Welcome to The 24 Hour Experience, April 25 & 26, 2020


The 24 Hour Experience is sponsored by The University of the Wild in Petersham, MA. The program’s adventure and environmental education curriculum is based on the well-known book, The 24-Hour Experience: An Outdoor Adventure Program, by Dr. Larry Buell.


The 24-Hour Experience is an immersion experience that empowers individuals while creating a group bond. We go back in time as we explore the historical sights that remain in the woodlands and along the Swift River. Enjoy fun adventures along the way as we walk through a day and a night. Our sense of wonder comes alive in us again as we deepen our understanding of nature and our relationship to it.

The 24 Hour Experience Instructors


Dr. Larry Buell, Director of The University of the Wild. Larry is a legendary naturalist and historian of the Swift River Valley, the Quabbin, and the historical landscapes of New England.


Lenore Anderson, MA. Outdoor Ed. Wilderness Guide, Herbalist, and Life Coach.

Anthony Brongo, Wilderness leader and Earth-based skills educator.


Larry Buell is a long-time historian who will share stories of the past, beginning with the history of the Indigenous Nipmuck tribe at their ancient cave site at Earthlands. As we walk, Larry will share how the landscape has changed through time, from the old-growth forests to the pioneering days of agriculture. We will explore the remaining signs of early farming settlements, foundations and stone walls. Discover how the need for water captured the Swift River in the building of the Quabbin Reservoir, impacting five towns in the Swift River Valley.



The Journey


The group experience fosters community through trust and compassion as we walk together over a variety of forest, wetland, and open terrain learning about the history of the landscape. We will learn and practice outdoor skills including wildlife tracking, map and compass navigation, astronomy, and engaging our sensory awareness through fun nighttime activities. As we enter deeper into the night’s darkness we will take time to rest in stillness for solo reflection. We will set up our tarps and bedding for a “cat-nap” for a couple of hours before walking to observe the sunrise. Our journey ends with a peaceful solo walk along the Swift River. Perhaps we are walking home reflecting on our new awareness of nature, people, and our future way of living. It’s a new day dawning and a new beginning.

Program Details


Arrive: 9:00 am. Saturday, April 25.

From the center of the town of Petersham take East Street for 1 mile.

Where the road curves at Brown’s Pond (on the right), take a left onto Shaw Road.

The parking area is just up the road a bit on the right.


Depart: 10:00 am. Sunday, April 26.

Optional to cat-nap in nature before you drive home.




Please let us know of any food allergies or sensitivities.

  • Saturday Lunch: Bring a bag lunch. 2 Water bottles. Optional thermos.

  • Trail snacks: we provide trail snacks,

  • Saturday Dinner: vegetarian soup, salad, bread, hot tea and snacks.

  • Sunday Breakfast: granola, fruit, bagels, cream cheese, jam, almond butter, tea, coffee.

What to bring

Download the personal gear list in PDF format.

To Register

Contact: Lenore Anderson, 413-695-0942. Lenore@natural-vitality.com

Download the registration form in PDF format.

Sliding scale program tuition


Adult, $90-$120.

Teenager, $50-$75.

Children ages 10-12, $45-$60.


Continuing education credit

Outdoor Educators and interested participants may register for one (1) continuing education credit through Greenfield Community College.


Please mail your registration form and your full tuition no later than 2 weeks before the program. MAIL TO


University of the Wild

73 Glasheen Road

Petersham, MA 01366


© 2019 by University of the Wild 

Address: 73 Glasheen Road, Petersham, MA 01366

Tel: (978) 724-3428   |  Email: larrybuell@universityofthewild.org

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