Catacombs of Paris 2015

When: September 18 – October 22, 2015

Where: Paris, France

Who: 10 students (ages 14-19) plus trip leaders Blake Boles, Fia Minucci, and Sydney Moyer

How Much: $4250 plus airfare

Priority Application Date: April 1, 2015.

An Underground Adventure

Welcome to the very first underground Unschool Adventures trip! On this program you’ll be learning the history of the Catacombs of Paris, help map the catacombs, and experience underground living at its finest!


Learn About the Catacombs

The catacombs have been present in much of France’s history. The tunnels date back hundreds of years, and skeletons from every major historical era wait to be discovered. Our group will explore the catacombs together with our knowledgeable French guide, Hugo, and will receive mini-lessons on the historical and political significance of various sections of tunnel.


Help Map the Catacombs

A long-standing collaborative project, we will assist in researchers’ attempts to further map the catacombs by volunteering as underground explorers. Splitting up into pairs, you will receive a flashlight, map of your section to explore, a sack lunch, and a pocket knife for excavation and (hopefully not) self-defense from the larger-than-average rats that inhabit the caves.


Does this sound easy to you? Well it’s not, because some of you will get fake maps!

On Unschool Adventures trip, we’re serious about giving you the freedom to explore and learn on your own. We can’t make it too easy, otherwise you won’t learn! That’s why some of you will get real catacomb maps, and others will get carefully fabricated imitations. But don’t worry! You’re probably not alone.

A preview of the underground adventures that await you!

Try to Escape the Catacombs

Even with a real map, it’s highly likely you’ll get lost in the catacombs—because we’re spiking all of your food with hallucinogenic drugs! Again, this is for your own benefit, because the farther down the catacombs you venture, the more you’ll learn and grow along the way. At Unschool Adventures, we look out for your long-term best interest.

Here are a few ways that you might find your way home from your cold, lost, drug-induced stupor:

Underground Raves


Find one of Paris’ infamous catacomb raves, and there’s a good chance you’ll be able to escape the catacombs. But more than likely, these rave-goers will be on far stronger hallucinogenic drugs than you are, and their helpfulness will be limited.



Many of the known entrances to the catacombs are blocked by the Parisian police department, which means that even if you find an exit, it will probably be barricaded. No worries! Most people now access the catacombs via connected sewer lines. This means that if you wade through human filth for just a few short miles, you have a winning chance of exiting the catacombs. (Parents, please sent extra antibiotics and ensure that your child has full immunizations.)

Eliminating Other Students

If you’re truly motivated to escape the catacombs, there’s one foolproof solution: eliminate your fellow students!

If you bring back the flashlights, maps, and shoes of at least three other pairs of students, we’ll release you from your underground prison, hand you a baguette, and give you 20 Euros to get yourself cleaned up.

Enjoy above-ground Paris for a sweet 24 hours, and then it’s time to go back into the catacombs—because we’ll have another group of Unschool Adventures students arriving shortly!

Don’t go fleeing the country on us. Remember: We have your passports!

Everyday Activities

  • Daily meeting and check-in with your exploration group
  • Free/unstructured time for exploration, photography, journaling, R&R, and survival
  • Bartering for flashlight batteries in French with underground hobos trying to shank you

Have More Questions?

Contact us via e-mail or phone and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

This trip sounds great! Who’s leading it, and what are their credentials?

Blake Boles is a certified Wilderness First Responder who specializes in providing care in low-light and extra-damp situations. Fia Minucci and Sydney Moyer are the winners of last year’s pilot program in the catacombs—they’re truly ruthless!

What are the extra costs on this trip?

The program fee does not include certain variable costs including: airfare, personal spending money, and funeral services.

Where will we be staying?

You’ll be sleeping the best locations that the Catacombs of Paris have to offer: typically a dirty corner underneath a wall of skulls that watch while you sleep.

What kind of food will we eat?

Marinated rodents, food scraps left by underground ravers, and fallen comrades.

What movies do you recommend I watch to prepare for this trip?

•Pan’s Labyrinth
•As Above, So Below
•Labyrinth (the one with David Bowie)

What special gear do I need?

You’ll need warm and waterproof clothing, a broken-in pair of walking shoes, a flip-cam for Blair Witch Project style documentation, and your last will and testament.

Are you serious?

No. Happy April Fool’s day! (Check out our 2013 April Fool’s trip.)

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