• Erin

We live in an age of highlights and filters. It can grab your attention but not hold it. When people ask about our program, I've tried to narrow it down to one inspirational thought that really captures what we do every day. Not possible. Even as we load photos onto a website or blog, you see what we are able to capture but not the full beauty. You see what we want you to see and we can edit our shortcomings. What we've found is sometimes our shortcomings and mistakes create the perfect atmosphere for learning that could never have been planned for. 

The past few days we've been exploring at the creek. I'm sure you've heard all about it. You see perfect lighting and smiles in the photos but you couldn't hear the pure joy and occasional panic of being stuck in a tree or slipping in mud. You couldn't hear the words of encouragement or extended hand to help a friend unprompted by adults. You missed me (almost) falling off a rolling log into the water. I was rescued by an 8 year old's hand and recommendation on where to step next. 

What you didn't see, was our amazement when we found numerous crates, barrels, and buckets that were left behind next to the creek from the last flood. We had a real trash to treasure conversation and decided on the spot to repurpose these crates into the perfect chairs for a DCLC fort. The ideas erupted off of each other and before we knew it, we had a plan!

We spend a lot of time collaborating with our peers. What you don't see is the authentic conversation that occurs without adult interjection. When a project is at hand, you can't hear the words, "hmm I don't know what do you think? How can we figure it out". But we do. Our guides hear these words and see the squints of determination. It inspires and challenges us to do the same. Our hope is that our families and friends share in our same excitement of the unknown. Ask more questions around the dinner table. Encourage deep thinking and see where it takes you! Be sure to watch and listen closely!

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  • Erin

I hate to admit this, but I don’t think my kids spend enough time in the great outdoors. There are days that I must force my kids to play outside. If your kids are anything like mine, being inside all day often leads to complete chaos. This pandemonium could come in the form of arguments, slime covered tables, Netflix binges, Nerf darts whizzing past my head, or little eyes glued to devices.

We all know that there are many benefits to children being outside. When I was growing up it was outside where creative games were invented and social skills were developed. When kids of different ages and genders from the neighborhood were outside, we needed to learn how to ‘figure things out' on our own. Whether that meant deciding on what game to play or settling a small debate, who knew we were learning skills that would benefit us in so many ways in the future? Equally important was the fact that exercise was a necessity if you wanted to keep up with the neighborhood kids during those long summer days or snow-covered days of sledding.

Are you aware of how much time children should spend outside? According to the government website Choose my Plate (, children and adolescents ages 6- 17 “should do 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day. Most of the 60 minutes should be either moderate- or vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity, and should include vigorous-intensity physical activity at least three days a week. As part of their 60 or more minutes of daily physical activity, children and adolescents should include muscle-strengthening activities, like climbing, and bone-strengthening activities, like jumping, at least three days a week. Children and adolescents are often active in short bursts of time rather than for sustained periods of time, and these short bursts can add up to meet physical activity needs. Physical activities for children and adolescents should be developmentally appropriate, fun, and offer variety.”

At DCLC, outdoor learning is an integral part of the daily schedule. Last week, the students and guides spent two hours hiking through Green Lane Park. And that was just one day! That mere sentence makes DCLC such a special place. The students craved the time outside and were very engaged as they observed the beautiful surroundings. When a student spotted one of the multitude of insects we came across during our travels, authentic conversations just happened. When someone discovered a hornet’s nest elevated in an enormous tree, the hornet experts in the group shared a variety of facts with their peers. There were discussions about numerous trees and plants, climbing and running on the pirate playground, and glowing smiles when we reached the picturesque waterfall. Overhearing in-depth conversations was an insight into the unique discoveries made that day. Witnessing learning in action as students are having fun is a remarkable experience. Learning and fun can’t be in the same sentence, can they? At DCLC, they sure can!

Our goal is to instill an appreciation of nature in your child. Further, research says it takes 21 days to make a habit. We hope that our hours spent outside also instill healthy lifestyle habits in your children that will lead to a lifetime of better health.

Have a great night!

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Can you believe today was the first day of school? Summer flew by as the school community worked diligently for the 2019-2020 school year, the inaugural year of Deep Creek Learning Center (DCLC) to commence! Since the vision for DCLC became a reality, we have been anticipating this day. Like all school years, we felt a plethora of emotions for our kids. If they were nervous, we may have experienced some butterflies too. If they were excited, we could take a deep breath and pray that the excitement lasts for the next 179 days. This year as we navigate a new way of ‘doing education’, the excitement that accompanies the mission we are embarking on can never adequately be put into words.

This year is full of change. As we all know, transitions can evoke feelings of uncertainty and surprise. After all, transitions take people on a quest into the unknown. At DCLC, we view this journey as exciting, necessary, and the only option when it comes to education.

This year is full of change. As we all know, transitions can evoke feelings of uncertainty and surprise. Afterall, transitions take people on a quest into the unknown. At DCLC, we view this journey as exciting, necessary, and the only option when it comes to education.

Today when our doors opened, we began to innovate the way education is perceived. Were we excited? That is an understatement. We are on fire to ignite a love of learning in every student, guide, parent, and community partner who walks through our doors. At DCLC, our students are encouraged to take ownership of their education. Through academic enrichment and hands on learning experiences, students are going to uncover who they are and how they can make a difference in the world right now that will impact the world of tomorrow.

Our goal for today and the days to come is to establish a genuine love and passion for education in each student. We are here to create lifelong learners. DCLC is committed to break the chains of education by eliminating the stresses and pressures that students are feeling at such an early age in traditional school settings. We believe if students experience negative feelings at school, their love of learning diminishes. This can lead to school becoming a place that is feared and at a very early age, students begin to dislike school.

Today, instead of kids sitting in neatly aligned desks for several hours, kids of different maturities and skill levels began working collaboratively as the guides encouraged cooperative learning. This innovative educational model will require students to think for themselves. Arguably, this skill is one of the most valuable keys to life. Students will be asked questions that will require them to think critically. This method will give each student the opportunity to take ownership of their education.

Please don’t be surprised if this transition isn’t a flawless one for your child. Tonight, your child may even feel like they weren’t at school, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t learning. It may simply mean that because they took ownership of their academic schedule, went on a nature walk, or game schooled, it felt like such a contrast to the norm. This difference is going to begin a revolution in their lives.

See you tomorrow!

Erin and Kristi

Launch Day 2019-20

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Deep Creek Learning Center: An Acton Academy focuses on the developmental needs of ALL children. We want to make a positive impact on our community and the beautiful surroundings that included the Green Lane Park. We are a proud affiliate of the Acton Academy network. DCLC offers the very best in experiential learning environments that are driven by children's interests. 

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T: 267.329.8520


Erin Decker, Administrator

Deep Creek Learning Center: An Acton Academy   //   2109 Perkiomen Ave. Perkiomenville, PA   //   267.329.8520