Environmental Living Program (ELP)
The Environmental Living Program provides hands-on learning which allows children to experience the joys of history as active participants, exploring the interaction between people and their environment. Immersed for a brief time in the past, students learn about the many cultures and lifestyles present at Settlement Ross. Through performing some of the tasks that were a part of daily life at Fort Ross such as cooking all their meals in an outdoor kitchen, fishing and ‘hunting’ for their food, gardening, making candles, collecting and stacking firewood, guarding the perimeter, trading, practicing artisanal crafts, dancing, and generally working hard for the company, children gain a better understanding of history and their relationship to it. Students, chaperones, and teachers sleep inside the historic compound buildings.
Students, parents, and teachers research and take on specific characters who lived at Fort Ross, and come in costume prepared to role play that character during their stay. Students become Employees, parents become Officers, and teachers become Managers. Each historic character is someone who lived and worked at Fort Ross, for the Russian American Company.