"Only thirty students go to Watershed, yet students are not hindered socially or academically. We are a close knit, motivated group of students. We are active in our communities. At Watershed, you can't hide. You can be who you are without judgment from others. Introverts and extroverts alike thrive at Watershed because it is a place where everyone is celebrated for who they are."
- Isabel, Class of 2015
In addition to Watershed’s in-depth academic classes and rich elective opportunities, our students enjoy the following:
Student life is unique at Watershed. We often describe ourselves as a mini-college in that our students have the freedom to sign in and out of school as fits their schedules. With great freedom comes great responsibility; our students are trusted to act responsibly, even when there is nobody looking over their shoulders.
Watershed students take this privilege seriously. Because of that, our campus extends far beyond the walls of our building. Watershed School is located in the beautiful coastal town of Camden, Maine. No matter the season, Camden has much to offer. We’re a short walk to Harbor Park, where our students often picnic for lunch. Some are even known to take a dip in the harbor if weather permits! Students can visit one of the many restaurants in town during their lunch break, or they can simply take a walk and enjoy the scenery.
The Camden Public Library is right around the corner, and we regularly hold classes at The Steel House, an art, design and technology collective in Rockland.
We’re less than four miles to the Snow Bowl, the only ski mountain on the East Coast with ocean views, and we’re minutes away from several rivers and lakes. Several of our classes take advantage of the great outdoors, and you’ll often find our students measuring sea levels from a boat in the Camden Harbor, or star gazing in an open field in the middle of the night.
ALL SCHOOL TRIPS
Watershed prides itself on active and engaged learning, and Field Trips are a perfect opportunity for that experience. Some of our trips include:
The first days of school are not held in classrooms, but rather the entire school ventures out for an all-school trip. Sometimes we canoe and camp on the St. George River, sometimes we island hop in Penobscot Bay, and sometimes we visit Hurricane Island.
No matter the location, this start-of-school-trip is designed to establish respect, trust, and esprit de corps for the year ahead. This is a great opportunity for students to get to know one another in a relaxed and friendly environment.
The Winter Carnival, Quebec City
Each February, Watershed crosses the Canadian border to visit the winter wonderland of Quebec City during the Winter Carnival. We spend three days exploring the city, feasting on French fare, ice skating, or speeding down the city’s famed toboggan slide.
Field trips vary each year, and most are voted on by the student body.
Recent trips have included:
New York City
Rhode Island School of Design
The Bowdoin Library
Acadia National Park
Bates College for Martin Luther King Day
The Islamic Center of Maine at UMaine Orono
INDEPENDENT STUDY PROJECTS
Our students are passionate about many things, and one of the great benefits of Watershed School is our ability to work one-on-one with those students in the fields that interest them. Intellectually curious upperclassmen may work with a mentor during semester-long independent study projects in a field of their choosing. Historically, students have worked with:
Darling Marine Center
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
Penobscot Language School
The Steel House Art, Design, & Technology Collaborative
Bay Chamber Concerts & Music School
The Camden Conference
At Watershed, democracy isn’t simply discussed; it’s practiced. Effective participation in a democracy requires training. Students are directly engaged in community building and take responsibility for drafting, deliberating, and establishing aspects of school policy at bi-weekly All School Meetings. Here, students voice their issues and share their ideas. All members of the school community learn how to exercise their voice.
While All-School Meetings are a place for group check-ins, Advising is a place for individual check-ins. Students are assigned a faculty advisor, and these bi-weekly meetings allow time for students to touch base with their advisor with any questions or concerns.
Students who have a passion for sports or who want to participate on athletic teams at their local public school may do so. Our students have historically participated on the following teams:
Rockland Community Sailing
Camden Hills Alpine Ski Team
Camden Hills Track & Field
Camden Hills Ultimate Frisbee
Belfast Ultimate Frisbee
Belfast High School Soccer
Studio Red Dance
and many others!
MUSIC & THEATRE
One of the best things about Watershed is our ability to start a program with enough student interest. Often, our students choose to do an in-house Watershed play, and we work with them to provide anything they need to make it happen.
Many of our students also participate in band, chorus, and theatre at Camden Hills Regional High School, or they perform with Bay Chamber Concerts and Music School.
Additionally, Watershed has several electives that appeal to musicians and actors, including:
Each year, Watershed holds a Coffeehouse, which is our unique version of a talent show. Students are encouraged to play music, perform skits, dance, and even try their hand at stand-up comedy. These events always draw a packed house, and are great fun for all involved.
LEF (Liberian Education Fund)
The mission of LEF is to provide youth in Liberia educational opportunities by building connections with students from across the world. The Watershed chapter was the second high school chapter of LEF to be formed, and we have grown quickly. We currently support five high school students. The Watershed school has a very popular wreath sale each year near the holidays; this is not only a great fundraiser, but also a chance for the students in the chapter to bond and get to know each other as they make the wreaths by hand. They also host regular bake sales in their school, and have a very successful annual 5k “Run for Liberia” in the spring. This year, Senior Jillian Galloway and Junior Hallie MacDougal lead the Watershed LEF as co-presidents. For more information on LEF, please visit www.liberianeducationfund.org.
We mean that quite literally. Past fundraising events have included a Polar Plunge, and a Ski-a-thon. Watershed knows how to put the fun in fundraising, and we hope to continue these events for years to come.
FUN & FRIENDSHIP
Like most things at Watershed, friendships here are deep and meaningful. The small and accepting community cultivates close relationships, and our students look out for one another, cheer each other on, and grow together.
Watershed is a close-knit community, and when you step into our school, you’ll hear lots of laughing, the sharing of ideas, and, if you're lucky, a song or two.
For a closer glimpse into our student life, please visit our Facebook page, or, better yet, come visit us in person!