney at Law
After attending the 2010 ISEEN Institute, I had clarity and purpose on what I do day in and day out. I now have a clear vision on where I want to take experiential education at my school and I know how to get the support I need to create a valuable program for our students.
- Courtney Prieur, Selwyn House School, Montreal, Canada
Best conference I have ever been to; loved the people, the content, and the conversations
- Kristen Ball, New Canaan Country School, New Haven, CT
Rarely do I attend conferences with such immediate appeal and relevance. I come back inspired and packing new ammunition for future program plans. Folks back at school note the enthusiasm and passion we carry back with us. This was my second year. Count me in for the next ten!
- Charlie Noyes, The Hotchkiss School, Lakeville, CT
The ISEEN Institute provided me with great long-range ideas and several I was easily able to implement immediately upon my return to school. I made some really important connections with educators and schools that recognize that experiential education is an invaluable part of the future of teaching and learning.
- Justin Zappia, Canterbury School, Greensboro, NC
The ISEEN conference has been a great forum to discuss, collaborate, and bring forth emerging directions for experiential education programs at independent schools.
- Derek Harwell, The Urban School, San Francisco, CA
ISEEN is the most relevant and useful workshop for independent school experiential educators and their schools. The workshops provide invaluable insight to the issues we all face in our own schools. I feel honored to be surrounded by an incredible group of educators who are dedicated both professionally and personally to experiential learning.
- Tricia Fisher, Canterbury School, Greensboro, NC
Each year, ISEEN provides me an inexhaustible well of new ideas, real strategies for implementing improvements in policy, and research based information that demonstrates the efficacy of experiential education. It is my favorite conference of the year. I love it.
- Will Weiskopf, Jemicy School, Towson, MD
This is truly one of the experiences I look forward to each year, whether it's discussing risk management issues during big-group workshops, chatting about academic connections to outdoor settings over dinner with colleagues, or being able to ask candid questions of the heads of prominent schools while getting a coffee. Each year I come away with new perspectives and new friends.
- Brian Michaels, Key School, Annapolis, MD
It was fabulous to be welcomed into such a genuine and passionate organization. Every day I found myself in conversations that were stimulating and inspired me to do more within my own programs. I truly enjoyed being a part of something so profound.
- Shelly Gibson, Hopkins School
I found the ISEEN conference was a great vehicle for networking with other EE leaders (within and outside of my region), for developing camaraderie across the EE specialization groups as we work towards shared outcomes, and for recharging my energy to catalyze forward momentum with experiential education at my school and beyond.
- Deb Powers, Chadwick School, Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA
I didn't know what to expect and even those expectations were exceeded. This conference was entirely useful, peopled with passionate souls and created to address the unique challenges experiential educators face. Good job to all, presenters and participants.
- Zinda K. Foster, Lakeside School, Seattle, WA
It was inspiring and fun to spend so much time with people who are passionate, committed, smart and professional. I left the conference with lots of great ideas and resources to take back to my work at my school.
- St Michaels University School, Victoria, BC, Canada
ISEEN offers a great opportunity to connect with other people working outside of the "box".
- Emma Roche, Royal St. George's College, Toronto, Canada