top of page

How the Program is Structured

The Cicada Institute operates on a platform of authentic, exploratory learning. That is to say, the educators facilitate real-world exploration of a student's natural interests. Throughout each school day, students will pursue organic gardening, mindfulness training, plant medicine, art , lectures from master teachers, workshops presented by members of the community, outdoor activities, and movement exercises. If at any point during the standard offerings, a student becomes moved to pursue a specific area of interest, such as music, he/she/xe can be pulled out of the normal routine and work one-on-one with a teacher to gain the skills needed to actively engage this area of interest (i.e : learn how to read music, study its history, work with a local music shop, compose her own work, etc.)

Student Activities:

Permaculture: Everyday engagement with the planting, tending and harvesting of herbal medicine for our apothecary and nutrient-dense, plant-based foods for our community kitchen.

Sustainable Building: Daily classes in the safe and effective use of tools and environmentally sustainable materials to build tiny houses, log cabins, treehouses, yurts, cob structures, earthships and more.

Herbalism- Students receive constant foundational education on skilled plant identification,  effective herbal medicine manufacturing and safe administration of plant-based tinctures, salves, teas and other remedies. 

Psycho-Education: Students learn how to self-regulate and self-soothe with regular lessons on nervous system regulation and therapeutic self-care techniques.

Wilderness Therapy: Hikes, sit spots, nature excursions and environmental education are the culture and foundation of student life. We belong as a part and protector of this eco-system and we are in daily symbiotic relationship with mother nature.

Elder Wisdom: We preserve, respect, serve and protect our elders and their wisdom.

Mindfulness & Awareness: Routine participation in the many meditative and contemplative arts.

Nutrition: Students engage in nutrient-dense plant-based meal planning and preparation in our communal kitchen and even take routine shifts serving the other students and staff. 

Art & Music: Open studios are available for students to access anytime during the learning day for creative break-out sessions and guest lecturers.


In addition to the regular routine, teens will be invited to attend monthly presentations on bushcraft, entrepreneurship, indigenous music, gestalt therapy, sustainable engineering and equine work.

Wild Plant Walk
bottom of page