Unschooltopia 2023

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help build an unschool utopia in the wilds of northern california

Let’s face it—the world is not built for unschoolers! Our self-directed, freedom-loving nature struggles to find an outlet in modern society. We escape school only to discover similar constraints in the workplace. What to do?

In this ambitious Unschool Adventures program, we will attempt to create our own little utopian community, 100% centered on the values of unschooling, in a lightly inhabited zone of northern California.

This will involve lots of hard work, idealism, and some tricky maneuvering—but we’re confident that if we succeed, the world will pay attention.


June 10 – Aug 23, 2023
(dates may shift slightly)


Sierra County, California


14 participants, ages 14-19 (flexible)


Blake Boles and Milla von Tauber


$2500 plus lunches and family contribution (see FAQ)

Applications Open

The Priority Application Deadline is April 1st. Apply by this date for your best chance of joining.

Utopia: fun for the whole family!

Trip Purposes

Every Unschool Adventures trip is created with specific purposes in mind. Here’s what we’ll set out to accomplish.

Joining the Long History of American Utopias and California Secession Movements

From New Harmony to Twin Oaks, utopian communities have always been a part of the American experiment. So have secession movements—especially in California! We will follow these footsteps by attempting to establish a brand-new community in rural northern California.

We think the time is right for a new community, state, or perhaps even country. Brexit worked! While we don’t have the resources to dream that big, we’ll start with what we’ve got: a team of hard-working teenage unschoolers, adult trip leaders, and the power of romantic idealism.

First step: self-sufficiency. Second step: political independence!

Every US state if they had an independence movement like Brexit
(via Terrible Maps)

Learning to Grow Food, Build Houses, and Self-Govern

We’ll carve our homestead from an unoccupied swath of pine forest in rural Sierra County, California, not far from the famous Pacific Crest Trail. No one lives here except the local animals and perhaps an irate weed farmer or two. Our first order of business will be giving those furry critters a reason to skidaddle—then we’ll get down to business!

On this Unschool Adventures trip you’ll gain all sorts of practical homesteading skills: tree-felling, root removal, attempting to grow vegetables on steep slopes in unfriendly soil conditions, log cabin building, and privy construction. You’ll sleep in tents, eat simple meals, and feel the warmth of community as we work toward heaven on earth.

Every community needs a method of self-governance, and we’ll experiment with a different approach each week: majority vote, supermajority, consensus, elected dictator, communism, anarchy, and more. Don’t be surprised if you get nominated as a temporary dictator, or if your snack food gets collectivized! It’s all part of the experience.

Self-governance is easy!

Creating an Ideal Community for Unschoolers

With our material needs addressed, we’ll finally turn to the real work of any utopia: creating an organizational system that perfectly matches human nature. As unschoolers, all of our belief and value systems are basically the same, so we feel confident that we can iron out a functional utopia by the late summer 2023.

What will this utopia look like? Well, it’s hard to predict (that’s the fun of this trip!), but we know one thing for sure: there won’t be any school, or anything that looks like school. Self-directed learning will be compulsory. Chores and bedtimes will be optional. Assuming we can get Starlink, we’ll have plenty of Fortnite tournaments. (Not sure about the electricity part yet.)

With these shared foundations, we’re know that utopia will be right around the corner. Soon, everyone will want to join us! Maybe we’ll become as popular as Rajneeshpuram in Oregon.

Only happy times will be permitted at Unschooltopia

Daily Schedule

9am-1pm: Extended Breakfast/Brunch
1pm-2pm: Check-ins and Struggle Sessions
2pm-4pm: Work Parties
4-7pm: Self-Directed Learning
7-9pm: Dinner and Community Meeting
9-9:30pm: Purging of the Impure
9:30-10pm: Ice Cream (dairy-free)
10pm+: Fortnite

If you’re going to take a field trip into the surroundings area or along the Pacific Crest Trail, please travel in a group of 3 or more.

Packing List

In addition to standard clothes and toiletries, please plan on bringing:

  • Sturdy work boots
  • Camping equipment
  • Garden hoe and fertilizer
  • Hammer, nails, screws, screwdriver
  • Mini solar panel with battery pack
  • First aid kit
  • Ecotopia by Ernest Callenbach

Fortnite fuel

It CAN be done!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the extra costs?

The $2500 UA program fee includes housing (rustic), brunches and dinners (mostly rice and squirrels), laundry (river-style), and an Unschool Adventures t-shirt. Not included: transport, snacks, toiletries, mobile data, and emergency evacuation.

In addition to the program fee, we will ask for a voluntary contribution of 10% of your family’s net worth. We feel this to be very reasonable considering that other utopias ask for much more. Can you really put a price on utopia? What is 10% of perfection? Does that even make sense? Exactly.

Who are the trip leaders?

Your illustrious trip leaders are Blake Boles and Milla von Tauber. Learn more about us on the Leaders page. Oh, and we forgot to mention: fusion dancing will be mandatory.

How can I prepare for this adventure?

We recommend reading up on governance systems, taking lots of ice baths, and perhaps certifying as a Wilderness First Responder. Also, if you can figure out how we can get electricity and running water, that would be great.

What’s the food like?

Once we run out of our 20lb bag of rice, we’ll be eating quite a bit of deer and squirrel. If you know how to hunt those, you will be given priority application status. Also, dairy-free ice cream.

Does my Fortnite ranking affect my status in the community?

Yes. Yes it does.

Wait, what?

Happy April Fool’s Day!

More Questions?

Write Blake anytime: blake@unschooladventures.com

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